This means that you want them to enjoy a positive experience from the very first interaction you have with them to the last. In other words, this positive customer experience should extend from pre-sale to post-sale.
Ensuring a positive customer experience for your clients is crucial not only when a company is first starting out and attempting to gather more customers, but long after your brand has already established its footing and developed a client base.
In order to do this successfully, you’ll need to establish an outstanding customer experience strategy. This is essentially a plan that you will put into place to deliver the best customer experience you possibly can from start to finish.
These are concrete steps that, when taken consistently, will allow you to keep your customers happy, engaged, and coming back for a second experience.
Where to Begin when Building a Customer Experience Strategy?
If you own a brand new business, the concept of creating an effective customer experience strategy can seem daunting. However, by breaking it up into small, manageable steps you can create an organized plan that isn’t so overwhelming.
So where do you start?
You must first figure out who your customers are so you’ll know how to serve them best. Once you’ve established who exactly your audience base is, you’ll have a better understanding of how to market to them.
A good way to figure out more information about your customer base is to conduct a survey. For example, if your company makes money through online sales, you could include a survey after every purchase. The survey, which should be kept very brief, could ask basic questions such as what age bracket the customer is in, where they’re located in the world, and how they found out about your company.
This will also be your chance to ask them how satisfied they were with your purchase, helping you to determine which areas you’re doing well in and what needs to be improved.
By doing this, you’ll have some basic information regarding your customer base and will know how to market to them more effectively. If you want to offer your customers an incentive to complete the survey, offer them a discount to be used towards their next purchase!
You’ll also want to take the time to determine who exactly your competitors are and learn from them.
What seems to be working well for them? How have they managed to gain success thus far?
You’re not finding out this information to copy them, but to learn how to be better than they are. You want to set your brand apart and be able to convince potential customers that they should choose you rather than other options out there.
Create a Customer Experience Vision
Now that you know a little bit more about who you’re marketing towards, you can create a more accurate customer experience strategy for your customers. Picture what a perfect customer experience should like for your clients. Ideally, they would be able to find exactly the product they are looking for, any of their questions about the product would be answered quickly, and the interaction concludes with them being satisfied with their purchase.
Customer Interaction: The Early Stage
If you’re a new startup company, chances are your website is not yet the best it can be. Because this is likely where your customer’s experience will begin, you want to make sure they are not spending hours searching for the product they’re looking for.
If this is the case, they’ll likely give up and leave without making a purchase. Lay out your website in such a way that your customer only has to make a few clicks to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Utilize search filters so that your customer can narrow down products to find what they’re looking for faster.
Customer Interaction: The Middle Stage
It is within this middle stage of a customer interaction that you’ll want to be available to answer any questions they might have about your products.
Be sure to answer any inquiries as fast as possible, as this will show that you not only care about your customer’s experience, but are passionate about your brand. Of course, realistically, you’ll not be able to answer every single inquiry in real-time, especially as your business begins to grow.
This is where a ‘Help’ page on your website will come in handy. This page could include a list of frequently asked questions about your products or a drop-down menu that offers them step-by-step assistance, guiding them through the process of making a purchase.
Customer Interaction: The Final Stage
If you’ve followed the earlier steps, your client should be enjoying a positive customer experience thus far and will hopefully decide to make a purchase. Many business owners may make the mistake of thinking that this is when the work is finally done.
After all, they’ve successfully met their goal of achieving a purchase. However, this is actually the most pivotal stage of your customer’s interaction.
If your customer made a purchase online, they’re now likely waiting for it to be delivered. Be sure to give them accurate information regarding when they can expect their purchase to arrive.
After the timeframe of delivery has passed, be sure to send them a follow-up email thanking them for their purchase and checking in to make sure they’re satisfied. This shows that you aren’t just focused on making money, but genuinely care about your customers.
This will ultimately help ensure that they’ll return for a second purchase later on and maybe even leave you a positive review.
Examine Customer Feedback
Hopefully, you’ll have a significant number of customers filling out the after-purchase survey we discussed earlier. Now is the time to examine the feedback you’ve received and determine how positive an experience you were able to offer. Don’t be discouraged if you get some critical feedback in the beginning. This will only allow you to figure out how to improve in the future and continue to grow as a brand.
To conclude, a positive customer experience strategy is crucial to ensure that your company grows and prospers for years to come. By having a greater understanding of who your customer base is, you’ll be better able to serve them. Finally, remember that your work isn’t done after making a purchase, but extends into the post-purchase stage when you’ll ensure your customer is satisfied with the product and their decision to work with you.