Tag Archive for customer experience

Customers Still Want the In-Person Customer Experience How to Capitalize on it

How can you make the customer experience better? It’s pretty simple actually…talk to your customers.

While the digital experience is important due to the rise of social media shopping and interaction, new research has found that putting extra effort into the personal touch – phone or face-to-face contact – is more successful at making the customer experience memorable and increasing sales.

Almost two-thirds of customers say they spend or invest more in products and services after they’ve had personal contact with someone at the company, according to research from BookingBug. And 50% said that being able to speak with a service or sales professional when issues arise is critical in making the decision. Plain and simple, when customers talk to someone, rather than corresponding through email or social media, they are likely to become a loyal fan.

It’s important to build both a competent digital experience and a feel-good personal experience. “By closely following customers along their dynamic journey between digital and physical worlds, businesses will engage more effectively, build trust with customers and ultimately drive increased revenue,” says Glenn Shoosmith, CEO of BookingBug.

How can you bridge the digital and personal experience?

Make your people accessible – online and on the retail floor. Customers still want to gather as much information as possible on their own…from your website, on social media, and by reading online reviews. But eventually, many of them will want to talk to or meet with a service or sales professional. Make that as easy as possible by adding the ability to schedule an appointment to every page on your website and on your social pages. And know your busiest shopping times so you have ample sales staff available. There’s nothing more frustrating than walking around a store hunting for an associate to answer your questions.

Customer service

Know their experiences. When customers get in touch with you, the service or sales professional should have an idea of what the customer has already experienced. Businesses can use tracking software to better understand what customers are interested in and the processes they have already gone through to handle their issue. Once they’ve asked to talk or meet, review what’s already been done, ask what questions they have, and move forward with information targeted at the needs they’ve shared.

Be prepared. The most important aspect of a personal customer experience is knowledge. Customers routinely give top ratings to experiences when the person they work with can answer everything they need answered – or, at least, know where to find answers and respond with them quickly. You can do this by providing ongoing training for all staff members so they stay on top of developments on your products, services, uses, technology and industry.

Managers also have the responsibility of understanding and managing workloads across all teams. Knowledge of their team’s attendance and performance trends, including nonproductive hours and overtime, can empower retail managers to become more successful in responding to workforce challenges, addressing individual employee needs, and building stronger customer relationships.

Keep in touch the right way. Just because customers have a personal interaction doesn’t mean they want to continue communicating that way. Make sure you ask how a customer wants to continue to receive information, handle follow-up or be contacted in the future. You’ll likely want to keep in touch with customers after calls or visits, but you’ll want to do that on their terms.

Great customer experiences lead to loyal fans and repeat business. In order to achieve this, brands need to invest in educating employees and making sure all members of the team are focused on positive customer interactions – whether that is digitally or in-person. Take care of your team and they will take care of you and your brand.

How to Develop your Digital Customer Experience

digitally connected customer

In today’s crowded marketplace, brands are finding it more difficult to differentiate themselves from one another. When you have multiple brands in multiple industries offering the same products you do, you need to give customers a reason to choose you over them. Many brands today are working to find that differentiation in customer experience. In fact, experts believe that by 2020, customer experience will be even more important than price or product quality in differentiating one brand from another.
Companies need a digital customer experience strategy to ensure that they build the right experiences to suit their customers’ needs and expectations. It’s important that your strategy supports business objectives, accurately reflects your brand, and aids in prioritizing which customer goals to support and how to support them.


Organizations that aspire to differentiate based on digital customer experience need a clear, cohesive execution strategy. Customer experience professionals have the expertise required to create experiences that deliver value to customers and the business and should take the lead in developing a digital customer experience strategy for their firm. To start:


• Define your business and brand objectives. Your company’s mission and value statements should guide all activities and investments. A customer experience strategy that defines what the role of digital interaction points will be — and will not be — must be built on the foundation of the company’s overall business objectives and brand attributes.


• Identify and seek understanding of your target users. A digital customer experience strategy must define how the company will deliver experiences to its target customers through digital touchpoints. Therefore, a digital customer experience strategy must include a deep qualitative understanding of the audience members’ key goals, how they accomplish those goals, and their expectations of the brand.


• Prioritize and fund critical touchpoints. The world’s largest organizations market and sell to many customer segments, but an experience designed to serve the needs of all segments in the same way will not work. A customer experience strategy prioritizes the most important channels for delivering on customer goals, keeping focus on the activities that provide the highest value to the most valuable customers, the most important business objectives, and the brand.

How Can Digital Experience Management Help Your Business?
The digital experience used to revolve around strategic posts on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But today’s companies are dealing with far more digital reach…managing email communication, website landing sites, checkout experiences, inventory, ad placement, and more. And all of it has to work together. Digital Experience Management (DXM) can manage it all.
In short, DXM helps customers “shop” rather than simply “buy.” It makes the entire shopping experience more memorable for them—and helps you know what’s working (or not) at the same time.


