The world of business is always changing. New models of doing business, new regulations, and most of all, the introduction of the Internet, has drastically affected the way in which big companies operate across the world. Today, there are hundreds of companies competing for the same customers across many different sectors of business.
The thing that sets them apart? Customer experience. Even at the C-suite, the difference between growing your customer base and having those customers defect to a competitor is the care that you put into building your brand, and into interacting with your customers: especially in an era when the internet allows you to communicate with people more effectively than ever.
Today, customers expect ‘digital parity’ from online retailers, be they law firms or clothing stores. Essentially, this means that your business has to offer as high a level of online customer service, and be as easy to do business with, as the best companies that the customer has interacted with before.
How can businesses become more customer-experience savvy?
Be flexible: When it comes to doing business, most people don’t wait until business hours to place orders to get in touch with corporate companies. Though of course some things- like customer interactions and telephone calls- will have to wait until opening time, customers should feel like they’re able to get in touch and connect with a business out of hours: for instance, by filling out an online form, sending an email or even placing an emergency call.
Get analytical: Nothing better helps businesses understand their customers and adjust their marketing strategies to engage them then understanding how their customers think and buy. A good place to get started is Google Analytics: have a look at your website’s data. Which pages are popular? Which ones have a high bounce rate, and how much time do people spend on each page? This will allow you to create business strategies based on predictive modelling and address everything from customer insights to offering a better service.
Be fast: Nothing puts customers off faster than a tardy service. You need to be fast when it comes to addressing queries, especially given the instantaneous service culture that the internet has created. Make sure you respond to queries or complaints within a deadline for two hours within working hours; otherwise, you risk alienating customers.
Work on the experience: Customer experience is all about the experience, after all: so offer something to attract them! Blogs, colourful visuals, videos and engaging copy is all key to attracting readers and offering them something beyond the products that you’re selling. Be helpful, and offer information that addresses problems they might be facing in your sector.
Everything you do in customer experience is about building a relationship with potential buyers. It’s the new front line of business: make sure you don’t miss out.