26 Innovative Ideas to Improve Customer Experience
Customers are the VIP of any business. As some people say it “satisfied customers are liquid assets”. It is a standard for all types of businesses and organizations. This is a universal standard that only a few doubts.
Though customer experience is important and considered to be the core of all organizations, many organizations still fail to provide excellent customer service. Surprised? Take a look at these statistics.
- US business loses over sixty billion yearly because of poor customer experience.
- Ninety-six percent of customers name excellent customer experience as a reason for their loyalty to a brand.
- Eighty-two percent of customers that has a marketing or sales-related question expect an immediate answer.
- Two out of every five customers that contact an organization through social media expect a reply within an hour while every four out of five expect an answer within a day.
Your customer, a receiver of your good and/or services, anticipates having a pleasant ride with your business. For customers to have this ride, they want the service to be seamlessly and swiftly rendered.
What the customer wants is not much and luckily, the skills to fulfil this wish can be easily learned.
I will take you through 26 innovative ideas to improve your customer experience.
1. Develop a customer-centric mindset
If you are going to improve your customer experience you have to develop a customer-centric mindset to improve it.
It has to be a conscious decision and you must deliberately work towards achieving it. Keeping your customer at the core of your business processes is vital.
Each scheme should start with your customers in view. You can build your scheme on the wealth of information you gather from your customers as a foundation.
2. Active listening
A major skill that is required by everyone relating to other humans is active listening.
This is not a skill for customer service agents alone but also for all employees in contact with the customers.
Your customer wants to feel heard, understood and served. Active listening should be one of your organization’s tenets which all employees without exception should practice.
By practising active listening, your organization will not only excel at providing an excellent customer experience but you will also gain the loyalty of your customers.
3. Develop customer service communities
I am easily satisfied when my idea is followed. I can say this for myself and many of your customers.
Many organizations now use the customer service community to generate ideas (products and services) and test their new products.
This is usually what gives birth to a limited edition product.
When you consider your customers’ ideas, it will be easier to provide an excellent customer experience.
CS communities will help you get feedback on your current products and services.
4. Create enough time
Organizations are always trying to do more with less. While this is true for most aspects of business, it is not the same with customers.
You have to highlight enough time to participate in the customer service community if you are to get any information of worth.
The fact is that all the ideas I’m sharing with you require quality time to implement.
Active listening, for instance, takes time.
Another thing you need time for is innovation. Big corporations allocate time for innovation. For example, Gmail was a byproduct of the weekly discretionary time google gave to its employees.
When you adequately allocate time, it breeds innovation which also helps to improve customer experience.
5. Reduce waiting time
As you create more time to attend to your customers, reduce the time they have to wait before you could attend to them. Everyone, including your customer, is busy.
Reduce customers’ waiting time to a minimum or eliminate the waiting time if you can. People tend to be more loyal to companies that have their time in mind.
Customers feel superior when they are attended to on time unlike when they have to wait.
They feel more satisfied when they are attended to early. This will make them want to do more business with your company since you are customer-friendly.
6. Make customer satisfaction your company culture
Your company’s culture says a lot about your company.
It is the principle you and your employee follow that will radiate to your customers. Make it a culture for all employees to be trained in customer service even if they don’t directly relate to customers.
This ensures all employees know how to promote your core values in the workplace. This will be exhibited as they come in contact with the customers.
7. Authorize your employee
Allow your employee to make a problem-solving decision for customers. As long as they have an answer to the customer’s question, empower and trust them to handle the customer’s needs.
This will make your customers satisfied since they don’t have to wait or talk to the supervisor. This also boosts your employee’s self-confidence and improve productivity in an organization.
8. Exhibit product knowledge
To render excellent customer service, you’ve got to know what you are talking about. You must be well versed in whatever you are telling your customer.
All your employee in contact with the customers must have an in-depth knowledge of the products and services of your company.
They should be able to answer any question the customers may ask. Customers derive much satisfaction if they sense the competence of the employee attending to them.
9. Offer personalized customer service
Every customer is unique and wants to be treated as such. As a way to make the customer experience superb, treat each customer like he or she is the only one.
Ensure you provide bespoke service by using the customer’s most preferred name, congratulating them on personal events (like birthdays), and sending personalized professional emails or messages.
Ensure your customer feels at home with you. This will ensure they have a super time with your company.
10. Offer proactive service
One thing is to offer personalized service, another is to render proactive service. Anticipate your customer’s need and make it available and ready for him or her.
You should contact your customer before they do. Trust me, it is easier this way than the other way round.
It is efficient as it reduces the inbound calls. Make your contacts timely and relevant to your customers.
This is both good for customer experience and the relationship between your business and your customers.
11. Provide customer support
You might not be able to satisfy your customer the first time they come in contact with your organization’s service or product.
However, the provision of channels to support your customer is a great way to ensure the satisfaction of your customers.
There are many channels available to you in this contemporary world asides the traditional one-on-one customer service.
You can provide support through web chat, social medial platforms, mobile support, support forum, and email.
These means of customer support should also be integrated to allow a seamless transition between different modes of customer supports.
Another advantage you get with multiple channels is the ability to attend to many customers at the same time.
12. Provide free product training
It is one thing to have twenty-four-hour support for your products, it is another thing to teach your customers how to use that product for free!
You might be surprised at the reactions of your customer when you teach them how to use your product.
