Seven things to consider about customer experience (CX)
Excellent customer support is essential to any type of business, but in the tech industry, it can be particularly beneficial. Since many tech companies offer a service or software, it's much more likely customers will reach out for support. Their first experience after purchasing the product is often with your service team. If your employees aren't fully trained to meet consumer expectations, you risk losing repeat business from those people.
In a survey of 244 businesses around the globe, around 75 percent of organizations indicated they invested more money in customer support technology in the last year or so. Customers who have a good journey through the buying process and beyond are much more likely to become loyal fans of your company and stick with you for years to come. They may even tell others about their positive encounter.
There are many reasons why you should focus on the customer experience (CX) and ways to ramp up your efforts. Here are some things to consider.
1. Stand Out From the Competition
Some experts believe every business is now a tech company in some capacity. Technology is a vital part of every brand experience. In a business sector where new competition springs up every nearly every week, focusing on your customer service allows you to get a little ahead of your competitors. If a buyer has the choice to go with another company or yours and your customer service stands out as being a notch better, then you may gain their loyalty.
Study other businesses similar to yours and figure out what you can offer that they do not. Perhaps you need to add a live chat to your website or 24/7 customer service agents. If a person is on hold a long time for connection with a rep, what can you do to shorten their wait?
2. Improve Social Media Perception
Around 3.48 billion people use social media, and they also reach out to brands with praise and complaints. If you have the methods in place for responding to social media mentions, you'll stand out not only to those who mention you but also all their followers. Be prepared that many people use social media as a form of complaint. Train your outreach people thoroughly in how to respond to them and resolve issues in a professional way.
When you take a bad situation and turn it around for the consumer, all their family and friends see your effort. They'll note you helped them even if they were irate. This is one of the most powerful reviews you could ask for.
3. Consider Customer Pain Points
Think about the issues a customer might run into while using your product or service. If you can solve that problem ahead of time, you'll have happier customers. However, if they run into a problem and you have an instant solution, you'll leave them with a much better impression than if you stumble around for an answer.
One example of solving a pain point ahead of time might be through offering more flexibility in your shipping options. Sometimes one delivery service doesn't do a good job in that customer's location, so they want a different choice. On the other hand, if your product has a defect encountered by multiple consumers, invest in solving it.
4. Personalize the Experience
In an online survey of 1,000 consumers, researchers found 80 percent of participants wanted personalized experiences. Your first step in any customer interaction should be to gather their name and some basic information that better helps you create a custom interaction. No one wants to feel like just another face in the crowd, so anything you can do to make someone think you care about them and their needs ensures customer loyalty.
Keep in mind that customer service starts from the first question the person has about your product or service. That expands to the long-time consumer who you reach out to simply to thank them for their ongoing business.
5. Engage the Community
Your customer service efforts should extend beyond simply helping those who've already purchased from you. Look for ways you can reach out to the community at large throughout the year. Don't wait until you have a new product you want to push and show up at a local event. Instead, sponsor a Little League team in your area, allow your employees paid time off (PTO) to volunteer at local charities and invest in your community when it isn't beneficial to you.
As you get out in your neighborhood, people will notice your business and be more likely to give your product or services a try.
6. Ask for Customer Feedback
Don't just wait for a complaint to roll in, but actively ask your customers for input on your product and procedures. About 77 percent of consumers indicate they feel more positive about brands who implement changes based on customer feedback. Offer review options on your site, let your customers reach out via mobile devices and send out surveys asking for their thoughts. The more feedback you gather, the better you'll improve your company and your CX.
7. Invest in Software
If you aren't already using customer relationship management (CRM) software, now is the time to invest. CRM systems track customer preferences and past buying habits. You can pull up reports easily and see patterns across groups of buyers or get information on an individual client. You can also use CRM to automate some of your processes, such as sending out a coupon on the person's birthday or a service reminder at set points.
Your Brand's Glue
Customer service is a glue that binds your customers to you and keeps you accountable to them. When it flows smoothly and makes the consumer feel important, it can increase your revenue and staying power. Put the effort into improving the overall experience, and you're more likely to attract new clients as well as keep the ones you have.