If they’re not with you, they’re against you – right!? At least when it comes to customers.
That’s why you need to keep a laser-focus on making your customer experience a positive one. (If you’re not 100% sure what customer experience is, check out our ultimate guide to customer experience). But don’t forget to come on back and read the rest of this blog. Go on, we’ll wait!
Creating a positive customer experience helps you keep existing customers, and attract new ones. But what exactly does a positive customer experience look like? And what are the benefits of creating one? In this blog, we’ll explain a little bit more about what a it is and why it’s important, and share 11 key strategies for creating a positive customer experience.
What does a positive customer experience look like?
Think 360! When it comes to a positive customer experience, it’s all about making your customers feel heard, understood, and valued. We’re talking about a fully rounded experience, no matter what your business is. Although of course it’s crucial to provide a service or a product, a positive customer experience is about creating a memorable and meaningful interaction that leaves a lasting impression. And that goes for each stage of the customer journey: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase.
It can be responsive and efficient customer service, personalized and tailored experiences, and making it clear that customer satisfaction is always at the forefront of your mind. But some of that is table stakes – the magic happens when you deliver some unexpected delight. And these days, we need that delight wherever we can get it. Not to mention the current economic environment makes it even more important to hold onto customers.
But how? By thinking human experience. Try offering your customers a little extra: Barilla Pasta made a Spotify playlist of songs perfectly paired to specific pasta shapes cooking times. Chipotle hosted concerts and celebrity-hosted virtual lunches during the pandemic. And Los Angeles-based Magic Castle Hotel has a bright red poolside “Popsicle Hotline”, where you ask for a refreshing ice lolly to be delivered direct to your sun lounger. Or even something more basic, like Amazon refunding your return as soon as you drop it off, instead of waiting for it to arrive at the warehouse. Or an airline proactively reaching out to rebook your flight in bad weather.
Treat your customers as humans – show that you understand them as more than just data points and revenue streams – and reward them with delight, not just the everyday experience. And you’ll build a long-lasting and yes, lucrative relationship. Bonus – you’ll attract new ones who hear about how well you treat your current ones!
What are the benefits of creating a positive customer experience?
Creating a positive customer experience is a win-win for both your business and your customers. It fosters a sense of loyalty and trust and drives tangible results for your business. Here are just four of the benefits of creating a positive customer experience:
1. Increased customer retention
A positive customer experience makes customers more likely to return to your business, leading to repeat business and a steady stream of revenue. You can use strategies like smooth onboarding, gathering customer feedback, rewarding loyalty, and delivering innovative products and services. For more ways to get better customer retention, check out our 13 essential customer retention strategies that work.
2. Increased customer loyalty
When customers have a positive experience with your brand, they are more likely to become loyal brand advocates who recommend your products or services to others. You can expect more profits, deeper relationships, repeat business and the holy grail – increased customer lifetime value. And this isn’t all. Bigger brand awareness, richer customer insights, and happier employees are all the pleasant side effects of increased customer loyalty. What’s not to like!
3. Increased sales
Positive customer experiences lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing, which is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. Gossip queens unite! When you please one customer, they are delighted to tell other potential customers about how great your brand is. As most of you might already know, a referral from a trusted source is worth more than an online review. Tap into these kinds of networks, stand back, and watch sales soar.
4. Increased customer lifetime value
A positive customer experience leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn leads to increased lifetime value for your customers. This means that customers are more likely to continue doing business with you for years to come, leading to a more sustainable and profitable business in the long run.
How to create a positive customer experience: Our 11 key strategies
1. Listen to your customers
One of the most important things you can do to create a positive customer experience is to listen to your customers. Ask them what they like and dislike about your products or services and use that feedback to improve your offerings. If you’re listening well, you’ll be able to catch issues early on, source new ideas, see where you’re falling short compared to your competitors, and tap trends before they hit the mainstream.
2. Personalize your interactions
Making your interactions feel more personal can help you create a more positive customer experience. Personalization is easy with the right analytical tools. That way you’ll build stronger relationships with them and make them feel valued. And it’s ever-more important. When customers feel that you ‘get’ them, they reward you with loyalty, spending, and promotion. And by the way, McKinsey research found that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue than average players. Not too shabby.
