By Niharika Gupta

A study by Oracle found that around 75% of senior executives believe that positive customer experience can make customers more loyal to a brand or an organization. And 59% believe that customers immediately move to a different brand if they have a poor experience.

These facts demonstrate the importance of customer experience. When a customer has an encouraging experience with an organization or a brand, he is more likely to be loyal to it. It is definitely for a reason that a customer is called a king. There is no surprise then that a sure-shot way of getting success to the business is by positive customer experience.

Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

It is important to mention here that customer service is different from the customer experience. While customer service is an important aspect of the latter and it carries the ability to bring about a remarkable difference in the overall customer experience.

On the other hand, customer experience is the result of many interactions that a customer has with an organization over a period of time. While earlier customer service was the only way to improve customer experience, today there are multiple ways of doing so, thanks to the technological breakthroughs in recent times.

Strategies to Improve Customer Experience

Here are a few important ways to improve customer experience at various touch points while interacting with an organization.

1. Understand Your Customers

Before you start working on customer experience, it is important to understand who your customers are, what their situations are and what kind of challenges they face. When an organization understands its customers, connects with them, and empathizes with their situation, the customer support team is in a much better position to bring about positive customer experience. In short, you need to identify whom to target and what their expectations from you are.

2. Have a Clear Vision

When you say customer experience, have a clear vision and communicate it to the members of the organization. An ideal way is to have clearly defined guiding principles for the organization that focus on the customers.

Another great way of enforcing them is by making them a part of the training and development. When an organization has clearly defined principles in terms of behavior expected from them etc., employees will aim at achieving them. It gradually becomes part of the culture of the organization.

3. Connect with Your Customers

It is extremely important to have an emotional connection with your customers. The emotional connection is important because these emotions  drive decisions and make an experience positive or negative.

As per a recent review by Harvard Business, a customer that is emotionally connected to a brand is three times more likely to promote it among others, less likely to be associated with other brands, three times more likely to repeat purchases and is not too price-sensitive either.

4. Get Customer Feedback

There are several ways of getting customer feedback in real-time. You can choose to send follow up emails, make outbound calls or choose other tools for the same purpose. This feedback can then be discussed with the team members so they can identify the positives and the negatives out of it and bring the much-required changes to the customer experience.

5. Work on Developing Your Customer Support Team

With all the above strategies, you get to know much about your customers and their experience. By now, you have enough data (communication over the phone and email) to compare your customers’ feedback with the principles that you have laid down. It helps you to find out the loopholes and work on the training of your customer support team for their development. The development of the team can be further tracked using different methods such as coaching, group training, and e-learning.

6. Get Employees Feedback

The employees of an organization have a major role to play when it comes to customer experience. While most of the organizations undertake annual surveys for their employers’ feedback, it makes much more sense to have regular feedback from employees. This way, the employees can give their valuable suggestions on how to improve the experience of the customers or what they feel about the organization. A number of organizations are currently using social media tools and other software for the same purpose.

7. Measure the Final Results Against the Inputs

All your hard work becomes futile if you do not have any mechanism to measure the achieved customer satisfaction and verify how it affects the business results. Even though it is the most challenging task for an organization to perform, it is incredibly important.

NPS or Net Promoter Score is a highly popular tool that is used by most of the organizations to measure customer experience. It has become a standard tool for measuring customer experience and is everyone’s favorite since it asks the most direct questions from the customers regarding their experience with an organization.

Final Word

Customers have the power to reject and change the seller and service provider, as the number of options for them is increasing in the market. They are quite empowered today and have high expectations from a brand or an organization in every sense. It is for this reason that customer experience is very important and must be taken seriously.

If a company focuses on the above-mentioned strategies, it is sure to achieve the key goals that are set to achieve customer experience. Some of these goals include engaging the customer with the brand, achieving customer loyalty, having quality talk-time with the customers, reducing the problem resolution time and higher revenues for the company.

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