11 Ways to Improve Customer Experience for a CX Makeover

June 26, 2024 7 min read

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon

improve-customer-experience-hero

The customer experience (CX) flows through every interaction a customer has with your brand. From casually browsing products to connecting for customer support, their experience shapes their overall perception of your business. 

Customers have endless options with growing expectations — which means you need to deliver an exceptional CX to help your businesses stand out and get a competitive advantage. Here are eleven tips on improving customer experience and setting a new standard for CX.

Is your CX falling short?

Assess and elevate your strategy with the Gartner® CX Maturity Model report.

1. Understand Customer Needs and Expectations

An exceptional CX starts with understanding your customer base and what they want — so you can meet and exceed customer expectations with every interaction. This involves recognizing their goals and values and adapting to changing customer preferences and behaviors.

To understand customer needs and expectations:

  • Use demographics and purchase history to identify trends and refine business goals.
  • Segment customers to pinpoint the preferences and behaviors of different groups.
  • Develop buyer personas with names and personalities to help your customer support team connect better.

With a deeper understanding of your customers, you can anticipate their needs, tailor interactions to their preferences, and address their pain points before they arise. 

✅ Nextiva’s AI-powered Contact Center provides a 360-degree view of the customer that can identify consumer habits and meet expectations. 

2. Personalize Interactions

According to McKinsey, 76% of customers say they get frustrated when they don’t receive personalized support. Providing consistent, hyper-personalized customer service can be the X-factor that sets your business apart. Some examples of personalized service include:

  • Recommending relevant products
  • Tailoring messaging and marketing communications
  • Offering helpful knowledge base content based on history and preferences

Using a CRM to aggregate and leverage customer data can help inform personalization strategies. This results in personalized customer experiences that include higher customer satisfaction, stronger relationships, increased customer loyalty, and a boost in sales. 

An agent uses a laptop with software to improve the customer experience and personalized customer service.

3. Collect and Implement Customer Feedback

Gathering and implementing customer feedback addresses recurring issues and shows customers you value their input. Capturing feedback across multiple feedback channels provides insights to help business leaders make customer-centric decisions to improve customer experience.

Customer feedback

You can collect feedback through various touchpoints:

  • Surveys, like customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score® (NPS)
  • Customer conversations 
  • Help center searches
  • Social media monitoring
  • Live chat and messaging
  • Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs

Analyzing this data helps identify trends and areas for improvement and measures customer sentiment, engagement, and brand affinity.

⭐ Nextiva offers an AI-powered online reputation management platform, which helps businesses of all sizes monitor and manage customer feedback touchpoints and interactions across 50+ review sites, including Google, Facebook, and Yelp. 

4. Create a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map provides a visual blueprint a way to improve customer experience. It empowers businesses to proactively address customer needs at every touchpoint and identify issues and opportunities through core metrics.

Customer-journey

The customer journey map can include:

  • Mapping out touchpoints (such as live chat, website, email, or phone) and 
  • Identifying customer sentiment at each stage
  • Pinpointing potential roadblocks and opportunities to excel
  • Optimizing every interaction for a smooth user experience

Because customer journey maps provide a comprehensive visual representation of the overall experience, businesses can understand and meet customer expectations, identify areas for improvement, reduce friction, and boost engagement.

🗺️ Nextiva offers a customer journey platform that gives customers an intelligent, intuitive experience at every interaction.

5. Leverage AI and Automation

Leveraging AI and automation can make it easy for agents to provide better support and offer convenient, self-service for customers to help themselves. AI-powered tools, like chatbots and intelligent virtual agents (IVAs), use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and conversational AI models to understand customer intent, sentiment, and language for natural, human-like support. They also use machine learning algorithms to get better with every interaction.

AI can handle routine inquiries, offer 24/7 customer support, analyze data to anticipate customer needs, and automate workflows to reduce wait times. This allows human agents to focus on complex issues, improving overall efficiency and delivering a high return on investment. 

A chart shows the differences between traditional and AI-powered support and how they improve customer experiences.

6. Tap into Employee Expertise

Employees interact with customers every day and are a valuable source of CX knowledge. Regularly collect feedback from staff through surveys, meetings, or suggestion boxes to identify customer pain points and opportunities for improvement. 

