A solid customer experience (CX) can make or break a business. It’s important to be proactive in how you think about and interact with your customers, starting from before they’ve even heard about your brand until they’re fully aware of who you are and are engaged with you.
Customer experience improvement can be handled in many ways, but the key is to always take a multifaceted approach. Below, you’ll find five ways to improve your customers’ experience now.
“Did you know, according to Garnter, Inc., customer experience drives more than two-thirds of customer loyalty, outperforming brand and price combined?”
How to Improve Customer Experience
- Map out the customer journey
- Shift your target from customers
- Identify all available touchpoints
- Personalize customer interactions
- Realize change must be a priority
#1 Map Out the Customer Journey
Mapping out the customer journey is a great way for any business to start improving customer experience. Knowing where your customers come from, how they find you, and what they do to interact with you, can help you discover what’s working and what isn’t.
Creating a map of your customers’ journey doesn’t need to be detailed and difficult (although, that’s an option). A basic map or outline can be simple and straightforward while giving you enough information to start improvements immediately.
Parts of a Customer Journey Map
- Steps describing a general customer’s actions (e.g. see ad, click ad, view landing page, sign up for email marketing, etc.)
- Steps describing a general customer’s thoughts or feelings (e.g. curiosity, “How will this help me?”, “How much does it cost?”, excitement, confusion, etc.)
- A list of business touchpoints at each customer step (e.g. customer service rep interaction via homepage chat widget, in-store checkout process via self-checkout, etc.)
- Actions you or others can take to change any aspect of the customer experience (e.g. create and implement pricing table on website, train reps on product features, etc.)
#2 Shift Your Target From Customers
Focusing on customers makes sense when trying to improve their experience, but that’s not the only thing you can do to improve CX. You can also shift your focus and target improving the representatives or software that your customers interact with on a regular basis.
Employee training, feedback, tools, and experience can go a long way toward improving how your customers interact with your business. Happier, more satisfied employees affect everything.
Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction
- Review, replace, and upgrade equipment, technology, and tools used by employees (for digital customer experience, this may involve software bug fixes or further development)
- Provide employees with an anonymous survey and schedule regular one-on-one meetings to get useful feedback
- Look to your competitors to make sure your business offers similar or better incentives for your customers
#3 Identify All Available Touchpoints
Take the touchpoints from your customer journey map and flesh them out; include different departments and communication channels for each one. For example, you may find that there is overlapping or redundant communication happening between the marketing and sales steps.
Some of the most important touchpoints you’ll come across happen in your customer service or support department. Long-term customers are maintained at this level so make sure every interaction is as personalized and thought-through as possible.
What to Look For in Post-purchase Touchpoints
- Automated or personalized follow-up messages (email, SMS, phone) about the quality and experience of your product or service (this will look different depending on company size and resources)
- Re-marketing efforts for decreasing churn in SaaS business models and improving brand loyalty for other businesses (communicate product updates, launches, and events)
- 24/7 support availability where possible, quick response times, and human interaction (be proactive and reach out on a regular basis to facilitate positive conversations)
#4 Personalize Customer Interactions
Customers like to be treated like living, breathing human beings — not robots. One way to make sure the human element remains at each touchpoint of the customer journey is personalization.
For larger companies, personalization may be challenging to scale, but remember that the overall customer experience is made up of many interactions. The more personalized each interaction is for the customer, the more improvement you can see in the customer experience.
How to Personalize the Customer Experience
- In pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, personalized ads have become the norm, and, in email marketing, list segmentation helps with personalized messaging (i.e. digital tools make personalization possible even at a large scale)
- Having modern tools that communicate relevant customer information to the right people at the right times can help every conversation feel more personal (e.g. SalesRabbit can provide information about prospects before representatives make contact)
- Giving welcome presents and recurring gifts (like swag) is a great way to market your brand while making customers feel noticed by you
#5 Realize Change Must be a Priority
One of the most important and potentially difficult aspects of improving customer experience is getting everybody from senior management to entry-level employees on the same page. However, there’s no effective one-size-fits-all approach for communicating changes and requiring adoption, so this can be challenging.
How to Get Everybody to Improve CX
- Incentivizing change can be a great way to quickly get new policies and procedures adopted by customer service representatives (e.g. roll out a temporary bonus structure)
- Start at the top and work your way down (i.e. if members of the executive team aren’t onboard, then it’ll be harder to get other employees in the company to buy in)
- Depending on your size and resources, you may find it beneficial to create a specific customer experience role; their job responsibilities can revolve around CX improvement
“Did you know, according to PwC, 42% of consumers worldwide will pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience? In the U.S., 65 percent of customers believe a positive experience with a brand is more important than good advertising.”
Other Quick Tips for Improving Customer Experience
- Set up multiple communication channels in high-visibility areas
- Utilize digital or in-person surveys to gather CX analytics
- Welcome new customers and re-engage existing ones with swag
- Identify where problems happen to proactively solve them
- Develop a process for collecting and acting on customer suggestions
- Feature customer success stories on social media and your website
- Train customer service representatives frequently for consistency
- Be quick and intentional when listening, responding, and following up
Found Success In Customer Experience? Let Us Know!
If you have thoughts about customer experience, let us know down below. Maybe you’ve worked in customer service, owned your own business, or you have a unique story to tell. We’d love to hear about CX ideas that work well or experiences you’ve had yourself.
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