The bottom line is, customers must enjoy using your product or service; otherwise, no amount of marketing or market share will save you. This lesson is especially crucial right now, as competition is fierce for digital retail brands. In 2017, consumers’ appraisals of overall CX quality diminished, as they felt that brands weren’t delighting them or making them feel more confident, according to Forrester research. And 90 percent of respondents in a recent Deloitte survey highlighted improved CX as one of their focuses, so it’s crucial to keep up.
To inspire your customers beyond brand loyalty into brand advocacy, employ these strategies to effectively tailor your customer experience to the needs of your business — and, more importantly, your customers — right now:
- Adapt to the changing market by listening to your customers and making sure you continue to meet their needs. A good example is Content and Code, Microsoft’s 2018 Customer Experience Partner of the Year award winner, whose team doesn’t even like the word “customer” because it describes a simple buyer-seller interaction instead of the personal relationships they pride themselves on creating. Impeccable CX is so ingrained its culture that the company emphasizes its importance during new-hire onboarding and the company offers bonuses based on CX measurements. A Forrester report states that we are living in “the age of the customer,” so it’s essential to position the customer as central to all your business operations and tailor your customer experience to meet their needs.
- Measure the effectiveness of your CX. Try tools like SurveyGizmo, Delighted, and Client Heartbeat to collect actionable research and feedback from your customers about their experiences with your brand. Use this data to reevaluate customer goals and determine whether their journeys follow the path you’ve mapped out. Each step in the journey should align with your company’s values in order to create the most effective CX model. How else can you know how to tailor your customer experience if you don’t keep track of the effectiveness?
- Read industry-leading books like “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath; “Epic Content Marketing” by Joe Pulizzi; and “Outside In” by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine for insights on creating strategies that engage customers long-term. Remember that people desire more than just a product or service; they look for an experience and an emotional connection. Small businesses are uniquely poised to give CX a human touch in a way that industry giants are not, so read up on how to leverage that advantage.
- Track employee satisfaction with feedback-collecting tools. Research from the Temkin Group shows that companies with successful CX are the organizations with higher employee engagement. Tell your team members your plans, then get them involved and excited. Make sure they have a clear understanding of your company’s current state and its goals, and monitor their engagement along the way.
Superior CX is nonnegotiable to keep pace with the market. Luckily, plenty of tools are available to help you tailor your customer experience (and the employee experience that supports it). Track the emerging trends and the leaders who set them, then join them at the forefront of the CX movement.
Do you use any tried-and-true strategies for CX success?