A recent report by Econsultancy and Adobe found that for the third consecutive year, companies indicated that “customer experience” was the single most exciting opportunity for their organization. With the numerous seemingly small interactions your business has with its customers on a daily basis, this begs the question, “how does a business turn a customer moment into a customer experience?”
To clarify, a customer moment is just that, a moment. It’s a snapshot in time when you’re making sure the customer is happy and has everything he or she needs right then and there. In contrast, a customer experience focuses on every aspect of a company’s offerings. Harvard Business Review defines it as “the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company.” This end-to-end journey between a customer and a company should aim to meet or exceed customer expectations, and in turn, increase customer satisfaction and advocacy.
Creating a customer experience may be easier said than done, but with the right strategy and implementation in place, your business will be able to pull it off and reap the rewards.
How to Create a Customer Experience Strategy
The Harvard Business Review found that businesses who successfully implement a customer experience strategy achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, reduce customer churn, and increase revenues.
Often, a customer’s happiness doesn’t have anything to do with your product or service. It has to do with an unforgettable interaction they had with your business that turned them into loyal customers; and the more loyal a customer is, the more likely they are to recommend your business to their networks. If your business wants to turn customer moments into customer experiences that drive brand advocacy, you must make it a strategic priority at every level of your business.
Have a Vision
It’s important that you have a clear idea and explanation of what you want the customer experience to be, and that everybody in your organization understands this vision and does what they can to achieve it. Keep in mind, a customer experience does not have to involve human-to-human interaction. Have a vision of the experience you’d like your customers to have across all mediums, whether that’s in person, on the phone, over email or instant messaging, or even in a tweet.
Understand Your Customers
To create an exceptional overall customer experience, it’s important to understand your customers holistically. Understanding their pain points, wants, and needs are vital to creating personalized interactions. Step into their shoes and imagine what type of experience you would want from your company.
Establish an Emotional Connection With Your Customers
Research by the Journal of Consumer Research found that more than 50% of an experience is based on emotion. Customers remember how your business makes them feel, so by establishing an emotional connection, you’ll create customer loyalty, and will establish long-lasting relationships with them.
Evaluate Customer and Employee Feedback
The best way to know if you’re successful in providing an ideal customer experience is to simply ask. Try to engage with your customers following their purchase, whether it be in-person as they’re leaving your business or through a follow-up survey.
It’s also important to engage your employees since they have first-hand experience working with your customers. While gathering, analyzing, and responding to all of this feedback may seem burdensome, it will help you to turn more moments into experiences, and more experiences into future sales.
Review and Optimize Your Strategy
Review all of the components mentioned above, and identify which parts of your strategy are working for you. Your strategy should always be evolving based on your results and feedback. Optimize the areas that work best and change, or remove, those that are not optimized to create the ideal experience for your customers.
Attributes That Turn Customer Moments Into Customer Experiences
A strategy is great, but how you implement it matters even more. As discussed, striking an emotional chord with your customers is essential to creating a positive and memorable customer experience. Keep the following in mind as you implement your plan.
Turning a customer moment into a customer experience comes down to the details. It’s the little things in life that matter, so pay attention! Remembering things, such as a customer’s name or early morning coffee order, can go a long way.
Customers are visiting your business because they need a solution to whatever it is they’re looking for. Listen to what your customer has to say, and instead of trying to sell them on something, be helpful. Educate them and point them in the right direction. Your expertise will provide an exceptional experience for your customer, while also building your credibility.
Be human. This sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, with modern technology and automation, many companies are losing sight of the personalization that so many consumers yearn for. Adding a personal touch to a customer moment can help turn it into a memorable customer experience.
Chivalry should be alive and well when it comes to running your business. By doing things that are seemingly insignificant for your customers, like holding the door for them or helping them to their car, you’ll leave a lasting impression on them that will make them more likely to come back in the future and recommend your business to others.
You never know what kind of a day your customers are having, so make it a point to delight them. Putting a smile on their faces will leave them with a lasting impression that they won’t soon forget. People rarely remember what you say, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.
Often when businesses become successful, they start taking things for granted. Don’t let this happen to you! Always show your customers how appreciative you are of them and their business.
Remember, more often than not it’s the little details that customers remember, not necessarily the product they purchased or overall service they received. Keeping this in mind will help you determine how you’ll turn everyday customer moments into praiseworthy customer experiences.
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