In our latest eBook; Experience is Everything, Here’s How You Get It Right, we shared how to launch and manage a successful customer experience program.
With a focus on real-time customer engagement and gathering feedback, the facts presented in the eBook shed a light on the importance of listening to customers and taking action.
In that same breath, as customer expectations continue to evolve this new year with an accelerated digital transformation, honing in on and delivering a great customer experience becomes imperative for success.
Touching on some main themes explored in the eBook, in this blog we’ll explore the current state of customer experience, and how to create a winning customer experience program.
The State of Customer Experience Programs Today
While many businesses assume a lack of negative feedback is a sign of satisfaction, this is not the case.
In fact, only 1 in 26 unhappy customers actually complain, and if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or more. This means expressing sentiment to friends, family, colleagues, and even to an online following.
Not the type of exposure you want for your business.
However, by adopting a proactive customer experience program you can actually deter negative dialogue and improve your operations at the same time.
So what exactly does a customer experience program entail?
A solid customer experience program is compromised of feedback practices and two-way communication. It allows businesses to connect with customers on the channel of their choice while gaining a deeper understanding of their preferences.
Further, a customer experience program enables action through real-time feedback. If customer sentiment is low, or there are complaints about an aspect of service, with a CX program, businesses can act fast to recover the experience and deter complaints down the road.
Inevitably, working on customer experience is a fortified way to earn customer loyalty and reduce churn.
In this next section, we’ll take a look at three advantageous steps you can take to design a winning customer experience program and earn customer loyalty.
3 Steps You Can Take Today To Design A Winning Customer Program
Designing a winning customer experience program starts with strategy. Ensure everyone who will help manage the experience is involved and assisting in creating your tangible goals. In addition, keep in mind that this program is designed to help your customers – so they should be top of mind at each step of the design process.
Step 1: Decide What You Want to Know
A first step that will set the groundwork for the rest of your customer experience program, is setting a clear and concise objective.
This is the time to figure out your “why”, the overall purpose of your program and what you’re looking to achieve by surveying your customer.
If you’re unsure of where to start, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to find out from your customers?
- Which touchpoints do you want to cover?
- Who in the organization needs to keep track of the data coming in?
Each of these questions is a building block to creating a fortified CX goal that you can use to strategize in a measurable, relevant and achievable way.
In addition, keep in mind that you can always rework this as your findings evolve. In most instances, you’ll uncover trends, key gaps, customer preferences, and operational restraints, that weren’t considered before.
Step 2: Build and Distribute Your Survey
After you’ve mastered a clear and concise objective, it’s time to build a roadmap of engaging surveys.
While it can be assumed that drafting a survey is as easy as jotting down probing questions, it actually involves a lot of moving parts.
Every aspect of a survey should be created with a clear intention, from question type, verbiage, channel, device and so on.
We dive into this in more detail in our eBook, however, at a high level, the number of questions and the format of your questions should resonate with your audience. Consider the following;
- Does multiple-choice perform best, or picklist?
- Do customers prefer open textboxes or star ratings?
- How long do you want the survey to take? Do your question types support that?
Further, it’s crucial to consider what channels your customers want to engage on. Key channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, and email, are some of the top-performing. If you can’t decide on a single channel, keep in mind that a key trend for the new year is omni-channel. Customers not only prefer it but expect it, with 9 out of 10 consumers wanting an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
Lastly, ensure your survey is responsive on all devices (remember, channels and devices are vastly different (for a quick recap click here). Think of how your survey will look on a kiosk, desktop, tablet, and mobile. An unresponsive design makes for an underperforming survey.
Tip: 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing. When drafting the copy for your surveys, use personalization tactics throughout, like referencing their name, mentioning a previous purchase or including the location. The more personal, the greater the engagement.
Step 3: Act on Feedback
Arguably one of the most important steps in a feedback program is actually taking action on the responses you get. Nothing’s worse than a customer who feels like they haven’t been heard.
Here are some ways that you can streamline this process.
Decide who needs to know
Instead of hoping that someone will see and respond to the feedback provided, ensure that sentiments are routed to the right person. Whether through a sophisticated CX solution or forwarded message, having the right people addressing feedback can help speed up resolution and any reporting that needs to be done.
Identify your KPIs
Set actionable goals on what happens when your team receives feedback and what to do with it. For instance, if you’re a restaurant it could look like this:
When the location’s general manager gets a service complaint, a response should be provided in 10-15 minutes of receipt either in person or via email.
90% of customers have stated an immediate response is important or very important. It’s evident that the pandemic accelerated the pace at which customers expect responses. Consider real-time capabilities that enable you to act in the moment. A solution like the Loop Experience Platform, for instance, delivers all customer messages in real-time and allows you to see the sentiment for real-time recovery.
Create reports to identify issues
Once you’ve collected data, the objective then becomes understanding that data and learning how you can improve the experience moving forward.
A great way to do this is to build customized reports with the insights you need. For instance, if you’re looking to boost customer satisfaction at a particular touchpoint, ensure that an insight-specific touchpoint is visible to you on a regular basis. Using the Loop Platform, this is streamlined as you can create customizable dashboards in line with your objectives.
Customer experience plays a major role in the overall success of your business. In addition, without asking your customers about their thoughts, it’s difficult to gauge the satisfaction of the experience you’re offering.
While at first glance, it can seem intimidating, creating a customer experience program that drives loyalty doesn’t have to be a major uplift. With an experience solution like Loop, you can collect critical customer data and act on it in real-time. Processes to understand the customer become simplified, and you can consistently evolve the experience to win loyalty and reduce churn.
Take our insights with you. Download our free infographic; Benbria-Designing a winning customer experience program.
For more on building an experience program that drives results, check out our eBook: Experience is Everything: Here’s How You Can Get it Right.