Top Customer Experience Tips from Our Community
To kick off 2023, we surveyed our customers across various service industries, as well as customer experience experts in our community to report on their biggest customer experience learnings of the previous year and their plans for the year ahead. We asked about the best ways to measure Customer Experience, the most successful methods of coaching frontline teams, their biggest focus, learnings, challenges and goals. In this series, we’ll be diving into the survey results to provide new ideas on how you can make 2023 the year your business wins on customer experience.
What is your NUMBER ONE customer experience tip? That’s the question we posed to our customers and various CX experts in our community – folks who have been there, tried and tested, and learnt from all their customer experience mistakes. Read on to uncover their tips, wisdom and recommendations for creating experiences that keep customers coming back for more.
“Treat every client the way you’d want to be treated as a customer.” – Anna Egan, A1 Air Conditioning and Heating
Anna Egan is a Customer Experience and Business Development Manager for A1 Air Conditioning and Heating. You may remember her from the Global Frontline Experience Summit, and her insightful presentation on how engaged frontline teams can lead to business growth.
Anna says that the best way to understand customers is by putting yourself in their shoes. Everyone has been a customer at some point in their lives and has experienced both good and bad customer experience. The businesses we’ve stuck with over the years, the ones we trust to do maintenance on our homes or handle our finances, are the ones that show understanding and genuinely empathize with our wants and needs.
Showing empathy in customer experience isn’t just something that’s nice-to-have, but these days is a must-have. Go through every touchpoint in your customer journey, and put yourself in their shoes: What are the frustrations? What would really blow them away? What are the nice personal touches that could be added? Step into the shoes of the customer and answer these kinds of questions to truly empathize with your customers.
“Customer experience starts with hiring the right individual and then taking care of them, so they, in return, take care of the customer.” – Josh Wise, CEO, Grassroots Turf
The employee experience is tightly linked with the customer experience. As Josh points out, it starts with hiring the right people, but the work doesn’t stop there. You need to keep filling the cups of your employees so that they can continue to fill the cups of their customers. It’s almost impossible to have an enjoyable customer experience when the employee guiding you is overworked and underappreciated. Instead, make time for regular check-ins, supportive coaching, recognition and celebration of milestones.
Anna Egan echoes this thought, saying, above all, “treat your frontline employees well”. Employees who feel respected, valued and appreciated are far more likely to deliver 5-star experiences than those who feel undervalued, underappreciated and underpaid. Plus, customer experience aside, you should want your employees to be happy.
“Ask for feedback regularly, act on feedback received always” – Tim Daloisio, Eyeful Media
One of the most impactful ways to improve the customer experience is to consistently ask AND act on customer feedback. If you’re serious about winning on customer experience, sending out a survey to your customers once a quarter will no longer cut the mustard.
For impact, you need to be asking your customers for feedback after each interaction, and have clear workflows set up to act on that feedback fast. The State of Frontline Work Survey revealed that service brands with the highest level of feedback mastery, that is those who track feedback ratings and a team and individual level, experience a 41% increase in revenue improvement, 68% improvement in employee efficiency and a whopping 105% increase in customer satisfaction improvement.
“We judge ourselves based on our intentions. Others judge us based on their experiences. Constantly seeking to understand the gap between those two things is where real customer experience success lives.” – Stacy Armijo, Amplify Credit Union
Stacy’s advice highlights an important disconnect between our customer experience goals, and our customer experience reality. In other words, our service standards may not always reflect what’s actually happening on the ground. The disconnect in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but understanding the gap and most importantly how to close it is critical to improving the customer experience.
This is where Tim Daloisio’s advice comes in handy again: collecting and analyzing feedback is one of the best ways to understand and eventually close this gap. Feedback reveals where you’re meeting your service standards, and what you need to do to improve, at both a team and individual level.
“Be prepared to fix any issues as they arise and do it with grace” – Beni Jay, HealthActions Physical Therapy
Awesome customer experience requires a certain level of reactivity. Invenatibly, things go wrong – orders are screwed up, customers complain, rework is required. However, businesses who are able to fix issues as they arise (and do so with grace) are those who build the most loyal customer bases. In order for this to happen, your frontline teams need to be equipped with not only the practical skills and tools they need, but also a sense of empowerment, confidence and autonomy to think outside the box and solve customer problems as they happen. Another survey respondent reiterates this advice, saying “Policy leads to poor customer service experiences. Empower your people to find a way to yes.”
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our survey and provided such useful tips, tricks and advice for improving the customer experience. We hope you take this advice into your 2023 strategy and beyond.
Looking for more wisdom from our community? Check out their Fresh Ideas to Coach & Recognize Your Frontline Teams