Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Archive for customer service

Which is more important? Customer Experience (CX) or Employee Experience (EX)

Many professionals would argue that both are important. So is this a trick question? Which experience should take precedence?

It turns out companies with a balanced emphasis on the customer and the employee’s experiences position themselves in the sweet spot with the most potential for exceptional results.

It is difficult to provide a positive customer experience when the employee experience is negative. Unhappy employees don’t usually bring their best effort to the job. And that can adversely affect the customer experience.

So start from the inside and work your way out. Start by focusing on the employee experience. Then move quickly to the customer experience and create a balance where both are kept as top priorities.

Employee Experience

What’s at stake with the employee experience? If employees hate their job, their negative attitude will affect every aspect of their performance…which includes dealing with customers. If they dislike their job enough to quit, you will spend more of your valuable time and energy recruiting new help and then training and onboarding them.

On the other hand, if an employee has a positive and rewarding work environment they are more likely to be happier and perform better. It’s a proven fact that happy employees do better work.

Ask yourself this question…Why would someone want to work for our company?

It goes to the way employees are treated, but also directly ties to customer experience. Without happy employees you will not have engaged employees. And a lack of engagement can impact customer experience. Take a look at the list of the best places to work for and the companies with the best customer service and you are guaranteed to see an overlap.

 

Customer Experience

We all know negative news spreads faster than positive news, especially now with the prevalence of social media. If a customer has a poor experience, not only will they never return but they are more than likely going to leave a negative review, which will keep others from ever giving you a shot.

Customers are more than happy to tell friends, family, or anyone who will listen to avoid your business.

On the other hand, if a customer has a positive experience, they’ll become a repeat customer. In turn, they will refer others to you, which is the best kind of advertising!

Ask yourself this…Why should someone do business with me?

What makes us better than our competition? What do we do differently…and does it affect customer experience?

Finding Balance

What is happening on the inside of a company can definitely be felt on the outside by customers. But as much as you focus on creating a positive customer service experience, the same effort needs to be made to enhance the working environment for employees.

 

 

Share

How Social Media Can Enhance the Customer Experience

With the explosion of social media, customer service is more important than ever and businesses are taking steps to create memorable “customer experiences”.

Social media has put the power back in the hands of the customers and given them a voice to share their experiences. Companies now have huge opportunities to build relationships with their customers through multiple social media channels.

According to Dan Gingiss, podcaster and author of the new book Winning At Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, customer experience is how people feel about every interaction they have with a company. A customer who has a bad experience at a store or restaurant can quickly take a picture or video of the incident and share it on social media, which can create a firestorm of negative publicity for the company. Conversely, positive experiences can lead to great growth and promotion for a brand.

Walk a Mile in their Shoes

In order to best utilize the power of social media for customer experience, companies need to put themselves in the customer’s shoes by walking through their store, website, or service with the eyes of a customer. Observing things that happen from a customer’s point of view can reveal the challenges and roadblocks in the path and what it means to be a customer of your company. The key to a good customer experience is fluidity—everything should be smooth for the customer and work together to create a cohesive experience for them.

Social media also allows brands to be more authentic and transparent. Today’s customers can see right through automated responses and canned replies; the best way to reach out to people is to take the time to connect with them and build a relationship of trust and authenticity. Customer experience has changed greatly with the growth of social media, and it plays an important role in reaching out to customers and starting a conversation with them. In the future, customer experience will become the major differentiator between brands, so it will be more important than ever to provide customers with a high-quality, seamless experience.

Javed Matin, a sales and marketing consultant, adds: “Companies that truly understand social media are also truly customer-centric.  They understand the real needs of their customers and treat them like family. Social media is like talking to your mother: you can’t get away with anything, so you better be truthful.”

Do Your Research

Social media can also be a useful research tool for understanding the problems in the customer journey and an opportunity for improving the customer experience. Involve yourself in the numerous conversations on social media featuring your brand and turn that data into a research opportunity, highlighting customer grievances and what you can do to stop them from happening.

