What Does It Take to Win Customers Today? 3 Principles of an Effective Customer Experience

Casey BernartCustomer Experience, Staffing and Recruiting

In our on-demand world, the power has now shifted to the customer. The amount of information available, combined with the ability to access everything from our phone, has made it easier than ever to choose a competitor if your customer experience isn’t up to par.  

Many customers will choose a company because of their products and will leave them because of their service failures. 

The truth is if you’re not making your experience the focus, you’re likely to have transactional customers that only buy from you once. 

In the customer’s eyes, there always seems to be a less expensive option with more available and better customer service. Encouraging loyalty by providing an effective experience is the only way to succeed in today’s marketplace. 

The goal should be to enable your team to transform a negative situation into a positive interaction at every stage of your experience.

So what does effective experience mean and how can you make it a differentiator for your company? Start with these three principles. 

#1. Responsiveness

The first principle of a good experience is responsiveness to inquiries. 

We live in an era of instant gratification where everyone expects life on-demand. Recent studies show that 90% of customers view Immediate response (10 minutes or less) as important or very important. 

How do you respond to customers within this window if your team has limited resources? Bots.  

Chatbots provide instant response and, in many cases, can resolve a customer issue or request without even involving an agent. If an agent does need to be involved, the bot can easily collect customer information to save your employees time.

#2. Team Enablement

The second principle of a good experience is enabling your team to actively manage service interactions. 

Every employee should be armed to embody positivity throughout the experience to offset negativity and express empathy for understanding customer frustration.

They should be equipped with documentation of previous interactions with the customer to ensure that they are not treating them generically. 

It’s important to be able to differentiate between Susan, who has encountered the same implementation issue twice before, and John, who is reporting it for the first time.

Having this information readily available to everyone in the company using a system like Bullhorn is a great start towards better team enablement.

Your employees should also be providing proactive support and next issue avoidance. If they can head off issues before they arise, you are not only saving your customers time and potential frustration, you are saving your employees time and your company money.

#3. Frictionless

Lastly, people want their issues resolved with minimal effort on their end. This means little to no transferring between employees or channel switching. Your frontline employees need to know your product and how to resolve common issues. 

People never want to have to repeat themselves and give information that they have already provided. 

Meticulous documentation of customer interactions, in case an issue does need to be escalated, ensure that the next rep is already aware of exactly what issues the customer is experiencing and what previous measures have been taken to resolve them.

Many leaders believe that customers reach out because they want to engage with a human but most prefer self-service. 

Your company will benefit greatly by providing documentation for commonly asked questions, as well as an extensive knowledge base. Again, this will save both customer effort and company dollars.

Bonus: Start a Customer Effort Score (CES) Survey

Employing a CES (Customer Effort Score) survey is a great way for companies to track how they are providing an effective customer experience. 

The survey is two parts: rating the statement “Company XYZ made resolving my issue easy.” from 1-5 and an open-ended field for feedback. 

While CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) can provide valuable insight, it does not measure the effectiveness of the customer service interaction. 

People want an effective customer experience, meaning they want their issues addressed and resolved quickly without having to spend much effort on their end, and measuring this metric through a CES survey can prove to be very beneficial.

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