A great customer experience is a key pillar of business success.
According to a report by Marketing Charts, 9 out of 10 customers were more likely to purchase a product or service and recommend it to others when the customer experience was rated as very good.
The same report found that when the customer experience was rated as very poor, only 2 out of 10 customers were likely to purchase a product or service and recommend it to others.
A good customer experience is essential in today’s competitive business market. In this article, we will look at what a good customer experience looks like, how to optimize for it, and what tools to use for sustained results.
The elements of a good customer experience
There are several factors that go into creating a good customer experience. We explore three of them in this article:
- Set proper expectations
- Create personalized experiences
- Deliver consistent experiences
1. Set proper expectations
In our article Setting Proper Expectations, we provide tips and tools to help you set expectations with your customers. In summary, setting proper expectations requires:
- Transparent pricing
- Visuals of your product or service
- Clear benefits and detailed features
- Clear timelines and delivery schedules
- Details about the level of support for your offering and how to access that support
Imagine the last time you ordered a pizza. You knew:
- How much it would cost
- How long it would take to arrive
- What it would look like
- What would be in it
- Who would deliver it
- How far away they were
- How to cancel the order
- Who to call if you had any issues
This made the experience stress-free and removed any anxiety and uncertainty you had. This level of service should also apply when selling B2B products or services.
2. Create personalized experiences
Creating a personalized experience begins by showing your customers that you know who they are. While this can be as simple as using their name in an email or on a phone call, you demonstrate it through attention to detail. For example:
- Knowing your customer’s timezone helps you communicate with them at suitable times
- Knowing their communication preference (e.g., a phone call over an email) helps you reach them through the right channels
You can take this even further by knowing your customer’s:
- Role (so we can send them relevant information)
- Goals, mission, and values (so we can align your messaging)
- History with your company (purchases, support tickets, pending orders, etc.)
Additionally, birthdays, favorite movies, preferred foods and drinks — these are all examples of smaller details that can have big impacts. Sending a customer a red velvet cupcake (their favorite) on their birthday shows you care in a way that goes beyond the typical business relationship.
Personalized experiences make your customers feel seen and heard. Done consistently over time, personalized experiences result in happier customers who spend more.
3. Deliver consistent experiences
To earn customer trust, we need to be consistent in all our interactions. Delivering consistent experiences requires:
- Aligned messaging around your products and services: Your whole team should talk about your product and services in a similar way
- Predictable cost and delivery timelines: Your team should make accurate and predictable quotes about the cost and delivery of your services
- Codified processes: Your team should have a clear idea of what your customers can expect when buying a product, implementing a service, or seeking support
Consistent experiences demonstrate your expertise to customers and encourage repeat purchases.
Good communication starts internally
The way we communicate with our customers will make or break the customer experience. It’s thus important to set the right tone internally and provide your team with the tools and resources to service customers effectively.
The right tools can include:
- A shared email account or Front channel
- An internal and external Slack chat channel
- Google Docs/Sheets/Slides
- Video conferencing software (Zoom)
- An intranet
- A CRM/enterprise software platform
Some essential resources include:
- A messaging matrix: This includes the proper names of your goods and services, proper spelling (including capitalization and hyphen rules), short blurbs describing your good and services, descriptions of the different roles within your company, and your values and mission statement.
- Service guides: These can include troubleshooting guides, set-up manuals, and documents that detail how to submit refunds, process new purchases, and onboard new customers/employees.
- Templates: These can include automated lead responses, post-sale reach outs, meeting reminders, answers to your FAQs, and more.
How will you know you’re delivering great customer service?
There are several things we can look at to determine whether we are delivering great customer experiences.
- Your traffic and engagement rates go up: People are more likely to consume and engage with your content when they’re happy with your service. A satisfied customer will read your emails, take part in your contests and promotions, and read and share your blog posts. On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer is more likely to unsubscribe to your newsletters, mute or block your brand on social media, and ignore your ads.
- Your CAC (customer acquisition cost) goes down: Happy customers spread the word and help bring new customers to your door, without you having to spend a dime. Your customer acquisition costs drop and your ARR rises.
- Your customer satisfaction scores improve: Happy customers are more likely to rate you higher on review websites and platforms. Conversely, unhappy customers are more likely to leave negative reviews and actively tell all their friends to not use you. Customers that are indifferent to your services are unlikely to leave a review at all. That means a few high scores with no other engagement could mean you still have some work to do to make the majority of your customers happy.
- NPS: If you really want to know what your customers think, an anonymous survey that goes out at regular intervals or after a purchase can provide valuable insights. NPS is a proprietary model that is widely used in the business world and is trusted by companies and respondents alike.
A CRM helps you deliver better customer experiences
The benefits of a CRM lie in the name: Customer Relationship Management. A CRM helps you manage relationships between your brand and your customers, team members, vendors, and third-party stakeholders. With a CRM, you can:
- Better understand who your customers are and tailor experiences to them: For example, if your CRM data shows that a large portion of your customers are in the oil and gas industry, you can craft content and promotions specifically suited to their industry.
- Streamline communications with customers: For example, if you’re helping a customer in your support channel, you can set up automated emails to update them on your progress as you move through the steps in your troubleshooting guide.
- Reward your customers: A CRM can tell you who’s been with you the longest, who’s paid the most, who’s birthday is coming up, and anything else you want to keep track of. You can send swag and gifts to these customers to increase loyalty and build customer affinity.
These actions all go a long way toward improving your customer’s experience and encouraging repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals.
The experience matters
Modern consumers have higher expectations than ever before and more options to choose from. Having high-quality products and services is important, but delivering a great customer experience is just as essential.
By equipping your team with the right tools and processes, you can improve your interactions and help your business grow. Take FreeAgent CRM for a test drive today.