Customer experience (CX) is one of the biggest factors in determining a company’s success. CX can refer to any experience a customer has with your company, be it on the phone, online, or in person.

The CX you provide to clients will make or break your business moving forward. Help Scout reports that “91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.” That’s not a statistic you can ignore.

You need to make sure customer experience is a top priority, and here are three ways to do just that:

Don’t treat your customers like a number

A majority of businesses out there look at their customers as “just another number.” If you want to create a positive customer experience, you can’t operate this way.

Your customers are people. They want to be treated as such by the companies they choose to do business with.

The more impersonal the customer experience (and the more they feel like they’re being treated like a number instead of a person), the less likely they are to want to continue interacting with your company.

In “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner, it is reported that it takes 12 positive CX experiences to make up for one negative experience.

This might not seem logical, but you can get ahead of a bad potential situation by treating every customer as an individual. You need to create a personalized experience wherever and however your customers interact with your business.

A few fast ways to do this:

  • Use an autoresponder to personalize your email blasts
  • Segment your email lists into different groups so you can send more targeted content that better speaks to each list
  • Train your customer service reps to use customer names often to personalize their experience

The more you can do to treat each customer like an individual—and a valued part of your business—the more likely they will be to continue their relationship with your company.

Speed up the process (without sacrificing quality)

Have you ever been to a website for a company you were interested in, only to have the website take ages to load? Or made a customer service call and sat on hold for 45 min? According to American Express, “in the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration they could not talk to a real person.”

A major part of a positive customer experience is efficiency. It shouldn’t take your customers half the day in order to interact with your company when they need a customer service issue resolved or when they want to place an order on your website. So if you want to create a better customer experience in 2018, you need to create a faster one.

Look for areas to make your customer experience faster and more streamlined. Is there a way to make your website load faster? Can you simplify your customer service forms to make the process easier?

Is it possible to invest in better training for your customer service team? Can you streamline your problem solving? Whatever you can do to make interacting with your company faster and more efficient for your customers, do it.

That being said, you never want to sacrifice quality for speed. So while it’s important to make your customer experience as streamlined as possible, you never to cut corners to get there.

Hire the right people

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating a positive customer experience, it’s time and effort wasted if you don’t have the right people to execute it.

66% of people polled in a survey by Office Vibe said that interactions with employees are the most accurate way to get insight into a company.

Your team is the most essential piece of creating a positive customer experience. If they aren’t committed to making your customers’ experience a positive one, it won’t happen on its own. Being selective in who you hire is a smart call.

When you are building your team, hire people who are enthusiastic about your company, your mission, and their role in it all. When you have people who are passionate about what they—and the company they work for—do, that passion and enthusiasm spills over and has a direct effect on customer experience.

When your customer service team is excited about your products, they’re going to be excited to chat with your customers and help solve their problems. When your web development team stands behind your vision, they’re going to do everything they can to bring that vision to life on your website.

So hire wisely; who you hire will largely determine how your customers experience your company.

Walker reports that by 2020, “Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.”

Treat every day as a new opportunity to make positive changes in your business. And now that you know how to improve your customer experience, you’re well on your way to implementing a positive change for your company—and your customers.

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Parker Davis
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @Answer1 and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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