Customer experience is an important business concept that directly relates to how you get more customers and keep them coming back.
If someone has a terrible experience with your business once, chances are, they won’t be coming back. They’re also unlikely to recommend you to anyone else. You need to improve the experience for them to get them to keep coming back.
It’s no longer enough to provide a good product or service alone. After all, the market is full of competition and your customers have many options to choose from. For your business to stand out, you need to provide not just a good product, but an experience your customers will want again and again.
what is customer experience?
Customer experience encompasses everything a customer encounters when they work with you. From reading helpful information guides, interacting with chatbots on your website to actually purchasing your product or service.
It is the impression you leave with your customers and it plays a big role in their decision on whether to return to you or to find someone else.
Here are a few ways you can intentionally improve your customer experience.
1. understand who your customer is
In order to create an experience your customers will appreciate and want to return to, you need to understand who they are.
To do this, you will have to interact with them regularly. This goes beyond knowing their demographics. It involves understanding what they like about your business and what aspects need improvement.
Take interest in who your customer is. Make sure they know that you want their experience to be as good as possible.
Building rapport with them will let them know that you actually care about them. This is an important step in making them loyal customers that will recommend you to other people.
Having a relationship with your customers will also make it easier for you to get feedback from them on any new processes and features you’re thinking about adding.
2. put yourself in their shoes
Understanding who your customer is will also help you be more empathetic to them. A good way to do this is by thinking about things from their perspective.
Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, what experience would you want to have? What’s missing from what you offer your customers right now?
Doing this will also give you a good understanding of your customers’ journey before, during and after purchasing your product.
Are you clearly communicating what it is you’re offering? Is it easy for them to actually pay for the product? Are there enough payment options?
3. have seamless processes
Follow a specific process with each customer you interact with. Make sure it is as easy and seamless as possible.
Every extra step is an opportunity for your customer to abandon their journey completely. The longer it is, the more the opportunities for your customer to get tired and drop off.
For example, when clients are booking consultations with me, rather than going back and forth to figure out everyone’s availability, I use Calendly. Here, people are able to see the available time slots they can choose from. Eliminating that back and forth makes the process of scheduling consultations a lot easier for both me and my clients.
Another example is for businesses that sell products on Instagram. Don’t tell someone to “DM you for the price” of the products you post. Chances are, many potential customers will drop off at this point. Make the purchasing process as easy as possible!
You should also pay attention to your payment processes. This should be as seamless as possible. You wouldn’t want your customers to get frustrated with the process and give up just before they make the purchase. Have the right systems that allow them to pay wherever and however they want, securely and efficiently.
4. listen to feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers how they think you should improve the process. What parts are they struggling with?
You don’t have to implement all the feedback you receive. However, if you see the same feedback over and over again, it’s probably something you need to look into.
As you redesign your processes, involve your customers, especially those that have been supportive of you from the start. They are familiar with your product and processes and would know if your ideas would improve their experience or not.
5. have clear and regular communication
Communicate regularly with your clients to avoid scenarios where they have to chase you down for information.
For example, you could set a day every week when you update your clients on the progress you’ve made on specific work. Tell them if you don’t have any new information to report, letting them know the reasons why and exactly what stage of the process you are.
Otherwise, with prolonged periods of no communication, they might start to think you forgot about them. This is especially true for businesses dealing in the legal field, immigration or tax and compliance.
Make sure you are able to deliver on all the promises you make to your customers.
Be realistic with any timelines and deadlines you give. Sometimes we say we can get something done quickly because we don’t want to let someone down. However, missing deadlines or under delivering will jeopardize your reputation in the market. Therefore, manage expectations.
Importantly, respond to inquiries in a timely manner. If you’re not able to immediately respond, clearly communicate when they should expect responses from you.
For example, I only respond to emails twice a week and communicate this to people. You can also have an auto-response on Instagram that tells people when you will respond to their messages, if you are unable to do it immediately. In this auto-response, you can give them alternative ways of reaching you, in case their query is time sensitive. This could be via WhatsApp or a phone number they can call.
6. review regularly
Even if you’ve designed a process that you think is great, make sure you review and update it every six or twelve months. Technology changes everyday. There might be more efficient solutions you can incorporate into your processes that previously didn’t exist.
over to you.
What are some of the ways you intentionally give your customers a good experience with your business? Let us know in the comment section below!