Customer experience is becoming a top priority for many businesses in the digital age.
With so many businesses competing against each other and automation taking over, customer experience is key for those who want their business to stand out and survive in the long-run.
In fact, artificial intelligence expert Kai-Fu Lee predicts that AI could replace over 40% of the current jobs in 15 years’ time!
Your customers trust you to provide them with the best service, and that means giving them quality products and services along with excellent customer support.
However, some organizations struggle with this because they lack the resources to implement effective strategies.
In this post, we will look at why customer experience is important for a business to thrive and what steps you should take to ensure guaranteed customer satisfaction.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience refers to the interactions between a company and its customers.
This includes everything from customer service interactions to product or service quality, price and value, order processing, and so on.
In other words, customer experience is the overall impression that a company leaves on the customer.
Why Customer Experience Is Important for a Business?
Customers are more likely to spend with brands that offer a positive customer experience.
They choose those companies that recognize the value of their customers as individuals and cater to their needs.
When done well, customer experience can lead to increased spending and loyalty among customers who feel appreciated and feel like they are part of your company.
Here are some of the reasons why excellent customer experience is important for a business:
- If a new buyer’s first impression is positive, they are more likely to become loyal customers
- It can lead to word of mouth
- It enables you to stand out as a company
- You build strong relationships with your customers
How Does The Customer Experience Impact The Company?
Businesses that provide high levels of customer satisfaction will gain financial and reputational benefits.
Customer experience increases satisfaction, drives brand loyalty, and leads to higher conversion rates.
What Is The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Customer service is vital, but it isn’t the only component in the overall experience.
Many other factors, such as the quality of the product or service given, website design, marketing, and setting reasonable expectations, all contribute to a positive customer experience.
Therefore, the difference between customer service and a customer experience is as follows:
- Customer experience is how a customer perceives their interactions with your company as a whole. It’s what happens when everything goes as planned and it can be influenced by many different factors
- Customer service refers to providing assistance and general information to individuals before, during, and after a purchase
Examples of Good Customer Experience Factors
A good customer experience increases the company’s profitability while also increasing customer loyalty.
It leads to more sales, greater customer satisfaction, and increased word-of-mouth recommendations. Here are some good customer experience factors:
- Marketing sets realistic expectations
- Self-help resources are accessible and easily found
- Website is intuitive and easy to use
- The customer’s needs come first in all decisions
- Customer support is available 24/7
Examples of Bad Customer Experience Factors
A bad customer experience can be defined as one that is unproductive, dissatisfying, and frustrating.
It occurs when a product or service provider does not meet the customer’s needs. Here are some bad customer experience factors:
- Business not acknowledging a customer’s email within 24 hours
- Automated systems that make it hard to reach a human agent
- Long wait times in receiving a product or speaking to customer support
- Product or service not as described
3 Companies That Provide Great Customer Experience
There are so many great companies out there who truly know how to make their customers feel special, and some can really do it well!
Disney is widely considered as one of the leaders and pioneers of top customer experience.
It has millions of loyal fans worldwide that absolutely love all of their products and services. From their theme parks to the newly launched streaming service, everything at Disney is magic.
Want to learn their secrets? At Aurum, we represent customer experience speaker Duncan Wardle, who was Director of Creativity and Innovation at Disney and who worked for over 25 years at the company. We’ll tell you more about him below.
Netflix was able to go from 21.5 million paid subscribers in 2011 to more than 158 million in 2019.
Their success was primarily due to their personalization level, whereby each user gets recommendations based on what they have watched before.
In addition, Netflix lets new customers try the platform out for free during their first month. After that, customers can decide to leave or choose different plans depending on their needs.
Moreover, this streaming platform enables customers to download movies to watch later offline.
Netflix also offers exceptional customer support through Facebook, Twitter, and other means of communication.
Amazon first opened its doors as an online bookstore which then became the biggest online retailer globally.
They offer an easy way to purchase items online that are also reasonably priced.
Those at Amazon always try to think outside of the box. For instance, when people thought that books were about to become a thing of the past, Amazon invented the Kindle.
In 2014, Amazon launched the AI virtual assistant Alexa, which led to an increased number of vocal search queries.
