For just a second, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think back to a time when you had a really fantastic shopping experience. How did it make you feel? Now consider the last time you had a poor buying experience. Have you ever purchased from that company again?
You’ve heard it time and time again: Providing your customers with an excellent buying experience should be at the top of your priority list if you want to see long-term success. The concept is easy to understand—a happy customer is more likely to become a loyal customer—but the notion of providing a best-in-class buying experience is often misunderstood as being great for the buyer but bad for business. Yet that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Providing a top-notch customer experience doesn’t necessarily involve jumping through a million hoops in order to prioritize your customers’ needs over your company’s wellbeing. On the contrary, your business shouldn’t be yielding to every issue just to keep customers happy. An effective customer experience, in its simplest terms, entails helping the buyer feel good about choosing to work with your company over your competitors.
Building a great customer experience—if approached correctly—will earn your company more sales, entice additional customers, and build tighter relationships. Every business has a goal of ultimately boosting long-term revenue in today’s progressively competitive business landscape. Here’s how to do it well.
What’s the Difference Between Customer Experience and Customer Service?
Many business owners think that customer service and customer experience are one and the same. While it’s true that the concepts are related, customer service is just one part of the greater whole that is customer experience. Defined as the one-on-one communication between a consumer making a purchase and a representative of the company selling it, customer service is just one piece of the larger puzzle.
Customer experience is the sum of the entire customer’s journey with your business. It’s a broader term that encompasses the way your customer thinks of your brand throughout every stage of their journey. Possible customer experience activities include:
- Providing useful information on your website through blog posts, FAQs, and interviews with industry experts
- Including extra perks when delivering products, such as unique packaging, branded stickers, and helpful pamphlets
- Minimizing the online buying process by reducing steps that the customer must take before purchasing a product
- Offering support channels so that customers can easily get their questions answered, such as a live chat function, a responsive email address, and a phone support line
- Forming a user-friendly returns process
The customer experience—sometimes referred to as CX—covers every touchpoint a customer has throughout their buying journey. The process must be smooth, pleasant, and user-friendly from the time the customer hears about you in a blog post they found on Google to when they buy your product and call in with a question.
What Makes a Good Customer Experience?
There’s no single universal checklist that will guarantee a good customer experience, but there are certainly some broad techniques that you can apply to your business strategy that will help improve the customer’s buying journey. Here are just a few:
- Use customer feedback to get a better grasp of the user’s habits and tendencies
- Put a system into practice that helps you document feedback in order to evaluate it and implement changes consistently
- Solve your customers’ direct and precise problems
- Avoid long wait times and unresolved issues or questions
- Censor rude employees and unfriendly service
The idea is not difficult to understand, but it can sometimes be tricky to master. A good customer experience derives from asking questions, listening to your customer’s needs, and providing valuable feedback.
Experts often break down the user experience—and how to improve it from a business perspective—into a few basic steps. Begin by identifying opportunities to improve your website’s speed, convenience, and service. Then, determine the numbers that can measure your performance in these areas. After implementing said changes in accordance with the resources you have available, examine your progress and swiftly correct anything that needs to be fixed.
Remember, this is not an easy process to put into practice, and you won’t see changes overnight. But with the right amount of time and effort, you’ll start noticing quantifiable improvements in your overall revenue and brand reputation.
The Bottom Line
While it’s not unreasonable for a customer to buy a product despite a poor user experience, the odds that your company can retain future business from that same customer is slim-to-none. Utilizing your extra resources in the short-term to ensure that the user has an optimal buying experience from start-to-finish and beyond will ultimately help your business in the long run.
In 2020—a digital age where ecommerce and search engines are king—it’s more important than ever to outlast the ever-competitive digital opposition. By implementing a good user experience through customer feedback and researched data points, you’re one step closer to increasing your profits and improving your overall business.
Setting the Example for a One-of-a-Kind Client Experience
If you’re running a business pursuing an enriched customer experience, consider hiring a dedicated marketing team to help you apply creative strategies and benchmark valuable data. At Market My Market, your client experience is our top priority. Contact the experts at Market My Market for a free consultation today.