Localogy Insider periodically invites specialists in fields relevant to our community to share an ExpertTake, practical advice on how to do the business of local better. In this installment, BirdEye‘s Ruchika Bhata offers five ways to improve customer experience.
Customer experience is the No. 1 differentiator for businesses across verticals. According to Gartner, CX drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, outperforming brand and price combined. However, the same study found that 70% of CX leaders struggle to implement projects that drive customer loyalty.
These studies highlight an important fact: though customer experience is vital, it’s not easy to identify areas of improvement. Let’s share five ways you can start improving your clients’ overall experience and drive retention.
Offer Instant Responses on Your Website
Seamless customer experience means that reaching out to your client should be easy for a customer. Being able to reach a relevant representative or being left on hold for a long time creates unnecessary friction and leads to customer frustration.
Many businesses are still relying primarily on outdated modes of communication like phone calls and email. While neither of these channels are “dead” by any stretch of the imagination, they don’t offer instantaneous responses. Often, emails get lost in inboxes. And phone calls often reach voicemail, even during business hours.
To reduce potential friction in communication, consider implementing a chat solution on your clients’ website. With this, customers can get a response to your questions within seconds. Even businesses without the resources to support a live chat team can use automated chatbots to answer customer queries instantly.
Collect Touchpoint and Relationship Data
In order to improve your overall experience, it’s important to collect data from customer feedback. There are two types of data your clients should consider collecting: relationship data and touchpoint data.
Relationship data measures a customer’s overall attitude towards the brand. A common example of relationship data is Net Promoter Score, which asks how likely customers are to recommend the business to friends and family on a scale of 0-10.
On the other hand, touchpoint data measures the effectiveness of specific points within the customer journey. For example, a financial services business might ask a customer to rate their interaction with a support representative.
Both of these different types of data serve important purposes. Relationship data can help give insight into the overall experience, while touchpoint data helps to identify specific areas where operations need to be improved. Both are necessary to create a seamless customer experience.
Create a Process for Handling Negative Feedback
No matter how great your business operations are, there are inevitably going to be service failures. Being proactive and having a process in place to deal with these failures ensures that these angry customers are contacted as soon as possible and that any potential repercussions are mitigated.
One of the common avenues for customers to express frustrations is review sites like Facebook and Google. In order to deal with these customers effectively, businesses need to have processes in place to make sure that these queries are dealt with swiftly. Customer service representatives should be able to monitor these sites and reach out in a timely manner before the customer’s negative opinion about your client’s business is crystallized.
Improve Employee Experience
Happy employees are more likely to provide great customer experiences. Studies show that business units with engagement and connection scores in the top 25% had 10% stronger customer metrics.
If you want to get a gauge of your clients’ current employee experience, be sure to send out anonymous employee feedback surveys. When these surveys are anonymous, employees have no fear of repercussions and are more likely to give honest feedback. You can then use this data to make changes in your clients’ internal operations.
Delivering world-class customer experience requires serious effort and investment. Though improving customer experience is often difficult, even for the biggest businesses in the world, it’s well worth the time and energy.