There is no denying that delivering a great customer experience forms the crux of any business. The days of "getting work done" are long gone and replaced by "getting work done smoothly". But the recipe of great CX is complicated, for there are many components that impart a small yet unique flavor. It is difficult getting them right, but once you do, it all but guarantees the happiness of your customers.
Let's take a look at some essential components of great CX:
1. The Vision
There is one question that almost never gets the respect it deserves: Why do you do this? The question pertains to the motivation behind the company, something more sophisticated than "to make money/to get successful".
While we do live in a capitalistic setup, the stories behind companies play an important role in creating a customer base. The ideology and principle behind the company is often the glue that binds a customer with the brand. But it is more than just customer retention; the vision plays an important role in enhancing the customer experience too.
Unlike other components of CX, this cannot be done at the level of customer care or support. The top management of the company needs to ensure that the organization has a clear vision, and that vision needs to reflect in the CX.
2. The Feedback
The importance of feedback cannot be emphasized enough. Feedback is one of the pillars upon which any method to improve customer experience is laid. However, feedback also forms an important aspect of CX itself, not just improvement.
For many customers, it is important that the company provide a proper channel to send their complaints/suggestions. Of course, almost every company does that today, so the question now is "how easily?" Feedback via call or even mail is obsolete today; people simply don't have enough time to go to such lengths for a mere feedback. Feedback needs to be as accessible as the catalog of products/services. Digital feedback has gained huge popularity recently and is fast become the default feedback method.
Getting feedback is merely the first step, however. The customer care department must be vigilant and well-equipped to work upon the negative feedback promptly.
3. Closing the loop
While negative feedback often gets the required attention, the same cannot be said for other feedback. To ensure the best customer experience, every loop needs to be closed. The job doesn’t end at the final transaction; in fact, you are only halfway there. The more comprehensive approach involves keeping track of the customers, predicting their requirements and prompting them at the right moments.
The ways to do this are many and varied. Regular newsletters are a tried-and-tested strategy, while SMS can do the same in a more succinct manner. Asking for regular feedback and sending suggestions are also good tips.
The other aspect of this is ensuring that every ticket raised against a complaint/grievance is properly solved. Until and unless the customer explicitly agrees that their issue is resolved, the ticket must not be closed.
4. Prompt diagnosis
The whole point of CX is to make customers happy. More often than not, it might not happen. There are a variety of reasons that could contribute, and are mostly unavoidable. Even the best companies cannot escape making their customers unhappy time and again. However, if precautions don't work, you need to find the cure.
But before the cure, you need to perform the diagnosis. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and damage before the company realizes that its customers are not happy. Feedback is a great way to know this, but not everyone is willing to take the efforts. Thus, a more proactive approach is needed to find the root causes.
Data is one of the most brilliant ways to analyze customer behavior and gauge their satisfaction levels. Understanding a problem before it has a significant impact is one of the harder aspects of CX, but it is one of those things that make customer experience great.
None can deny the huge role technology plays in the overall customer experience today. In more than one way, technology has re-defined the way companies interact with customers. A great CX is impacted by technology at both hardware and software level, which together provides a holistic experience to the users.
Automation has greatly disrupted CX, enabling the company to be available for the customer at all times. Ease of digital access has further allowed customers to interact with the company with lesser effort. Many vendors are providing customized CRM tools to greatly aid in improving the experience of the customers. It would not be an overstatement to say that CX is woefully incomplete without the proper technology in today’s world.
Providing great customer experience is not easy and depends on many factors, some of which might be out of your hand. But the right ingredients, like the ones we discussed here, do go a long way in providing an impressive CX to the customers and serves as a vital reason for them to remain loyal to your brand.