When people are parting with money they might be struggling to find, the very least companies can do is to ensure their experience brings them pleasure: So much of a pleasure that they hardly feel the pain of parting with their cash and will be keen to do so again. In crowded market-places and with people and companies finding it financially more and more challenging, only the exceptional will do.
If you make cautious enquiries about improving your CX, there will be no shortage of companies offering their services. They may suggest improvements to your website. Mysteriously, ninety per cent of them will tell you you need a new one. They may recommend expensive if glossy optimizations, but would a new website or enhanced optimization keep your customers happy? And equally important, would either bring you ROI?
Customer experience and customer journey have become buzz phrases and latched onto by website companies in particular, but what really matters is the principle of putting the customer at the heart of everything the company does. Achieving that might, but equally might not, require those services. If you are investing money, it has to bring a genuine return that will translate into happy, loyal customers that keep on spending – more ideally. Any investment should enhance your reputation as a company to which customers matter.
Tech that delivers first-class data can be an asset unseen by the customer.
It will give you what you need to optimize your acquisition costs and should also be keeping you continually updated on your customer’s fast-changing spending trends. You need to be ahead of the game on these, now more than ever, knowing what is working, what people like about you, and continually correcting what they don’t. Data is king and gives you the ability to personalize, which is a crucial part of customers feeling that they matter individually.
Automation is great for some of your marketing; the optimized repeat contacts or tempting offers sent to possible clients are a good example. But while a good Q and A page is a business essential, there are still too many companies, even prominent household names, falling down on this. Using a mix of limited chatbots and a website on which getting answers sends customers whirling in circles faster than the proverbial dervish is not putting the customer first. It is tech to save money at the cost of service.
Too often, customers are sent in circles from contact page back to the Q and A page without any answer, leaving them angry and upset. Q and A pages should be there to make your customer’s life easier. They must deliver solutions quickly, including contact details for unsolved queries.
The customer experience is often a much-neglected area of post-sales. Just as salespeople often fail to ask for a referral, websites often drop customers from a great height once an order has been paid for. Yet this is a moment you want your customer to be extra happy. Saying thank you is just a start, and too often, sandwiched in a small box at the top, no one bothers to look at it. Telling customers when they will get their confirmation or even their delivery would be helpful. Giving them a contact should they have any questions or if there is a problem would offer absolute transparency.
Some companies ask how the website was at this stage. There are feedback benefits to this. But for the customer, it can feel like being asked for a review before receiving the goods. It has to be carried out with care. Equally, when you collect feedback, act on it. Too much ends up in an unused report in an archive somewhere.
Customers should be heard. Make it easy and attractive for customers to stay with you with your loyalty programmes. Make it equally easy for them to give you reviews. And – crucially important – reward them for referrals.
Happier customers who feel valued are less likely to return goods, leading to more savings. Never forget the cost of gaining new customers against a small investment of retaining old ones. And that customers are human beings and need to be treated as such. Tec