Providing a superior customer experience is no longer an option: it is the only way to differentiate your business from the competition. It is all about providing more value for the same price offered by your competitors. Even on the store floor, focusing on the price will drive away customers, who can do a quick comparison online and probably find a better price. However, if you focus on the customer experience, you will have an upper hand over the competition.
So what can you do to improve brand loyalty? Here are a few tips to help your business improve customer experience across the different touch points.
Make your website informative: Your website is usually the first point of call for customers looking for information. Make it easy for customers to find information by providing an FAQ section or adding a live chat feature. Remove every hurdle standing in the way of a superior self-service experience.
Provide contact information: Make sure to display your contact details prominently on your website. The customer should be able to get in touch with you effortlessly.
Seek feedback: Implement a system for capturing customer feedback across all your touch points. It can even be as simple as getting customers to rate a service by tapping a smiley face on an iPad. The feedback needs to be continuously monitored and acted upon to provide a superior customer experience.
Speak to customer facing staff: Your customer facing staff, especially those in the call centre and sales, will have a wealth of knowledge about customer needs and frustrations. Create a mechanism for customer facing staff to provide their feedback on a regular basis.
Provide a consistent experience across channels: It is important to ensure that a superior experience is offered to customers across all channels: telephone calls, website, live chat, over the counter and emails. A customer who makes his initial enquiry over the phone may complete the transaction through the self-service section of the website or he may even proceed for an over the counter transaction. You cannot afford to up the service level in one channel and let it falter elsewhere.
Keep the call center team informed: The call center agents should be kept updated on the latest information about products and services. They should be provided with access to a knowledge repository that is frequently updated. This will help in improving the quality of responses and even the time taken to process each call. With all the information available at their fingertips, the agents will be able to respond fast without wasting time looking for the information.
Consistent content updates: Your website and all other marketing collaterals should be updated to reflect any internal changes in policy that can impact customers. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to be told that the actual process is different from what is mentioned in the outdated website and brochures.
Keep a record: Customers shouldn’t have to repeat themselves every time they get in touch with the Call Centre. It can be very frustrating for a customer to keep repeating the story all over again to different call center agents. Provide a complaint number, which the customer can quote during follow-ups.
Study analytics information: Use insights from analytics to understand customer behavior and respond proactively to their needs. Don’t wait for the customer to complain but identify and solve issues before they crop up.
Identify returning customers: When a customer returns to your website, show them the products or services that they purchased the last time instead of showing them information reserved for a new visitor. Personalization helps to improve customer experience. It is very convenient for a customer when you show him or her, the product that they purchased the last time.
Keep sign-up forms short and simple: Keeping forms lengthy with multiple fields will add to the frustration of those visiting your website. Ask only for information that is really critical for you to provide the product, service, or support requested.
Continuously improve customer service skills of staff: Focus on continuously improving the customer service skills of your staff through training. You need to also put efforts into keeping your employees happy; disgruntled employees can alienate customers. Customer facing staff are the face of your company and the quality of the customer experience will be defined by the consistent that they provide to customers. It doesn’t matter how great your product is, poor customer service will drive away customers and even potential customers through negative word of mouth endorsements.
Be transparent: Being transparent about your business will contribute to building customer trust and this will invariably help in enhancing customer experience. For example, keeping a customer informed on the status of his or her order conveys a strong message that you care for the customer and value the business he or she gives you.