3. Be responsive
Make sure you respond to customer inquiries and complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. You’ll build trust in your ability to solve problems and deliver on your promises. Forrester research found that customers …And don’t just wait for things to go wrong before you respond. If you’re running a business where you can’t respond at once to an email, make sure your website offers other ways to contact you – like calling the salon, if you’re a hair stylist.
4. Be transparent
Be open and honest with your customers about your products or services. This can help build trust and create a more positive customer experience. This starts right at the beginning and should stay the same throughout. Make sure your clear on what your products or services offer, pricing, stock levels, and delivery times for example. This attitude also goes for customer data: be honest about what you’re collecting and what you’re using it for, and always be clear about how they can opt out from monitoring and communications.
5. Show empathy
Show empathy for your customers by understanding their needs and concerns. But it’s no good to just pay lip service. You need to embed empathy in the design stage and build your products and services around it. So, what does that look like? It could be a loyalty program that serves as a community builder. Or take your lead from pet company Chewy. A customer asked to return an unused bag of dog food after her dog passed away. Understanding what it’s like to lose a beloved pet meant that the customer agent at Chewy gave the customer a full refund, suggested donating the leftover food to an animal shelter, and delivered flowers as condolences on her loss. Chewy’s empathy is clear when it comes to understanding what this customer may have been going through.
6. Offer excellent customer service
Offer excellent customer service by going above and beyond to ensure that your customers are satisfied. As we shared earlier, going above and beyond doesn’t have to be expensive. But it must be meaningful. That means leaving a lasting impression by helping them in the best way possible. Like giving away a free drink to a regular customer, or like Disney cast members offering to fix sunglasses for free.
7. Use technology to your advantage
Use technology to help you create a more positive customer experience. Tap the latest tech like customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer interactions and make experience personal. Tailor content like marketing messages, or recommend other products or services, based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing history. Remember, 91% of customers say they prefer to shop with brands who recognize, remember and provide relevant offers and recommendations.
8. Continuously improve
Continuously improve your products or services based on customer feedback. Understanding customer pain points should be your starting point for all improvements. You can split feedback up into two types: solicited, such as customer surveys, and unsolicited, like bug reports. Leverage all your channels like reviews, focus groups, surveys, in-app chats, and social media, to make sure you’re spotting any issues straight away.
9. Reward loyalty
Reward customers who have been loyal to your brand. We all know that customer loyalty is a key driver of your Customer Lifetime Value, and its cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one. By rewarding current customers, you’ll boost their satisfaction and make them more likely to continue shopping with you. And bonus! It’ll make it more likely they’ll talk about you positively to their friends and family. If you want to know about more benefits, check out the 9 benefits of customer loyalty for your business.
10. Create a sense of community
Being part of a community is essential to most humans, so help your customers feel that way. You can use your product, service, or shared customer experience as the foundation for an active, empowered community of consumers. From creating a culture of caring at each customer touchpoint, to creating an actual online community forum or group, building a community can be a powerful way to ramp up your customer experience.
11. Be consistent
Be consistent in your interactions with customers, so that they know what to expect when they interact with your brand. A consistent customer experience is when the customer knows what to expect at each stage of their journey, on every channel. For example, a consistent brand voice and style for customer messages, your website, and social media. And that your product is consistent every time, in quality, service, as well as the purchase and delivery experience. By building trust, you create customer loyalty and improve retention.
How Forsta can help
Forsta’s customer experience survey software can help you create a positive customer experience by supplying tools to gather customer feedback, analyze it and use it to improve your customer service. With our software, you can quickly and easily conduct customer surveys to find quick wins, longer-term needs and continue to deliver the customer experience of your dreams.
It’s crucial to create a positive customer experience. Hopefully this blog has sparked some ideas on how you can implement these strategies today. If you make sure each of your customers has a positive customer experience, no matter where they are in their journey, you’ll reap the rewards. From increased loyalty and retention to greater insight into potential improvements and growth, the benefits of a positive customer experience are yours for the taking.
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