Enhance the customer experience, provide customers with experiences that are tailored to them, personalized for their unique challenges – a mantra we hear echoed through the halls of Corporate America quite often. And although the idea of an outstanding customer experience sounds great and we are all ready to jump on the customer experience bus headed straight to brand loyalty lane, the truth is: it’s easier said than done.
Perfecting the customer experience does not happen overnight. For many it doesn’t happen for many months, even years. But for those on a fast track to customer experience nirvana, the key is to put your ear to the ground and follow these three tricks.
1. Walk a Mile In Your Customers Shoes
We are all customers. We all know how we expect and like to be treated during our interactions with different brands. We all infer that our same expectations are how our customers demand to be treated. That couldn’t be more false. We are not customers of our own organization. If you were a customer before you started working at your company or are currently a customer while working at the company, your view is tainted. Really fathoming your customers’ experience with your organization takes an intimate understanding of their pain points, challenges, goals, purpose in dealing with your organization. Consider focus groups, interviewing customers, interviewing client facing staff, or listening more closely to the customer.
2. Embrace Feedback with Open Arms
Embracing feedback is an extension of walking in your customers shoes. There is no better way to understand how successful your customer experience is than hearing it from your customers. Direct customer feedback is the most powerful source of feedback. Using this feedback is also an opportunity to improve on your customer experience early on, showing your customers their opinions are valued (Best practice: respond to feedback – it also improves your customer experience).
3. Building Trust
Building trust across your constituent base is crucial. Focus on not only advertising and selling your product/service to customers and prospective buyers, but also advising them on what is best for them given their challenges and goals. Sometimes, your product/service is not for them and you may not win a sale. However, your support and customer experience will be unparalleled and that initial customer/prospect will refer their friends and eventually, when the time is right, come back and purchase from your organization.
Customer experience is a work in progress. Perfecting it takes time, effort and openness to change. The path to success is sometimes long, but the payoff is greater than any obstacles along the journey and will bring your company continued success and profitability in the long run. Best of all, you’ll be the superstar of your organization.
Carly Kaplan is the Global Marketing Manager at Arise Virtual Solutions, where she is responsible for the development of strategic initiatives and innovative marketing efforts. Carly has been involved in many of the company’s transformational marketing efforts, bringing its traditional marketing department into a digitized, social unit.