Furthermore, they opened Amazon Go, a store where no checkout is required. Users can walk into the store, check-in using an app, pick items, and just leave. Their Amazon account is then charged based on what products they have walked out with.
In addition, Amazon offers personalized recommendations based on what the buyer has previously bought.
Some of the other benefits they provide are super fast delivery, a tracking system, 24/7 customer service, and more.
How to Improve Customer Experience
The first step to take to improve customer experience is to consider what your customers value most and use that knowledge to make changes to improve your processes.
Below we have listed a few actionable steps you can take:
Hire a Customer Experience Speaker
Hiring an expert to assist you in implementing a positive customer experience strategy is the best investment you can make.
At Aurum, we’ve seen incredible results and received overwhelmingly positive comments from clients who have booked customer experience speaker Duncan Wardle.
He is our top recommendation because he uses live polling, makes the audience draw, and employs other interactive techniques to make virtual events as engaging as possible.
Duncan is a true leader in creativity and innovation who has helped Disney build innovative experiences for consumers and viewers.
He is able to convey his 25+ years of customer experience lessons learned at Disney with people all over the world.
Contact Aurum to inquire about Duncan Wardle if you want to set yourself apart from the competition.
Put a Customer Experience Management Program in Place
Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a way of managing, monitoring, and creating customer interactions across all areas in order to meet or exceed the customer’s expectations.
It offers numerous advantages, including improved customer engagement and loyalty, as well as word-of-mouth.
Implementing an active customer experience management strategy in your organization can help you improve the customer experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Empower Your Employees
There is a significant relationship between empowered employees and satisfied customers.
Consider the following scenario: you’ve been on the phone with a customer support representative for 15 minutes to request a discount. The agent is eager to help you, but they must first get approval from their manager.
However, this will slow things down and keep you on the phone for much longer than anticipated.
Had the agent been empowered to exercise their discretion, approve the discount themselves, and address your problem, it would have led to a better customer experience.
For this reason, you should determine what is preventing your staff from providing a positive customer experience and tackle the issue.
Employers must identify any specific pain points in the employee experience and then utilize the results to evaluate systematic processes such as customer relationship management software.
Take into account your business culture as well.
Do the organization’s leadership, management, and employees all share the same values that promote a positive customer experience?
Is there anything else you can do to promote a customer-centric mindset in your company?
Take Advantage of Technology
Artificial intelligence and machine learning offer significant benefits to customer experience. Nowadays, we have chatbots available around the clock and NLP that can decipher the meaning of free-form text messages.
The growing number of large corporations utilizing these tools proves their importance in this day and age. For instance, Dominos enables customers to order food via Facebook Messenger.
Artificial intelligence can make your clients’ lives easier while also allowing you to be more inventive with your offerings.
Capture Customer Feedback
How would you know if you’re providing a truly exceptional customer experience?
Asking for feedback is essential – and it’s best to do it by collecting it in real-time!
For example, you could use live chat tools that enable your customers to communicate with you in real-time. Then, send a survey to the customer to gather feedback on their recent experience.
Another excellent option would be to use open-text responses on surveys to better perceive your clients’ emotions and improve customer experience accordingly.
What’s great about this is that technology now allows organizations to assess this feedback automatically, eliminating the need for humans to go through each survey manually. Natural language processing tools can go over feedback, give you a big picture of it, and even anticipate the future based on your data.
Make Customers Part of The Company’s Success
There’s little doubt that happy customers lead to successful businesses. Making customers feel like they are a part of your community is one of the most critical aspects of developing excellent customer relationships.
By giving customers credit for your accomplishments, you show them that you care about them.
The following are some ways in which you can express your appreciation towards your customers:
- Offer discounts as an incentive for your customers to introduce your business to a friend
- Provide early access to products that have just been launched
- Help customers save money by giving them discounts on high volume purchases
One of the most compelling reasons for a company to prioritize customer experience is that it can increase customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to want to do business with you again if they have a positive impression of your organization and their interactions with you.
When customers are happy, they also tend to share their experiences on social media and in-person with others who may not know about your company. This can increase the visibility of your company’s name and attract new customers.
At Aurum, we want to help you implement the right strategies for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our customer experience expert Duncan Wardle who will help you take your business to the next level!