Creating a Positive Customer Experience In 3 Steps
In the last article, we talked about finding your tribe and identifying your ideal customer. Now that you have worked hard to find your tribe, it’s time to get their attention, engage with them, and make them like your business. Creating an unforgettable customer experience will do just that.
According to The 2016 State of Marketing Report from HubSpot, marketing has now entered the age of the customer. They have more information and power at their disposal than ever before. We - the marketers - must rise to meet their expectations and offer better buying experiences!
Customer Engagement Plays a Huge Role in a Positive Customer Experience
In the past, brand awareness and success meant a one-way B2C broadcast. Today it is all about customer engagement. The importance of personal relationships with two-way communication, dialogue, and social conversations is essential for brand awareness and success.
Think about the brands and products you like most. Most likely, it is less about the cost or convenience and more about product appeal and customer experiences, am I right?
We all know what a good customer experience looks like from our own perspective. These good experiences are often emphasized when bad experiences occur.
To quote Jeff Bezos from Amazon, “if you make a customer unhappy, they won’t tell five friends, they’ll tell 5,000 friends.”
Here are three steps to create a positive customer experience:
1. IDENTIFY: Now it's time to map out and identify the ideal customer experience. What does an optimal experience look like? Start by mapping out everything your customer does during the engagement with your brand, services or products. Be sure that you include actions and tasks.
You will want to study your customer’s behavior across the entire user experience. Personas, interviews, observation, and surveying may be used in this step.
Next, try to predict what your tribe members are thinking and feeling when they engage with your business. Emotion is the most important thing in the customer experience because customers are making emotional decisions to do business with you, not do business with you, refer you, or leave you.
It may feel slightly uncomfortable for you to try and think about this touchy, feely part, or to try and guess what your customers are thinking or feeling, but it is essential in determining the ideal customer experience.
Assign an emotion to how you want them to feel every step of the way. Don't say "good" or "happy," as those are not deep enough emotions to truly engage and connect with your customer.
Do you want them to feel relieved? Cared for? Do you want them to look for the positive in a bad situation? Now think about what kind of small moments in the journey will help them feel that way.
Once your team has gathered all the information, you can assess the positive and negative aspects of their customer experience. From here, your team can map out the ideal customer experience for your tribe members.
2. SET CONCRETE OBJECTIVES: Once you know what success looks like in the eyes of your customer, you need to turn it into functions and stages. You need to create processes that represent and intensify the total customer experience.
If your brand promises convenience, then make everything about your experience as convenient as possible. If you are promising to overcome an obstacle, then make sure every part of the customer experience helps your customer solve their problem.
Refrain from offering customer perks to only new customers. If you do this, you could be missing the perfect opportunity to create lasting and meaningful relationships with those who are potential advocates for your business. Create ways to say thank you and reward the most loyal of your tribe members.
Setting concrete objective will move prospects logically along the path of becoming a customer to the point where they are so thrilled they automatically become advocates and referral sources.
3. MAKE THEM A REALITY: Once these objectives are precise and profitable, it’s time to reverse engineer the funnel. Address each action to the right person or department, meaning - get input from those involved in creating the customer experience.
You can have the most detailed and insightful customer funnel, but if you don’t have engaged employees to deliver it, the customer experience is very likely to fail along the way.
Richard Branson believes this passionately which is why he makes sure that Virgin has some of the most vocal brand advocates in the world. He has said, "The way employees are treated is the way they will treat your customers.”
Have your market research team measure and interpret data. They should be able to measure the success of many aspects of your customer experience plan.
Creating a set of metrics that point to the success or failure of your business is essential. Steady growth in these metrics can help you determine if the customer experience plan is succeeding.
They can measure the customer experience by monitoring granular things such as the number of testimonials on Facebook, or the number of newsletters that are opened each month in an email.
If you operate a retail store, get feedback from your employees who are face to face with customers every day. Are they executing the objectives you requested when you mapped out the ideal customer experience? Are they greeting customers is a polite, non-aggressive way? Do they have several touch points with the customer while they are in the store? Are they authentic when they engage with the shopper?
Employees who work on the frontline of your business such as those manning the call centers, responding to social media comments/complaints, and picking up on sales leads have the most in-depth knowledge of your customer base. A systematized employee feedback program is a useful way to gain their insights.
More and more successful businesses are coming to understand the marketing success that occurs when they create rich customer experiences. The goal is to connect with the customer emotionally so they will talk about your business with everyone they know.
While it’s important to have great products and services, it’s probably not enough in 2018 and beyond. You will need to wrap great products and services in a total customer experience that keeps them coming back for more.
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