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11 Ways To Improve Customer Experience

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The customer experience (CX) is the new competitive advantage. More than two in three businesses compete on the basis of CX alone, with even more companies starting to catch on to its importance. With the role of CX ever increasing, companies need to continually review and improve the experiences they deliver to their customers. Your mission: Learn how to improve customer experience that will meet your customers’ needs today and in the future.

Let’s look at some ideas and ways to improve customer experience that will foster better customer relationships across every touchpoint.

Table of Contents:

  • Why Improve Customer Experience?

  • 11 Innovative Ideas to Improve Customer Experience

  • How to Create an Action Plan to Improve Customer Experience


Why Improve Customer Experience?

Ongoing customer experience improvement is simply good for business. As your customers’ needs and preferences change, so will their expectations of you. 

Why Improve Customer Experience

Case in point: the art of mobile shopping. Ten years ago, not many people were buying clothes and kitchen appliances from their phones. Today, consumers expect retailers to offer a mobile shopping experience from start to finish. Those that do stand a higher chance of earning a customer’s business and loyalty than those that don’t.

When you create an excellent customer experience, customers are more likely to buy from you again. What’s more, they have a reason to recommend you to their friends and family. 

But when you deliver a bad experience, it’s a sure-fire way to earn negative reviews. Retention might take a hit, and your image as a customer-centric company might decline.

Learning how to improve customer experience can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. But it’s always worth the effort, especially if it means earning more happy customers.

11 Innovative Ideas to Improve Customer Experience

The customer experience is the sum total of all of the interactions a customer has with you through all stages and touchpoints of their journey. These might include the ways in which they discovered your company (social media, websites, blogs, in store, in-app ads, etc.), the customer interactions during the buying process, and the post-purchase and customer support phases.

Each of these phases includes a variety of nuances that shape the customer experience. No matter which phase you’re focusing on, you can apply these innovative ideas to improve customer experience.

1. Gauge Customer Sentiment

Customer sentiment analysis can help you learn more about how people feel toward your brand. This is a particularly important piece of the CX puzzle because it doesn’t rely just on customers or surveys. It takes into account what your target audience is saying, even if they haven’t done business with you.

Platforms like Linkfluence measure consumer sentiment at scale across multiple channels to give you a holistic snapshot of your target audience. You can get real-time insights into how your customers are thinking and feeling, allowing you to detect shifts in trends so you can adjust your CX strategy accordingly.

2. Analyze Social Media Data

Similar to consumer sentiment, social media data allows you to go beyond customer feedback and see what others are saying. Today’s customers are more forthcoming about their feelings toward brands because social media gives them a place to share their thoughts. 

Analyze Social Data for CX

You can monitor brand mentions and conduct social listening with Linkfluence to stay in touch with conversations. What’s more, Linkfluence visualizes the data it collects so you can skip straight to the insights and action steps.

3. Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys are simple yet effective ways to get insights into your customer experience analysis. Brands commonly send surveys after a customer makes a purchase to get their feedback, but you can also send surveys after a customer support ticket or inquiry.

For example, Target emails guest feedback surveys after a customer makes an in-store purchase. Users can answer simple questions about their experience directly on their mobile devices.

Other brands may collect similar data at the cash wrap. One-question surveys on the credit card terminal have become increasingly popular, and some companies even make a monetary donation for each response recorded.

4. Review Your Net Promoter Score and CSAT Score

Survey results can help to calculate a brand’s Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score. Customers can rate their satisfaction with a brand on a scale of 1 to 5 (or 1 to 10). The results are then averaged to generate the score.

Another option is to measure Net Promoter Score, or NPS. NPS measures how likely a customer is to recommend a brand to their friends or family. You can measure NPS via customer surveys with questions like, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend, on a scale of 1 to 10?”

  • If your average result falls between 9 and 10, your customers are likely to be loyal and engaged. They interact with your brand frequently and are likely to be long-term happy customers.
  • Results that fall between 7 and 8 are more passive. They’re not dissatisfied, but they’re not as enthusiastic, engaged, or loyal.
  • Results that are at or below a 6 are considered detractors. You’re at risk of losing them, and they may do damage to your brand by telling others not to do business with you.

Reviewing these scores on a regular basis can help you see whether your customer experience ideas are paying off. They may also help you to head off downward trends to avoid losing customers.

