Improving customer experience is so crucial business that 88% of contact centers are making it a top priority. Customer experience is a win-win for everyone. Your customers and clients are happier, and retaining them is easier when they have an amazing experience.
However, for small businesses,, it’s not uncommon for customer experience to be overlooked.
If you don’t focus on this metric, you’ll likely fall behind the competition and may even lose your competitive edge.
In fact, 66% of companies state that they compete primarily on the customer experience that they create. If you’re struggling to grow your business or want to find your competitive advantage, it may be time to focus on your customers’ experience.
We’re going to outline five key steps you need to take to improve your customers’ experience.
Improving Customer Experience in 5 Simple Steps
1. Review Your Current Customer Experience Metrics
Data helps you make smarter business decisions. If you haven’t been collecting customer experience data, it’s time to begin. You can send out a survey to your customers to learn more about their experience and satisfaction.
You’ll want to gather the following:
- Customer effort score – how much effort had to be made to resolve issues?
- Customer satisfaction – general satisfaction level
- Net promoter score – how likely the customer is to recommend your service or product
Your team should already have data on customer churn rate, retention rate and referral rate. If you aren’t tracking this, now is the time to start. Additionally, you should track the average resolution time.
Once you have this data, you can use it as a foundation of what steps to take to improve customer experience. Furthermore, you can use this data to understand if your efforts are working to improve the experience.
You may need to:
- Retrain customer service agents
- Hire additional customer service agents
- Find ways to make the experience easier
- Create protocols for resolving issues
- Listen to customer demands
You’ll also want to follow the four steps below to further improve customer experience.
2. Create Upsells to Existing Customers That They Want
Upselling to customers needs to be strategic, and it does two things: fills a need for the customer and improves your revenue. However, you need to have upsells that make sense, and this can vary greatly by industry.
For example, you may offer:
- Upsells for priority support for enterprise clients
- Upsells for items or services that are frequently asked for by clients
You can also offer a discount on the upsell, which will help build your brand loyalty, too. For example, if you can do it in a profitable manner, offer a 10% discount on the upsell versus if it was purchased on its own.
When an upsell fills a customer’s need and improves satisfaction, it’s a great way to grow your business and gain a competitive advantage at the same time.
3. Ask for and Analyze Reviews, Testimonials and Referrals
Your customers and clients are your greatest marketing team. However, you need to ask for:
Asking for honest feedback in a follow-up email or when you’re done with working with a client can help you build your social proof. Nearly everyone looks for reviews or testimonials before buying a product or using a service.
You can also use this feedback to improve customer experience and retain customers.
When analyzing all of these data points, see if any commonalities exist. Perhaps customers love your product, but there are many cases where the item is damaged in shipping. Work on ways to improve these shipping issues. Or maybe they love your service for the most part, but there is a particular part of the experience that could be improved.
You also need to learn how to handle negative reviews the right way.
4. Handle Negative Reviews the Right Way
Negative reviews are an opportunity to make your business better. Many owners take bad reviews personally, and this can lead to significant issues in customer experience. You can reply to reviews honestly, but you never want to point blame at the customer.
Instead, you or your team will gain the respect of current and even former customers by:
- Replying to every negative review
- Asking negative reviewers how you could do better
- Working to turn the negative review into a positive one
You won’t make everyone happy in the business world, but trying to improve and solve issues that unhappy customers have is a great start.
5. Work to Win Lost Customers Back
Do you view a lost customer as a loss or opportunity to win them back? Every business loses customers over time, but you can win them back. Retaining customers by winning them back is often cheaper than landing new customers.
A few ways to win these customers back are:
- Finding out why the customer left and listening to their feedback.
- Taking responsibility for any issues the customer had, offering a discount or freebie when needed, and correcting the issue.
- Offering incentives. Incentives go a long way in luring past customers back to your business. Run a 25% off promotion for customers that left to see how your product or service has changed. You have probably experienced this the last time you went to cancel a recurring subscription, and it just might have worked for you.
If a major issue led to a major loss in customers, you can run a “we fixed it” campaign, too. These campaigns explain your business’s changes to correct any issues that may have caused an exodus of customers or clients.
Retaining Clients is Less Expensive Than Finding New Ones
Improving customer experience also leads to retaining clients. Happy clients refer your business and will offer you repeat business. Plus, it’s less expensive to retain clients than it is to land new ones.
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) can vary greatly by industry, but it often costs 7 times more to acquire new customers than retain them.
If you follow the tips and steps above, we’re confident that you’ll improve customer experience, land new customers, and also retain more customers. Your business will grow on the back of these efforts, you’ll become more profitable and your customers will be happier.
All it takes is a little time and effort to focus on your customers’ experience.Learn Morel