Customer service and customer relationship management are two key drivers in a successful business, regardless of the industry. While most businesses have moved away from the archaic belief that the customer is always right, focus on creating an effective rapport and engagement is growing.
For a successful rapport with customers that convert leads to sales, creating an ideal customer experience is key. Here are five ways to improve your customer experience.
Know Thy Customers
Take time to learn about your target demographic, beyond their general age group, gender, and socioeconomic status. Research what drives them and what values they hold. Why are they shopping at your store rather than the competition? What do you have to offer that other businesses don’t?
If you don’t know your customers, you can’t offer the best possible customer service through an authentic connection with your consumer base. You must know the motivations of your customers to follow the 5 rules for retail customer service success and keep your customers coming back for more.
Know the Product
In addition to knowing who you’re selling to, it’s important to have an in-depth knowledge of what you’re selling. This applies to all industries. Retail workers should know where things are located and pertinent information about something that’s being sold. Car salespeople take the time to research the vehicles they sell so that they can answer questions. Waitstaff learns the menu of their restaurant backward and forward.
For contractors and service-based businesses, knowing the product can be challenging, especially since the product isn’t actually a product. If there are packaged offerings, knowing what’s included and being able to present it in a way that highlights the value is the best way to improve the customer experience. For those service-based businesses that take a custom approach, taking the time to learn the customer’s needs and finding a solution that meets them is ideal.
Reward Engaged Customers
Offer loyalty programs and customer appreciation events for select customers who spend a certain amount with you each year or regularly give you their business. At the end of the day, people want to feel appreciated. Something as simple as a coffee punch card or as elaborate as a tax-free shopping weekend not only drives more business through your doors but also helps improve the customer experience.
Customers with questions or concerns want to know that they can reach you in their preferred manner. There are a few ways to go about this. If possible, take an omnipresent approach, allowing customers to reach you via social media, phone, email– any possible way that they could conceive of.
Alternatively, if resources are limited, it’s better to do one or two things well than to have multiple access channels that can’t be managed. Consider installing a phone call service to help manage customer calls and have someone in charge of engaging with customers on social media.
Make Customer Experience a Part of the Brand
The most successful businesses not only realize that having a strong brand is the key to continuity and awareness, but also that customer relationships should be a part of the overall brand. Industry innovators are taking the same approach with building a company culture, understanding that employees (particularly engaged and productive ones) are a part of the brand as well.
Prioritizing customer experience shouldn’t just be a responsibility bestowed on front-line workers and salespeople; it should be a company-wide mission. Every person employed by the business ultimately speaks for the brand. Everyone in the organization should know how to address customers and where to direct them for assistance.
By improving your customer experience, you make the journey from lead to conversion straightforward and simplified. A great customer experience builds trust with the consumer and ultimately leads to repeat business.