There are very few companies that are exclusively known for their focus entirely tuned towards serving their customers. One such name that pops up is Zappos, an online apparel company founded by Tony Hsieh which was eventually acquired by Amazon. Zappos’ motto is “Deliver WOW through service”. As someone said, Zappos converts their customers into low-budget ads because of the level of service that they offer. They surprise their customers in ways that not many would usually think of. They know all about how to improve customer experience, they are masters at it!
There was this one time when a customer wasn’t able to return the shoes as scheduled, his reason being that he was grieving his mother’s passing away. When he arrived home the next day, he was greeted with a bouquet of flowers from Zappos. In his words -“I opened the card, it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. If this isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.” This is a clear-cut case of going the extra mile and how a business can acquire a customer for life by just being kind.
“I opened the card, it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. If this isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.”
This isn’t some kind of benchmark that is impossible to achieve. It is not Nadia Comaneci’s perfect score of 10 nor is it Bradman’s average of 99.94, these two will remain unbeatable for eons though. But you can always show your love to the customer in your unique way.
The article is about how you can be a hero to your customers, as this can be achieved with consistent efforts and by maintaining high standards. Improving customer experience is all about adding value to your customers. The idea of an all-powerful hero is aspirational; customers do love the image of a brand being a hero unto themselves.
Here are eight things you can do to improve customer experience and make loyal brand ambassadors:
1. Educate your Customer Service Associates
If you wish to improve customer experience, you should begin from within. The smartest way to make sure that there is only minimal customer churn is to educate your employees in such a way that they ensure that each customer is valued and serviced to the maximum. Customer service employees should be in touch with the sales team to oversee the promises made to the customer at the time of purchase and must ensure to keep the customer as satisfied as possible. Your customer service team should be taught to be available anytime during the working hours so that none of their questions go unanswered.
2. Solve their Issue Fast
Consumers have high expectations because they are aware that a lot of vendors are queuing up to help with their problems. If you fail to help out with their issues, they will not hesitate twice before leaving you for your competitor. And resolve the issue within a day if it is within your control or the fastest you can. Nothing is better than catering your product/service with market research surveys, rightly done. You are saving yourself cartloads of time and money with market research studies.
Provide a live chat system where your customers can get their questions resolved immediately instead of having to send an email, wait for a ticket to get created, and are then requested for a 24 or 48 hour period to get a reply. This can get really frustrating for a user. Definitely not how you can improve customer experience.
The best part about live chat support is that they don’t have to resort to an email or a different platform to solve their queries. This could also reduce the sales cycle as they might even be considering to make a purchase immediately and all they had was this nagging doubt which when solved, would leave them with no qualms about paying up. You might even lose out on such a prospective client when you don’t resolve their issue as soon as you possibly can.
3. Under-promise and Over-deliver
Let’s say you run an e-commerce store. Your system probably is such that each time a customer orders a product, you give yourself a leeway of 1-2 days as a kind of buffer for delivery in case of emergencies. But if you can surprise your customer in any way, please don’t hesitate to do that. Always try to give earlier than you promised. In fact, a single experience with your company is enough for your customers to vow their loyalty towards you. Can you improve customer experience and save the day? That totally depends on your hands.
4. Ask Questions to Your Customers
Understand the motivations of your customer behind buying your products with timely customer feedback surveys. This knowledge can help you make a better offer. Ask open-ended questions and identify the areas that they want to work on, things they want to improve upon, things that bother them and many more. With each answer to your questions, you get to understand your customers better. Also, your customer will know that you mean business and care about them when you invest time to know them better.
5. For Your Customers, Contacting You Should be the Last Resort
Do you realize that people would rather get all their answers through self-service rather than having to contact the customer service? Not only does it waste a lot of time for them making the call or drafting that email, but can also be frustrating to know that their problem might not be resolved immediately.
How can you help yourself by improving your customer experience? Give them in-depth content, like a knowledge base which will guide them when they are struck while using your product. Or, prepare an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) where the most often asked questions about your product/service is answered in detail. This way you can reduce the number of emails that you receive. Not only does it reduce your cost of hiring experienced customer service personnel, but it also reduces your customer’s anxiety. A big win-win for everybody!
6. Make Your Customers Your Hero
Wouldn’t you agree that you are empowering the customers by making them the hero of your story? Connect your customer to a purpose that you are aiming to solve instead of ‘selling’ your products. In fact, isn’t that how all sales should happen in the first place? A company should be able to convey what solutions they are offering and how it solves a prospect’s problems instead of pushing hard at the wrong doors. Earn their trust by learning about how you can resolve the particular problems that trouble them.
The rule of thumb should be to prioritize your customer happiness, no matter what!
7. Hire the Right Support Team
Most of us have encountered customer service personnel who have made us feel bad for calling them with a query. There are people who should never be allowed into the support team with a 10-inch pole because some people are just not good enough with people (read customers). Let’s say you have kickass features in your SaaS application. That alone is not enough for you to build or improve customer experience. Good customer service is a must-have to survive among the cut-throat competition. Spend quality time in hiring the right folks as a wrong hire can break your business.
8. Get Continuous Feedback
Knowing what is being talked about your product from the horse’s mouth itself makes your job easier. What is the easiest way to get to pick your customer’s brain? Ask them to fill out engaging customer pulse surveys. Not only are they easy to send out, but they scale well and customers are inclined to respond better as well. After creating your survey, you can send the list out to your email list, or share it on multiple platforms.
There are many ways in which you can use surveys. It could be to get feedback about a single feature, feedback on the last update to your product, queries about your processes, etc. Surveys are an important part of understanding the mind of your customers.
You can add and remove features and make many tweaks to your products based on the data validated from the surveys that your customers fill. For surveys that can add chutzpah to your business communication, SurveySparrow is one of the best online survey tools that comes with its own survey templates designed by industry experts, and a repository of survey questions that you can ask your customers. It has an engaging and chat-like functionality which persuades the user to fill surveys without much ado.
How to Improve Customer Experience: In Summary
Being your customer’s hero is all about putting their needs above yours and doing so with all the love in the world. No matter how many Growth Hackers help you out, the best and the simplest hack in business still is taking good care of your customers. Exceed their expectations by delivering your service on time, and in a proper way. Make your customer the center of your business, and watch as they come back to you over and over again.
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