If you want your business to grow — if you want good reviews and word of mouth that brings new business to your door without you having to spend hours upon hours of promotion — then you need to provide top notch customer experience. When your customers have a good experience shopping with you or receiving customer support from you, they are more likely to return. Not only that, but they’re likely to tell their friends.
But how do you provide a good customer experience? It’s important to understand what customers are looking for and what elements play into their experience in order to ensure the most success.
Before you even interact with your customers, you need to be able to understand them. Market research can help you get a sense of your target audience and what they’re looking for. A good customer experience for a tech startup targeting millennial professionals will have very different parameters from a good customer experience for a furniture company that targets senior retirees.
Make sure the market research that you conduct is current, as trends and priorities can shift over the course of a few years. You can also take a look at your competition — what has worked for them and what hasn’t when it comes to customer experience. Go into your launch and your interactions with customers prepared, so you know how to provide a good customer experience in the first place.
Branding and Advertising
The first way that customers interact with your business is through your brand and advertising. Is your brand pleasant and easy to engage with? Is it accessible and understandable? Do your advertisements relate to something that audiences know well? If not, you’re not likely to hook very many customers.
Take time to hone your brand in a way that provides the beginning of an experience. You want something inviting, relatable, and approachable. Your advertising should evoke the same feeling. Personalized marketing emails can also enhance customer experience by using their data and previously established preferences to reach them in the way that is most relevant to them.
Ease of Access
Customers are not famously known for their patience. If they have a difficult time accessing your website or storefront, making a purchase, or signing up, they will take their business elsewhere. That’s why it’s important to have clear navigation on your website, make your physical address and contact information easy to find, and make sure that it’s easy for customers to make their purchase or sign up.
Mobile access is also essential, with 91% of internet users accessing the internet through their mobile phone. If your website is only navigable through the desktop version, you have a problem. Make sure that your customer experience doesn’t falter through mobile access. You can even create an app for your business to enhance mobile access — and therefore customer experience.
Gaining new customers shouldn’t be a hassle, especially not for the customer. Many SaaS companies make onboarding easier by adding a feature to their software that allows new customers to import legacy documents and information with ease. This cuts down the time it will take to get used to the new software, so no one loses precious time.
If you have a rewards program that you want customers to sign up for, try to keep the steps simple and quick. Alternatively, you could offer a QR code that they can scan to allow them to sign up for rewards on their own time when it’s most convenient.
Even if you work to provide the best customer experience, there will still be times when things don’t go according to plan. Customers may have questions or concerns about your products or services. They may receive a product that was damaged in delivery or they may be unable to access their account.
It’s okay to have bumps in the road. What really makes a difference in terms of customer experience is how you navigate those bumps in the road. If your customers have to stay on hold for two hours and get bounced around from person to person because no one can figure out how to resolve their issue, that isn’t a good customer experience. If they have to jump through hoops to return a product or order a replacement, they probably won’t continue to work with you.
While you may not be able to provide a personalized experience for every single customer, you should make an effort to have the most efficient customer service and returns process possible. For instance, if you mail products to the customer, consider including a prepaid label that they can affix to the box in case they need to make a return.