As businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition, providing a great customer experience is more important than ever. Customers expect a personalized and hassle-free shopping experience, and businesses that fail to meet those expectations risk losing their customers to competitors. In this blog, we’ll explore five innovative ways to improve customer experience and boost sales.
1. Empower your employees
This may seem backwards, but companies that win at CX start with their employees.
There’s an important connection between empowered employees and happy customers. Think about it – you’ve been speaking to a customer service agent for 10 minutes and you ask for a discount. The agent wants to resolve your issue, but they need to approve it with their manager. You’re already tired and just want to be finished with the conversation. It would be much easier if the agent could use their judgment, approve the discount (or take other appropriate action) and solve your issue on the spot.
Find out what’s blocking your employees from delivering a great customer experience. Use an employee pulse survey to uncover any common pain points in the employee experience, and use those insights to review systematic processes such as contact center protocols and CRM software.
Consider your company culture, too. Are leaders, managers and employees all on the same page, with clearly understood shared values that support good customer experiences? Can you do more to build a customer-centric culture in your organization?
2. Value employee ideas
Employees who are on the frontlines interacting with customers are in a unique position. They’re the rubber meets the road when it comes to delivering on your brand promises, and they’re equally pivotal when it comes to perceiving and communicating customer expectations, mood and perceptions.
So when that crucial connection suffers, so does your understanding of your customers, and their perception of you. Employees who feel valued are more engaged at work and more willing to help customers.
According to our latest employee engagement trends research survey, employees are two times as likely to be actively disengaged if they think their manager ignores them, so it’s important to let them know they’re valued by listening to their opinions and ideas.
As well as running regular pulse surveys to collect employee experience data, consider setting up an employee suggestion box to create a channel for ad hoc feedback. Giving employees a voice can offer valuable insight.
Even more importantly, take action on the feedback your employees provide. Making a clear connection between what they give you and what you’re able to do as a result will underline how important they are to you.
3. Use tech to create breakthrough customer experiences
AI and machine learning are tailor-made for CX experiences. From chatbots that are there for customers 24/7, to natural language processing that allows you to understand what people mean in free-form text messages, the latest digital technology has made time-to-insights faster and new levels of personalization and service both scalable and affordable.
The value of these technologies are reflected by the increasing numbers of big businesses using them. For example, Dominos lets customers order pizza through the Domino’s Facebook Messenger chatbot, and eBay helps customers search the entire eBay marketplace for the best deals out there just like a personal shopper. There’s no doubt AI and related tech can make life easier for your customers and allow you to get creative with your products.
Explore the possibilities with AI and machine learning tools designed for experience management. Take a look at our listening tools and see how digital technology powers contact center performance.
4. Embrace an omnichannel mindset
Gone are the days of sitting down at a desktop computer to connect with a brand. With more than 50% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, multi-device digital journeys are now the standard.
But it’s not just about maintaining a consistent journey across different devices. Today’s CX leaders understand that customers use a range of offline and online channels to connect with brands, often switching multiple times, and that every part of the journey – however meandering and unpredictable – needs to be seamlessly joined-up and consistent.
Embracing omnichannel is one of the most important shifts you’ll make in your business thinking, and it’s one that goes hand in hand with prioritizing CX.
5. Personalize, personalize, personalize!
Customers today want personalized interactions. In fact, research by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase when brands offered CX, and 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them, according to Accenture.
Personalization, where the experience adapts based on what you know about the customer, makes customer journeys smoother and strengthens the bond between brand and customer. If you’ve ever received a marketing email filled with recommendations and vouchers based on your purchase history, or been able to set up which content you see on a website from your user profile, you’ve experienced the power of personalization.