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Tag Archive for customer experience

Simple Steps To Improve Customer Service

customer service

Google “good customer service” on the internet and you will find a plethora of articles about best practices and steps to help your company improve customer service. But what it really comes down to is knowing your customers.

Social media provides an amazing way to collect tons of customer feedback without having to do much work at all. You don’t need to spend time sending out questionnaires or recruiting focus group participants. You can simply turn to the thousands of customers talking about your brand on social media to find out exactly what they think.

The following tips will tell you how to collect product feedback, get to know your customers a lot better, and provide more responsive and effective customer support.

  1. Solicit Product Feedback

One of the best ways to find out what your customers think about your brand and your products is to simply ask them. In some cases, they may already be telling you what they think; you just have to listen to what they’re saying. So be sure you’re monitoring for all mentions of your brand and products so you don’t miss any valuable insight. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and Google for reviews.

  1. Get to Know Your Customers

Beyond what they think about your company, your customers think about a lot of other things. Social listening can help you identify what other topics are important to your customers. The more you can learn about what your customers are interested in, the better you can reach them. You can create more relevant content, share targeted articles or tips, and just generally speak their language.

Also take note of when your customers are active on social media, this is when they are most receptive. Use this information to ensure your social accounts are fully staffed up at those times, so you provide the fastest possible response. You can also be sure you’re posting news or updates at the right times so the people who need this information are most likely to receive it.

  1. Identify Issues Before They Become Serious

If something is going on with your product, you’ll probably hear about it first on social media. Be sure you’re paying attention to even the seemingly small issues your customers bring up. You might be able to identify potential problems before they become actual problems. And if someone points out something about your product, acknowledge their contribution and tell them how they’ve helped.

 

 

  1. Be Courteous on the Phone

Nobody likes to go through a gauntlet to get to the person they’re trying to reach, so don’t screen your calls unless you absolutely need to. Don’t risk insulting the caller by demanding their name before you’ll consider putting the call through. Try the following: “Absolutely–may I let him/her know who’s calling?” That way, if you do have to tell them their desired party is unavailable, it doesn’t sound like a personal slight.

When the phone rings, aim to answer it immediately. PURE Insurance strives to do it in eight seconds; that’s just a little more than one ring. Answer tweets immediately as well; answer emails within two hours or better.

Encourage your employees to smile when they are on the phone. Smiling adds treble and other pleasant cues to the sound of a voice, even through a phone line.

  1. Post Positive Letters and Testimonials You Receive From Customers

Nothing is more impactful than honest testimonials from happy, satisfied customers. This creates trust in your company and demonstrates to potential customers that they will have a great experience as well.

 

If you don’t have social listening in place (or if you’re unhappy with your current solution), implement the above strategies to start improving your customer experience. Your business depends on it!

 

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Digital Customer Experience

customer experience

Why are customers willing to pay more for a better experience?

In a recent study called The Disconnected Customer: What digital customer experience leaders teach us about reconnecting with customers” by Capgemini, a significant gap was found between how businesses and consumers perceive the quality of their customer experience.

Of the organizations surveyed, only 3 out of 10 match customer expectations. Research also revealed over 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience. This holds broadly true across sectors and countries, with around one in ten consumers (9%) actually willing to increase their spending by more than half!

In today’s digital age, regardless of whether we’re buying in-store or online, consumers now have an almost unlimited amount of information at their fingertips in order to make a decision. If you can’t find a review for a particular product or supplier, you’re probably going to immediately question its quality. Third party endorsement from other consumers and industry experts such as Trip Advisor and Amazon are an absolutely essential ingredient in sales conversion.

This wealth of information also helps determine where a customer is going to get the product or service from. If Company A is the cheapest option but Company B offers free delivery, free returns, a 24-hour helpline and a 3-year warranty, it’s fair to say that savvy shoppers are going to opt for the pricier one, especially if they feel it is worth the extra value.

