One of the main key components of a successful business is providing an exceptional customer experience. By doing that, you can take a one-time customer and turn them into a loyal one that will bring in more sales. Think about the last time you had a great customer experience with a business. What made that experience so great?
When thinking about that positive customer experience, there is a chance that it shaped how you view the business that you purchased from. Those impressions are important to and for a business, but in order to get those impressions it is up to the business to guide the customer in that positive direction.
In today’s blog post, we are going to cover what makes a strong customer experience and how your business can achieve it. Continue reading to learn more!
Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
You may be thinking, “What’s the difference between customer service and customer experience?” Oftentimes, those two terms are used interchangeably or are confused for the other. Allow us to explain the difference:
Customer Service focuses on human interaction and the direct support of customers through answering questions and providing assistance on products and the business as a whole.
Customer Experience sums up the entire customer journey with your business, from being introduced to the business, to considering a purchase, customer service experience during that time and your purchase.
Customer experience typically includes three different components:
- Customer Service: as previously mentioned, this is comprised of all moments when a customer and a business team member (typically from the customer service department) interact with one another.
- Business Products: how does your business’s products and services work and how can it help your potential and current customers?
- Marketing and Advertising: how effective are your marketing materials and campaigns when it comes to gaining the attention of your customers?
These three components are some of the most important pieces that make up the customer experience puzzle.
How to Create a Better Experience
Now that you know a bit more about what the customer experience is and how it differs from customer service, let’s get into specifics on how your business can provide the ultimate experience to your customers.
- Gain a clear understanding of your customer base.
In order to provide a great customer experience, you need to know who your base is. Being able to connect with your customers means understanding all that they want and need. A great way to do this is by segmenting customers through the data you have (you may have gotten this through your CRM software and newsletter sign ups). That data may include purchase activity and previous company communications between your business and the customer. With that information, you can place your customers into different groups based on what they have in common. That data gives you more insight into who your customers really are and what they like.
- Establish a connection with your customers.
This is where both customer service and marketing come into play. Connecting with your customers through their interactions with your customer service team (which can be logged into your CRM software) helps you to understand their interests and needs better. With marketing, you can learn how effective (or ineffective) your campaign efforts are based on the response rate. Establishing a connection with customers will also give marketers the ability to create campaigns that are more in tune with your customer’s interests.
- Encourage (and pay attention to) business feedback.
Another way to improve the customer experience is to listen to feedback from customers and employees. This will let you know if you are delivering an exceptional experience or if there are areas in which you can improve. Getting feedback from customers can be done in the form of surveys and even outbound calls.
- Develop a clear vision for the experience you want to provide
The most important way to develop an excellent customer service experience is by defining a vision that you can share with your business. Define what you would like for your customer experience to look like and how you plan to get there. Establishing things like your company values and displaying them on your website and even in your physical office space or storefront will immediately show your audience what you plan to provide them.
Giving a quality customer experience is something that needs to be refined over time. You will need to listen to the thoughts and opinions of your customers and employees as well as working hard to establish a bond with them so that they feel understood and taken care of. When a customer is happy, that improves the overall experience which in turn, shines a positive light on your business.