These days offering a good product or service only gets you so far. It’s a competitive world out there and customers have many choices before, during, and after the sale. Successful companies know that providing a consistently great customer experience must be part of the equation. After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer. And that is arguably the best resource you have for driving repeat business, attracting new clients, and helping your company grow and thrive.
With this in mind we’ve pulled together valuable insights from a number of business leaders to help keep your customers coming back for more.
The importance of a holistic approach
Deanna Laufer, a senior analyst with Forrester, explains that few customer experience (CX) professionals “regularly share their CX visions/strategies across the enterprise, and even fewer do so in a consistent way.” Without an understanding of how different departments contribute to the quality of customer experience, an organization’s effectiveness in retaining customers can be hindered.
Laufer notes that the best customer experience strategies are “executed by people sharing a common vision.” One of her suggestions for a better customer experience approach is giving managers throughout the organization the right tools to drive the customer experience message into everyday actions.
Denise Lee Yohn, a customer and brand expert, also emphasizes the value of a collaborative customer experience approach. Yohn believes a problem arises when companies operate with a narrow view of customer experience, when it’s really the “sum of all interactions a customer has with a company” that ultimately lead to a positive or negative opinion.
Like Laufer, Yohn emphasizes the need for the proper tools in designing a company’s approach, because otherwise there’s the risk of mismanagement. She adds that because customers today engage with an organization in multiple ways, there must be a customer experience architecture in place to break down silos, address customer diversity, and help ensure customer experiences are compelling and unique.
A means to get there
Many are turning to “click-to-create” web-based database apps to help them optimize customer experience.
Quick Base, for example, offers nearly 100 customizable customer service and support apps that can help business professionals across all levels of the organization keep a finger on the pulse of every customer. With them, citizen developers are driving a better customer experience with simple-to-build, no-code web applications for such key areas as:
- Customer Relationship Management to streamline the collection, organization, and effective management of customer data.
- Customer Service and Help Desk to accommodate preferences and quickly handle problems.
- Customer Portals for secure, 24/7 access to account information, product updates, etc.
- Mobile-enabled solutions to connect and interact with customers wherever and whenever.
“We have a real-time view of our activities at every location,” explains Kent Hendricks, Owner & CEO of DetailMGR, a provider of detailing services to auto dealerships throughout the Southeast. “This Quick Base app has led to improved customer service, faster delivery of customer vehicles, better reporting and metrics, and an improved bottom line,” he says.
The advantages of human-centered design
Brian Solis, principal analyst at the Altimeter Group, talks about the importance of human-centered design in product or service development and how that plays a key role in initiating a good customer experience.
“Human-centered design is a philosophy that explores who people are and who they want to be,” he explains. “In your design, you create value and a desire to change behavior based on people’s deep-seated motivations.”
Consider the business advantages of a visual and intuitive development platform that lets you quickly build and update your own apps to adjust to changing customer requirements and expectations.
“It was important that our software platform provided the information and process framework to reflect our business and its fast, real-time pace. Without Quick Base, maintaining a top-notch customer experience while experiencing exponential growth would not have been possible,” says Kelcy Pegler, Jr., Co-founder and CEO of Roof Diagnostics Solar.
Great products, world-class service and the means to keep it that way
A combination of good products and stellar service make for a great customer experience. To drive the best possible results though, you’ll need lots of visibility across all customer touchpoints to enable you to continually tweak and adjust you strategy. That means gathering input from customer facing departments such as sales, account servicing or help desk and through communication channels such as email, phone, web site, social media, and mobile.
Clarabridge, a computer software company that specializes in customer experiences, suggests monitoring from a variety of angles such as:
- Quantifying the customer experience: Did the customer get his question answered or her problem resolved on first attempt or did it take many tries?
- Measuring satisfaction: What are your customers saying about you online, and how often? Would they recommend you to a colleague?
- Tracking business results: How effective are your customer retention programs or initiatives performing? Where are you experiencing customer gains or losses? How much time and expense goes into resolving a problem and can it be optimized?
Tying it all together
To elevate customer experience, you need fast, easy, non-stop access to the right information. A unified ecosystem of business-built web-based applications tied to a single source of information can help you accomplish that.
That same platform, combined with the capability to set up automated alerts, notifications and reminders, can help you and your staff to keep tabs on such things as an expiring warranty or a service request that needs escalating. So can customized reporting that lets you specify content, recipient and frequency to help drive timely and informed customer-related decisions. All strengthen your ability to deliver a fast and personalized customer-pleasing experience.Posted in Business Innovation, Customer Experience | Tagged brand loyalty, customer service, teamwork, training