We spend a lot of time discussing customer service – how to improve it, how to streamline it, how to stay ahead. However, customer service is only one part of the customer experience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes through their entire interaction with your company. That’s what the customer experience is – your advertisements, your customer service, your store or website – everything.
While raw data may indicate that a customer had their problem resolved, it may not show that they spent 57 minutes on hold while being transferred four times. That customer will not be entirely satisfied, despite having their problem solved.
Here are a few tips to ensure your customers are getting a positive and consistent experience throughout their interaction with your company.
1. It’s Not Just an End Result
A customer who calls to say they received the wrong product presents a seemingly simple situation to fix. However, if your company’s error resulted in a late birthday present, then it’s not so simple. Allow your team some latitude to expedite and upgrade orders, without passing customers to another representative when details like this are uncovered.
2. Limit Wait Times
No one likes to be put on hold, period. You can feel your time slipping right through the receiver. The same applies when a customer is in the store waiting. Give authority to qualified employees to perform tasks that are usually assigned to another employee, to prevent a customer from waiting. Make your customers feel like they’re important enough to be helped on the spot.
3. The Retail Experience
You may want to force flow customers around the majority of your store to expose them to the most products, but they may instead choose to walk the aisles of an uncluttered competitor. Customer satisfaction surveys can play a significant role in the retail experience. Use research to discover what customers are looking for, what they like, and what drives them away.
4. Open More Feedback Channels
Not every customer wants to call you, just like every customer doesn’t want to return to a store to resolve an issue. Provide your customers with as many avenues as possible to get in touch with you. But remember, customers will expect prompt responses from every communication channel you provide. As an example, don’t jump onto social media if you don’t have the staff to maintain communication.
Most employees want to resolve issues as quickly as possible, so they can make a customer happy and move on to their next task. While that’s a good trait to have, sometimes customer service isn’t that cut and dried. Occasionally, your employees may simply need to listen to the customer. They’ve had a bad experience and want to explain it. If you allow them to speak their piece, they’re more likely to leave in peace … and return to your business in the future.
Your company has devoted a lot of resources to customer service. Now work to ensure that customers become your advocates because every part of their experience is consistently good.