The customer is king - all power rests within the hands of the customer, whether you like it or not. He can choose your brand and bring success to your company, or he can go with your competitor. Which would you prefer? The answer should be quite obvious if you're looking to improve customer experience in your company.
In these highly competitive times, customer experience has garnered quite some attention. Many experts believe it is the next competitive battleground. Products and services no longer prove to be competitive differentiators for businesses. The focus has shifted towards the experience a brand is able to deliver to their customers across the entire customer journey.
Despite widespread recognition of the importance of customer experience, improving customer experience is still something businesses have a hard time dealing with. And, we don't blame them - it is not that easy to figure out how to deliver an amazing customer experience.
Customers expect personalized, timely, effortless and rewarding experiences across all channels. They don't just want to be able to call a company whenever they want - they want to be able to interact with the company regardless of the device or platform they use, and they expect it now.
How to Improve Customer Experience in a Call Center
Most of us would probably think about calling someone if something goes wrong. This is why almost every company has a call center - to ensure customers stay loyal to the company. Although simply operating a call center for the sake of it won't help your business in modern competitive times, improving customer experience in call centers would positively impact customers in the long run.
Improving customer experience in a call center might seem like rocket science to many, which is why we've decided to end the mystery surrounding it once and for all. Here are 13 surefire ways to improve customer experience:
- Know Your Customers
We've talked about this countless times - if you don't know your customers, how will you know what they need, and how your company can fulfill their needs?
- Know Your Ideal Customer Experience
Before creating a customer experience strategy, we talked about what makes a great customer experience. Find out your ideal experience - how you would ideally want the customer to feel when he interacts with your brand. Once you've decided your version of the best customer experience, focus your efforts on delivering your intended experience.
- Enhance Customer Experience by Going Omnichannel
Instead of adopting a multi-channel approach, go omnichannel and allow your customers to interact with you and be serviced via any channel. It eliminates disjointed systems and interaction siloes between various departments.
- Develop a Customer Experience Management Program
Customer Experience Management (CEM) is the art of controlling, tracking, and designing customer interactions at all touch points to meet or exceed customer demands.
There are many benefits of customer experience management, such as increased loyalty & engagement and positive word-of-mouth marketing. Work on developing an active customer experience management program in your company to proactively improve customer experience at every step along the customer journey.
- Let Your Customers Help Themselves with Self Service
Modern customers don't want you to help them - ideally they would want to help themselves. According to CRM Magazine, 45 percent of companies offering web or mobile self-service reported an increase in site traffic and reduced phone inquiries.
Post resources, books, and FAQs on your website to help customers service themselves and look for solutions to their problems. Because think about it, what would you rather do - wait in line for an agent to answer your query, or browse a forum to look for the answer?
- Use Customer Experience Innovation to Raise the Bar
Look at the customer experience of Apple, Disney and Tesla - what are they doing differently? They use innovation in their approach to customer experience to connect with their customers and stand out from the rest. Innovative solutions are not only authentic and effective, they are cost-efficient as well.
- Improve Call Center Efficiency
To truly gain a competitive edge in the world of customer experience, it is important to improve your call center's performance. Segment your customers with the help of analytics, IVR, and call routing data and focus on overall business KPIs and performance metrics. Empower your agents with an omnichannel customer experience platform to give them a holistic view of all customer interactions and facilitate smart customer interactions and improve agent productivity.
- Develop a Customer-Centric Company Culture
Don't strive to create only a single team to manage customer experience in your organization, strive to make customer experience advocates out of all your employees. To do this, it is necessary to develop a customer-centric culture across the company.
- Leverage Customer Experience Analytics
With the emergence of artificial intelligence and big data, companies don't really have a hard time setting up some type of analytics to know who they come in contact with. Use the power of customer experience analytics to measure detailed behavioural, demographic, and other customer experience metrics in real-time.
- Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy
We've already talked about the best practices to optimize your customer experience strategy when we detailed out how to build a customer experience strategy.
If you already have a CX strategy in place, the best way to further improve your customer experience is to optimize your customer experience strategy. Be clear about your CX goals and what you intend to do to achieve it. Build customer intimacy by heavy personalizing your offers.
- Reward Your Engaging Customers
Your customers will stay loyal if you reward their engagements by offering incentives such as guides, ebooks, discounts, etc. This will allow you to retain your best users, as well as spread the word about your brand in a positive manner.
- Engage Your Customers on Social Media
The best way to engage your customers is by using social media channels. If they follow you or engage with you, it is likely they like what you have to offer or what you choose to stand for. Use this to build relationships and have interesting conversations with your users.
Some brands really go out of their way to engage their users in amusing ways. NASA's Curiousity Rover has its own social media handle with millions of followers, and regularly shares humourous posts in the first-person. Wendy's, too, shares wierd tweets and posts which are guaranteed to make you smile.
"The stuff fries dream about."
- Improve Your Customer Service Experience and Align It with Your Brand
They say that customer service starts where customer experience fails. The quality of your customer service experience should not be any different from any other aspect of the customer journey.
To do this properly, it is important to adopt an omnichannel approach to eliminate interaction silos. Your customers should be able to start his journey on one channel and finish it in another channel without any interference. Because, how can you deliver a seamless customer service experience without tracking customer queries across all channels at the same time? What if your customer raises a query on social media, emails you and calls you at the same time? Would you acknowledge the urgency of the situation?
Ideas to Improve Customer Experience
You've done everything I've asked, now what? Well, it doesn't have to end there. Here are some other tips and ideas you can use to improve CX:
- Engage with leaders in your industry
- Invite your VIP customers to events
- Send them a 'Thank You' postcard
- Call your customers to thank them
Improving CX - Conclusion
When all the dust has settled, it is important to zoom out and realize the fact that all humans are emotional, and creating an emotional connection with your audience will prove to be the most powerful way to improve customer experience in your company.