The product of your business or brand’s total interaction with your customer is the definition of customer experience (CX). However, customer experience is not just a philosophical understanding, these interactions are a vital metric that can, and should be, quantified. But, business owners need to understand that CX is not about you, it is about your customer’s perception of you.
The incredible evolution of online consumer behavior has already shown us that the total sum of CX begins at awareness of your brand and has momentum throughout the sales process with long-term advocacy and lifetime loyalty. Align with your customers by meeting their needs and expectations throughout their customer experience for big impact in every aspect of your business’s success.
The online ranking and trust experts at RevMonk have put together the following customer experience insights from cutting edge leaders from different industries to better grasp the influence of customer experience.
Continuous Customer Feedback
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk, Tesla CEO
Learning the details of what you are doing right and the areas of the CX that you can focus on improving will be continuous. You will need to ask for and collect feedback throughout the sales cycle and beyond for follow-up feedback to achieve lifelong customer loyalty.
Customer Care Equals Trust
“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” — James Cash Penney, J.C. Penney founder
Developing customer care practices to ensure your customers feel valued is a timeless piece of advice for business owners in any industry. Pre-internet word of mouth, good or bad, could reach up to 9 people. Today 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as word of mouth recommendations from family or friends.
Develop a Sustainable CX Strategy
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
Both established online and local businesses who develop a carefully managed CX strategy will help you outperform the competition. A sustainable customer service strategy, like Apple’s, will lead the customer through a journey with specific touchpoints to make them feel valued. The service or product you provide should be molded to fit the consumer’s ideal customer experience.
Give Your Customers a Personalized Experience
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
The majority of local and online consumers expect personalized treatment as a given. Treating your customers with respect by addressing them by name, replying to questions, special requests and taking care of complaints will set the precedence for positive customer experience. Making sure your customers are happy with your products or services and individualized customer care, ensures a high rate of positive customer experience.
The Impact of Negative Reviews
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett, philanthropist, business magnate
With 94% of online consumers influenced by a negative review, business owners understand just how dangerous an angry online customer can be. Damage control after a negative review has already been posted is a difficult situation to be in. You need to openly work through the issue with the customer and find a quick solution before the situation becomes toxic and you lose credibility.
The best way to deal with negative reviews is to have an opportunity to resolve the issue quickly and privately before negative comments are posted. RevMonk provides an effective DIY reputation management tool to monitor your online reviews and generate new 5-star reviews. Try a 14-day risk-free trial to see how easy it is to stay ahead of the game.
Learn from Your Mistakes
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder
It is imperative to think of complaints and negative reviews as a tool to show you where your customer experience strategy needs improvement. It is counterproductive to deal with this type of customer feedback as something you need to hide or counter with positive reviews. An open and transparent change to your product, service, shipping or customer service methods is a highly effective tool to show potential customers your flexibility when a problem occurs.
Your Competition is Only a Click Away
“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” – Douglas Alexander Warner, former chairman of the board, JP Morgan
It is easier than ever for your current and potential customers to take their business elsewhere. The harsh reality is that online users looking for local businesses, products or services have an overwhelming number of choices at their fingertips. Offering your customers high-quality products or services and personalized customer service to inspire positive customer feedback. A great review has the ability to inspire a passive online shopper to give you their business, their trust, and their loyalty.
Meet Customer Expectations and Trends
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
Customer expectation and trends are headed in a very direct and predictable future. According to research from a 2013 Walker Customers 2020: A Progress Report, CX will take over product and price to be the number one influencer for consumers by the year 2020. Every business owner, in every industry, big or small, should act now to embrace the shift and figure out what changes, updates and collaborations need to be done in order to meet the role that consumers have come to expect.
Strengthen Loyalty with Consistent Customer Service
When your customers have a positive experience with your brand and customer service, they are likely to stick with you. Open, friendly sincerity will build a solid foundation of trust and maintaining the positive customer experience in service industries with personalized attention will strengthen loyalty. According to Salesforce, 75% of consumers expect a consistent customer experience wherever they engage with brands.
Online interaction with seamless and expedient customer service and engagement in local search, on your site, and across social media needs to be a primary focus. Keep in mind that a customer is four times more likely to purchase from your competitor as a result of customer service related issues, not pricing or products.