The world is evolving quickly, and customers are now in control. Customers want to shop how and when they choose, 24 hours a day. These rising customer anticipations can pose a challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers who are expected to extend the hours the business operates. It also affects both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses, as they’re expected to monitor social accounts to keep pace with customer demands.
Businesses are reacting in various ways. Develop a strategy focused on benefitting your customers and identify how technology is able to support the delivery of a distinct customer experience. If you’re ready to build a customer-driven business, take a look at these nine tips that can take you there.
Develop a solid and clear brand promise.
In recent years, the customers’ loyalty to and trust in brands has dropped. This makes it more important than ever to align the marketing message with the actuality of the experience if you want customers to trust you. The customer experience is key – develop a strong, clear description of exactly what your business can deliver to the customer. This evokes emotion and inspires people to feel more connected to your business. Brand refers to the image people have of your product or company – it’s who people think that you are. A brand promise will help you to solidify the relationship you have with your customers and your brand.
Keep learning and growing.
One key to success is to realize that everything evolves, so you and your business have to continue to improve and make changes, too. Customers anticipate you’ll be able to offer them the most current offerings and if you don’t, you can lose them to a more relevant business. Any business you choose to launch and run requires focus, patience and involves providing high quality customer service and products.
A few of the major factors that drive high levels of customer satisfaction include running a business that people trust, maintaining transparency and openness, the ability and willingness to hold conversations via the phone and the way your business handles complaints. Get employees involved early and seek their input on improvements and changes that can make a difference for the customers so they can best support and develop the new and improved experience.
Focus on the most profitable customers.
While all customers need to be treated the same, they are not actually created equally. By studying your loyal customers, your business can identify the factors that drive the buying behavior of customers. One of many ways to boost your traffic in 2019 is to identify the loyalty drivers among your customer base to drastically improve customer satisfaction.
Ensure customer access is seamless and simple across channels.
Customers want to contact businesses anytime and in any manner they prefer – and they anticipate a seamless experience. Customers do not want to wait on hold, not hear back from a business, or repeat their story numerous times before their issue is resolved.
When you make it easy for your customers to make purchases, use your products, reach sales support, complain, and exchange or return an item, your customers will be more satisfied. Focus on minimizing effort and maximizing the customer experience.
Build solid relationships with customers through data.
Businesses now have the ability to build a personal relationship with customers by leveraging techniques such as predictive analytics to understand customer preferences and life stages and patterns of customers. When you understand how to provide your customers with real value and engage with them directly, you’ll be able to grasp what they expect from their relationship with your brand. This is when you can truly bond with your customers.
Shift from products to enhanced experiences.
Companies like Disney and Ikea recognize that creating experiences builds brand commitment. Yes, the products you offer are important but the way you offer things and the experience that surrounds them is what creates emotional memories for the customers. Take the steps you can to personalize your services. These emotional connections are what leads to the strongest customer loyalty possible. Keep in mind that the customer experience impacts all areas of your business from increased customer satisfaction to more customer referrals to reduced customer turnover and ultimately, increased sales and revenue.
Increase urgency and speed.
Speed is a critical part of building customer loyalty. According to Forrester, 66 percent of adults feel that proving you value their time is the most important thing a business can do to provide them an excellent online customer experience. Make sure you’re available and empathetic and your team will shine and win your customers over. View every interaction with your customer as an opportunity to learn something new and to show them that you value their business. Time is precious – show your customers you recognize how valuable their time is and boost their loyalty instantly.
Measure what is important to your customer.
An excellent customer experience is more important than ever - this is why businesses have adopted the metrics that can help with the success of their customer service efforts. Aim to continually improve; create a feedback system that enables customers to offer their opinions on what is working well and what areas of your business and/or products and services need improvement. Utilize this data in efforts to revamp your current strategies and develop new strategies while taking the feedback into consideration.
The most common barrier to customer centricity is the lack of a customer-centric organizational culture. In order to successfully implement a customer-centric strategy, your business must have a culture that aligns with leaders who choose to deliberately cultivate the mindset and values in their team. As a business leader, recognize that culture and strategy go hand in hand. Put these suggestions into action and your customers will see that you prioritize running a business that values its customers.