5 Quick Improvements That Make for a More Consistently Awesome Customer Experience
When it comes to tackling customer experience, there’s a lot to consider. What’s the best way to collect customer feedback? How do you create consistency across various branches and locations? How do you empower frontline teams to go above and beyond for every customer? Often there’s so much on our plates that we end up skipping the whole meal altogether. However, in bite size pieces, improvements to the customer experience are completely within reach. In fact, the following five quick improvements are things you can start doing TODAY that have been proven time and time again to make for a more consistently awesome customer experience.
Make it Easy for Your Customers to Give Feedback More Often
To create consistent experiences, you need consistent customer feedback. Scrap long, quarterly surveys that take customers eons to fill out and execs even longer to analyze. Replace them with short, regular and fun-to-fill out surveys after every key customer interaction.
With smaller soundbites of more regular feedback, you can:
- Understand what matters most to your customers. Which of your service standards should be prioritized?
- Get higher feedback engagement rates. It’s no secret that customers are more likely to engage with short surveys over long ones.
- Follow up in the moment. Unhappy customer? With regular feedback you’re alerted immediately and can make things right before things turn sour.
- Spot and act on trends as they’re happening. With irregular feedback, by the time you analyze and make discoveries, the feedback is often obsolete.
- Show your frontline teams the impact they’re making, and provide them with digestible soundbites of what they’re nailing and what they can work on.
You can think of customer feedback as your business's energy source. If you binge and collect it all at once, you’ll start on a high but eventually crash. If you only collect it a few times a year, you’ll fluctuate dramatically. But if you take a little bit every day, you’ll be fueled consistently over time.
How to Start Today?
- Figure out the points in the customer journey that are most crucial for gaining genuine feedback (this will vary depending on industry).
- Decide what questions you want to ask. At AskNicely, we love NPS!
- Implement an automated real-time feedback tool and make it easy for customers to give feedback more often!
Stop Keeping Your Feedback a Secret
Where is your customer feedback landing? Does it funnel through to management without ever meeting the eyes of frontline teams? Or does it get plastered on the walls, used in weekly meetings and go straight to the pockets of customer-facing staff? The difference will have dramatic effects on your customer experience. Service brands who circulate feedback and connect it to their teams create a customer-obsessed culture, where branches, teams and individuals know exactly what they’re doing a great job at, and what they need to work to keep customers coming back for more.
How to Start Today?
- Use a piece of recent customer feedback to base a frontline meeting around. Ask your team: What can we learn from the feedback? What can we do about the feedback? How can we prevent (or encourage) this kind of feedback?
- Use a solution like AskNicely TV that allows you to present real-time feedback in your offices.
Act on Feedback While It’s Hot
To gain real consistently in the customer experience, you need to act on feedback while it’s hot. Whether it’s following up with an unhappy customer to make things right, or following up with a happy customer to turn them into a brand advocate – it’s all about timing.
Acting on Positive Feedback: The high a customer feels after an awesome experience is generally short lived. As soon as positive feedback comes through, follow up with an immediate automated request to leave an online review, and turn them into a brand advocate. You can also create automations to thank the customer for their kind words, upping your chances of repeat business and referrals.
Acting on Negative Feedback: Negative reviews are not all bad news. They’re an opportunity for your frontline teams to learn more about your customers and how to deliver better, more consistent experiences. As soon as poor or average feedback comes through, follow up with that customer to understand what went wrong and most importantly how you can fix it in the moment.
Make Your Staff Feel Genuinely Appreciated
This is possibly the quickest of all quick improvements that make for a more consistent customer experience. It’s a low-hanging fruit, and something you can literally start as soon as you’ve finished reading this post.
Frontline workers care that their work is appreciated, yet sadly, 40% of employees report being recognized only a few times a year. Recognition makes teams and individuals feel GOOD, fuels motivation and reinforces positive behavior. The key is catching people doing things right. Did an employee receive a positive review? Give them a company wide shoutout. Did you see an employee go out of their way to leave a customer with an ear to ear smile? Go up to them, and personally thank them for their incredible work. It can be as easy as saying “Thanks so much for your incredible work, we couldn’t possibly do this without you”.
Just like author, and business consultant, Ken Blanchard has said “People who feel good about themselves produce good results, and people who produce good results feel good about themselves”.
Focus on Improving One Thing at a Time
There’s a mountain of scientific research that testifies to the cost of ‘task-switching’: when you flit between activities, you waste time and energy regaining a state of focus again and again.
Every frontline employee has a long list of things they could do better to deliver more consistently awesome experiences. But instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on improving one thing at a time. Deliver coaching in small, actionable doses that are specific to each person. Not only does it make improving more realistic and efficient, but it motivates folks to keep improving – when an employee can nail one thing, the sense of accomplishment makes them feel ready and motivated to achieve the next.
How to Start Today?
- Take a look at customer feedback on a team and individual level, and pick out one thing to base a coaching conversation around.
- If you can, coach customer facing teams that one thing at a personal level. This allows you to make relevant and focused recommendations to each person, not generalizations or overwhelming lists of “must dos”.
While delivering consistently awesome customer experiences is not something that can be achieved overnight, the five quick improvements above are things you can get started on TODAY.
On your agenda:
- Fuel your teams with regular feedback and make it easy and fun for customers to engage with short surveys.
- Make your feedback as accessible and actionable as possible (small soundbites everywhere).
- Create workflows to act on both positive and negative feedback.
- Say THANK YOU to your customer-facing teams more often.
- Choose one area of improvement to base a coaching conversation on for each frontline team, or better yet each frontline employee.
Want to learn more about improving your customer experience? Check out our free Guide to Winning on Customer Experience.