Customers would like to get the best out of the product they buy and who knows the products better than the producer?
Product training alleviates the self-doubt accustomed to buying a new product.
13. Stay abreast of customer feedback
In our contemporary world, customers are quick to give feedback, especially on the internet.
This feedback and reviews show how they feel about your products and service.
It is made available to lots of people and many of your potential customers will make their decision about your organization based on this feedback.
Take your time to read and reply to all feedback on all channels.
When you read the feedback, you will have detailed information about your position in the market and also know how to improve your business performance.
Your response to the review shows you care and you are noting each customer’s feedback.
14. Use customer data
Many companies collect their customers’ data without actually using it.
These may be data from a customer survey, feedback from customers, and customers’ reviews.
Good data echoes the experiences your customers have with your organization and what they expect from your organization.
There is a wealth of information presented in the data your customers give to you.
This will equip you to take calculated actions.
15. Deal with the problem
Whenever a problem arises with a customer make it a routine to take ownership of the problem and solve the problem.
You should also encourage your operators to do the same instead of escalating or passing the problem on to somebody else.
As long as it is in their ability to solve the problem, encourage them to do.
This will improve the customer experience in your organization.
16. Supply what your customers demand
Successful companies are known to provide solutions to the problem of their customers.
You have to figure out what your customers want and supply them.
Every customer derives satisfaction when their problem is solved.
Customers pay for the solution they get from you, not for anything else.
17. Offer additional incentives
One of the ways to your customer’s heart is through incentives. It doesn’t have to be something big.
Oftentimes, the gesture is just enough to breed customer satisfaction.
The incentive could be discounts, freebies, free goodies, and other gifts.
These also help you build a positive professional image for your business, no matter how small.
18. Look outside your organization
You do not have everything you need to completely satisfy your customers, you need more.
Take a look at other organizations in your industry and outside your industry to know what they are doing better than yourself.
Make a comparison between how you serve your customer and how they serve theirs.
What difference do you have in the results?
Make their customer service a reference point to measure how well you are doing with your customer.
19. Allow social media interaction
Don’t be so bureaucratic with your relationship with your customers.
Business is not all about official emails and phone calls. Allow other benefits of social media interactions in your organization.
People tend to be free on social media. You can gather enough truth about your customer through interaction on social media.
Allow your employee to also interact with customers via social media platforms. It might be regulated but allow access to social media.
20. Conduct stand-up meetings every day
Morning assembly is a good way to solve problems bit by bit. A meeting before every day’s work allows you to spot and solve problems early before it compounds or reaches the customers.
Though you can hold this meeting anytime that is most convenient for your team, it should be regular and before the day’s work begins.
Another perk is that a problem shared is easier to tackle as a team than individually.
Then, all members of the team can implement the solution rather than solving the problems on their own.
21. Share your best practices
Make your best practices known to your employees. Encourage your employees to also share their best practice with the team.
Ensure no one hoards useful information across internal groups.
This will ensure no time is wasted in solving a problem a team member has already solved.
22. Do something
All these innovative ideas are worth nothing if they are not implemented. Should these ideas seem herculean at any time, adopt these popular sayings:
For your processes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.
For your investments, little drops make an ocean.
23. Get Everyone Onboard
One of the major top-down changes you can make in order to improve the customer experience is to make sure that everyone in your organisation is on board with it.
In other words, rather than simply having one team or group dealing with customers, you should make the culture one where all of your staff are thinking about what is best for the customer all the time.
This makes for a radical change and invariably improves things for the customer in a big way. Get rid of that old compartmentalised way of approaching customer service once and for all.
24. Deal With Enquiries Quickly
It is very often speed that really impresses people when it comes to providing good customer service. So, you should make sure that you are focusing on this if you want to make things better across the board for your customers.
The main thing is to make sure that you are dealing with all enquiries as quickly as possible for a better customer experience.
You might do that by using chatbot integration on your website, rewarding staff for reaching SLAs, or just generally making it a priority to answer calls and emails where possible.
25. Know The Ideal Experience
Everything that you do is going to be so much more successful if you make a point of knowing what the ideal customer experience actually is.
Being aware of and close to this is going to radically change so many things in so many ways.
It’s a simple case of asking your customers about what they would like to see improved, and also just carrying out the thought experiment of what you think the perfect experience would be.
With that information, you should be able to find unique creative ways to improve the customer experience greatly.
26. Develop A Strategy
All of this comes down to ensuring that you have a genuine strategy for improving things for the customer, rather than merely making ad-hoc changes here and there.
When you are working from a strategy, you are so much more likely to be able to improve things in a hugely powerful way, so this is definitely something you should be focusing on.
And make sure that you frequently review the strategy too, with all of your best heads on the case, in order to ensure that you are keeping things up to scratch.
With that, your customer should be much happier.
The most important thing is to start somewhere. Rome is not built in a day and no matter how big a castle is, it must start with a block. Break your goal of an excellent customer experience into objectives and the objectives into smaller achievable bits.
Whenever you are keen to make distinct improvements in your business, one of the major things you should always focus on is customer experience.
No matter what else you manage to do, as long as you are improving the customer experience, you can be sure that this is going to lead to a number of other improvements along the way.
Of course, the other thing about this is that there are always improvements you can make to this. In this article, I have shared some of the valuable ways to drastically improve the customer experience for your clients.
Are you impressed? If yes, kindly share to any other person you know it would benefit.