As consumers, we can all relate when experiences at a store or online website are bad. Whether you’re dealing with slow website loading times, order cancellations, bad customer service or a generally terrible product, these are all things that can turn you sour on a business.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a look at how you get more clients, keep your old ones and increase the average sales price of your products and services by designing a flawless customer experience.
What is a Customer Experience?
In order to design your own customer experiences, you’ll first need to know what a customer experience is.
To make things easy to follow, we'll ask you to recall on your most recent experience with Apple, Telstra or McDonald’s. Chances are that you were already aware of all the products and services available to you in these stores because of the vast menus and great advertising. Add to this their effortless ordering process, immediate delivery, great customer service, and a quality product and you have yourself a winning customer experience. Now, just imagine the hard work that goes into creating this experience.
Presently, we’re stepping well and truly into an all-digital age. There’s no room for error when customer experiences are concerned. You will lose customers or clients to other business in the blink of an eye because it’s so easy for them to switch. All a customer needs to do is Google or Instagram search and they’ll find a new business to buy from - Money Monarch is here to help make sure that doesn't happen.
Put Customer Emotions First
In the experience economy, a great product takes a back seat (sort of). Think about the last time you bought an iPhone or even a meal in a fast food restaurant - you already knew that the product was going to be fantastic so you’re only really thinking about the experience that’s unfolding. Whether it be with a happy customer service rep who’s smiling and handing over your meal, or a bright ‘Thank You!’ notice on a website after purchasing a product, these are all things that add to your customer experience.
If you run a business, one of the first things on your to-do list should be to check whether you’re providing a happy, positive and memorable experience for your customers. Are your products priced correctly? Is there a ‘thank you’ email being sent out? Do you make your customer help services known? And of course, do your customers or clients feel comfortable working alongside you?
It’s absolutely imperative that as a business you design a customer experience strategy to go alongside your service offering. It’ll pay off in the long term and keep your customers coming back to you.
Enhance Backstage Processes
As you’d expect, customer experience design covers what your clients and customers see when they interact with your business and its services, however, you have to make sure there are clear backstage experiences too.
These types of experiences are affected by how your business’s policies operate. How do you handle returns? Does your business operate efficiently enough to meet deadlines? You must find the missing pieces of the puzzle backstage to get all of your front end and backstage experiences working together in harmony.
If you find that deadlines are hard to meet, then structure your services in an entirely new way that gives you more time to complete them. You can ‘conceal’ slower processes by telling a client that you’re going to spend 3 days on an initial project and then just 24 hours on the final - even if you’re spending 1 day on the first stage and 3 days on the final. They won’t know the difference and in doing this you’ll improve the customer’s perceived experience.
When invoices, bills and other processes begin to come in the way of offering a great customer experience, then it’s time to reach out to an accountant who take care of all these issues for you. The backend is essential, the pillar holding up your business and with poor financial processes and invoicing your business could collapse.
Deeply Understand Your Client & Buyer Persona’s
This is where the market research stage comes in. To make customers feel attracted to your business and ensure they’re happy to work with you, you’ll need to understand what type of people they are and which types of experiences they react positively with.
It’s best to begin with their age group, gender, behavioural type and pain points to begin with since these are most important. If you’re a business with a majority customer base of baby boomers, you don’t want to suddenly offer all of your services through a hard-to-use mobile application. Additionally, if your customer’s pain points aren’t being met, they’re not likely to return to you.
If you’d like some steps or a guide for creating a customer persona, take a look at Qualatrics fantastic example here.
Apply Your Changes and Monitor
Now that you have an idea of a few of the essential steps to take to earn more money through customer experiences, you need to monitor if your changes are working. Take a look at whether customers are returning more frequently, leaving positive reviews or whether they’re beginning to dislike the business and leave.
Our tip here is to use customer relationship management software to take a look at the sort of responses or feedback you’re getting. Without any knowledge of what your results are, you might be going backwards.