2021.7.15

How to Improve a Customer’s Experience With Your Company

Written by Kit Jenkin

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There is perhaps nothing more important to all businesses than to improve a customer’s experience of their company. It is a vital part of the business to continually improve your customer experience to keep competition at bay. 

This fact is borne out by a lot of research. Research done by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more to have a better customer experience [1].

Companies that improve their customer experience will improve their customer retention rate and revenue streams. A study published by the Tempkin Group stated that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an extra $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience [2].

That’s a 70% increase in revenue. If you do it right, improving your customer experience can almost double your revenue. 

So, how can you unlock the potential of customer experience to secure a better future for your company?

What is a customer experience?

Before we tell you how to improve your customer experience, we need to define what we’re talking about. A customer experience is the sum of all the customer’s interactions with your company during all stages of the sales funnel, from initial interest to repeat business. 

Customer experience is important because if interactions with your company are positive during the sales funnel, they’re more likely to repeat their business, or if you’re lucky, become a full advocate for the company [3]. 

Concordantly, if you don’t honour your customer’s experience with your company (ie, if you skimp on your customer service or don’t invest in a positive customer experience), you’re likely to lose that vital initial business. 

Customer experience vs customer service

When we talk about customer experience, it’s very easy to get it confused with customer service

Customer service is where your customer interacts with a member of your company, usually an employee at the point of sale, to help them resolve an issue, whether that issue is completing a transaction or asking a question. The company representative will then do everything they can to address the customer’s query. 

But customer service is only a small part of the customer experience. Customer experience includes everything after the initial point of interest, from their first experience with the product or service to repeat business. 

For example, if you buy a laptop with a bug, and then you call tech support to get it fixed, that’s good customer service. If, then, the customer receives a free coupon for 25% off their next purchase with the company, that’s a great customer experience

Establish a vision for your ideal customer experience

Before you go out and try to improve your customers’ experiences, you need to outline what you want that experience to look like. What do you want a customer’s first impression of your company to be? How do you want them to feel when they interact with your products? Why should customers want to come to you instead of your competitors?

You can always return to your brand values for inspiration. Your company’s values should drive your company’s behaviour. Once you reference your values, it can be easy to determine how you want your customer’s experience to be. 

Distil your audience and customer base

Remind yourself who your ideal customers are. Review your company’s buyer personae to remind yourself of your customers’ pain points - what problems do they have that you’re trying to solve? Are you solving those problems with your current customer experience? If not, how can you improve?

It can also help to talk to your customer service and support teams. They will be on the front line dealing with customer queries and complaints, so they will be a gold mine of wisdom and information about what your customers need. 

Get serious about your sales funnel

If you want to improve your customer experience, you need to dig down into every level of your sales funnel [4]. Get into the really granular detail of each stage of the customer journey:

  • How do you attract customers to your company?
  • How might your company compare with your competitors when a customer is doing research?
  • What entices a customer to choose you over others?
  • How do you encourage ongoing interactions and repeat business after the initial sale?

Do everything you can at every stage of the customer journey to make the experience as positive as possible. 

Seek out and accept feedback

Customer feedback is incredibly valuable for your business. 

There are lots of ways to get feedback from your customers. Talking to your customer service team and reviewing your complaints is one of the best ways. This is a great place to get inspiration for what to improve because customer complaints usually contain the places where you need to improve the most. Most customers, when they have a bad experience with a company, don’t complain - they just don’t come back [5]. In all likelihood, if one person submits a complaint, that means that many other people probably encountered the same issue with your company, and just didn’t bother to complain.

Another way to get feedback is to set up and review a Google My Business page and messages on your social media sites. While people may submit unhelpful comments, these sites can be a great place to gauge the temperature of public response to your company and offer insights into how to fix things. 

You can also use tools like live chat, email surveys, and outbound sales calls to gather feedback. 

Develop a quality framework for your customer service team

If you’ve followed the steps above, you now know what your customers and staff think of your product, service, and customer journey. Now you need to develop a quality framework for your customer service team to help improve these things. 

Gather as much information about your customers’ interactions with your company as possible. This could mean recording conversations with your customers and your sales team (with permission, or declare this at the beginning of the call); developing training programs to instil the best knowledge, skills, and behaviours; or investing in online training and continuing education so that your team can continually improve. 

Measure the return on investment from your efforts

Making all these changes to your business won't make a difference if you can’t see the changes happening. 

But how do you measure this? Many companies use the “Net Promoter Score”, or NPS, developed by Bain and Company [6]. This metric uses three questions to determine the level of a customer’s satisfaction with their customer experience:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend Company X to a friend?
  • Why?
  • What can we do to improve?

You can use answers to these questions to determine which customers are most likely to become repeat customers or advocates, where in the customer’s journey their experience went wrong, and how to fix it. 

Create a customer loyalty program and manage it through your POS

One of the best ways to improve your customer’s experience of your company is to reward them for their loyalty to your company. 

When you use an Epos Now POS system, you can use apps like Loyalty and LoyaltyDog to set up customer loyalty programs for your retail or hospitality business. With these apps, you can:

  • Encourage repeat shopping through attainable, worthwhile rewards.
  • Customize the value of each point and create a loyalty scheme that fits your business model. 
  • Analyze shopper data.
  • Expand your customer base.

Contact Epos Now today to find out more about our systems. 

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