What’s the key to Zoom’s runaway success? It wasn’t the first videoconferencing application to come around. After all, Skype, owned by Microsoft, had been established for many years. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses, schools, and individuals all across the country turned to Zoom instead of Skype. Why did this happen?
Skype requires both parties to create an account to talk with one another which can be inconvenient. Plus, both parties need to know each other’s usernames in order to find out how Zoom is quick and easy. If you want to connect with your friend, all you have to do is send them a link.
There’s a lesson here for businesses in any industry. By making the customer experience easy and seamless, you can open the door to explosive growth. The easier it is to do business with you, the more likely it is that customers are going to rave about you to friends and family.
Want to get started improving your business’s customer experience? Here are five keys to customer experience that work for every business, whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or an enterprise with a thousand locations.
Understand your ideal customer
First things first: it’s important to understand your ideal customer. The fact is that some customers are going to bring in more value to your business than others, so you need to think about the kind of customer that you want to attract. Then, you can start building your customer experience around this ideal customer profile.
Start thinking about the demographics of your target customers. Do they tend to be older or younger? What kinds of interests do they have? If you’re not sure where to start with this, you can look at a list of your current customers and try to determine what attributes they have in common.
Map your customer journey
Before taking concrete steps to improve customer experience, businesses should take the time to map the customer journey. What that means is that you should sit down with your team and make a map of how a prospect becomes a customer, from the moment they first become aware of your business all the way to the end, where they hopefully become loyal customers.
It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, lots of businesses get so wrapped up in industry jargon that they forget about what it’s like for new prospects who are just discovering them. That’s why it can be helpful to take the customer journey before you get started. This will help you to look at your business with fresh eyes.
We recommend that customer journey mapping be a cross-functional exercise. Make sure that you have senior leadership involved as well. That way, you can make sure that more of your suggestions turn into real changes in business operations.
Use a website chat widget
Providing great customer experience implies easy communication. It has to be easy for customers to reach out to your business. Anyone who’s been left on hold for what feels like ages knows how frustrating the experience is.
That’s why we recommend that every business install website chat. Having a website chat widget is a great way to serve both prospects and customers. If one of your customers needs customer service, you can make sure that you get them help without the hassle of them leaving a phone call and getting left on hold.
Worried that you don’t have the resources to support website chat? It’s okay if you don’t have a team that can answer customer chats 24/7. Webchat software like BirdEye allows you to respond to customer chats through text messaging. You’ll get a notification on your phone and you have the opportunity to respond whenever you’re available.
Collect data from customer surveys
In order to make sure that you’re providing great customer experience, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting in-depth feedback from customers. While building a customer journey map is a great way to get a better understanding of the overall funnel, there’s a possibility that there are blind spots in your customer experience that your team is not aware of. Data can help to provide some clarity.
If you’re not sure what kind of customer survey you want to send out, there are several different options. If you want a gauge of overall customer satisfaction, we recommend sending net promoter score surveys.
A net promoter score survey asks customers how likely they are to recommend your business to customers on a scale from 0-10. We’ve seen that businesses get great response rates for these types of surveys because all customers need to do is choose a number on the scale. It’s a quick and easy process for them.
No matter what kind of survey you choose to send, make sure that you’re sending them regularly in order to stay on top of customer opinion. Remember, customer experience is a constant work in progress. Something that works great one day might not work well the next. There’s always room for improvement.
Keep a close eye on online reviews
Surveys aren’t the only way that you can collect customer feedback. Reviews can help to give you a better understanding of what customers like and dislike about your product. For example, a review for a dental practice might read, “Awesome staff, but the wait is way too long.”
In order to stay on top of this kind of customer feedback, it’s important that you’re monitoring what your customers are saying about you on major review sites. Besides Google, Facebook, and Yelp, it’s important to look at niche, industry-specific sites.
For bigger companies, sorting through online reviews on multiple different sites might be difficult. However, natural language processing can help. A natural language processing software and can show you the categories that customers are mentioning the most in their reviews and give you a grade based on whether they’re being mentioned in a positive or negative context.
Delivering great customer experience doesn’t just happen magically. It takes dedicated time from your team. So make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to improve your business operations and ensure that each and every customer is delighted with your services.
Author Bio: This article was written by the team at BirdEye, a leading the customer experience platform.