3 Steps to Improve Customer Experience
There is an undeniable link between customer experience and profitability. The more energy you put into improving your customer experience, the more money your business makes. In other words, the brand with the best experience wins. And don’t just take it from us: a recent study by Deloitte found that customers who have positive experiences with a brand spend 140% more than those who have negative experiences.
So, it makes sense that you’re here!
While there are many considerations to make when it comes to improving your customer experience, this 3-step approach is a fail-safe place to start.
Step 1: Learn what your customers care about
The key word here? Learn. Not guess. In order for you to improve your customer experience, you must first learn what matters most to them, at every touch point in their customer journey. Is it the speed of service? Is it the connection customers have with employees? Is it a high level of customer support? Different customer segments will have different wants and needs, and it’s your job to deeply understand what they are, and how you can tailor your experience to meet them.
How to retrieve customer information:
Learning, not guessing, means you’ll have to retrieve information about your customers. Here are just a few ways you can do that:
- Unmute The Frontline
When you unmute the frontline, you unlock precious information about your customers. Anthony Tjan, CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball, says that while companies can work with a variety of consulting firms to gain data about their customers through ‘day in the life’ immersions and customer driven research, “...most executives don’t take advantage of the best anthropological consultants already employed — their frontline employees. It’s the employees who are closest to serving and supporting the customer who get an unfiltered view of how customers interact with a product or service.”
Waiters, for example, have the best intel on what customer’s favourite dishes are and which are the least popular. Retail floor staff know why people didn’t like certain garments. Hotel workers know the types of people that come through the door and what they’re looking for. It makes sense, right? They’re the closest to the customer. They hear the feedback every day about that frustrating issue.
Never underestimate the knowledge of your frontline team. Sit down with them, listen to them, and take careful notes. You may just learn something only they knew.
- Get Real Time Customer Feedback
As Des Traynor, Co-founder of Intercom says “Customer feedback is like business oxygen." The more you’re pumping into your business, the healthier it will be.
Using a feedback tool can help you automatically collect customer feedback and track key metrics like NPS, 5-Star, CSAT and Customer Effort Score. Feedback tools can also help you organise customer feedback, so you have oversights on key trends and patterns.
- Collect Customer Surveys
As well as real-time customer feedback related to specific purchases and experiences, you can also learn more about your customers through surveys. The contents of your survey will determine how successful it is. Keep it short, simple and to the point. Long winded questions or surveys that simply take too long to work through are a non-starter.
You can also incentivise your customers to take surveys, through giveaways, discounts and special offers. For example, “take this 5 minute survey and get 10% off your next order”.
The more quality insights you have on your customers, the better you can fine-tune your experience.
AskNicely’s hot tips on learning what your customer’s care about:
- Keep it simple and consistent to avoid survey fatigue
- Ask about the overall experience using a rating, as well as a comment
- Get feedback in their own words
- Ask at the moment of truth rather than every step in the process
- Ask about the service standards based on what the customer cares about
Step 2: Share what the customer cares about
You can collect all the customer insights in the world, but if it’s not shared with the right people, it’s not much use. The second step to improving customer experience in ensuring everyone gets a clear view of the customer. Each team in your business (eg. marketing, sales, frontline) needs visible and structured feedback on what your customers care about. This way, you’re able to cover every touchpoint in the customer journey.
One of the most important teams to get customer experience feedback is your frontline team. After all, they’re the very people responsible for delivering the experience to your customers. Getting feedback to the frontline is so important, that it is in fact one of the Seven Habits of Empowered Frontline Teams.
When frontline teams have access to customer feedback, they can make daily behavioural changes that work towards creating a better experience for their customers.
Let’s take a look at a winning experience brand as an example, Uber.
Uber has four million drivers globally, each charged with maintaining the Uber promise of “making real life easier to navigate for everyone.” Technology plays a critical role in ensuring that each driver gets specific customer feedback to help them improve and maintain their standards. At a glance of the Uber app, drivers can see their current 5-star rating, what passengers most appreciate about travelling with them (cool car, good music, etc.) and what they need to work on based on low scores.
The AskNicely frontline success platform works in the same way. At a glance, frontline teams have access to everything they need to delight every customer, every time.
Step 3: Make what customers care about actionable
So you know what matters most to your customers, and your teams have a clear, structured view of customers wants, needs and expectations. Awesome work. Now for the icing on the cake — making what customers care about actionable, a.k.a implementation.
Your frontline team may know what’s important to their customers, but if they don’t have the tools and coaching to effectively deliver on the service promise every time, you’ll have trouble improving customer experience.
Frontline employees need to be engaged, inspired and empowered. That's Employee Experience, and it's the secret sauce to any successful service brand. Frontline employees need a blueprint for delivering exceptional customer experiences, personalised coaching and need to be regularly recognized for their achievements. Looking for a coaching tool that can help you with that? We’ve got you covered.
While there are many intricacies to improving customer experience, you can break things down into three key steps:
- Learn what your customers care about
- Share what your customers care about
- Make what customers care about actionalable
The common theme? Your frontline team. While there’s an undeniable link between customer experience and profitability, there’s also an undeniable link between frontline experience and your customer experience. When you provide the frontline with the right insights, tools and coaching they need, you enable them to deliver on your service promise every time, in every location with every customer.
Want to keep learning? The Global Frontline Experience Summit 2022 is just around the corner! Register today to tap into the wisdom, advice and insights from leaders in successful experience brands such as Marriott Hotels, Barry’s Bootcamp, Mitre 10 and more!