In a competitive marketplace where customers have a wealth of choice, they need a good reason to choose your company. An excellent customer experience gives them that reason.
When customers have a positive experience with your company, they are more likely to come back to your business and recommend you to a friend. As such, your company will continue to grow along with your revenue.
What does the customer experience entail? It involves all interactions that your customer has with you. This could be at any point in their journey, i.e. getting more information about your product or service, making a purchase, resolving an issue, etc.
Customer experience goes beyond just customer service. It takes a holistic view of the entire customer journey.
Keep reading to learn about why enhancing the customer experience is so important and some ways you can improve your customer experience strategy.
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Providing good customer experience (CX) is hard. Why? Because customers expect great CX and place significant value on it. Recent research from Salesforce showed that 80% of customers now consider their experience with the company as important as the products.
Improving customer experience is directly linked to an increase in profit. An Invesp study shows that existing customers are also 50% more likely to try new products and 31% more likely to spend more money with your company than new customers.
However, competition is high. If customers don’t have a good experience with your company, they have more alternatives than ever before and can easily move on.
Acquiring new customers costs up to five times as much as retaining your existing ones. In order to protect your bottom line, you need to be doing everything you can to improve your CX and retain your customers.
Now you know the why, let’s move onto the how.
Without the ability to accurately measure the satisfaction with the current customer experience you are providing, it’s impossible to know how your customers feel when interacting with your company.
Even if you think you offer a superior CX, you need to check with your customers. Research from Bain & Co suggests that while 80% of companies think they are providing an excellent customer experience, only 8% of customers think the same.
Given how easy it is for customers to churn, this gap in CX perception can be costly. This is why you need to continuously measure.
The following are some ways you can measure. We’ll go through these in more detail later on:
A good customer experience strategy and utilizing the proper software go hand in hand. You won’t be able to capture and analyse large quantities of customer information for CX insights without the right tools.
There is an array of available CX software, and the right fit for you will depend on a few factors. These include:
MonkeyLearn’s customer experience AI stands out as a great end-to-end solution. It adapts easily to organizations of varying size, is built with both tech and non-tech users in mind, and can be customized for both industry and cost purposes.
By continuously measuring CX and analyzing your findings, you start to see insights crop up and with them, pain points.
Pain points are issues that customers can experience during their customer journey. These issues often lead to customer churn. Research shows that 59% of customers will walk away after several bad experiences and 17% following only one bad experience.
However, by catching pain points early, you can fix them and strengthen the relationship you have with your customers.
This recovery can even result in something called the Service Recovery Paradox (SRP), where the customer thinks even more highly of the company after their pain point has been resolved.
While CX is more than just customer service, customer service does account for a large part of the equation. Customer service refers to the support you give your customers to make it easier for them to buy your products and/or services.
Customer service agents are often the main face or voice of your brand, so how they represent you matters. Your customers have high expectations about how their queries should be dealt with. So, investing in your customer service teams is critical.
According to a recent SalesForce report, 83% of customers expect to interact with a live agent immediately when they contact a company, and 82% expect to solve complex problems by talking to one person.
This brings us to how to get the most out of your customer service team.
In order to meet your CX goals, you need your whole team on board. If something is not working, talk to them to identify the issues and put solutions in place.
When your customer service agents are equipped with the right training and tools, they are better able to serve your customers.
Your support employees often have valuable insights to add, as they are on the frontline dealing with customers day in and day out.
Be open to their ideas and create a company culture that welcomes collaboration. They will feel more motivated to do their part in enhancing the customer experience, if they feel valued and listened to.
Customers like it when you pay attention to their individual preferences. Research from Epsilon shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when offered a personalized service.
Customers now expect tailor-made experiences when it comes to the brands they do business with. An example of a brand who has charged ahead with this include Netflix who provide personalized suggestions based on the viewers preferences. Spotify is another, offering a personalized yearly Wrapped playlist as well as a Discover Weekly playlist based on the listeners preference.
You need data if you want to personalize your CX, and you need automation to be able to accurately analyze that data.
