The customer is always right, right? Well, yes. But it's important to know that the adage of customer service now extends far beyond creating a pleasant experience and more about creating a competitive advantage.
Having the first-class customer experience is no longer a perk. Customer experience is a necessity. The good news is, there are now more dynamic and exciting ways to create the kind of positive customer experience that benefits your business.
Looking to tap into the right experience for your customers and give your business the competitive edge you've been looking for? Read on for all you need to know to get started.
The Foundation for Creating Competitive Advantage
Before we dive into the different elements that can enhance your customer's experience, it's essential to be sure that you're starting with the right foundation.
Not every method will work for every type of audience. That's why it's crucial to be sure of exactly who you're speaking with.
This requires a fair amount of audience research that should be done before we implement anything.
Creating an ideal client avatar is a smart way to put yourself in both the mind and the shoes of your customer.
You should have enough research to adequately answer questions like what is my client thinking right before they purchase my product? What keeps them up at night? Why is it that my product can help them more than any other product?
If you're unsure, then it's wise to turn to client feedback for greater insight.
You can do this by running research groups, or by utilizing surveys to accumulate the data you need.
Once you have a clear understanding of your client's expectations, then you're ready to begin.
Start from the Inside
When it comes to customer experiences, businesses typically look straight at buzz words like UX design and interactive webpages.
While these factors are necessary, and we will be getting to them shortly, start with inside your business.
This means taking a look at the fundamental process of how your business works. You need to know how it interacts with your customers each day.
If you have a physical store, walk through your store, or hire someone to do it for you anonymously.
What's the first thing that catches your eye when you walk through the door? How long does it take you to be greeted? If you were looking for something specific, how easy would it be to navigate and find what you're looking for without help?
While these may seem like simple details, these are the factors that will truly make or break your client returning to you over your competition.
You also want to look at your customer service. If you haven't taken the time to create a reliable customer service script, now's the time to do it.
Remember, while customer service is primarily intended to help the customer solve the problem that doesn't mean that there isn't room for sales here.
The trick is to be subtle about it. A product or service should be offered only after all other solutions have been exhausted. The customer should always feel as though their best interest is being looked after.
Another area of customer service that often goes overlooked is the follow-up. Too often, a customer is assisted with the problem only to never hear from them again.
But what happened after that?? Did they find the solution they need? Did they need more help? How are you supposed to know unless they pick up the phone to call you back again?
A follow-up call is a great way to show your customers that you care. You are truly dedicated to making sure that they are experiencing exactly what they were looking for with your product.
If not, this gives you a second chance to make it up to them. If so, you can guarantee they won't forget that you took the time to reach out anyway.
Once upon a time, it was enough to throw up an eye-catching ad on a billboard and call it a day. These days, it takes a little more.
Thanks to the fact that we now have the attention span of a goldfish, customers need a reason to engage with the brand's marketing, not just observe it.
For example, you can look at Kitcat's venture of turning the park bench into a giant Kit Kat bar.
Giving your customers a playful experience even though your marketing to them allows them to associate those positive feelings with your brand. This, in turn, should make them want to return to you again and again.
You can also build your marketing and branding around what truly matters. Platforms aren't just for politicians.
If your research shows you that your ideal customer is environmentally conscious, go out of your way to show them that you are too.
Host an event that allows both you and your audience to work together towards a common ground.
All of these experiences come together to create a strong rapport with your brand that, in turn, creates more loyalty.
Websites and Social Media
We told you we would get to this.
It's a fact, your website and social media pages are one of the first places your potential customers will go. This is where they go to learn more about your brand.
So how are you taking advantage of this? One way is to be sure that your website is easy to navigate.
So many businesses have made their website far too complicated, resulting in potential customers losing their patience before ever finding what they're looking for. That is bad UX.
This is another opportunity to hire blind testers. They can go through your website and make a list of what worked for them and what didn't.
You can also install heat sensors onto your webpage, which will show you exactly where your webpage visitors bounce and where they engage the most.
Remember, the majority of your website traffic now comes from a mobile phone or tablet. This means if your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're not making an excellent first impression.
Your social media is the same. How often are you posting? Not only do you need to be posting consistently, but you need to be posting content that creates engagement.
You don't need to lecture to your audience. You need to open up a conversation. That means the information, photos, and articles that you're sharing need to be ones that encourage discussions.
Make them want to share the post with their friends and network.
Go Big or Go Home
There's a reason why the employees working at Disneyland and Disney World are called the cast. That's because they are immersed in creating the dream. This dream is being presented to those that visit the park.
Are your employees fully dedicated? Have you taken the time to look at every single detail of your experience to ensure that it fully immerses your audience into what your brand is about?
This is where it pays to go big. There is no such thing as overdelivering, and your repeat sales will show you just how important it truly is.
Just be sure that any of the changes that you make in the process of creating a stronger experience are sustainable. Customers are susceptible to changes.
This means you don't want them to get comfortable with a benefit that you'll only be taking away from them later on.
The Help You Need to Create an Experience You Want
Creating a competitive advantage doesn't have to be a massive ordeal. In fact, with the right strategy team behind you, you can deliver long-lasting service that becomes a staple of your brand.
Not quite sure what we mean? Contact us today so we can sit down and discuss how our many services can deliver the results you're looking for.
We know how passionate you are about giving your clientele a great experience. Allow us to help you find the areas in which your business can excel.