Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Customers are constantly interacting with and expecting more of their providers. And this is now a double edged sword: companies have the opportunity to make the most of it or let it slide. One one side, companies must always be on their toes and cannot afford to be lax or the customer will quickly switch brands. But on the other, organisations have a chance to gain maximum advantage out of this situation by making the best products, providing exemplary customer experience, and forming a loyal customer base. Indeed, companies that are proactive in listening and understanding the customer needs, are leading the game. Leaders and brand managers must adopt winning strategies that can wow their customers or they are going to be left behind. Yes, we are in the age where customer experience is the key differentiator.
Hence, business leaders must always keep looking for newer ways to improve customer experience. Here are a few helpful tips that can bring innovation in customer experience strategies:
Innovators are usually led by the potential of latest technology and how it can deliver better service results. But it is important to understand that technology alone will not do. Yes, technology is necessary, but not sufficient for delivering memorable customer experiences.
The right way is to let the customer’s needs lead the way to the development of better technology solutions.
I like to believe that “Great Customer experience delayed is customer experience denied!”
Quality definitely matters, but the speed at which the experience is delivered to the customer is also important. Empower and train your employees to take decisions in the best interests of your customers and that will make your customers happy. For example, Amazon introduced the concept of video support with the release of the Kindle Fire HDX Tablet. When you hit the ‘Mayday’ button, you will instantly connect to a ‘Live’ Amazon support agent. You are not visible to the agent; and he can only see your screen during the session. That is an amazing example of customer service at the click of a button.
Examine the customer journey: the customer’s awareness of the product, consideration of the product, purchase-experience, product usage, service/repair experience to the continued support. Evaluate each of these steps by taking customer feedback at every touch point. If they have expressed any discomfort or dissatisfaction, begin making effective and efficient changes.
Be inquisitive and study other successful businesses to get an idea of innovate practices that will suit your company. Involve your employees and customers alike to gain ideas. Follow industry leaders, not just in your own industry but also in others, to gain more expertise in handling customers.
Also, discuss all new service enhancement ideas with employees for it is them who know the product and the customer best.
You must share your service excellence stories and customer testimonials with your customer base and workforce. It could be a monthly or quarterly rundown. The customer will connect instantly with such reports and appreciate the transparency of your business. And the employees will get that extra boost of confidence knowing that their work is impacting the customers positively!
Complaints are magical tools that help you better your service/product. If a customer has taken the time and effort to share a negative experience, then this is your best chance to create a solution not only for that customer but also for those hundreds who did not give their feedback.
Customer complaints might carry negativity along with them. As a leader, the onus is on you to not use the complaints as a stick but as a magic wand to help your employees see the complaints as areas of development rather than areas of weakness. Once the feedback is worked upon, share the best practices and outcomes with the entire organization and duly appreciate the employees who worked towards sorting the issues.
Many times making small changes can have a tremendous overall impact. We shared an amazingly shocking customer experience story about how Sainsbury’s changed the name of its ‘Tiger Bread’ to ‘Giraffe Bread’ on request of a young girl! Such small gestures show how much a company cares for its customer’s feedback. It instills faith and confidence in a customer’s heart that she will be heard and something will be done about her issue.
Figure out the small roadblocks and fix them. Consequently, the overall experience of the customer will improve.
Bringing in some innovative new ideas to tackling your customer experience problems is important. It keeps the zeal alive and helps you identify newer ways to tackle customer problems. Keep bringing in new and innovative initiatives in your customer experience program with these tips. Would love to hear your feedback and comments below.
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