Written by Kushal Dev | Co-founder, Customer Guru
“Customer Experience is the new advertising department.” ~ Max Kalehoff.
In the highly competitive world that we live in, customer experience is possibly the only factor that can give an organisation the competitive advantage. No matter the size of the company, customer experience must be at the heart of every organisation. And the effort an organisation puts in improving the customer experience can pay rich dividends in form of new, more and repeat customers. The organisation will earn the respect and love of its customer and the benefit of his/her referrals, and if it continues to provide excellent service levels, it would result in a chain reaction of more referrals and higher profits.
So, how do you design a low-cost customer experience strategy that works? Here are a few ideas to improve the customer experience of your business without increasing costs.
Communicate goals to all employees
A customer-centric leader is one who has ensured that customer-centricity is the DNA of the organisation and that every employee in the organisation, from the senior management to the intern, is aligned with his vision. He must define the company’s mission and vision in terms of customer experience and constantly remind his team of the importance of having the customer at the heart of the business.
For example, it is widely known that early on Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, would bring in an empty chair into the board room to ensure that all the members in the room are aware of the most important person in the meeting – the customer. Little wonder then that Amazon takes the title of the Earth’s most customer centric company.
Appreciate and value your customers at the onset
The competition out there is intense. Every organisation must be aware that every time that a customer chooses its product or service, he is trusting the brand. It must know and understand that the list of competitors is huge and that the customer could have easily gone to someone else. It must value and appreciate this move. A welcome pack that says ‘Thank you!’ or small gift would create an instant connect with the customer, going a long way in making the customer feel valued and loved.
Respond to every query
The thumb rule is to respond to every query or complaint on priority. There cannot be exceptions to this. However, apart from just complaints, you must make it a point to respond to emails or queries that sometimes don’t require a response. For example, if a customer has complimented your service via email, make it a point to respond with a note thanking him for this kind gesture.
Avoid going overboard with advertising
Your current customer base doesn’t need to be reminded at every possible instance and through every available channel about your new product or service. There is a fine line between marketing and becoming a nuisance. When companies cross the line, it could have deleterious effects and negative repercussions on the customer experience. The result could be customers unsubscribing from your mailing list, disconnecting with you on social media and worst of all, moving to a competitor.
Don’t forget the basic ABCD: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Being proactive and going the extra-mile are two sure shot ways of improving the customer experience and hence the customer loyalty. The proactive approach will help you to stand in the customers’ shoes and see things from a different perspective, helping you redesign the business process and avoiding any loop holes in service standards. Also keep in mind, whenever you make a commitment to the customer: never over promise. Over-promising and under-delivering is harakiri! Instead, promise little but deliver everything!
Value and love your employees
Engaged employees will bring in engaged customers. Hence, organisations must do all they can to ensure that their employees are satisfied. This will, in turn, ensure that the employees treat the customers in the same way. Simple acts such as appreciating good work, listening to the employees, giving and taking feedback, exchanging best-practices and celebrating successes go a long way in keeping employees motivated, thus increasing customer engagement and satisfaction.
Train and empower the employees
You must coach your employees in ensuring that they understand the needs of the customer. It is of paramount importance to enable employees to take their own decisions, speeding responses to the customer. Employees must also be coached to take ownership and be accountable for customer issues.
Do apply these low-cost yet effective solutions to better your customer experience and let us know how it works for your organisation. Any other pointers that we can add to this? Do let us know!