In terms of cost, it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one. That’s why creating a great customer experience has such a huge impact on your business. A greeting received at the front door, the condition in which a package was delivered and everything in between can impact the customer experience.
It’s up to you to cater to each customer to make sure they are happy with your business and your brand, which makes knowing your audience that much more important. What do they value? What do they look for in great customer service?
Once you can answer those questions, develop a customer experience strategy. Not sure what that entails? Here are five great tips to get you started.
- Loyalty Program
A loyalty or reward program is a great way to enhance the customer experience, as it provides an incentive to existing customers to stay with you and new customers to give you a try. It might seem like the market is oversaturated with these types of programs, but customers are showing they enjoy this perk. In fact, enrollment in loyalty programs has grown by 31% in the last four years, according to New Bond Brand Loyalty studies.
Some key components of loyalty programs are the rewards/benefits, level of ease to participate and redeem points, and the amount accumulated for each dollar spent. If customers don’t feel like they are benefiting from the program or treated better than those who don’t participate in it, they will take their business elsewhere. Make it simple for customers to participate by using a digital program that links their account to their phone number or payment method. This will keep them from losing a punch card or membership card. It also gives customers an easy way to keep track of their rewards.
There isn’t a customer who doesn’t love a discount. Receiving a discount (whether it is a percentage off the price or free shipping) gives customers good feelings about your business and brand. Discounts can be used to reward loyal customers and entice others to come back or try you out.
For example, you could offer free shipping to those who sign up for your mailing list. This not only gets you a new customer, it also provides valuable demographical information about your audience, which comes in handing when tweaking marketing campaigns. You could also send a coupon code to customers who haven’t made a purchase in the last six months as a way to get them to see what they’ve been missing. Lastly, you could offer a coupon code or free shipping to customers who make a purchase to use the next time they buy something.
Either way, be sure you are using the correct discount strategy. You can offer a discount on items that are bundled together, or on a second item such as a “buy one, get one half off.” Alternatively, offer those who prepay for a service a lower price, such as with subscription-based services. Those who pay for a year would receive a discount over those who pay on a month-to-month basis. This enhances customers’ experience because they are paying a lower price and they don’t have to worry about paying the bill each month.
What’s better than paying less for something? How about not paying for it at all? Show your customers you appreciate them with a giveaway. You could have a random drawing among your loyalty club members, people signed up for your mailing list or those who made a purchase in the last 30 days. Send out a gift card in a custom holder thanking them for their business.
You could also send a personalized gift as a way to go the extra mile. Use this as a way to say “Thank you” to customers who complete satisfaction surveys. They’ll be more likely to complete future surveys after receiving a gift, and you’ll get valuable feedback you can use to improve your business. Be sure to also give them the opportunity to order more personalized items like the one you sent them as a way to increase sales, too.
Sending a gift tells customers your business is generous and will put them first. Customers who receive the surprise are likely to post about it on social media and tell their friends and family, which continues the positive advertising for your business.
Sometimes when customers have an issue, they want to solve it on their own. The ease with which this can be done also impacts their overall experience. That’s where you come in.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate and your Frequently Asked Questions page covers a lot of ground. To start, make sure your FAQ matches the design, feel and tone of your business. A good FAQ page will relieve your customer service representatives from working on easy issues via phone, email or live chat because customers will be able to resolve their problems on their own in a quick and easy manner.
Consider adding tutorial videos for more difficult issues. This will allow customers to see how to handle the problem in addition to reading about it. They will appreciate the extra help your business has provided them. The faster they can resolve their issues, the more positive their experience will be. Lastly, be sure to include multiple ways customers can contact someone should they need additional help.
- Good Customer Service
At the end of the day, the best way to ensure customers have a fantastic customer experience is through amazing customer service. Train employees so that they are knowledgeable about all of your products and services, and give them the authority to solve problems so customers aren’t transferred among representatives until they reach someone who can help. Poor customer service can cost you revenue and eventually shut down your business.
Make sure representatives are available through the communication methods your customers use, and that they respond in a timely fashion. If customers can’t get help from you, they aren’t afraid to take their business elsewhere and tell all of their friends and family why. Treat customers as if they are your only customers. That personalized attention makes them feel special.
These days, the mantra “The customer is always right” is more important than ever. As customers continue to educate themselves more and more, it’s up to businesses to do everything they can to ensure they have a great experience.
Remember to track the progress of each strategy to make sure you know what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to waste any resources on something customers don’t like. Expectations are high, and businesses that don’t step up won’t last—but those that do will rise to the top and thrive.