You can have an incredible product, but if the user experience and customer service are not up to up to par, you will lose customers. The importance of customer service and experience is only becoming more crucial to a business's long-term success. According to Zendesk, half of the customers say that customer experience is more important to them now compared to a year ago, and these trends are accelerating.
But what does it mean to provide excellent customer service? What are the ways to ensure that every customer has a good experience with your brand? We’ll answer these questions and show you 5 ways to ensure you’re on track to providing a great customer experience.
According to Hubspot, “customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.”
Customer experience is made up of your product/service, content, and interactions with your customers. In the end, it’s your customer who decides if your CX is up to snuff based on their experience throughout the buying journey.
You may think your products are good and your customer service is flawless, but if a customer has trouble contacting you or paying you, for example, their perception of your brand and CX has been degraded. That’s why managing customer experience is one of the most important things brands need to do.
The difference between CX and customer service is that customer experience includes the broader customer journey, including customer support.
Customer service is defined as all the interactions a customer has when they request advice or assistance. Customer experience is the perception of all the touchpoints of the customer's purchase (and post-purchase) journey.
Both customer service and customer experience are important elements of a brand's success. The line between how customers use a product and how they interact with the support team is thinner than ever with the many social media and messaging channels available.
A great customer experience comes with better customer loyalty: 50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience.
So how can you be sure to deliver a positive customer experience? Here we outline 5 ways to help you deliver the best customer service experience possible.
1. Create a CX mission statement
The first step in your customer experience strategy is to have a clear customer-centric vision that you can communicate to your entire team. Every business has a unique mission and set of goals. Create your customer service experience with these goals in mind.
The easiest way to define this vision is to create a set of statements that act as guiding principles. You can then share and discuss with the team to reach a consensus. After that, your customer support team will know how to create a positive customer experience.
2. Use technology to remove friction
AI is the perfect ally to improve your CX. With chatbots that are there for customers 24/7 and natural language processing (NLP) that allows them to understand any kind of content, new technologies like these are allowing for faster, more accurate customer service. All this while not compromising on personalization and ease of use.
More and more companies are relying on AI to help them with customer support. For example, Voyage Privé deflects calls from their call center with a chatbot in 7 languages, and Kiwi.com offers a personalized customer self-service with an AI chatbot. There’s no doubt AI chatbots and voicebots can make your customer’s life easier and your CX better.
3. Develop an omnichannel strategy
Omnichannel customer support is no longer an aspiration, it’s a must-have for any company. And that’s because consumers don’t have just one way to interact with brands. There’s a variety of channels available to reach out and learn more about your products: from mobile apps to social media.
Omnichannel customer experience allows you to reach any consumer at every point in their journey, regardless of the channel they access from. This impacts the quality of interactions and creates greater customer loyalty.
It also allows you to drastically reduce your response time, as Thalys did, by implementing an omnichannel strategy that allowed them to reduce their response time by 99%.
4. Personalize interactions and show empathy
Customers want to feel like more than just a ticket number. In fact, 49% of customers want agents to be empathetic and 80% are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
Personalization is when the experience is adapted to each and every customer. It makes the buyer journeys smoother and strengthens the relationship between brand and customer.
It isn't just about using the customer's name in an email. There are plenty of ways to make the experience more personalized:
- recommend products based on purchase history
- offer discounts based on the customer's loyalty level
- personalize content based on geolocation
5. Value customers’ and employees’ feedback
When it comes to improving your customer service experience, there's nothing like asking customers what they think of your service. Whether you conduct an email survey or use the NPS or CSAT scoring system, you can take the pulse of customer satisfaction and expectations.
It's not just your customers who can help you improve, it's your customer service agents too. They are on the frontlines interacting with customers all day and can certainly give you insights and ideas you haven't thought of. Plus, employees who feel valued are more engaged at work and more willing to help customers. You know the saying, “Take care of your people, and they will take care of you.”
For example, you can use a dedicated Slack channel, or a project management tool where your support team can leave feedback. But don’t forget to make a connection between the feedback they give you and the actions you’re planning to take!
Competing on product/service quality and price alone is no longer enough. You need to compete on customer experience if you want to keep customers loyal to your brand.
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