We’ve all heard the classic customer service adage: the customer is always right. But if only attracting and keeping customers was that simple! In today’s world, customer experience (CX) has become a complex system of data, websites, social media, five-star reviews, engagement levels and much more. Thanks to globalisation and modern telecommunications, you’re not only competing with the other competitor in your town, but hundreds or thousands of organisations across the world.
For this reason, an exceptional customer service experience has become the benchmark of success. Organisations like Apple have become known for their customer service, offering free classes on how to use their products and comprehensive warranties for all their products. It’s no coincidence that they’re also one of the most profitable companies in the world.
At the end of the day, improving your customer service comes down to one important question: how do you create an outstanding customer experience that makes the most of technology without losing the human factor? By taking a closer look at the companies that have nailed their customer experience, there are three elements that we believe are the key to success â€“ and you’ll be surprised by what they are.
1. Bells and whistles are great, but team players are better.
It can be tempting to rely on technology and automated systems when it comes to interacting with customers. There’s no doubt that having a great website with a virtual assistant feature and a reminder to sign-up to your organisation’s newsletter can provide value. Automated systems certainly have their place in saving time and effort, and you should invest in some of these where you can.
But even if you have incredible technology, you can’t forget the most important thing: we are humans interacting with humans. Therefore, the best possible â€˜point of contact’ your customer can have is a helpful, passionate staff member who lives by the company’s ethos and brings a personal touch to your brand. Everybody wants to be seen and heard, and your customers are no different. Therefore, you should spend time investing in the face of your brand. Show your staff members that you care by encouraging open and honest conversation within your office environment. Get your team excited about the role they play within the organisation and what they can personally bring to the table. Support them if they are struggling and remind them to be aware of issues like workplace burnout. At the end of the day, treat people as you would wish to be treated â€“ which brings us to our second point.
2. â€˜Treat them mean, keep them keen’ isn’t the name of your customer experience, so why are you acting like it?
The customer experience is all about showing that you care. If you’re using technology to interact with customers, make sure you’re using it well. If you have your email system set up to send an automated reply when a customer contacts the organisation, that’s not an issue. In fact, it’s a great way to let customers know that their email has been received. But if the automated reply says that “our team will be in contact with you shortly”, make sure that someone actually does get in contact as soon as possible. If it takes a week to get back to them, are you really demonstrating that â€˜care factor’?
Use technology for good rather than evil â€“ spark conversations, listen to your customers’ needs and follow through with outstanding, personalised service. There’s no reason to remove the human factor, even if you are a team who interacts with customers solely behind a screen. Go above and beyond!
3. Dripping in data but the well has run dry.
When it comes to analysing data, one should take a carpenter’s approach: measure twice, cut once. Figure out what the one key indicator of your business’s success is, and then find two ways to measure it. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of numbers when there is so much data available, but don’t fall into this trap. Remember that just because you can measure every last detail, doesn’t mean you should!
Focus on what you know is important and put the rest aside. You can always take another look at the data if you’re running a specific campaign or want to try something new, but don’t feel like you need to examine on weekly basis.
Getting to the end game.
In the end, creating an incredible customer experience comes down to putting yourself in your customers’ shoes as often as possible. That’s why it is important to ask questions like, if I received this communication, how would it make me feel? Automation, fancy websites and customer journeys are all well and good, but don’t forget that these are simply the tools in your toolbox â€“ they can’t replace the human factor.
It’s time to stop trying to measure, automate and placate our customers with bells and whistles. Instead, creating a human-centred customer experience will generate the outstanding results that you’re looking for when it comes to your brand and business.