New businesses pop up nearly every day, and some may be your competition. If you want to differentiate yourself from others, focusing on customer experience (CX) should be your top priority. Brands with a strong CX strategy stand out from the competition and develop a loyal following.
In a survey of businesses, 80% of organizations stated the main way they planned to compete with other businesses was through their customer experience. CX encompasses far more than just customer service. It digs into the reasons customers behave the way they do and down into everything from interactions with your employees to your website design to following-up after a sale.
If you want your customer experience to be better than that of your competitors, there are a few strategies you can keep in mind.
1. Know Your Core Values
What do you care about as a company? It’s very likely you’ll attract consumers who care about the same things. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is a good first step in improving the overall CX of your business. You can’t be everything to everyone, so it’s important to know who you are first before you try to serve the public at large.
Define what is important to you, personally, as the company leader, but also what is important to your company as a whole.
Zappos embraces their core values in an effort to improve the customer experience as well. Some of the values they’ve defined include building honest relationships, delivering “WOW” through their service and remaining humble. The values combined with their customer-centric focus make their service better than most online retailers.
2. Embrace Mobile
Mobile devices aren’t just the wave of the future — they’re here now, and more and more people access the internet via their smartphones. A website that is responsive to mobile devices can reduce bounce rates.
Think about how people navigate through your site and how that changes on a smaller screen. Are buttons easy to push with a swipe of the finger? Does everything load correctly?
3. Make Requests Simple
Put yourself in the mindset of your typical user. What would make life easier and what do they truly desire most? Think about all the contact points a customer has with your brand. Does your website meet their needs? When a buyer phones in, they should be directed to the department they need, and to an informed representative. If they want a sample, a quote or more information, make it as easy as possible for them to gain this information.
BYXS Commercial offers samples by simply checking off some boxes to the right side of the website and sharing some basic contact information. You can also phone them via their toll-free number listed in red at the top right of every website page.
4. Get to Know Your Customers
It’s hard to serve customer needs if you don’t fully understand who they are.
Do as much research as you can and analyze your current customers, their interests and pain points. What drives them to buy your product or service? Poll customers to get additional details, look at past buying habits and study your competitors’ customers. Once you have a picture of who your customers are, develop one or more buyer personas that represent your typical customer base.
In a recent study, researchers found that 76% of customers expect companies to not only meet their needs but to understand their desires and expectations. The better you understand your customers, the better you can meet their needs.
5. Personalize the Experience
People shouldn’t feel like they are just another face in the crowd when they interact with your brand. Stand out from your competitors by creating a highly personalized experience. Store phone numbers and use Caller ID to greet callers by their first name. Send out newsletters using their name rather than a generic greeting. Customize what the buyer sees when they land on your website.
Think about the many ways you can create a more specific interaction with your customers and your CX will improve automatically.
Bombfell encourages site visitors to take a survey. They then use that information to deliver product suggestions that match the customer’s preferences and purpose in visiting the site. By first offering a quiz, they tap into their customers on a very in-depth level other e-commerce stores may not have access to.
6. Add Virtual Assistants
Whether you add a chatbot or you use a computerized answering system for your phone, computerized VAs can reduce wait times and create a personal experience for a lower cost. A survey by Gartner of customer experience leaders who attended the Tokyo summit in February found that about 25% plan to use virtual customer assistants (VCAs) by 2020.
However, it’s true that VCAs can be aggravating to people, and especially to busy mobile phone users. Watch the process and don’t make the information-gathering phase too long before connecting people to a live agent. The process also helps automatically answer some questions and reduce the time for collecting info on others.
Make Small Improvements
There are dozens upon dozens of ways to improve your overall CX. The key to hitting your stride with your customers is finding a balance between implementing the strategies you can afford and the overall experience the consumer has when interacting with your brand on any platform. Try new tactics and keep the ones that work while losing the ones that don’t.
Guest post by Lexie Lu
Lexie is a graphic designer and UX strategist. She loves taking her Goldendoodle on long runs and checking out local flea markets. Visit her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.