According to research from McKinsey, two of the biggest obstacles companies face are not having strong data management or data analytics processes in place. So, to personalize the customer experience, it’s crucial to employ the help of AI.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to machines that can simulate human intelligence. It’s an umbrella term, and under it you’ll find systems like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).
The major benefit of AI for businesses is the fact that once you’ve trained your systems, they can deliver automated, quick and accurate solutions.
A practical example of this is with AI-powered chatbots. There are a lot of queries that a chatbot can handle. This speeds up the process for your customers by removing frustrating wait times, and reduces costs for you.
Another application is the use of machine learning and NLP to perform automated text analysis. You can gain real-time, subjective insights from surveys, conversations or feedback from customers. This data will allow you to perform data-driven decisions to improve your product or service.
Here is an example of the insights you can gain from your feedback using machine learning tool MonkeyLearn studio:
Quick and effective ticket routing is integral to excellent customer service. When done manually, ticket routing is time-consuming and often ripe with errors and delays. With machine learning, however, you can automate this whole process.
AI-equipped tools are a perfect fit for routine tasks like ticket routing. AI is not subjective like humans are, so they can deliver more objective, accurate results, freeing your people up to do more meaningful work. This in turn leads to more motivated employees, and it will save you money.
If you don't have a data science team to create this system, there are MLaaS tools out there that can help. MonkeyLearn, for example, can automatically sort and route tickets by urgency, sentiment, or topic, no-code needed.
We know that listening to your customers is important, but following up is also key. No one likes it when their feedback goes unanswered.
A good feedback loop is really just listening to your customers and responding. Sounds simple right? It is, yet many companies get it wrong.
You need to pay attention to both the positive and negative feedback you receive from your customers, then use that to improve your products and services in ways that really work for them.
All of this can be accomplished by implementing a solid feedback process that should loosely follow these steps:
Nowadays customers use a range of devices to buy the products and services they need, both online and off. No matter what channel they use, or if they hop from one to another, they expect a consistent, seamless experience.
There are many ways in which customers interact with your different channels. They might see an ad from you, take a look at your mobile site, and then visit one of your physical retail locations to speak in person to a sales assistant before finally purchasing.
That’s three different channels along their journey. If your messaging across these channels is inconsistent, your customers could be put off.
By adopting a consistent, omnichannel approach you cover all the ways in which the customer could interact with you. This ensures a cohesive experience for them, no matter the device or touchpoint.
The best way to understand your customers is by listening to them. Customer satisfaction data obtained through surveys is a great way to gauge how your customer feels about your company.
Here’s a quick look at the three most common CX metrics:
These three metrics can be used alone or in conjunction. The data and the score that they return needs to be continually monitored so that you can quickly pinpoint any issues. You’ll also need a way to analyse the data that they bring back, which we'll go into detail in the following point.
Feedback analysis is the process of sorting through the mass of useful data you have about your customers from surveys and other sources and dissecting the results for actionable insights.
As we’re talking about potentially thousands and thousands of pieces of feedback, you’ll need to enlist the help of automated analysis, specifically auto-tagging and machine learning engines such as MonkeyLearn’s.
Closely connected to your customer feedback loop is your Voice of Customer (VoC) program. VoC programs listen to all of the feedback and opinions that your customer has made about your company.
Implementing the voice of the customer means making customer-centric changes to boost satisfaction and reduce churn.
The customer service metrics and surveys are a great way to tap into VoC. But VoC can also be drawn from other sources such as social media platforms, chatbots, website behaviour and more.
Customer journey maps are visual representations of the process your customer goes through to do business with you.
By grouping customer personas within your customer base and plotting out their habits you can anticipate any frustrations they may encounter.
When generating customer journey maps, it’s best to gather as much information as possible and then walk through the journey yourself. All of this will help you identify ways to streamline the process.
As we’ve shown, there are a number of techniques that can enhance your overall customer experience.
Most important of all is listening to your customer. But it’s not enough to just listen. You need to process the information that your customer gives you and to derive insights. Then you have to make meaningful changes based on these findings.
Tools like MonkeyLearn’s feedback analysis AI allow you to draw actionable conclusions from your customer feedback data to perform data-driven decisions.
July 7th, 2021