5. Invest in Omnichannel Communications

Consumers are increasingly omnichannel, and they expect the same from the brands they love. In fact, 9 out of 10 customers say they expect seamless communication between devices and channels and a similar experience no matter how they choose to engage.

Omnichannel provides a critical point of improvement for your strategy. Everything from customer service to usability to the features and functions available should be consistent and not siloed. This strategy allows brands to connect with customers wherever they are in ways that are convenient and non-intrusive. Each time you make a successful connection, you can learn more about your customers and their preferences to deliver even better experiences in the future.

6. Provide More Training to Customer-Facing Teams

One of the most underrated customer experience ideas, training your customer service teams is critical to shaping customer perspectives. Data shows that 88% of high-performing companies invest heavily in training compared to just over half of underperformers. Your team needs to have a firm understanding of your products and services and be able to deliver service when and where it’s most needed. 

Train Customer Facing Teams

For in-store teams, knowing where products are located and being able to answer common questions can make your team look more knowledgeable and professional. How they interact with customers can also contribute to a more customer-centric brand and build the bottom line. 

For ecommerce and online companies, customers don’t have the benefit of seeing your agents’ smiling faces or visual cues. Training agents to sound approachable on the phone (or live chat features), answer questions, calm agitated customers, and humanize the experience can affect whether a customer has a top-notch experience.

7. Look at Customer Churn Rate and Reasons for Churn

Churn rates and reasons can be revealing about your customers’ experiences. A high churn rate could indicate dissatisfaction with your product or service, or it could mean a competitor is doing something better than you.

Make sure you’re routinely asking your churning customers why they’re leaving and what you could do to earn their business in the future. Look for trends in this data to see what experience-related issues are driving your customers away.

8. Review Customer Support Tickets and Trends

Customer support is a great way to build your brand and earn customer loyalty. Granted, customers who open support tickets are usually experiencing an issue. But their experience with your resolution of the issue could make all the difference in how they feel about your brand.

Review support tickets and look for patterns or trends. If you notice a number of repeat occurrences, you can focus your efforts there to prevent those issues from recurring.

9. Offer Self-Service Customer Support

Speaking of customer support, customers are craving more control over this aspect of the customer journey. They want to solve their own issues in ways that are convenient for them. This might include interacting with a chatbot or using self-service knowledge bases, for example. 

Self Service Customer Support

Data shows that more than 40% of customers prefer self-service support to human contact. If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to implement self-guided customer support options. A positive customer experience is on the line!

10. Implement Artificial Intelligence to Decrease Response Times

Talent shortages and a growing interest in digital contact centers have created new challenges in customer experience management. Not having enough human agents can lead to longer wait times. In turn, this can negatively impact your reputation for customer centricity and leave your customers dissatisfied.

One way CX managers are filling this gap is by using artificial intelligence to automate some of their communications. For example, a chatbot can answer simple questions almost instantly. For the tough questions, it can elevate a case to a human representative.

Using AI to handle a simple query reduces the response times for all customers. It provides an instant response while allowing your human customer service personnel to spend their time focusing on more complex questions.

11. Empower Your Team to Provide Great Customer Service

Great customer service can keep your customers coming back for more. But your employees need to be empowered to provide it in ways that will matter most to your customers in the moment. 

Take Ritz-Carlton, for example. Each employee has the power to spend up to $2,000 to “rescue” the guest experience. If a problem arises or there’s an opportunity to turn a good customer experience into a great experience, employees can freely spend the allowance without having to wade through red tape.

Empower Your Team for CX

While you might not want to set a $2,000 bar, you can give your employees a little leeway when it comes to taking care of the customer. A good resolution for one customer might not look the same for another customer. Offering some freedom enhances the personalized aspect and ensures employees can always go the extra mile.

How to Create an Action Plan to Improve Customer Experience

Customer experience improvement is an ongoing priority. Using dedicated customer experience measurement tools can help brands create a continuous cycle of data collection and improvement. 

At Linkfluence, we’re helping brands use these and other ideas to improve customer experience in a low-lift, guess-free manner. Our consumer insights platform helps you monitor conversations online and get inside the minds of your customers — even if they’re not sharing their thoughts and experiences directly with you. Learn more about their preferences, then use this data to create a plan and drive meaningful action across your organization.

Learn more when you request a demo!

 

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