As products and services become more commoditized, businesses need to differentiate their brand by providing unique and memorable experiences for each individual customer.
According to Walker Info, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. That’s why in 2017, 50% of product investment projects was redirected to customer experience innovations.
Going into 2018 means new competition and new challenges to overcome. However, if you focus on improving your customer experience and service, your business can continue to grow and retain loyal customers.
Why improve your customer experience?
Providing delightful customer experiences has many benefits that help to expand your customer base as well as products and services. According to Zendesk, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience. The term “seamless” is important as customers want to have an easy and effortless way to engage with your brand no matter which channel they choose.
Improving your customer experience can help your business:
Retain customers by building a loyal customer base from previous positive experiences.
Increase customers from existing customer referrals to their friends and family.
Boost upsell opportunities by offering additional products or services that are tailored to individual customer’s needs and preferences.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your customer experience going into 2018 and beyond.
1) Get more feedback:
In order to provide better service, you need to understand your customers and what they want. There are several ways you can increase the chances of getting feedback including website popups, emails, phone calls and even text messages.
As an example, Zingle customers have seen an average 10% response rate with text message surveys compared to the industry average survey response rate of less than 2%. They have also seen a completion rate for text message surveys around 89% compared to the 78% industry average.
The more channels you use, the more likely you will get a response from your customers as people have different preferences when it comes to communication.
2) Personalize the experience:
By leveraging feedback as well as customer profile and purchase history, you can provide better experiences through your website, email and other communication channels with information and content that is relevant to the interest of each customer.
With personalization, you can create a more individualized experience that helps drive brand engagement and more sales. Evergage reported that 88% of U.S. marketers realized a measurable lift in business results, with 53% reporting a lift greater than 10%, and 10% reporting a lift greater than 30% by using personalization.
3) Provide value: Don’t just sell.
To truly have a long-lasting relationship with your customers, you need to provide value outside of your product or service. This can be in a form of educational newsletters, guides and other informative and entertaining content that allows your customers to embrace your brand and understand the message you’re trying to convey.
Businesses that provide value through content are benefitting from it as 76% of small business owners and marketers say that video marketing had a direct impact on their business.
Here are some content types to consider:
4) Have a conversation:
Don’t just send your customers a monthly email on current promotions. Engage them through various channels like text messages and social media to provide conversation-based service that is fast and efficient. A study shows that engaging with customers equals 40% more revenue per person, so chat it up.
For example, Zappos was quick to address their mistake and offer this customer a discount on the current order. This is a nice example of showing customers you care about their issues and taking action on it.
5) Invest in training:
Your employees are a part of your brand and what it represents. Having extensive knowledge of the company and products/services they provide can translate into better customer service experiences.
Just having product knowledge is not enough, employees need to be trained on proper etiquette and process efficiency to truly provide a great customer service experience. For example, according to SQM Group, a 1% improvement in first call response equated to $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average call center.
Better customer experience means happier customers. By evaluating where your customer experience can improve, you can focus your energy on things that will positively impact your customer experience and overall business.
Make sure determine your key performance indicators so you can measure activities and optimize it based on results. This will ensure that you are doing the right things to create better customer experiences in 2018 and beyond.
Learn how you can improve your customer experience with text messaging by signing up for a free trial. START FREE TRIAL HERE.