Retaining existing customers and acquiring potential ones is a challenge faced by a business operating in the current competitive business scenario. Hence, it is vital to implement policies and practices that improve customer or user experience, keep them satisfied and achieve customer delight.
The front line staff must be effectively trained to greet the customer warmly to create a positive impression about the company, as customer experience starts the very moment a customer contacts the company or brand. There are many more ways you can intensify the experience, five of them are here…
1. Providing excellent after-sale services
It is extremely important to greet the customer who visits the store with a polite and courteous attitude, & equally important is to do the sincere ‘follow-ups’ once the sales transaction is over. Giving importance and valuing the customers’ queries and issues related to product warranties, exchange, replacement, returns helps to foster good customer experience.
Customers must not be ignored once they make the payment for the goods and/or services purchased, and must be offered with excellent after-sale services to motivate them for spreading positive ‘word of mouth’ content regarding the brand.
This will also stimulate them to make a repeat purchase. For instance, T-system offers all services including before, during and after the sale of the vehicle. And, integrate the ICT solutions to enable the manager to know the status of car repair on their phone.
2. Maintaining CRM (both offline and online)
In order to maintain an overall customer database in terms of customer profile, the frequency of purchase, types of products & services purchased, mode of payments, etc, it is necessary to implement a customer relationship management system.
The CRM team can get adequate help in terms of building customer relationships through personal rapport, identifying their needs & expectations, address issues and resolve their complaints in a timely manner.
Offering a timely solution to the problem provides them a good experience and helps to achieve their long term relationship.
Maintaining records of customer inquiries, logging complaints, taking customer feedback and retrieving customer data during need is possible through CRM.
It is a good idea to integrate the custom CRM software with digital channels such as social media and/or with mobile apps. CRM solutions like Salesforce, Skyward CRM can be easily integrated easily.
It is recommended that the CRM team must be trained on cross-cultural aspects, soft skills, business etiquettes, complaints handling, etc. to deliver excellent customer services to the best satisfaction of the customers.
3. Customer engagement
Modern customers expect the company to engage them through interaction, feedback sharing and involve their ideas in the business activities. It is useful for the customer service representatives to go the extra mile and engage the customers by encouraging them to put forward their ideas, suggestions, and feedback that they think would benefit the business and keep them satisfied.
Through customer engagement, it will also be possible for the marketers to make them aware of discounts and offers, foster relationship marketing, and control their switch over behavior to other brands.
Customer engagement will help the company to maintain a ‘trust-based’ relationship through the sharing of emotions, building personal rapport and hence provide a good experience to the customers.
It is also advisable that companies must always maintain a ‘human touch’ in their interaction with the customers and must not fully rely on technology to support customers.
For example, leaving the customers’ queries on IVR (Interactive Voice Response) instead of attending them personally through a customer service representative may irritate them as there is no one to answer them. Another great way is to install video live chat software to interact directly with customers in real-time.
If you aren’t using live chat yet, you can check some of them like Tagove, Zendesk. Hence, customer engagement must be through human interaction where customers’ voice must be ‘listened to’ and attended cautiously, to have a good customer experience.
4. Conducting customer surveys
Customer service representatives hardly make a courtesy call to the customer to inquire about their experience with the product after the sale. Conducting customer surveys is an excellent method of identifying customer experiences in terms of their issues, grievances, dissatisfaction, and several other areas of concern.
It also helps to identify their intention to remain loyal with the brand for the long term. Surveys can be in the form of questionnaires distributed either online or offline, or through telephone calls after taking their prior permission.
This will make the customers feel valued while helping the company to work on the service gaps that need improvement.
Customer surveys such as NPS (Net Promoter Score) are one of the most effective methods of measuring customer satisfaction in the U.K. It also helps to measure how likely the customers are willing to recommend the company to others.
These are surveys that are mostly used by the bigger companies that help the customers to reveal their experience with the company and their loyalty towards the brand.
Small and/or medium size companies can design their own customer satisfaction surveys and e-mail to the customers to show that they are concerned about customer perception. This will help to foster better customer experience as the customers will be able to share their issues.
5. Tailor services as per customer profile
Following a ‘one size fits all’ approach to customer service does not help to fulfill the need of all customers, meet their expectations and keep them satisfied.
Although, modern customers are quick to follow changes in the purchasing habits such as placing online orders through smartphone, easy payment system through mobile or web apps’, but there are other customers who are not that tech savvy.
Hence, it is necessary for companies to maintain a convenient and flexible system for order placement, purchase, payment, return merchandise, order cancellations, etc. as per customer dexterity/convenience and suitability.
This will help almost every customer to make purchases and related transactions with ease, without any hesitation and/or hassles, thereby leading to better customer experience.
This Personalisation recognizes their emotional needs and differentiates your company from competitors that don’t provide such a great level of service.
It can be summarised that good customer experience can be gained through simple steps as explained above and its implementation will do wonders for the organization.
At the same time, companies must keep their customer service representatives well informed about any changes taking place, whether internal or external in the organization, so that they respond to customers’ queries promptly.
Regular training to the CRM team backed with state of the art technology will also ensure smooth service to the customers that will help in improving the overall customer experience.