June 2, 2022
10 Steps for Improving the Customer Experience
In addition to handling daily customer interactions, making sweeping changes to the customer experience can be challenging. However, prioritizing the experiences that keep customers coming back can create a safety net for the future.
3Pillar Global plays an important role in shaping and defining customer experience strategy for clients in all industries and corners of the world. Whether you’re shaping a brand new customer program or revamping an old one, expert insight can make it easier.
In this post, we’ll share 10 proven tips to enhance the customer experience that you can pass along to your team today.
How to improve the customer experience
A smooth customer experience differentiates your business from competitors.
Step 1: Know your customers well
It takes time and attention to develop relationships with your customers, so how do you begin to learn who they are and what they want?
To know which customers are most interested in your product or service, market research goes a long way. Demographic information, in addition to data about buying behaviors, can help you construct buyer personas. These fictional—yet informational—profiles shape the way you sell and serve.
Step 2: Map the entire customer journey
Customer journey mapping provides a visual way to understand how your customer buys, what they’re looking for, and how they progress through different stages of acquisition. All parts of the journey are important for growth and new development, especially when it comes to how your team communicates with new leads and prospects, before those individuals become customers.
Step 3: Be receptive to feedback
Customer experience doesn’t happen in a vacuum. When it comes to feedback, ask for it and act on it with honesty and integrity. Outlets for gathering customer opinions, such as surveys, interviews, roundtables, etc., are important, but they won’t contribute to growth unless this feedback motivates positive change.
Step 4: Create a customer-centric corporate culture
As you consider your customers, you must also remember the founding mission and overall vision of your organization. Build a positive and customer-centric attitude into your team environments and corporate culture, and your customers are more likely to notice a willingness to advocate for them.
Step 5: Connect relevant channels and departments
According to the 2021 Salesforce State of Service Report, customers hold some expectations that team members will work together to create the best results possible for customers. As a business leader, this means that you should work to remove barriers between teams and eliminate data silos wherever possible. When all departments are on the same page about customer experience, a more positive customer journey naturally takes place.
Step 6: Overdeliver on customer service options
To communicate responsibly to your customers, always have a plan for troubleshooting and escalation. In the face of known issues, how will you move information up the chain so that concerns can be addressed quickly?
Be transparent about data policies, security measures, and other types of customer agreements. When possible, publish these policies in a visible location on your website.
Step 7: Empower customers with self-service choices
Develop reliable self-service products, like live chat features and comprehensive knowledge libraries, that work well and are accessible when customers need them. No matter what tools you choose, remember that the goal of self-service is always to enhance experiences rather than to contribute to customer frustration. The entire process should be seamless and provide a hassle-free user experience (UX).
Step 8: Reward loyalty and retention
To accelerate your customer experience initiatives, use loyalty programs and VIP incentives to reward customers at each stage of their journey.
With your internal team, you can discuss how to enable an active community of users for greater retention, one-on-one marketing, and even direct referrals. These results not only increase customer loyalty, but they build a strong reputation in a competitive market.
Step 9: Develop adequate training materials
Customer-focused teams should have the tools and materials they need to excel. Exceptional training and preparation are always the responsibility of management and leadership. Never send your teams to the front lines without a thorough onboarding process.
Step 10: Rely on smart data and analytics tools
Whether you store your customer data in a CRM or other system, use that data to get an accurate picture of:
- Where customers are in the buying process
- How they interact with your product or service over time
- What motivates them to stay engaged
Artificial intelligence (AI) can also play a role in analyzing past customer behaviors and generating smart predictions that allow you to adjust strategy over time.
Why invest in customer experience improvements?
It is always more costly to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. While loyalty may be more cost-effective, it is also more powerful for long-term growth.
There are both internal and external benefits when CX is aligned and operating efficiently, including more positive experiences for your customers and employees.
Using technology to excel in CX
Modern tools are extremely helpful in a busy, digitized marketplace. Breakthrough customer experiences can be crafted using cutting-edge technologies, such as AI and machine learning, and predictive analytics.
As you strategize, lean into incorporating these tools and resources as they become available throughout your industry.
Implement the Best Strategy Today
When you want to improve your customer experience strategy, the good news is that you can turn to reliable, proven industry best practices to get where you want to go. Set a timeline for reaching these simple milestones that have a big impact in the long run.
No matter how you want to revamp or recharge your customer relationships, 3Pillar Global experts can help. Contact us today to learn more about our process.
Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.
FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.