It doesn’t occur to many businesses that customer experience, like other business disciplines like marketing and branding, requires a strategy to keep it on track. Just like those other disciplines, it’s important to plan, train your staff, and measure results as much as possible. Let’s take a look at five steps to creating a killer customer experience strategy to grow your business.
1. Identify your ideal customer
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar or a website, your design, layout, and presentation isn’t going to please everyone. Are you a luxury brand? Are you targeting young people? Is you ideal customer a business owner? All of these things require a different approach to customer service. Your customer experience strategy isn’t a catch-all net, it needs to be geared toward the specific customers you want to grow your business around. The more information you are able to gather about your customer demographics and personalities, the more you are able to target your customer service strategy. Try to gather as much data as possible and use analytics to track your customer breakdowns online and off.
2. Ask questions
In some cases, customers have an idea of what they want but not exactly what they want. In other cases, customers have specific needs but have no idea what they want. It’s important to ask customers questions that go straight to their needs and identify solutions for them. The more questions you ask, the better you will understand your customer, and the better your business can serve him. By taking the time out to understand them, rather than rushing through a sale, you also reduce the need for customer guesswork and make it far less likely that he will look elsewhere for a better solution. Train your customer service staff to ask specific questions that will guide them to create a more targeted customer service experience.
3. Know the answers
If you sell a product or service, it’s imperative that you and everyone on your customer service staff know everything there is to know about your business, your competitors, and your industry. By educating your customer, you become more than just a business, you become a go-to resource for a person that needs someone with technical expertise that they can rely on.
4. An unhappy customer is an opportunity
Just because a person isn’t satisfied with one instance doesn’t mean you can’t turn them into a regular customer. Not every unsatisfied customer is angry, most are simply disappointed they didn’t get exactly what they wanted. Develop a strategy for how you deal with unhappy customers. Apologize, offer a refund or exchange if reasonable, and offer to go an extra step to ensure they are satisfied the second time around. It’s true, some customers you are never going to be able to please, but offering to make amends can actually strengthen a relationship between a business and a customer.
5. Follow up.
Not every unhappy customer will voice their dissatisfaction. Not every customer will let you know they actually needed something else on top of what they paid for. Not every customer will buy right away. Not every customer will remember you. All these reasons make it imperative that you follow up via phone, email, or social media to further ensure that the customer is satisfied. Don’t settle, make a simple checklist of customers and make sure that you or your staff reach out to each one.
The most important thing to remember when planning your customer experience strategy is that a business can’t be everything to everyone. There’s a specific customer niche that your business has inherently cut out for itself and those are the people you are trying to grow your business around.