Written by: CCW NOLA
In our modern business landscape, especially with the ever-growing presence of social media in our daily lives, providing consistent positive customer experiences has become critical to maintaining a favourable brand reputation.
We’ve all seen social media posts from unhappy customers go viral- these posts can have a detrimental effect on your brands reputation and your audiences desire to do business with your company. Prevent negative social media posts by keeping customer experience front of mind with all employees regardless of whether their role is typically client-facing, and by taking these four steps to creating a positive customer experience.
1. Design your website with user-experience in mind.
In most industries, some if not all, customer interactions can now happen online. Considering this fact, it is imperative to your business that your website is created with user-experience in mind. Include social sharing buttons on content or products offered on your site, this will facilitate sharing of your site on social media by your customers, resulting in user recommendations and social proof for your brand. Ensure that your site runs quickly and test repeatedly for glitches. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to navigate a site to pay a bill or make a purchase and having to repeat the process because there was a website error or because the server timed out due to slow loading. Finally, design your site to be uncluttered, readable and include simple forms and checkout processes. A website that is hard to read or hard to navigate will result in higher drop-off and cart abandonment rates, when building and testing your site imagine that you are the customer and make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible.
2. Take your relationship to the next level.
Customers love to feel appreciated, and those that do are more likely to share their experiences with friends or online. Send “thank you” messages and gifts that your customers will appreciate and will want to share on their social channels. Don’t be afraid to get personal with your customers, send email campaigns that are based on your customers specific purchase history and remember their preferences so that content can be tailored to them. Gift your customers with a birthday discount or coupon and send holiday well-wishes out on your social channels, in person, and in your email marketing. Finally, always remember your top customers, and let them know they are appreciated. Dedicate a customer service team member to the job of locating your top customers, identifying their wants and needs using their purchase history with your company as well as their social channels, and sending them a personalized gift that they will be sure to share online. This not only reinforces your strong relationship with that customer, but it creates a fear of missing out for others who see that gift and want to work with a company that appreciates their customers.
3. Hire for values, and incentivize employees to encourage positive experiences.
There are a number of ways to encourage your employees to create positive experiences for your customers, public acknowledgment and celebration as well as gifts and bonuses for exemplary behaviour are just a few examples. This involvement can create a positive workspace for your employees, where they feel not only that they have enough training to provide excellent customer service, but one in which they feel encouraged to go above and beyond for the customer. Companies with happy employees and high employee retention rates also have higher customer retention rates. During the hiring process, ask questions that will provide insight into a potential employee’s values, and only choose employees who have a real passion for providing excellent customer service, rather than those who are simply going through the motions.
4. Send company personnel to a customer experience conference.
Encourage your employees (and yourself) to network with fellow customer experience professionals and establish a friendly communicative relationship. Sharing your ideas and experiences with others and then making corresponding adjustments to your customer service strategy is a strong method of improving your customer’s experiences and your brand reputation. Present your employees with the ability to constantly learn and grow by sending them to a customer service convention or training session like Customer Contact Week. The Customer Contact Week annual winter conference is the world’s largest customer contact event series, packed with exhibitors, speakers, and workshops that allow customer care, CX, and contact center leaders to come together for an unforgettable experience, and leave ready to make a difference for their customers.