If asked to remember the last time you had a fantastic experience with a company or brand, chances are you’d be able to call something to mind. The same would be true for the last time a brand really disappointed you or you felt let down. These experiences of a brand, whether positive or negative, can leave a lasting impression on a customer and really impact your bottom line.
What Is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customers interact with a brand across multiple touch points throughout the buyer journey. The impression you leave your customer with throughout this journey is ultimately the customer experience. Customer’s expectations are high, so the pressure on brands is to provide not just a good customer experience, but an excellent one. Each interaction whether it be online, by phone or in person, can influence the relationship a buyer has with your brand, and ultimately whether they choose your product/service or that of a competitor.
The Danger Of Inconsistent Customer Experience
What can be confusing is when you have conflicting experiences with the same brand; their in-store experience is professional and engaging, but their website is outdated and you can’t find what you need. Perhaps the knowledge of their call centre staff isn’t consistent with what their sales representative has shared with you.
Whatever the case may be, it leaves you with a sense of unease - not sure whether you can trust the brand and their service, or not. Creating an exceptional customer experience can turn customers into loyal fans, and those fans into brand ambassadors who reel in new prospects with their stories of how impressed they are with your brand. The same is true for a poor customer experience, those would-be fans become disgruntled and take to social media to air their grievances, very publicly.
Improving Customer Experience
In the age of social media, a customer’s demand for instant gratification needs to be anticipated and met by brands, in order to attract and retain loyal customers.
There are a number of ways to improve CX, leveraging digital and traditional channels of communication. The key is to ensure that the same information and level of service is provided to a customer whether they’re submitting an enquiry via your website, calling through to an offshore call centre or walking into a physical location of your business.
Poor information management and reference material can impact on productivity and employees’ ability to provide consistent, timely and accurate information to customers. Y our employees need to have access to the same information across multiple channels and locations, so that they are able to resolve customer queries faster, and on the first interaction.
Tools For Improving Customer Experience
Leveraging technology is only one of the ways to improve CX, but it presents huge opportunities to businesses through integrating channels (including non-digital), providing live chat or chat bots, and creating smarter ways to manage and share company information with employees and customers.
This information can be transformed into company knowledge that can be used by employees to deliver an exceptional experience to your customers, while improving the efficiency of their service. Don’t forget that your employees are also brand ambassadors, so ensuring that they have the information and tools that they need will also help to create an overall positive experience for your customers.