Customers are the lifeblood of every business, so providing a positive customer experience should be your top priority. But the term “customer experience” can cover many different things, so it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about customer experience, including:
- What is customer experience?
- Why is customer experience important?
- How do you measure customer experience?
- How do you improve customer experience?
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is essentially the way that customers see your business and your brand and how their interaction with your company was. It doesn’t really matter what you think about your business, it’s the customer’s opinion that matters.
The customer experience is formed over the course of their journey, meaning all the interactions they have with your business over the course of buying a product or service.
Although it encompasses the whole journey, you can basically reduce customer experience to two main areas, people and products.
In other words, the entire customer experience is defined by the way they interact with your products and the people within your business. If they have a negative interaction at any point with one of these two things, it can ruin their perception of your business.
Why is customer experience important?
Creating a positive customer experience is essential for a number of reasons, namely:
- New customers are more likely to return.
- Existing customers are more likely to become loyal customers.
- Customers will generate positive buzz about your business through word of mouth or reviews.
- You’ll stand out among your competitors.
- Happy customers are more likely to spend more money every time they use your business.
All of these reasons essentially add up to one thing — more income for your business.
How do you measure customer experience?
Striving for the best possible customer experience is all well and good, but knowing where to start can be tricky. To help you make the right moves, you’ll need to know what your customers think about you.
There are a few ways to understand how your business is performing in terms of customer experience, including:
- Net promoter score (NPS): An index ranging from -100 to 100, describing how likely a customer is to recommend your business.
- First contact resolution (FCR): FCR tracks the number of interactions a customer has with customer service staff before their issues are resolved. Ideally, they only have to deal with one member of staff.
- Average resolution time (ART): Similar to FCR, it measures the average amount of time it takes for a customer’s issue to be resolved. Again, the lower, the better.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): A score based on customer surveys that records their overall satisfaction with your business.
- Customer effort score (CES): CES measures how much effort it takes for customers to navigate your business.
- Customer churn: Churn refers to the number of customers who visit your business and don’t return. A high customer churn means you have some work to do on creating a good customer experience so you can retain existing clientele.
Using these specific metrics will help you measure your successes and improve on your weaknesses.
How do you improve customer experience?
Any business can improve their customer experience. First and foremost, you should look at your product. Whatever it is, make sure you’re providing the best possible version of it.
After that, you can further improve your customer experience with these simple methods:
Understand your customers
Following on from your research in the previous section, try to get into the head of your customers. Is there something they expect that you’re not offering? For example, do you offer Apple Pay, or other smartphone wallet payment? This could lead to less convenience for your customers.
Another thing to consider is there something that’s confusing to customers that you might have missed? For example, is the copy on your website unclear or too technical for the customer.
Research the competition
Find out what everybody else is doing so you can outperform them. Either offer something your competitors can’t, or do a better version of it so that your business has an edge when it comes to the customer experience.
Focus on customer service
One negative interaction can ruin the customer experience, so make sure every customer-facing role performs excellently. Have your customer service teams focus on soft skills, like empathy and active listening, and make sure they’re prepared to deal with any technical questions.
Be consistent with your branding
Make sure all your marketing material centres around your brand guidelines. Consistency in your branding will increase trust in your business.
Listen to feedback
Every complaint is an opportunity for improvement. Take customer feedback seriously, to improve your business operation, especially if the same issues are raised over and over again.
Share your success with customers
Building a sense of community with your customers will make them more loyal. The best way to instil that feeling is to make them feel included with your success. Share your success stories, thank them for their business, and make them feel valued on social media or through email channels.
Reward customer loyalty
Give your customers a reason to come back and recommend your business by offering them incentives.
You could give repeat customers early access to new product lines or reward them with a points scheme. You could also offer promotions and discounts to customers who spend a certain amount or recommend you to friends.
Improve your customer journey
Evaluate every part of your customers’ journey, identify where the weak spots are, and focus on improving them. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to show what paths customers take on your website, and you can identify pages where they leave your site too. This could give you an indication of what you can improve.
For example, maybe you see that a lot of customers visit your website, but not a lot of them make it to checkout. This could imply your checkout system has too many steps and simplifying it could lead to more purchases.
Manage your income with free accounting software
Improving your customer experience will lead to more income from satisfied consumers, and that will lead to more complicated bookkeeping, so you may want to try accounting software to help you manage your income.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.