Customer experience has changed significantly since the rise of the internet. Nowadays, your business needs to be open all the time, and your team always needs to be ready to help.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience, also known as CX, refers to the way a customer experiences your brand. That means every interaction, every communication, and every environment your brand creates. While once upon a time this, may have just meant having a clean and tidy shop floor with friendly staff, the greater interconnectedness fostered by the rise of the web means this has expanded to include:
Brick and mortar stores
Customer service in person, on phone or online
There are endless ways for your brand to get out there and reach a wider audience. This is why improving your customer experience is so important, especially if you find your company has been experiencing high rates of customer churn.
Omnichannel customer experience
Customer experience isn’t just a buzzword, but a standard that customers have come to expect. In fact, 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience. As mentioned above, there are multiple areas you need to consider, and delivering a customer experience across multiple channels is referred to as an omnichannel customer experience.
What does omnichannel mean?
Omnichannel refers to customer experience that’s delivered across different channels, all of which are working seamlessly together. There are several ways you can do this, including:
Click and collect (combining online and in-store shopping)
Customer events (combining social networking and in-store shopping)
Multi-platform subscription services (combining TV, app and online experiences)
Digital/Analogue loyalty cards (combining in-store shopping and app use)
You may have seen omnichannel customer experience in action, even if you don’t realise it. We’ve all walked past a café done up in pink and flower arches, an Instagrammer’s dream – why? Because that’s precisely what it is. These areas have been specifically crafted to appeal to social media users, ensuring maximum brand awareness for the café.
However, it’s important to stay organised – poorly managed online channels can damage your brand just as easily as well curated channels can boost brand perception.
Improving your customer experience management
As you can probably tell, none of these customer experiences happen by chance. Remember, a repeat customer will spend more than a new customer, their potential to return increasing with every consequent purchase. That means when you create a customer experience, you don’t want to think solely about new customers. Instead, you should make sure you’re keeping your current customers happy. Bottom line: a happy customer is a loyal customer.
Look at competitors
Like we said, customers have certain expectations. There is, for example, an expectation for beauty brands to have a strong Instagram page, and plenty of product reviews online (influencer marketing is key). Competitor research will show you how and why other brands might be out-performing you, and where you need to pick up the slack.
Listen to your customers
Customers like to be listened to, so implement this into your customer service experience. Consider a forum where you let customers share product reviews and suggestions, and reward customers with having these suggestions acted upon. Alternatively, stay active on social media with polls and conversations to truly understand what customers want.
Perfect the customer service experience
When something goes wrong, your customer relationship is immediately at risk, so it’s important to make up for it in the right way. When a customer comes to you with a complaint, it poses a fantastic opportunity to show that you listen to customers, that you value customers, and that you can effectively and efficiently fix the issue. A happy customer is likely to head to social media to talk about their great experience, and the same goes for a bad experience.
The customer service experience may be the only time your customer interacts with your brand beyond their purchase (not everyone is into social media, after all) so you need to make sure you’re delivering amazing service every time.
We can help
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