Top Customer Experience Tips to Steal from the Pros
As a human living in the 21st century, chances are you have your favorite businesses that make customer service a breeze or go above and beyond the call of duty.
As a professional with influence over the customer experience your business provides to your customers, you likely have a sense of which organizations are getting it right, whether they're your direct competitors or sources of inspiration in another line of business. While you can try to mimic, replicate or establish your own benchmarks to measure against based on these success stories, there's nothing more valuable than hearing how it's done directly from the pros.
That’s why we’ve released a new ebook that examines exactly how six companies in varying industries (including healthcare, transportation, and ecommerce) revamped their customer experience strategies and saw measurable results.
Here are some of the top tips you can steal today:
1. Re-evaluate your strategy with an outside-in approach
An engaged customer buys 90% more frequently, spends 60% more per transaction, and is five times more likely to stay exclusively loyal to your business, according to Rosetta. Ultimately, your customer experience strategy needs to be designed based on the preferences of your target customers – not legacy systems, budget restrictions, organizational structure or internal politics.
Kansas-based Centrinex, a national leader in contact center services, credits its tremendous growth in part to staying conscious of shifts in the market and new ways customers want to communicate. With clients in varying areas of business, such as customer service, government, and financial services, Centrinex recognizes that letting consumer habits influence the customer experience adds maximum value.
2. Examine the issues that frequently arise and ask: “How can we soften the blow?”
You can’t please everyone, and no business is immune to the occasional customer experience mishap. But you should know what could go wrong and take whatever steps you can to protect your customers. Evaluate issues that negatively impact your customers’ satisfaction and, if they’re unavoidable (such as weather conditions, emergency situations, unforeseen delays, etc.), determine ways to minimize the inconvenience and frustration they cause.
When revamping its customer engagement strategy, Red Funnel Ferries looked at proactive ways to contact its ferry riders in the event of a delay or timetable change. Employees can now easily communicate service disruptions directly on customers’ preferred platforms: social media and SMS. As a bonus, this approach reduces the inbound call volumes and pressure on the contact center when these inevitable instances do arise.
3. Let ROI projections make the purchase decisions for you
Company purse strings tight? While there are areas of the customer experience strategy that can be improved with low financial impact, often a larger investment (such as upgrading your technology or working with a consultant) can yield the highest returns.
Consider where your major roadblocks and inefficiencies lie, and do an honest analysis of the potential ROI from every big spend. For Aerial Capital Group, a transport logistics company operating Canberra’s largest fleet of taxis and hire cars, investing in automation meant interactive voice response (IVR) would handle 42 percent of all calls. This significantly dropped the number of required call center agents and created annual budget savings of $1.2 million—all from letting the numbers speak for themselves.
4. Deliver 24/7 service without 24/7 staffing
Today’s mobile consumer demands the freedom to communicate with your business when and how it’s convenient for them, as evidenced by the ever-rising usage of web self-service and SMS. Luckily, this means constant availability no longer requires human capital.
In fact, La Citadelle Regional Hospital saw a dramatic decrease in missed appointments – a serious problem consistently plaguing the healthcare provider – after implementing online booking and a text messaging service to remind patients of upcoming visits and allow them to respond via SMS in order to confirm or postpone. The lesson? Letting your customers take their experience into their own hands can truly be win-win.
5. Maintain consistency, no matter where, when or how
Customers are selfish when it comes to customer experience—and why shouldn’t they be? They have instant access to your competitors and the ability to jump to whichever business is easiest to deal with. They don’t care what your infrastructure looks like on the back end or the fact that you have disparate teams handling the different steps of the customer journey. They want quality service, period.
With over 45,000 hotels in 147 countries and 6,000 employees worldwide, online accommodation wholesaler Hotelbeds knew it required a solid communications network that guaranteed capacity, fluidity and scalability of its platforms and applications in order to provide a consistent customer experience from any geographical location. Explains Juan Luis Pujol, IT Logistics Services Manager, “Each contact center provides different services to different customers, but the technology is the same for all of them.”