Recently, Capgemini found a distinct correlation between a high quality of service and price and revealed that 4 in 5 people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

So why is this?

 

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact we want our voices heard and our loyalty rewarded, and a great customer experience makes us feel like we have achieved this. In most customer experience circumstances it comes down to speed, convenience and low effort required from the customer.

As an organization you need to invest in the digital customer experience. Think about what your customers value and what they care about. What is the connection between you as a brand and your consumer? Internally, the data and touch points need to flow through your organization and allow you to manage and meet the expectations and desires of your customers. What would be your ideal digital customer experience? Determine that and you can reap significant rewards.

 

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How to Deliver Superior Customer Experiences

WOW customer service

First, let’s define customer experience. In essence, customer experience is the customer’s perception of how well you live up to your brand promise. If you fail to meet the expectations you have created, then that brand promise can become your undoing. With the influence of millennials and the power of social media, customers can cause more damage to your brand than ever before.

Most businesses want to create a compelling brand promise… otherwise what’s the point of having a brand? So how do you deliver on that promise? Check out these tips for building a superior customer experiences.

Listen to your Customers

Your customers are talking, tweeting, posting and livestreaming. They’re sending information about themselves and their interests into the world. Use these conversations to make meaningful decisions that improve the customer’s experience.

Active listening is the first step. At Microsoft, their social listening software pulls in about 150 million conversations each year. After cleaning out the irrelevant data, over 5 million conversations are handled personally. Ideas, suggestions and needs from customers are processed and forwarded to development teams, to be turned into product improvements. And once a product has been updated, the company circles back with those customers, letting them know. These customers, in turn, organically advocate on behalf of the brand and market Microsoft products to their networks.

The Knock it Out of the Park Strategy

Some brands simply deliver on their brand promise so spectacularly well that the standard of customer experience can only be admired. This is the “knock it out of the park strategy”. There is no brand that embodies this strategy more than Disney. They simply go further to deliver on their brand promise than almost any other company on the planet. Their guidelines: greet and welcome every guest, make eye contact and smile, seek out guest contact, provide immediate customer recovery, and display appropriate body language and thank everyone. This strategy is the hardest to implement and may be expensive to maintain, but it is the most powerful strategy and brands that adhere to it tend to stand the test of time.

The Over Deliver Strategy

If you promise a customer something and you deliver over what you promised, that is a great customer experience. The emphasis here is going that extra mile to surprise a customer with the quality of your service or product. Take Lidl for example. Lidl is a German-owned discount supermarket chain. Their products are typically sold out of their transport packaging rather than being stacked nicely on shelves. So how does Lidl over deliver? On the quality of their own brands. The competitive pricing and brand quality result in a very positive experience.

The Create the Perception of Over Delivery Strategy

Very similar to the previous strategy, but different because the under promising is more intentional than the over delivering. There is a hint of deviousness about this strategy, but if executed well it can be very effective. The aim is to promise customers less than the company normally expects to deliver so that average performance appears to be over delivering.

The Be as Honest and Transparent as Possible Strategy

This strategy involves telling customers exactly how things are going to go before it happens. By preparing the customer ahead of time, even if they dislike a situation or experience, they aren’t as likely to spread negative feedback because they were informed upfront. This is the purest strategy in the context of managing expectations. Wagamama is a hugely successful Japanese themed casual dining out chain of the UK. When you order your food the server informs you: “Because everything is cooked fresh, your dishes may be delivered to the table separately.” If that were to happen in any other restaurant, you would be fuming. But it becomes okay because Wagamama warns you as soon as you sit down. Transparency can be hugely valuable if used properly, and this is an excellent example.

Conclusion

The key lesson here is that branding and the creation of customer expectation are enormously important. Whichever one of these strategies you choose to employ, your entire organization needs to be geared up to execute on it. It only takes one employee to ruin the experience of dozens of customers and risk getting a whole host of negative reviews.

 

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