It’s a simple fact that giving your customers the finest experience is going to lead to better business results. Easy to say, but harder to do. So how do you create that ‘finest experience’ to drive those results?
Over the past decade we have witnessed a customer-led revolution. Customers have redefined markets – and those savvy businesses that have responded to the new landscape have grown exponentially, by meeting new customer desires for the services, products or advice they’re looking for.
Customer experience isn’t a one off. It’s dynamic. To maintain a solid business, you must continually learn what customers want, so that you can build and nurture ongoing relationships. The finest customer experience isn’t about providing a single great experience, it’s about providing a lifetime of value.
Companies can disappear overnight if they dare to decide they know what’s best for their market, instead of listening to what their customers are saying what they want.
The thinking behind author Eric Ries’ book ‘The lean start-up,’ has revolutionised the business world by helping companies realise it is not important to create or supply a ‘perfect’ product or service. The key, rather, is to provide a product the customer actually wants and is happy to provide feedback on, for a continuous improvement loop.
Dropbox proved this concept when they increased their customers by 3900% by iterating their product much faster in order to test what customers really wanted, early and often. As referenced on The Lean Start up website.
So, can you give the customer the experience they want to generate better results?
The key is 3 simple concepts:
1 – Listen to your customers to better understand what they want.
Exceptional customer service is vital, and it is not just for online companies like Amazon, The Iconic and Zappos. Providing ultimate satisfaction to your customer sells itself. You rely on your marketing tactics to draw in new customers, but it’s just as important to use customer service-based marketing to strengthen relationships with existing ones. Retaining existing customers ensures you retain revenue.
Listen to your customers. They are the lifeblood of your business and it is vital to engage with them. Successful brands understand their customers want to interact with peers and learn something of value. Make them feel part of what you are selling, conduct surveys, hold roundtables, host focus groups, share customer stories, host experiential events. Most of all, thank them for their support and loyalty.
2 – Engage in building stronger customer relationships through communication.
– Build more accurate and detailed customer personas.
Personas are essential for marketing efforts, as they help you define whom you’re creating content for, what your audience cares about, and what they need to move through the buyer’s journey
– Two-way communication.
To retain customers and maintain the momentum of your online growth, you’ll need to keep those customers as engaged as possible. Ask questions, gather feedback, respond to comments, and engage your followers in conversation. The more responsive you are, and the more your followers feel they’re heard, the more likely they’ll be to stick around and become advocates.
3 – Deliver personalised experiences based on insights.
Make customers feel like they’re the only one having a particular experience. To effectively reach and engage audiences, brands need to create personal experiences by optimising their online and offline touchpoints and gathering data to gain insights into customer wants and behaviour. Yet organisations are struggling to get to grips with the vast amount of data available to them. Nearly two-thirds of businesses (62%) often feel overwhelmed by the volume of incoming data and only 27% can turn it into useful, actionable information. As reported by Oracle.
Doing nothing isn’t the answer.
While many organisations are in the same boat, there is no excuse for complacency in the drive to turn customer experience into a competitive advantage. It’s time to focus on speed of implementation (or growth) of the above three concepts in order to provide the finest experience for your customers – and generate real results for your organisation.
Sara Hill – GPJ Client Services Director