Collect feedback from all departments interacting with customers, such as marketing, sales, and customer service, to gain comprehensive customer insights. Acting on employee feedback demonstrates their value and enhances understanding of customer expectations and perceptions.

📈 Nextiva’s Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) platform provides a single platform to help agents learn more about their customers while enhancing their performance.

7. Provide Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel support means being there for customers wherever they are. Offer seamless support across channels — like phone, email, social media, mobile app, live chat, and physical storefronts — so customers can get support through their preferred method. This flexibility removes friction and allows for a more natural conversation flow, even if customers switch channels during live interactions or asynchronous messages. 

How omnichannel CX helps businesses

Omnichannel customer experience requires consistency in brand voice, breaking down silos through unified internal collaboration, and integrating online and offline channels for a smooth experience. By providing a unified customer experience across all touchpoints, you demonstrate accessibility and build trust, ultimately leading to a more convenient and satisfying customer experience. 

☎️ Nextiva’s omnichannel customer service software streamlines the customer journey with seamless experiences across channels.

8. Empower Employees With the Right Tools

Employees with the right tools can do their jobs more easily and efficiently, which is an easy way to improve customer experience.

Some tools that empower employees include: 

  • Knowledge management systems for easy access to information
  • Performance analytics to track progress and identify areas for improvement
  • AI-powered agent assist tools to help boost productivity and efficiency

The right tools empower agents to get up to speed quicker, wrap up calls faster, resolve issues more efficiently, and personalize customer experiences. Ultimately, empowered employees feel confident and motivated, leading to a more positive and productive experience for them and the customer.

9. Set and Track CX Metrics and Goals

Define CX success by setting measurable goals and tracking key metrics and KPIs. Monitoring and tracking metrics can help businesses see what’s working and what isn’t so they can fix the issue and eliminate it from occurring in the future.

6 examples of contact center KPIs

Some important metrics include:

  • CSAT and NPS scores
  • Customer Effort Score (CES)
  • Social media reach and engagement
  • Time spent on your website

These metrics can also capture customer sentiment and the effort required to resolve issues. Regularly monitoring these metrics helps track progress toward your CX goals and enhance customer retention.

📊 Nextiva offers omnichannel analytics software that delivers meaningful insights in real time from across all customer conversations.

10. Use Quality Assurance Tools

Quality assurance (QA) in customer service ensures your CX strategy translates to exceptional and consistent interactions. These QA tools analyze agent performance in calls, chats, and emails, identifying areas for coaching and improvement. They can also pinpoint recurring customer issues or frustrations. By using this data to refine training programs and address common pain points, you can proactively elevate the quality of customer interactions and ensure your CX strategy delivers a consistently positive experience.

In addition to manual QA that involves call monitoring and feedback sessions, automated QA leverages AI to analyze customer interactions for deeper insights and real-time issue alerts. Combining manual and automated QA facilitates efficient and exceptional customer service across channels.

👍 Nextiva’s contact center with AI-powered QA streamlines the process of quality assurance with automated QA evaluations and scores and automated surveys sent after each interaction.

11. Deliver Proactive Support

Proactive customer service in CX involves anticipating customer needs before they arise, leveraging data and social listening to identify potential issues. Businesses can proactively address emerging concerns by monitoring social media conversations and online reviews, demonstrating genuine care for customer success. 

Predictive analytics tools enable businesses to predict customer behavior and identify those at risk of churn or dissatisfaction, allowing for targeted support and proactive outreach. This approach fosters trust, reduces reactive support volume, and leads to a more positive and efficient customer experience overall.

proactive-vs-reactive-support

Take Your Customer Experiences to the Next Level With Nextiva 

A strong customer experience is a must-have for small businesses and large enterprises alike. Implementing strategies to improve customer experience can retain existing customers, maximize their lifetime value, and turn them into brand champions.

Nextiva’s CX solution makes it easy to level up customer experiences with proactive AI-powered workflows and omnichannel support. We ensure a seamless experience across touchpoints and empower businesses to unlock smoother, more positive experiences for your customers.

Surprise and delight your customers.

Have conversations with customers any way they prefer to communicate, and work with teammates in a single app.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of NICE Satmetrix, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

Ken McMahon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author
Call badge icon