Think back to a recent customer experience you had on a personal level. Were your expectations met? Did that company make you feel like a priority? Based on the answers to these questions, would you do business with the company again or recommend the company to a friend? Now that you’ve had a chance to think in a customer mindset, lets look at customer experience from a business perspective.
With the rise in popularity of social media, everyone is connected and word travels fast! A positive customer experience can bring valuable connections and new business, while a negative customer experience can do just the opposite.
With the increase in mobile social network use and the always-connected world, companies need to thrive in that environment in order to survive. Customer experience efforts must change to address customer needs and expectations, especially across social media and all communications channels. Companies need to develop a presence over many channels and deliver a consistent, quality experience on each of them.
The number of mobile social network users in the U.S. will grow from 58.5% in 2012 to 79.1% by 2015. ~ U.S. Mobile Social Network Users Expected to Double by 2015 – eMarketer
Customer Experience Starts With Employees
Customer service starts from within! Employee engagement and enthusiasm is key. It is important to have a team of executives and leaders who are committed to exceptional customer experience. If top management makes customer service a priority it will continue to be a priority to employees throughout the company. An outstanding customer experience requires equally outstanding people, leadership and culture.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
Customers have high expectations and demands that they expect to be fulfilled. If their expectations aren’t met, they simply move on. Satisfactory is no longer acceptable. Businesses must strive to provide the best possible customer experience to edge out competitors and continue to be successful.
Think back again to that personal customer experience that you’ve had. Did that company or service exceed your expectations? Did that influence your opinion about that company? Of course it did!
Customers expect personalization too! Make them feel as if they are your only customer, your top priority. Use every interaction as an opportunity to make your customers feel valuable. Give them an individual customer experience that they will be compelled to share with their family and friends.
Measuring Customer Service Success
It’s important for companies to access all sources of customer intelligence available to improve customer experience. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric is a simple yet effective way to measure customer experience. It translates feedback from customers into a single numeric score that’s easy to understand and drives customer service improvements.Learn More About How You Can Use the Net Promoter Score
Future of Customer Experience
In the next few years, customer experience will increase in the impact that it has on overall competitive advantage, while product, price and other aspects are expected to decrease.
By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. ~ Customers 2020 Report
Instant gratification will no longer be quick enough! Customer service will shift to a more proactive approach forcing companies to anticipate customers’ future needs, and identify and resolve issues before they occur.
As innovation continues to accelerate, companies will need to put more emphasis on the experiences they provide to customers to create a competitive advantage.
Make Customer Experience a Priority
Now’s the time to start making customer experience a priority in your business. Start by approaching customer experience challenges strategically, through the use of the Net Promoter Score concept. It’s by far the best approach for achieving extraordinary customer experience and transforming unhappy customers into brand evangelists.Learn More About How to Start Implementing a Customer Experience Plan
Is customer experience a top priority in your organization? Are you ready to implement a customer experience plan? Tell us in the comments below!
Want to learn even more about customer experience? Here are a few excellent resources.