Want to increase your revenue by 70% within 36 months? All you have to do is invest in customer experience!
It’s true. A recent study by the Temkin Group found that companies with annual revenues of $1 billion that invest in customer experience earn an additional $700 million within three years of their initial investment. Granted, you probably don’t make a billion a year, but there’s a clear correlation between a great user experience and increased revenues.
But what is customer experience, anyway? Isn’t it just a new buzzword for customer service? Not quite.
Customer experience encompasses every aspect of your customer’s journeys. From the first advertisement they see to visiting your website or storefront (or both) to making a purchase, that‘s the customer experience. Whereas customer service is a more reactive form of communicating with customers that usually involves conflict resolution.
Customer experience is so much more than customer service, although customer service is an essential aspect of it. When you get the customer experience right, great things happen. Multiple studies have shown that the better the customer experience, the higher your customer satisfaction. Research has also shown that a high-quality customer experience reduces churn rates.
And this is really important—because customers have many options, and it doesn’t take much for a buyer to abandon their cart and leave you for another business. In fact, a whopping one in three customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
People care a lot about how brands make them feel during their buying journey. So much so that nearly three-quarters of consumers agree that customer experience is a deciding factor when making a purchase.
Convinced that you need to step up your customer experience? Follow these five steps to learn how!
How to Provide the Ultimate Customer Experience
Step #1: Get insurance
Securing insurance may seem like an unusual aspect of customer experience, but it really does matter. When you protect your business with the right type of insurance, you have more flexibility to offer the kinds of goods and services that make for a great customer experience.
For example, let’s say you’re a boutique owner and want to enhance your customer experience by offering champagne to browsing clients. To do so without compromising your liability, you need a robust insurance policy to cover any issues that may arise from serving alcohol to your patrons.
But beyond that, accidents and insurance claims can take a lot out of you and your business. If you don’t have the right coverage, situations resulting in an insurance claim can prevent you from providing the customer experience your customers expect from your business.
For instance, let’s say you manufacture and sell natural beauty products. Business is going great; people are raving about the customer experience and buying your product left and right—but the last batch of facial cleansers you shipped is giving people hives!
A faulty product isn’t an issue if you have liability insurance for your products. These policies protect you if you sell a defective product that doesn’t work as designed. So in the case of the cleanser, product liability would cover the customer’s medical costs to treat their damaged skin. And should one of them sue your company, your legal fees are covered, too. To get insurance, you need to ensure that your business is legally registered. The right business formation agency can help you with this process, and this SmallBusinessHQ comparison post can help you choose the right one.
Step #2: Understand your customer
To create a great customer experience, you need to know what kind of experience your customers want. The expectations of a 25-year-old female and a 55-year-old male are grossly different, and identifying the nuances in your target market is a must.
Leverage technology to understand who your customer is, but go beyond routine demographic information. Learn about their likes and dislikes, pain points, triggers, and buying behaviors. With this information, you can segment your market into specific buyer groups.
The key is to find out what gets their attention. What elicits an emotional response? It depends on your target market and market segments. Understanding this is important because 50% of customer experience is emotion-based.
And emotion is very closely tied to loyalty. Businesses that connect emotionally with their customers outperform their competition by 85%.
Step #3: Make a plan
Now that you know who your customers are and what they want, you can make a plan to create a customer experience they’ll love.
Start by identifying the touchpoints you have with your customers. These usually include your social media accounts, social media advertising, website, storefront, and even word of mouth. Then, map out all the ways your customers could go from hearing about your brand for the first time to becoming a customer.
Your customer journey map will probably look like a giant spider web because there are hundreds of possible touchpoint combinations. However, once you understand this, you can begin thinking about curating their journey with a stellar user experience.
What are your brand’s core values? What do you want customers to think about when they hear your company’s name? You want to consistently showcase these threads at every point in the customer journey.
Doing this well requires buy-in from every employee at every level and an omnichannel approach to your digital marketing strategy.
Step #4: Get personal
You may notice a strong correlation between personalization and conversion in your customer research. Customers want to feel special and unique, and a great customer experience delivers on those desires.
But the best experiences take this a step further with personalization. About half of all customers admit to making an impulse purchase because of a personalized customer experience. Another 70% of people say they’re more likely to buy from brands that understand their needs.
In the loud, crowded world of retail, people want to believe their one-in-a-billion voice is being heard directly by the companies they support. They know there’s a lot of competition for their business, and they want you to earn it by making them feel like valued individuals.
Step #5: Be consistent
Consistency is the bedrock of customer experience. If someone has a great customer experience during their first purchase and a terrible one during their second, research says they won’t return.
Customer experience loses its luster if it isn’t applied consistently, which is why you must understand your customer journey inside and out and get your employees on board with providing an elevated, consistent experience for all customers.
Customer experience is the new customer service. It isn’t going anywhere and will impact your business for better or worse. So now’s the time to kick things into gear to cultivate the best possible experience for your customers.
See also: How can I improve my chat experience?