Today, customer service is one part of an overall package called the customer experience (CX for short). CX includes every “touchpoint” at which customers interact with your business, from browsing your website to purchasing your product or service, from post-purchase follow-up to customer service interactions. But what matters most in creating a standout customer experience for your target market?
A report from Econsultancy and Adobe offers some insights. Here’s what the more than 2,000 marketers in the survey say matters most to the overall customer experience:
- Desktop website experience: 90 percent
- Mobile website: 86 percent
- Email: 85 percent
- Telephone support: 79 percent
- Digital advertising: 77 percent
- Social media: 76 percent
- Mobile apps: 72 percent
- Tablet apps: 65 percent
- Off-line direct marketing: 60 percent
- Off-line advertising: 58 percent
- Text/SMS/MMS: 44 percent
Clearly, there are a lot of factors involved in creating a positive CX. In fact, 37 percent of survey respondents say the complexity of the customer experience is their biggest obstacle in improving their CX. But that doesn’t mean you can give up. Here are 5 ways to improve your customer experience:
1. Segment your marketing. Choose offers to send customers based on data you’ve collected about them. You can start by segmenting them into general groups, such as age, gender and where they live. Then, as you collect more information about your customers, you will be able to generate increasingly personalized messages.
2. Be proactive. Reaching out to customers with personalized marketing messages, whether via email, text or off-line direct marketing, creates a positive impression of your business. When customers feel that you’re paying attention to their habits—what they buy, how they shop and what marketing their most responsive to—it builds a relationship with your business.
3. Get input from your customers. Customers want to feel their opinions are being heard. Listen to what they’re saying on social media and take action on their suggestions. Actively encourage input by conducting surveys about all aspects of the customer experience, including your customer service, so customers have an opportunity to provide feedback that will help you improve.
4. Personalize customer service interactions. If a customer calls your business’s customer service department, will they be greeted by name? If the customer service rep is able to pull up their account, past purchasing history and other personalized information, they can. Use cloud storage for customer data so all of your customer service employees have access to customers’ previous interactions with your business readily at hand, no matter where they are. Cloud-based storage also allows customer service reps to quickly access information such as best practices to use in resolving problems, and to update and share information in real-time so all of your customer service reps are on the same page. That means better service overall.
5. Speed it up. Everyone wants to get their customer service problems resolved as quickly as possible. Because speed is a major factor in a positive customer experience, look for a call center solution that offers features such as automatically routing calls to the correct queue and enabling remote or mobile agents to handle calls. You’ll get calls resolved faster—and provide a better customer experience.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.