Many organisations still settle for an accidental Customer Experience (CX) rather than crafting an Intentional Journey
The approach to customer service (CS) and crafting our customer experience (CX) should be dynamic as customer needs will continue to evolve over time. As new products or services enter the market their expectations, and their experience benchmarks, continue to shift. If we become complacent and fail to consistently and consciously craft our customer experience journey we will lose out to competitors who are willing to continuously adapt and change.
Taking your team through the customer journey to identify potential Moments of Truth and to eliminate Pain Points is an essential part of crafting a great Customer Experience.
The Customer Experience is not just about the elements along the way, but how the elements fit together to create an experience. Take for example staying in a hotel room, it is not enough to just have a hairdryer and USB point. Location and functionality matter. Is there a USB plug near the bed to charge your phone, or is there only one on the other side of the room next to the TV? Is the location of the hairdryer practical when getting ready to go out, and is there a mirror and hand shelf for brushes, etc? Clarify your customer experience outcomes – what do you want your customer to feel as they experience your brand?
Memorable brands are those that create seemingly effortless and consistent experience across all channels
Too many hurdles in the way of the customer accomplishing their goal will lead to frustration and disengagement. Extra steps or inconsistent experiences dampen customer enthusiasm. Take for example receiving an email on your smart phone, but all the sender’s contact details are embedded in an image at the bottom of the email. In order to give them a call you’d have to write the number down or memorise it, isn’t it easier to just put off calling them?
Creating “wow” moments are powerful, but reducing the effort needed to achieve customer goals is paramount.
5 tips to improve your customer experience:
- Get employee buy-in: If the people in your organisation who interact with your customers on a regular basis do not buy in, the customer experience (CX) will fall short. CX failures can also point to Employee Experience (EX) failures. Poor experiences at work tend to lead to poor experiences for customers. Every customer experience has an emotional context, and it is hard to demonstrate caring when you feel you are just a number. Working with your team, providing them with the necessary training and eliciting feedback will help keep them engaged and willing to provide great service.
- Make it clear and scalable: In this multi-channel world customers have numerous ways to connect, and their experience needs to be consistent across all these channels. Whether through your website, a call centre or in person the experience needs to be consistent. Ensure every employee understands what the experience outcomes are and how these can be achieved through each channel.
- Make it easy for employees: Rigid rules and processes can get in the way of providing memorable customer experiences. For instance a time limit on each customer call can reduce a call centre agent’s ability to connect with the customer. This may end up making the customer feel like just another number, instead of valued. Regularly review your policies and procedures to ensure they are aligned with your desired Customer Experience Outcomes.
- Never assume: Don’t assume you know everything your customer wants or needs. Asking questions and/or requesting feedback can help gain deeper understanding. Don’t be afraid to be direct. Ask them what you can do to create a better experience for them. Even ask them about the changes or options they would like to see.
- Test, refine and measure results: As our customer’s expectations are continually changing over time as the market evolves, so too should our relationship with them. It’s essential to always be testing and refining our process and measuring the customer experience. Make sure you have the tools available to measure the effectiveness of the experiences you are providing to your customers, and are using this information to inform processes. Customer experience information is only effective when acted on.
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