You might remember what you ordered, especially if the food was really good (or really bad). But, the first memory that came to you was most likely related to your experience in that restaurant. Maybe it was the atmosphere and lighting, the service and presentation of the food, or even the table that you sat at – if the chair was wobbly or the tabletop sticky. No matter what specific thing you thought of first, it probably related to how being in that restaurant made you feel.
Business interactions aren’t much different. Your customers make their purchasing decisions based on how working with you makes them feel. This makes it incredibly important to create positive experiences that delight your customers. After all, their satisfaction can lead to additional revenue or referrals for your business.
How do you create a great customer experience?
It’s more than offering a smile or a box of cookies. To create a great customer experience, you need to deeply understand your customer. Build buyer personas and a customer journey map to help you determine who your customers are, what they’re looking for, and how you can help them find it. You should include you sales and marketing team to help gain customer perspectives. Use these five steps to help you construct your buyer personas and customer journey:
- Identify your customers’ challenges and how you can help solve them
- Create a plan for building positive connections with customers
- Ask past customers for feedback on what you can do to improve
- Craft helpful, engaging, educational content with the customer in mind
- Build communities for your audience
Once you build your buyer personas and create a customer journey map, you’ll know who your customers are and what they need. Next, define how you can meet those needs and what you can do to reduce any friction in the journey. For example, let’s say you are a service organization that customers contact for support. Consider reducing hold times for phone calls by adding additional staff or a call-back option. Or, perhaps add a chat feature to your website. This allows your customers to find answers to quick FAQs or chat directly with a team member. The easier you can make it for your customers to get the answers they need, the better their experience will be.
Define your customer experience strategy.
Now that you have the foundation defined, you can build your customer experience strategy. Gather insight from across your business departments, not just from those team members in customer-facing roles. You can then leverage this information and bring your entire team together to work towards the same goal – improving experiences for your customers.
To build your strategy, analyze and optimize these key areas of the customer experience:
- Reachability – What channels is your business active on, and how are those channels being used?
- Service Convenience – What channels are you using to provide service? Can customers serve themselves?
- Purchase Convenience – Is there any friction in the purchase process?
- Personalization – Are you meeting the individual needs of customers?
- Simplicity/Ease of Use – Is the information you provide optimized for mobile? Is the customer journey labor-intensive, or straightforward?
- Channel Flexibility – Is a history of customer behavior, transactions, and conversations being applied across all channels?
Visit HubSpot’s blog to learn more.
In order to be competitive in today’s experiential environment, you need to define a customer experience strategy. Not only will this help you to provide the best service possible to your customers, but will encourage them to keep spreading the news about your business to their family and friends. Although defining and implementing a new strategy is not a short-term fix, it certainly yields long-term results.