Customer experience is vastly different from customer service.
Customer service deals with a single point of engagement between the customer and your brand while customer experience delves into how the customer engages with you from initial contact to their final engagement.
Customers first find out about brands through various points of contact; Social media, radio or tv advertisement, direct marketing, trade show marketing, blogs, podcasts, conferences, recommendations from friends, influencer marketing, websites, and the list goes on.
However they find out about you, that initial contact leaves an impression which could be positive or negative. Ultimately, they are either interested enough to want to find out more or they are not.
It is marketing’s sole purpose to qualify the right people. To communicate with those who have a need for your product or service and the means to pay for it and provide them with the belief that your product or service will solve whatever issue they may have efficiently and cost-effectively.
It is about how we make them feel!
- Do they trust us?
- Do they believe that those within your company will take care of them?
- Do they believe that their issues will be solved and they will be better off because of their interaction with you?
- Do they feel that what you are charging is reasonable for the product or service provided?
- Do they feel that they are being listened to and understood?
- Do they feel that they are not being ignored and their questions or are being answered?
- Do they understand what you can do and what you cannot and are they ok with that?
All of these and other thoughts go through people’s heads when they are making a decision on whether to trust you or not. How you engage with them, the experience you provide and how you make them feel is what not only makes them purchase, repurchase, and provides them with reasons to tell others why they should do business with you!
From that point forward, it is the customer experience that advances that person or company from being a potential customer to a customer.
So how do you create a superior customer experience?
Really simple, understand who you can help, what value you provide to them and empower your staff to help them achieve their goals.
Customer experience is people driven in the end. It is letting your clients engage with you the way they want to engage with you.
Some will want to use the phone, some like chat, others communicate with you over social media and there are some that really like email. It is your responsibility as a brand to facilitate these desires and allow them to contact you in as many ways that are reasonable for your brand.
Not every brand can afford the staff and resources to be on every channel, however, you need to understand which channels are the most important to your clients and you must be there.
You need to find out what challenges they have with you or your product and service and make things better. For instance, if your tech support is constantly getting the same questions, create a simple set of videos that address the issues in plain language, so that people want to watch them and their questions are easily answered.
If you have a challenge with a product or service, fix it and communicate how you are fixing it.
If you get complaints that you are being unresponsive to inquiries, change your processes or hire staff to deal with the issue.
Today’s consumer has a choice that is North American or Worldwide. Trust me, if you make it difficult for people to do business with you, someone else is making it easier and taking your customers from you.
Talk to your customers. Find out what they like about you and what their challenges are in dealing with you and don’t get defensive! Take this advice for the gold that it is.
Customer experience is about continual improvements. Listening to customers, finding out how you can serve them better and doing so.
Yes, you will get some unreasonable requests, and yes you will not be able to serve everyone, but if you can make those people happy whose problems you can truly solve, and provide them easy ways to deal with you that make their lives better, they will be true champions of your brand and drag other people to your doorstep.
To your success.