A 2016 Report by Econsultancy and Adobe on ‘Digital Marketing Trends’ rated Customer Experience as the most exciting opportunity for organizations to improve customer loyalty. That the two are related is a no brainer, but how deeply one affects the other needs to be evaluated at length.
Customer loyalty is a by-product of almost fanatical focus on EPIC customer experience by the organization.
How is customer loyalty related to your top line?
While acquiring new customers is one way of maximizing the top line, what many organizations ignore or lack is the art of retaining a customer for repeat purchases. According to a recent survey by Marketing Metric, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70% whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. Repeat customers also act as the ambassador for a company and are considered to be the most reliable and trustworthy source of recommendations
5 Ways to deliver EPIC customer experience:
Enhancing customer experience can be challenging but if done right it can provide a competitive edge. Following are the five effective ways to deliver an EPIC CX:
1. Know your customers well
Knowing your customers in and out is the first step towards charming a customer. A complete need analysis of the customer is essential to serve them better. Knowing a customer doesn’t have to limit to having a knowledge of their portfolio, but also knowing where they are in their life stage, what are they most likely to need at that stage etc.
A high-end retailer knows my preference towards a particular range of products. Every time their stock is updated with any new products under that category, I receive an update with trial samples. My feedback does help them improvise their product (since I am a frequent user of that category) also as a customer this retailer is asking me to use their new launches and the majority of the time I will end up buying these products as well.
2. Listen to Act
We all hear about organizations taking steps to enhance their customer’s experience but do they know what their customers need? There is a need to listen to your customer’s complaints and to act upon it. Customers do reach out to organizations through survey or through various other online and offline channels. Organizations need to analyze customer feedback to understand why they are unhappy and act upon it. As a comprehensive CX management tool, PULSE uses deep text analytics and learning machine to highlight the customer pain areas or the areas of improvement.
I recently ordered groceries from an online grocery store through express delivery (30 minutes delivery for a surcharge). When my order was delayed, I wrote to them through their web’s ‘Ask us’ option. They immediately updated me about my order status and refunded my money (since they were not able to deliver in 30 minutes). By the end of this, I was a bit upset about the delay in my order but a lot happier about the prompt response from the online retailer.
3. A collaborative effort by all teams
We have often observed that ‘Customer Experience Management’ is generally the responsibility of an specific department within the organization. Since customers interact with many departments within an organization – sales, customer support, product team etc. CX can’t be a sole responsibility of a department. Customer experience at every transaction/process matters. If they are not satisfied/happy with a department/process/transaction they are going to fall under the list of unhappy customers (even if they had a pretty good experience at various other touch points).
Recently a friend of mine booked a cab from the airport to home. The cab was in good condition and was on time at the airport, still she rated it as a ‘very poor’ experience because cab driver was ill mannered.
A delightful experience can only be achieved through collaboration.
4. Empower your frontline team
Organizations must ensure that their front-line teams which interact with customers be empowered so that they can serve the customer better. Also, it is essential that your customer-facing team speak the same language and be well versed with all the product, services, and on-going offers.
I walked into a bookstore where they had a seasonal discount for a particular genre of book. When I inquired about it with a sales executive, he was completely clueless about it. He went further to ask his colleagues who were equally clueless. It took them around 15-20 minutes to figure out the active offers. By that time, I had already lost interest in the bookstore.
5. Measure your CX activities again and again
You will only be able to know whether your CX program is in good shape or not by measuring your CX-driven activities or reports from time to time. Not only does it help you know the areas that have improved, it even highlights the areas that have improved. Not measuring your CX activities is as bad as not doing it.
An uptown restaurant which also offers home delivery options was bombarded with complaints from its customers stating that the food was not delivered on time and this was affecting their overall online rating. The restaurant took corrective measures and within a month they improved on their delivery. Still, the overall rating of the restaurant didn’t improve. After asking for feedback again, the restaurant discovered that their delivery has improved but now customers have an issue with the quality of food delivered.
Customer expectations are higher than ever and word of mouth travels fast!