Did you know, up to 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and decide to purchase from a brand based on customer experience (CX) alone? Therefore, to continue growing your business, you must prioritise your customer’s requirements at each stage of the buying process.
In today’s digital world, instant gratification, personalised buying experiences and simple, online processes have become not only an expectation but the norm for customers. Companies must stay ahead of the game and anticipate their customers’ needs to provide outstanding service and continue winning new business.
In this article, we’ll explore what CX is, how you can boost your brand reputation and the benefits of improving the customer experience.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience concentrates on the relationship between customers and businesses at each stage of the buying journey. Every interaction a customer makes with your company, no matter how small, adds to their overall impression of your organisation.
Essentially, customer experience boils down to perceptions. In other words, how do your prospective customers feel about your brand? Whether it involves interaction with your social media ads, the appointment booking process, or final payment, each touchpoint has the potential to improve or destroy the customer experience.
Let’s imagine that Steve from Company A has a fantastic service to offer his customers. His marketing team thinks carefully about messaging and generates several strong leads on social media. The sales team then rapidly converts those leads into sales before the field-service technicians visit the customers and do an outstanding job. So far, so good.
However, one of Steve’s clients, Jeff, has a problem and calls the customer service team. Unfortunately, the customer service advisor is apathetic and doesn’t offer much assistance to Jeff. Following the poor interaction, Jeff begins to resent Company A and vows never to use their services again. He also warns other people about his poor experience and advises them to go to Company A’s competitor instead.
Despite all of Jeff’s interactions with Company A being positive until he reached the customer service team, that one weak link was enough to destroy his perception of the business. In turn, Jeff’s negative review damaged Company A’s reputation.
Therefore, when thinking about ways to improve your customer experience, you must consider how positive the interaction will be for your client. Every person in your business has a part to play in maintaining customers’ perceptions and preserving your good name.
How to Improve the Customer Experience?
Today’s customers don’t want just a transactional relationship with brands. Instead, they want to be delighted by an experience that fulfils all their requirements and offers ongoing support. In fact, 73% of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision.
Prioritising your customers’ needs doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are five straightforward steps you can take to improve the customer experience:
1. Map Out the Customer Journey
When you set out to improve the customer experience, you should start by mapping out the customer journey.
A customer journey map will reveal each step your customers take when interacting with your business. Although it can be tempting to concentrate on the interactions leading up to the sale, it’s also crucial to consider the post-sale experience. For example, if a customer needs support following an installation but cannot get help from your customer service team, their perception of your business will become negative.
Mapping out each point in the customer journey makes it simpler for everyone in your company to visualise where their work will influence the overall experience. Employees who are aware of the part they play in enhancing the customer experience can review their current efforts and focus on areas that need improvement.
2. Consider Multiple Perspectives
From the admin team to your field-based workers, every department in your business will affect the customer journey and influence customer perceptions. As such, they will all have a unique view on what the customer needs based on past experiences. To put the best processes in place, you must gather everyone’s perspective, for example:
- Marketing: Your marketing department will have a strong understanding of your brand awareness and user expectations. Plus, data gathered from marketing activities will expose what content your potential customers consume most and what converts into leads. Speaking to your marketing team will enable you to understand what you can do to improve your reputation and, in turn, produce more sales.
- Sales: The sales team communicates with prospects at one of the earliest stages of the customer journey, and therefore, they’ll have insight into their pain points. Consequently, your sales department can shed light on how your service or product should overcome customer hurdles.
- Field-Based Workers: Your field-based workers are on the front line, dealing with customers in person on a daily basis. Your technicians can share customer feedback and commonly asked questions, which will enable you to address any concerns your clients may have.
- Customer Service: The customer service team typically acts as the first port of call for customers who want to provide feedback or complain about a product/service post-sale. As a result, they can share details on what causes the most headaches for your customers so you can work to remedy the issues.
3. Pay Attention to Your Employees’ Needs
It may seem unusual to focus on employee needs when devising ways to improve the customer experience. However, studies show that 79% of employees at companies with above-average customer experience are highly engaged in their jobs.
Remember, for most of the buying journey, potential customers will be in direct contact with your employees. But, if your people believe they don’t have the right tools to do their job effectively or feel underappreciated, they won’t be engaged with their work and it will likely affect their performance.
Here are some ways your can uplift your staff and ensure they’re providing customers with a stellar experience:
- Identify employee pain points via employee feedback
- Digitise your processes to make them more seamless
- Provide them with the correct tools and equipment
4. Personalise Your Customer Interactions
A personalised experience can help make your customer feel more valued. According to a survey, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalised experiences.
Something as simple as creating templates where you can add client details and logos is all it takes to add an extra touch of personalisation and improve the overall customer experience. To maintain customer loyalty, you could also consider sending a follow-up email or survey, enabling them to voice their opinions and feel heard by your business.
5. Use Technology to Revolutionise Ways of Working
Today’s emerging technologies will power tomorrow’s customer experiences. So, early adopters of cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) systems will find that they have a competitive edge over other companies that don’t use modern methods to connect with customers.
With a state-of-the-art job management software system like BigChange, you can manage the most significant factors that influence the customer experience. Your back office can easily monitor, schedule and dispatch service requests to optimise your field-based workers’ strongest skills to meet customer expectations the first time, every time.
By using technology to improve transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations, all processes become much more seamless and rapid, providing benefits for both your back-office staff and your customers.
Benefits of Improving the Customer Experience
Companies that improve the customer experience won’t just have happier clients. With the right design, a better customer experience can positively impact your business.
Here are just some of the main benefits of improving the customer experience:
1. Higher Profits
Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their customers’ needs.
It’s no secret that customers who are satisfied with the service they received will be more willing to purchase your service or product and possibly even try your other offerings. Plus, since your customers value the overall experience, you can charge a higher price than your competition without the risk of losing your clientele.
Additionally, customers who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their friends, family and professional network, providing you with a new pool of leads that could convert into sales.
2. Excellent Reputation and Increased Brand Awareness
Almost nine out of ten potential customers consult online reviews before purchasing, proving that people have a high level of confidence in fellow consumers’ opinions. Therefore, you must take time to provide your customers with a superior experience, from the moment they learn about your business to the ongoing relationship you create following a purchase.
Customers who feel valued throughout the buying journey will likely provide you with one of the most potent marketing tools – word-of-mouth. The more customers you have advocating for your product or service, the stronger your reputation will grow.
3. Pleasant Work Environment
Approximately 35% of customers have become angry when talking to customer service representatives, which doesn’t make for a pleasant interaction. By taking steps to improve the customer experience, you’ll have happier customers, which reduces your customer service team’s chance of dealing with heated complaints.
If your team is consistently handling negative customer communications, their morale could take a hit, and productivity will decline as a result. At worst, your staff may seek employment elsewhere, leaving you to recruit their replacements.
Getting all your departments involved at various points of the buying journey and working towards one common objective is key to producing contented customers. Not to mention that employees who identify with the brand and its goals are more likely to be engaged in their work.
4. Customer Loyalty and Repeat Purchases
By offering your customers a painless, personalised and prompt service, you’re likely to build up a more loyal clientele. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Customers who feel like your company meets their needs are far less likely to risk changing to an alternative product or service.
Loyal clients will also keep coming back to your business, making them even more valuable. On average, repeat customers spend around 67% more than new customers, so it’s worth spending time focusing on how you will keep them engaged and coming back to your business for more.
Improve the Customer Experience and Grow Your Business with BigChange
Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.
BigChange is the complete Job Management Software Solution that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.
Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.
Want to find out more?
Discover how Field Service Management Software from BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.