5 Things Business Leaders Should Look At When Developing Customer Experience Strategies
For many business and organisational leaders, the customer experience is one of the most important aspects of their company. While employees are the driving force behind the business, customers help to keep the business afloat during and after economic hardships.
In some instances, we’ve come to realise that the customer experience helps create brand loyalty, which helps to create engagement with clients who are willing to associate with the services and products a business has to offer.
In the post-pandemic economy, a lot in regards to the customer experience has changed, seemingly overnight. Industries have experienced an exodus of new trends coming and going, and having to keep up has been a challenge on its own.
Brands are constantly looking to reinvent themselves, and while this helps them to adjust to changing social and economic conditions, it’s not always clear how certain global or industry-related events may impact consumer behaviour and customer expectations.
What is customer experience?
There’s a lot of clout surrounding the exact definition of what entails the customer experience, but to understand the topic, we see customer experience as the area of consumer perception and loyalty towards a business or brand.
Everything a business can offer its customers, from online shopping, mobile apps, client support, and engagement can draw towards the customer experience. In modern marketing, customer experience is also referred to as CX.
Why is a customer experience strategy important?
Without brand awareness, and customer loyalty, a business may have it harder to reach specific milestones and achieve revenue goals. Having a customer experience strategy enables a business to increase its influence within the market, and retain loyal customers over time.
A 2020 Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report found that roughly 52% of customers reported going out of their way to support brands they’re loyal to. Additionally, around more than half of customers reported saying that the customer experience is now more important to them than it was a year ago. With the right strategies, businesses can meet client expectations and help customers realise their needs.
According to Tom De Ruyck, managing partner at InSite Consulting, a global digital research company, he found that consumers will focus on five specific aspects in the post-pandemic era. These five aspects, according to De Ruyck are brain, body, connections, community, and planet.
While not all businesses may be on the same level that De Ruyck and his team are, business leaders can take a look at their current customer experience strategies and how this will help them grow their market influence.
5 Things To Look At When Developing Customer Experience Strategies
It’s not possible to please every single consumer in your target market, even with the right set of tools, it’s hard to establish a plan that will see everyone satisfied. While the consumer market has become increasingly diverse, thanks to the rapid adoption of digital tools and social media, business leaders can now create a foolproof strategy that can help them garner support and retain loyalty from customers outside of their general reach. Here’s a look at some considerations when developing a CX strategy.
Establish a customer-focused vision
Right from the start, you should establish a customer-focused vision that can help you better understand the needs and wants of your clients. How do you establish a customer-focused vision?
Well, in theory, it might sound a bit easier than what it is in practice, but in some instances, we’ve seen that companies make use of their core values as a way to influence their customer experience strategy. Once they have established core company values, whether it’s diversity, excellent service, quality products, and community, they can mirror this within their customer experience strategy.
As members of your team become more equipped and used to the core principles or values of the business, the easier it will be for them to create a strategy that’s largely focused on these efforts. More so, this could help you see where your business outperforms competitors, and ensure you are more impact-driven.
Create a customer feedback loop
There is nothing more important in the customer experience strategy than the physical feedback you’ve already received from patrons. If you notice that over the last few months or years some feedback, whether it’s a call, email or text has gone unanalysed, you’re missing out on a big part of your strategic planning.
The customer feedback loop can be used as a tool that will help your business leverage new growth potential. Creating a customer feedback loop means that you are making the effort to hear what customers are saying, understand their needs, and make decisions based on these metrics.
Although the customer feedback loop requires additional labour, having to measure and analyse these responses, it’s perhaps one of the easiest methods in the playbook to garner better insight into how your target market perceives your brand, its employees, and the services or products they interact with.
With the customer feedback loop, it’s also possible to better understand who your customers are. While you may have originally targeted a specific audience and demographic, changing trends may have shifted the target audience, meaning you’ll now be able to direct your marketing efforts towards a new group of potential clients.
Encourage shared vision
As a business leader or owner, you might have an idea of what you aspire your business and its team to become one day. Whether it’s dominating your market, or becoming an industry leader, these ideas should be shared across the organisation to ensure everyone is on board.
To increase your customer-centric approach, and build a strategy that targets the right audience of consumers, you will need to make sure that employees are all aware of what your business is aiming to do.
If you’re a small-scale marketing firm and would like to grow your retaining clients, while also signing new smaller contracts over the next 10 months, make sure you communicate these goals with your team. Perhaps you own an eCommerce store that sells beauty products, and you’d like to become one of the top cosmetic brands in the country within the next five years. Sharing these aspirations with your team means you’ll be able to collectively work to achieve these goals.
If you’re looking to disrupt the industry, make sure you have a well-informed team behind you that can help you drive the cause. Not only does it help your business achieve its goals, but it gives them a clear idea of who the audience is they’re working with, and how they can establish meaningful strategies to drive change in the market.
Pay attention to your current selection of products and services
While it’s important to look at the set of customers you have, it’s just as important to consider the products and services you currently have available. This will give you an indication of whether customers are still satisfied with your offering, or whether perhaps they’re looking for something new and innovative.
Paying attention to what you’re currently offering allows you to create a more customer-centric experience in your range. Through this, you can consider the product experience, the quality thereof, and your team’s knowledge related to the functionalities.
Over time you may notice how some products and services are not as focused on your customers, allowing you to modify their functionalities. Additionally, you’ll also have a better understanding of what clients are looking for, and where there may be shortcomings within your team.
Have a crisis management protocol
Not everything will be smooth sailing, and there will be instances where you or your team will have to resolve a customer crisis. It’s not to say that something bad is going to happen, but it’s better to be prepared than to be surprised and not know what to do.
In your customer experience strategy, include how you’ll be looking to resolve any customer crisis through a set of predetermined protocols. This helps you, and your team to effectively resolve any unplanned issues.
A key aspect of your customer experience strategy is to know your customer well and to offer them a resolution to their needs. If your team can digest a customer-related incident or crisis, it could also drive up customer satisfaction. Many times customers tend to have a better overall experience with a business that knows how to handle an unsatisfied client and offer them the solution they are looking for.
Crisis management should be a big part of your customer experience strategy, as this equips a team with the right set of tools and knowledge on how to resolve any issues without losing potential leads or sales.
The bottom line
Having a customer experience strategy improves your knowledge of your customers, leaving you with the right tools on how to work with them and offer them an experience specifically tailored to their needs.
When you align company values and customer metrics, you can build a strategy that fulfils the needs of your clients, while also achieving company-specific goals.
In the digital age, it’s increasingly important for business leaders to build strategies that drive change, are purposeful, and fulfil customer-centric experiences.