A Good Customer Experience
The Key to the Success
Previously companies competed with the quality of the products and services, but during the past few years, the emphasis has shifted to the customer experience. Developing the customer experience forces the companies to think their services from the customers' point of view. In this article, we go through some factors that have an effect on customer experience.
What is a customer experience
Why good customer experience is so important
How to create a good customer experience
Measuring the customer experience
Developing the customer experience
Customer experience is connected to the rise of the internet and social media. Customers buy more products thanks to recommendations. The better the customer experience you offer, the more your customers want to recommend you.
It's important to understand that the customers are not just subjects of your marketing and sales efforts but in the centre of your business. Even though your product would be of high quality, your customers will be your competitor's customers if your customer experience is not good.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the subjective experience that forms in the customer's mind as a result of many things.
The customer experience is the sum of many parts: brand, website outlook, customer service efficiency, tone of communication etc. Positive and coherent customer experience guides and enhances the purchase process and guarantees your company growth and success.
Customer experience starts from the moment the customer finds out that your company exists. Customer experience can form through Google, website, advertising or other means of communication.
It's good to keep in mind that the customer experience continues after the customer is not connected to your company any more. This is the reason why customer experience management needs to be ongoing and not to treat it as a single project.
Customer experience can be the differentiating factor that gets the customer buy from you and not from your competitor. You can achieve the sales thanks to excellent customer experience even though your competitor's prices would be lower.
Why good customer experience is so important?
Customers want to have as much information as possible before buying anything to confirm that they are making the right decision. People ask for recommendations from their friends and search for them on the internet.
If our friends or colleagues recommend a product or a service, we probably trust their word more than advertising and consider buying from the same company.
Digitalisation and the rise of social media have amplified the good and bad customer encounters. Often people share their remarkable experiences in social media whether they were excellent or bad.
Extraordinary customer experience exceeds expectations
The be able to create positive customer experiences you have to understand the customers' expectations and exceed them. This way, it's more probable that your customers share their positive experiences. It's much more effective marketing than just advertising.
It's also useful to try to turn negative customer experience into a positive one so that you won't lose the customer.
It does not always require much to turn negative customer experience into a positive one; often swift action and maybe a small reduction in price are more than enough.
The rumours of negative customer experiences spread fast and can create a bad reputation and drive out potential clients. In the end it's usually much more expensive to forget developing the customer experience than using money to manage the customer experience. Customer experience takes place in the customer's mind, whether you wanted it or not.
Creating a customer experience starts when you understand the customer's expectations. Then you can plan how to exceed these expectations.
Measuring the customer experience
You can measure the customer experience with different tools and means. The best way for measuring depends on the clientele and industry. Here are some options:
- Ask how you could serve the customer better. It's more informative than "How did we succeed today?"-question.
- Analyse the collected information from different viewpoints.
- Measure the NPS (Net Promoter Score): ask from your client after the interaction that how probably they would recommend the service to others on the scale from 1 to ten. It's natural to ask for an NPS score at the end of a chat conversation. Read more about NPS.
- Measure CES (Customer Effect Score), which was developed to focus on customer service.
- CSAT measures the customer's satisfaction related to the service they've had.
- You can collect customer reviews with the help of a Google My Business account.
Customer service as a part of the customer experience – improving the customer experience
According to research, sales and customer experience are the most important things that affect the customer experience. It's important to understand where the customer and company have a touchpoint. These touchpoints create the customer journey map.
When creating a customer journey map, the company goes through the process from the customers' perspective. Could the company answer customers' inquiries faster? Could the customer service agents answer through chat too? What would be the best touchpoint for a chatbot? When the company maps the customer journey, there will often be new possibilities for sales and marketing.
When the company understands the customers' expectations it's easier to exceed those expectations. That's what the development process of the customer experience is all about. – When you know your customers, you know how they behave in customer service and sales encounters.
Technology and the customer experience
Technology has created new possibilities to improve the customer experience. Social media makes it easier to contact the customers and get information about them and their habits and beliefs.
Mobile phones and tablets have enabled communication from anywhere. So the customer is not necessarily at home by their computer. Location technologies make it possible to target marketing communications more specifically.
But the most important thing to remember is that technology is just a tool to improve customer experience.
In a rush to bring new technology into use, there might be several different projects that are all barely managed from the customer experience's point of view.
Otherwise, the technology might not be well integrated into to the company everyday process and thus might even make the customer experience worse. – Everyone knows how annoying it is to receive marketing emails that are not interesting or another kind of non-relevant communications.
Before starting the project, it's essential to consider the organizational challenges that might be needed to tackle to enable the change. When there are right people, enough time, money and other resources, it's more probable that technical integration improves the customer experience.
How can you improve the customer experience with a chatbot?
A chatbot is a software that simulates the discussion between a customer and an agent. Chatbot offers various possibilities to improve the customer experience. But for the bot to function this way, it needs to be built from the customer's point of view. Before you use the bot site-wide, we recommend to test it with a limited selection of customers. Read more about chatbots.
Chatbot is on 24/7
Often customer service chats are open only during the daytime. If a customer lands at a website on Saturday but does not get any kind of help, they probably leave to go to the competitor's site.
Customers want to choose when they can buy products and services. The solution can be a chatbot that makes the communication possible 24/7.
A bot can help the customers to go through the buying path any time of the day. But chatbots can assist customers also when the customer service agents are available - bots can be programmed to offer answers in seconds to most frequently asked questions.
An illogical bot can harm customer experience. That's why a chatbot project needs to be planned without hurry even there would be an urgent need for it.
There is a real danger to lose the customer if they get frustrated with bot communication. When the bot does not know how to help humans step in - chatbots will never fully replace human service agents.
Chatbot supporting a customer service agent
Human customer service is needed to back up the chatbot. The chatbot is relevant to speed up the customer service process so that the chatbot asks the routine questions before adding a human service agent to the conversation.
A chatbot can pick the email the customer has sent so that the agent knows previous communication. A bot can also provide additional products or services.
Chatbot itself is just a tool - the effect on customer experience depends on how useful and easy to use the chatbot is for customers. Read more about chatbots
Would you like to know how useful the chatbot could be for your company's customer experience? Book now time for a free chatbot consultation!