5 Steps to Improve Your Customer InteractionsMay 14, 2020
Everyone has had the uncomfortable experience of calling a customer service line and talking to a robot for 30 minutes. It should be our goal to communicate our humanity to our customers. According to the 2020 Digital Marketing Trends Report, customer experience is the most exciting opportunity for businesses and the reason is simple; the companies that focus on customer experience reduce churn and increase revenues – leading to higher profits!
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf
Customer experience is an ongoing process that starts with sales and marketing and further transitions to customer support and success. Here are 5 steps for optimizing your customers’ experiences that will make them become your raving fans:
Step 1: Follow the Golden Rule of Kindness
How are you engaging with your customers on a day-to-day basis? Are you treating them how you would like to be treated?
The foundation of championing your customers is to always treat them with kindness and respect. This might seem like a no-brainer to many; but the importance of this step is huge, which is why we are honing in on it today.
As simple as it is, making sure each and every one of your customer interactions demonstrates your empathy for your customers’ struggles, and your gratitude for their loyalty, goes a long way. (Source) Here are two ways to do that:
- Express appreciation to your customers daily. Show them gratitude for their loyalty to your company during tough times like the current on-going crisis. Thank them when they renew their service or buy something again. Thank them for any feedback they offer your business whether it’s good or bad.
- Be apologetic when your customers bring forward complaints and issues. The problems they may be dealing with could be impacting their day-to-day workflow or causing them to lose time and money. Be conscious of their perspective because you never know what’s going on in their daily life.
Step 2: Make Giving Customer Feedback Easy
Routinely asking customers for feedback via surveys is an effective way to pinpoint potential issues before they cause your customers to churn. Additionally, positive and negative feedback are huge markers of your company’s performance. This data can show you where your company is succeeding and what areas of your business need improvement.
ReviewPush offers a helpful 1st party landing page that can assist you with staying connected with your customers by regularly asking them for feedback. Requesting your customers’ feedback creates a safe place for them to address any concerns or offer praises to your business.
Step 3: Be Transparent and Communicative
Having a clear line of communication with your customers is essential because being transparent and communicative garners trust. Both your current and potential customers want to know that they can trust your product or service. People don’t want to be duped with bells and whistles only to find that what they’ve committed to spending their money on isn’t worthwhile.
Customer experience starts from day 1 of your customer looking into your company. However, once they’ve signed the dotted line, it’s important to provide excellent assistance throughout their journey of using your product or service. Though customer support does not equal customer experience, it is a big portion of the equation.
If your company makes a mistake or causes an error, be sure to be transparent about the issue. Don’t cover things up with smoke and mirrors. Show your customer that you care and will ensure that the issue is resolved and doesn’t happen again.
Step 4: Create Emotional Connection With Your Customer
The best customer experiences are achieved when a member of your team creates an emotional connection with a customer. (Source) A great example of building emotional connection with your customers comes from Zappos:
“A customer was late on returning a pair of shoes due to her mother passing away. When Zappos found out what happened, they took care of the return shipping and had a courier pick up the shoes without cost. But, Zappos didn’t stop there. The next day, the customer arrived home to a bouquet of flowers with a note from the Zappos Customer Success team who sent their condolences.”
Your customers appreciate when you care for them. Building that emotional connection with your customers through email, text, chat or phone helps them know that your business doesn’t solely care about taking their money.
Step 5: Act on Areas of Improvement
As a marketer, you are likely reviewing your customer personas and creating strategies on how you can better reach potential leads. Be sure to apply this practice to your current customers as well. Think through your customers’ experiences with your business and do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis on it. Ask yourself the following questions in the different segments of your analysis:
- How can we continue to champion our customers through our strengths?
- Are there ways to highlight our strengths in our marketing strategies?
- What can we change to improve on our weaknesses?
- Are there opportunities to outsource on the areas we are weak in?
- How can we capitalize on new opportunities for our customers?
- What input have our customers given us that can drive new watering holes for our business?
- What are areas of our customer’s experience that could potentially grow into a weakness?
- What are the best tactics to address these threats?
At the end of the day, it is your job to ensure that your customers are treated well. It should be all of our goals to treat others with respect and kindness. That goal shouldn’t end when dealing with your customers. After all, they are people too and everyone yearns for personal connection. If we ultimately strive to be good humans, then that will be felt by your customers, whether it be in the traditional face-to-face conversations or in the current, virtual way we face today.
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