According to Dushyant Mohanty, Global Transformation Head – Industry Unit, Industrial Manufacturing, Energy, Banking & Financial Services, at Tata Consultancy Services, that means moving from being product-centric to being customer-centric. When creating a customer experience journey, companies should put themselves in the shoes of their customers to see if they are getting a solution that meets their needs, or if the company’s offerings are outdated.
In a digital transformation, the customer experience needs to be customized and in real time. That means adjusting as needed and using the correct customer persona. Mohanty points out that a digital strategy is more than just updating a few processes. For many companies, it’s a complete overhaul of their approach to service and customer experience. To make a real change, executives need to take a step back and look at things objectively to see if they are reaching customers and achieving their goals. The underlying technology structure has a huge impact on customer experience, as does the data strategy. Start with these as a foundation to customer experience.


In the end, it really comes down to having a growth mindset. Companies that can embrace digital transformation for customer experience are the ones that don’t simply do what’s always been done but instead look for new solutions to meet customers’ needs. Businesses need to always be evaluating their approach to customer experience to stay on top of new trends and technologies. A digital transformation can help companies become more customer-centric to guide their customers through the changing digital world.

digital customer experience

Innovative Ways to Bring Excitement Back to the Customer Experience

Improve CX

 

Excited and engaged customers bring in 23% more profits. Yes, you read that right! 23% more profits! However, with advancing technology and decreasing face-to-face encounters, companies are having to find new ways to get customers excited.

Positive experiences lead to increasing connections. And the more positive experiences a customer has the more loyal they become to your brand. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So why do only 58% percent of businesses have a formal engagement program? Companies must adopt a customer engagement strategy or get left behind.

Here are some innovative ways business leaders can excite their customers in this impersonal, digital age:

1. Survey customers to better understand them.

It sounds simple enough, but yet most businesses do not implement effective surveys. What’s the best way to learn what excites customers? Ask them.
Surveys can be useful if companies use proper analytics to interpret data and implement necessary changes. Get creative! Put a quick poll on social media or after an order. Ask a couple of questions when following up with customers. You can also casually poll customers during checkout at a retail location. Use this data to make better decisions and help employees to better understand the target audience.

2. Use personalization.

 

80% of people say that brands are not tailored to their needs. In a world where brands like Netflix and Amazon are doubling down on personalization, smaller brands must also commit to this growing trend. Amazon’s Alexa is designed to “get to know the customer.” The more “she” learns, the easier it is for consumers to buy products. Again, understanding your customer and catering to their needs is a surefire way to gain repeat buyers.

Customer Experience

3. Focus on creating added value.

 

The heart of brand loyalty is always value. Value is not about giving away free things or being the cheapest product. Instead, it is about giving customers what they want.
Take PNC bank for example:
Marianne Hynd, VP of Operations at Ann Michaels & Associates and mom of 3, is always in need of single bills for her kids lunch money. Since ATM machines typically like to dispense $10 and $20 bills, Marianne usually has to stop somewhere to make a small purchase in order to get singles. A couple years ago PNC bank started allowing ATM withdrawals in multiples of $1. While this was a welcome change, Marianne says “I still had to make three separate transactions. But I was okay with it at the time.”

“However, I went to the ATM the other day and started going through the process and after choosing the amount for the withdrawal I saw three game changing words…Choose your bills. PNC now allows customers to choose which denominations they’d like for their withdrawals. Now this is such a small change but I can’t tell you how happy it made me. What it did for me as a consumer was it took one more step out of the process and it made my weekly trip a little bit quicker. I’ve been a customer of PNC for many years and it’s little changes like that that will keep me a customer for many years to come.”

4. Share behind-the-scenes content.

 

Taking customers behind the scenes humanizes companies. This can be as simple as sharing employee stories on social media or doing a personal one-on-one interview with a company executive.

Disney offers “Behind the Scenes” tours to guests to engage customers in the “magic” of Disney. These tours present an unseen side of the company, demonstrating how Disney is changing the world through agriculture research or by valuing minority causes. The tours reinforce the Disney brand while providing visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

5. Try something new.

 

According to a study cited by NBC, pumpkin spice in the fall has been shown to evoke positive memories of childhood. Perhaps this is one reason why Starbucks found incredible success when they launched their pumpkin spice latte in 2003. In fact, the company could barely keep up with demand in the early days.

Be willing to try new things. Starbucks took a calculated risk in introducing the pumpkin spice latte, and it paid off spectacularly. Similarly, business leaders must ensure that their organizations are daring enough to try new things.

There are a variety of ways for business leaders to develop excitement and engagement in consumers. However, the common component is always putting the customer first. Once the customer is the primary focus for you and you understand what matters most to them, it will be easier to develop innovative approaches to creating customer excitement.