You can learn a lot from social media, including understanding your audience. Online conversations are a great tool for uncovering consumer insights and social media research allows you to ask interesting questions to get an in-depth look at your audience.

 

Get Creative

Think about the customer experience of following your brand on social media. If all a customer sees is a stream of advertisements, it distracts from the genuineness of your brand. Use a mix of content: share information from other sites, company news and culture, ask questions, be interesting, and have a personality.

 

Customers are people, just like us. Follow the golden rule: treat them how you want to be treated. Only then will you experience success in both social media growth as well as customer experience.

Share

Consumers Want Personalization

personalized customer experience

When a customer walks into a retail store, the salesperson has two choices: simply ring up a purchase, or truly help the customer get what he or she really needs. The latter includes learning about the customer and making customized suggestions, while the former lacks any personalization whatsoever.

 

There is typically an opportunity to upsell and when done for the right reasons, customers will be willing to spend more than they initially intended. Think about a hotel you’ve stayed at before and upon returning remembers that you liked a certain type of pillow, a specific newspaper and a corner room. This type of personalized experience is becoming more and more common, and certain types of businesses have become very skilled at delivering personalized service.

 

If your business has not yet embraced this opportunity, you are missing out. According to Segment, which helps companies manage and activate data about their customers. “Shoppers expect brands to remember who they are, whether they’re on a digital channel or in-store, says Peter Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder at Segment. “However, very few companies can actually deliver on these tailored experiences.”

 

Segment surveyed 1,000+ consumers and found the majority of them were less than impressed by the lack of personalization in their shopping experiences. On average, 7% expressed some level of frustration when their experience was impersonal. The data shows that customers are willing to spend more money, and the companies that make the effort to deliver a personalized experience win.

 

Here are some findings from the survey:

 

  • Personalization drives impulse purchases:49% of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from a brand

 

  • Personalization leads to increased revenue:40% of U.S. consumers say they have purchased something more expensive than they planned to because of personalized service

 

  • Personalization leads to loyalty: 44% of consumers say they will likely repeat after a personalized shopping experience

 

Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, expecting personalized experience with every transaction. 30% of respondents say they expect call center agents to be instantly familiar with their contact history. 40% of the respondents expect to be offered personalized experiences based on their interests, buying behavior, demographics and psychographics.

 

Customers who have a positive emotional experience with a brand are 15 times more likely to recommend, 8 times more likely to trust and 7 times more likely to purchase.

 

customer personalization  

 

The Cost of Disappointment

Disappointing a customer with one bad experience can cost a brand dearly. 46% of U.S. mobile customers said they are likely to switch brands after having one bad experience. 64% of UK consumers say they have avoided a brand, whether online retail, banking or hospitality, because of a bad experience in the past year.

 

Unfortunately negative customer experiences spread like wildfire on social media. Up to 40% of consumers said they will actively promote negative messaging to warn others following their own bad experience, whether that’s telling family, friends or strangers to boycott a brand.

The most staggering number – 33% said they would permanently boycott a company as a result of a negative experience. A significantly lower number of people said they would notify the “offending” company of what they considered to be egregious treatment or customer service.

 

How to Save Face

70% of consumers report that they expect an immediate response when they submit a complaint. And moreover, they don’t want to be responsible for fixing a company’s mistake.

In the U.S., online retail brands were the most likely to satisfy customer needs, with 96% percent of respondents saying that their needs were met or exceeded.

When customers believe they have put in more effort than a company to resolve an issue, they are twice as likely to tell friends, family or colleagues about the bad experience, and four times more likely to stop purchasing from the company, switch brands, or use the company less frequently.

 

The Bottom Line

Positive customer experiences with a brand will influence 77% of consumers to return. And those customers will, in turn, tell their friends and family about their personalized experiences. So learn about your consumers’ wants and needs and deliver on them. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing consumers to the companies who are doing just that.

Share