In today’s world, customer experience determines success. Regardless of your organization’s size, products, service or industry, providing your customers with a consistently great experience only means good things for your bottom line.
Many organizations are already realizing the benefits of customer experience. A recent Gartner survey found that more than 80% of marketing leaders expect to compete mainly on customer experience, and nearly 50% of organizations claimed they track the financial benefits of customer experience projects.
Defining customer experience
So, what exactly is customer experience? It’s the relationship a customer has with a business. But delving deeper, Gartner defines it as the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with employees, systems, channel or products.
Nowadays, there are many technologies and apps to improve the customer experience. These tools are effective at strengthening your customer relationships, but delivering an exceptional customer experience requires a holistic, all-encompassing approach to truly resonate and create repeat buying.
Prioritizing customer centricity
It’s no surprise that customer experience is a high priority for board and C-level management, with a heightened focus on designing and reacting to customer interactions to exceed customer expectations and increase satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. According to Forrester, the best way to do this is by prioritizing customer experience projects that will do the greatest good for the greatest number of your customers.
So, how should you prioritize your customer experience focus? Looking at best practices offers us some clues on how to get it right. Forbes recently published a list of 20 ways you can create an amazing customer experience, and we’re going to drill down into the seven we think make all the difference:
- Stay in touch. The customer journey is a long and winding road, and it’s important to stay in touch with your customers at various stages of their journey.
- Use video. This is important, evidenced by this blog on how to increase ROI by 280% with personalized, interactive videos.
- Celebrate National Customer Service Week. That’s the first full week of October; this year it’s October 5-9.
- Deliver fast response times. Customers expect to hear back from you in about an hour, but out of the organizations that do respond, the average response time is about 12 hours. To ensure you’re delivering fast response times, you’ll also need to measure and understand your customer interactions.
- Banish long hold times. This is the other side of the coin from delivering fast response times. According to a new survey, almost 60% of customers will hang up if they’re on hold for longer than one hour. If you have to put them on hold, try to tell them how long they may be waiting.
- Share content that is all about your customer, not your company. Give something for nothing. (But we all know providing a good experience is quite something.) Try sharing ideas and tips to help build your customer’s knowledge and strategy or celebrate your customers by sharing their success stories.
- Don’t forget that good customer experiences begin with employee satisfaction. Gallup® reports engaged employees are more likely to improve customer experiences, which results in 20% more sales. If people are happy doing what they do, everyone will benefit.
Which customer experience best practices will you implement in 2020?