One of the most impactful ways to reach your customers is giving them the ultimate customer experience. In a recent report that asked companies about the most exciting business opportunity, 22 percent of respondents said it was all about the customer experience.
But this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, because 60 percent of people said in an American Express poll that they’d be willing to pay more for a good experience.
At the top of the list? Giving customers a more personalized experience, that will make them want to return to your business again and again.
But how is this possible when we are knee-deep in competition? For starters, it takes time to invest in strategies that will help your customers feel connected to your brand, your product, and the message you’re sending out.
Look at the 10 tips below to help you create the ultimate customer experience.
Customer Experience vs Customer Service
Although the terms customer experience and customer service seem interchangeable, they’re actually quite different. Customer service is just one component of the customer experience.
For example, when a customer reaches out to a business by phone or in person for help resolving a problem, it is the positive way an employee handles the situation that reflects a business’ customer service.
Customer experience, on the other hand, is how your business accommodates your customers. It’s not just about being courteous and friendly, it’s about going above and beyond to meet your customers’ needs.
This means providing a more personalized experience that your customers will remember and associate with your brand.
10 Ways to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience
Taking time to invest in your customer experience strategy is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only will you improve your brand name, but you will build long-term relationships with your customers. Talk about a win-win situation.
1. Invest in Customer Research
One of the first steps towards connecting with your customers is understanding who they are. By building a solid research strategy, you can more closely empathize with their needs. Hiring an expert from this website who is passionate about customer relations can help build the bridge between your team and your customers.
Another way to being your research is to create a variety of scenarios, from positive to negative, and having a communication and resolution plan in place. An analytics expert is also vital to discovering more details about your customer demographics, like where they live and what their interests are.
2. Map Out Your Team Goals
While it’s tempting to throw yourself into drumming up as much attention as possible to your brand, you’ve got to have a plan in place. This means setting clear goals and expectations and communicating them to your team.
Avoid trying to do it all yourself and instead, reinforce how important it is for the team to be on the same page.
3. Ask Customers for Feedback
Even if you think you’re providing the ultimate customer experience, it’s best not to play guessing games. Instead of assuming you’re doing a great job, ask your customers for direct feedback through email surveys, mobile tools, or even a personalized phone call. That way you’ll have the details you need to build another layer of support.
4. Create Regular Store Events
Give your customers a unique experience by hosting a variety of events throughout the year. Celebrate your storefront’s anniversary, create your own branded holiday, or dedicate a day to one of your best-selling products. The sky is the limit, so have fun with it!
5. Reward Regular Customers
There’s something to be said for loyalty, so what better way to show your appreciation than rewarding your dedicated customers. The top way to do this is to implement a loyalty program. A few examples are:
- Point-based purchases
- Stamped cards
- Gifts with purchases
- Promotional freebies
As long as you make it fun and relevant, your regular customers will enjoy their experience even more.
6. Address Online Reviews Immediately
Part of the customer experience is providing empathy through your communication. To ensure your customers are having a positive experience, respond to online reviews (both good and bad) right away. For positive reviews, remember to thank your customer and respond in a thoughtful way.
For negative reviews, it’s important to address the customer personally by their first name and acknowledge their experience. Next, try to resolve the issue in a diplomatic way without placing blame. Although their bad experience might not have actually been your fault, being an active listener can help smooth things over while doing damage control.
7. Share Your Expertise
Don’t just be a salesperson; elevate your expert knowledge of your store and its products by sharing this knowledge with your customers. They might not know that their favorite clothing brand donates to Greenpeace or grows their own organic cotton. The point is to enlighten without pushing an agenda so your customers’ curiosity is peaked.
8. Prioritize the Personalized Experience
When your regular customers return to your store, don’t be afraid to address them by their first name. If you’re able to remember details about their lives, such as children or pets, it makes their customer experience more personal.
Another great way to create a connectedness is to provide a discount for your customers on their birthday. They’ll feel special and will associate a positive experience with your business.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to be Different
With so much competition out there, it’s a good idea to remember the value of your unique brand. Rather than blend in and try to be like everyone else out there, elevate your reputation by staying true to your message. If your store is well-known for playing funky music or providing fun children’s activities while parents shop, play it up!
10. Value Your Employees
A positive customer experience starts with your employees, so make sure to never take them for granted. Build solid relationships with your employees, ask for their input, provide extra training opportunities, and create team-building activities for a positive company culture experience.
A Great Customer Experience Starts with You
Providing the ultimate customer experience is an ongoing process, so remember to find that healthy balance between setting goals and learning from your mistakes. With consistent attention and follow-through on your strategy, your store will evolve into a place your customers think of positively.