27 November 2018
Glantus Chief Data Officer on Customer Experience: 6 Practices To Improve Your Customer Experience (Cx)
Consumers expectations today are a world away from a decade ago, even 5 years ago. On-demand culture has made its way into all aspects of daily life for most and businesses can no longer compete by boasting the ‘best’ product or selling it for the most competitive price. It is also no longer enough to rely on unique selling points or brand notoriety, disruption is everywhere and even the most successful brands must continually innovate to stay relevant.
The new epicenter of consumerism is premised on a superior customer experience from beginning to end. Bain and Company’s (2015) survey has shown that customer experience leaders grow revenues 4%–8% above their market, this makes it a key factor in achieving a competitive advantage.
A moderate increase in Customer Experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.
Call centers, online chatbots and traditional store fronts all strive to engage with the customer to ensure their experience with the company is an entirely positive one, but more importantly one that is memorable enough to secure a recurrence. According to newvoicemedia.com, “after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.”
So, if you want to minimise the negativity and amplify the positivity of your customer experience journey, here’s my six simple tips:
1. Know your customers
The key to great customer experience is to make it personal. To truly understand your customer, it’s crucial to use all of the data available to you. Only by harnessing this will you be able to deliver an exceptional experience to each individual customer.
Amazon use the data that is gathered from their online customer activity while they browse to fine-tune their recommendation engine. The more they analyse and understand about the customer, the better they can predict what they are likely to need. Once they know this, it’s a case of streamlining the sale process - by recommending products that are relative to the moment instead of creating work for the customer by having them search the site. Every interaction is an opportunity to get to know your customer more.
It can help to ask if you were a customer of your brand, would you feel loved? If not, Why not?
2. Enhance the Customer Experience (Cx) across all channels
Customer experience personalisation can transform a generic customer interaction into one that has the potential to create an advocate for your brand. Whether the customer is online, on a call or in a store, the experience needs to be consistent.
The Author of “Omnichannel Retail Customer Experience”, Micah Solomon, says that, “improving your omnichannel customer experience requires the alignment of multiple components. Your strategy, technology, people, processes all need to be aligned to ensure you can achieve your objectives.”
While digital is only one part of the customer experience, it’s the one that’s most likely to drive the quickest return on investment.
3. Empower your customer to self-serve
Enabling your customer with a self-service portal is a must-have in today’s competitive market. According to recent research by Ipsos Mori, customers expect that you attend to them at their every need, without delay. And the longer it takes to respond, the more likely it is that the customer will leave.
Self-service is a necessity to providing a positive customer experience. It is no longer just a “nice to have”. It has become so synonymous with customer experience, that according to Professor Steven Van Belleghem, author of The Conversation Manager, “70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.”
4. Develop a customer-centric culture
Retail giants, Amazon and Apple are prime examples of brands that are fully focussed on the needs of their customers and have spent years establishing their customer-centric culture. Customer centricity is not just about offering your customers great customer service, it means offering them a great experience right from the awareness stage, through the purchasing process and finally through the post-purchase process. It’s a strategy that is based on putting your customer first and creating a life-long relationship.
5. Leverage Customer Experience (Cx) analytics
Data opens new doors, enabling you to truly understand your customers and create the foundation for an exceptional customer experience. The modern digital era has brought with it, Customer Analytics (or Customer Intelligence) which provides companies with the opportunity to apply data science algorithms to drive their business decision and operations. Brands that place data analytics at the heart of what they do have set themselves apart and have a large competitive advantage by being pro-active to the changing landscape.
Brands and individuals who offer radically superior customer service stand out because they anticipate unexpressed needs or wishes.
6. Engage your customers on social media
Social media plays an important role in customer experience as both a research tool for getting to grips with the customer journey and as a channel for building your brand for potential and existing customers.
With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, the benefits of social media are clear: a better experience for the customer, lower resolution times, deeper relationships, stronger loyalty, and ultimately more sales opportunities and higher revenues.
In a recent Harvard Business Review Survey, researchers found that “companies that thoroughly integrate social media and customer experience offer vastly superior customer experiences than competitors do, which translates into stronger growth and dominant positions in their markets."
According to Sherpa Marketing, “more people follow brands on social media than follow celebrities. On Instagram alone, 80 percent of people follow at least one business.” So, if you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population.
An exceptional Customer Experience is one that leaves people feeling good about themselves and your brand, it is an area that needs constant nurturing and care. Companies that achieve this essentially set themselves apart from their competitors, because they are the exception.
Glantus are helping organizations all over the world to transform their customer experience so that they are at the top of their game. If you're thinking about doing the same, we'd love to talk.