Customer Experience: A Key Differentiator
In today’s highly competitive market, customer experience has become crucial in determining the success of a business. As how a company delivers its products becomes just as important as what product a company is offering, corporate entities that are able to impart truly positive customer experiences have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
How does an organization then work towards imparting a positive customer experience?
Understand your customers
Corporate entities must work towards understanding their customers – their needs, wants, expectations, motivations and triggers as opposed to assuming that they are already aware of the preferences of their customers. Understanding the customer’s experience from their perspective when purchasing a product or service is key to understanding them. Furthermore, to gain a thorough understanding of customer sentiment, it is important to implement systems such as customer satisfaction surveys and voice of customer panels to gather feedback and measure levels of satisfaction. Having frameworks that allow gathering of feedback, which can then be acted upon can assist a company in building a customer base that will not only be loyal but serve to advocate the brand.
Identify the customer journey
A customer typically interacts with an organization across various different touchpoints and it is important that a customer experience strategy integrate all of these touchpoints. A crucial first step then is identifying the touchpoints and the experience the customer has across each of these touchpoints. However, it is important to keep in mind that a customer experience will be reflective of the entire customer journey and not individual touchpoints and thus, while the different touchpoint should each provide a positive experience, it is even more crucial that they work together to provide a cumulative positive end to end experience.
Design a strategy that is applied across the entire organization
To provide consistent positive customer experiences, it is important that a well-defined customer experience strategy exist. Strategies should be applied across the entire organization, with all employees (and not just frontline employees) being involved and educated as to what the customer experience strategy entails. Additionally, the strategy would need to be reflected across all the touchpoints within an organization including communication channels such as social media. The successful implementation of a customer experience strategy often requires a rewiring of a company’s ethos, whereby all employees need to be made aware that they can have a direct or indirect impact on the experience a customer has with that company.
Engage your employees
Engaged employees that enjoy their work are typically more successful at imparting positive customer experience. The fact that all employees play a role in determining the quality of a customer experience underscores the importance of ensuring that employees are engaged and motivated. Tools such as employee engagement surveys, which allow companies to better gauge what employees think of their jobs, management and firms can be utilized to measure employee engagement on a periodic basis and make any required changes in the company structure or values. Having an engaged and satisfied workforce is an important component of any customer experience strategy.
Successfully implementing customer experience strategies require time and considerable effort, however given their impact on sustainable growth and ROI they are an integral part of most successful businesses. With the help of the right tools and advisory services, positive and differentiated customer experiences are definitely attainable and should feature on the objectives and goals of any company.