Did you know that customers would be willing to pay more for products based purely on the customer experience - according to research by PwC.
On the other side, 32% of customers say they would walk away from a brand they love based on a single bad experience.
Clearly the customer experience has become just as tangible as creating great products.
Here we’ll guide you through the stages of managing the customer experience and give you some tips for understanding how the customer experience ties into the rest of your services.
Understand the customer journey
If you want to ensure you provide a good experience at every contact point with your current and potential customers, then first you need to understand where those contact points are, and when customers are likely to use them.
Like everything else you do with inbound marketing and sales, you should have a strategy dedicated to the customer experience.
You need to sit down and map out the customer journey from the first point of contact someone could have with your company (whether that’s your website or on social media), through to dealing with your delivery team, through to customer support, and even the final touch points if they no longer want to do business with you - unfortunately it does happen sometimes.
Constantly review the entire customer journey
Most companies use Net Promoter Scores to judge customer sentiment towards their delivery team.
But you should be using these types of surveys to judge the sentiment towards every stage of the customer journey - from the initial marketing and sales, to delivery, to support when things aren’t going well.
Even how you deal with customers leaving you should be part of your review process.
You’d be surprised how likely someone would be to come back to you later on if things don’t work out, providing they had a good experience when they left you.
For example, your marketing team understands how customers are engaging with your business in the early stages. They have oversight of how your content is performing, how customers are engaging with you (and whether they then drop off).
They can figure out what experience you’re giving to people as they start their journey to becoming customers.
Your sales team understands what is motivating individuals and understands the nuanced challenges customers are having.
Or they should if they have the time do to selling properly. Find out if you’re giving sales enough time to do frictionless selling in this blog.
Sales will have a good understanding of whether what you’re offering, and how you offer it, matches expectations and needs.
If it’s not - then you need to change something.
Delivery and Support
One of the biggest failings in the customer journey happens between the handover from sales to the delivery team.
This is where customers start to experience your actual product, and if their expectations haven’t been met then they’ll get off to a bad start.
Delivery can help you understand if your sales and marketing matches what you’re actually delivering, and help you refine your messaging and offering.
Similarly your support team can tell you what kinds of problems customers are having based on actual things they need help with.
If your support team is constantly being bombarded with the same problems then you know you have a gap in your products and customer experience.
Commit the resources to the customer experience
It’s one thing to understand the importance of the customer experience.
It’s another thing to dedicate resources in your business to actually understanding and solving it.
Remember, the first time your delivery team or support service finds out there’s a customer problem, is when the customer tells them.
If you dedicate some resource to proactively, regularly monitoring customer sentiment and understanding the experience customers are having (whether this is a dedicated customer success manager) then you can work on fixing problems before they become a critical issue.
Update your company regularly
Don’t wait for problems to reach critical levels before getting your company together to tell them there’s a problem.
If you’re carrying out regular reviews of the customer experience, give this feedback to your company on a regular basis as well.
You don’t have to be critical with the feedback, but constructive feedback of performance can help your delivery and support teams deal better with customers and get that NPS scores back up.
Updating your company regularly will also ensure you can start to address customer needs and issues faster - again reducing the chances that problems will become critical.
Ask why customers are leaving you
It’s never a good thing when a customer leaves you, and we get why you might not want to ask.
Maybe it’s just because you don’t want to hear the answer.
But you should review with soon to be ex-customers why they made the decision to go. It could be they felt it was a natural time to try something different. But it could be that you have a problem in the customer experience you need to deal with.
Remember, it’s more cost effective to retain the customers you have and grow your revenue through them than it is to bring in new customers.
So you should be doing everything you can to learn why customers are leaving so you can reduce the likelihood of it happening.
Frictionless sales is a big part of the customer experience. Download our free guide to achieving frictionless sales in 2020 below.