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Top Tips to Improve Customer Experience

Last week we brought you some valuable information on why customer experience matters so much, particularly for smaller business owners who may be wondering how to compete with some of the larger companies that seem to have unlimited budgets when it comes to advertising their products or services. Today, as promised, we’re going to give you some tips on ways that you can improve your customers’ experience and turn some of them into powerful brand advocates for your company and its products or services.

IDENTIFY – before you can begin to improve the experience of your customers you need to find out exactly who your customers are. Consider their age, their income, their location, their marital status, their hobbies and interests. This will help you to improve the way in which your company interacts with customers.

ASK – how did your customers find out about your products or services? How often do they buy and how do they make the purchase (online or in a bricks and mortar shop). Why not ask your customers to complete a short survey (use an online service such as Survey Monkey for this) answering these questions and any others. Ask them to rate your products/services, store layout or website design, your customer service, your product prices, delivery methods, etc. Make sure you thank all respondents via email, perhaps offering a discount on their next purchase as a reward for taking part in the survey.

EDUCATE – make sure your staff are equipped with the skills they need to interact with customers effectively. Consider some sort of customer service training for your team and then offer sweeteners such as bonuses to motivate employees to provide a great level of customer service at all times.

FOCUS – mostly on the senses. What your customers see, feel, hear, touch or taste will influence their customer experience and the way they feel towards your company or brand. If you have a bricks and mortar operation, make sure the ambience is just right by using lighting, aromas, music, etc. If it’s a food outlet, then offer samples of products or hold taster sessions for products.

PERSONALISE – the customer experience as much as possible. For example, use email marketing to make buying suggestions (based on their previous purchases), send birthday greetings, offer discounts.

RAPID RESPONSE – make sure that customers with queries or complaints are able to talk to a real person about this. It’s a huge fail if a customer phones with a complaint or query and can’t get past the automated messages and speak to a person about their concerns – they are likely to turn to a competitor in future. In the case of complaints, make sure that the issue is addressed immediately and that the customer is compensated in some way (perhaps a discount or a small promotional gift could be offered) for their trouble.

SHARE THE LOVE – turn your current customers into brand advocates for your business or products by encouraging them to share their experiences with friends and family, both offline and via social media platforms (make sure that your business has a presence on the relevant social media platforms too).