For small companies that lack the power or resources to compete with the prices offered by big brands, focusing on the “customer experience” is the next best way to stand out from the competition. Furthermore, a great customer experience encourages brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
Here are six practical ways to enhance your business’ customer experience strategy to keep up with the rising expectations of today’s consumers.
- A Personable Staff
Skills can be taught…but personality traits can be challenging to adjust. When appointing your “front line,” a friendly and approachable attitude needs to be a requirement. Conflict resolution skills are also a great asset for any and all team members.
Customer first impressions are critical, and it’s easy to blow them with dirty windows, cluttered counters, and overall disorganization. Keeping a clean shop or office costs very little but can go a long way in shaping your customers’ perception of your brand.
- Short Hold Times
When customers are put on hold for an extended period of time, it usually doesn’t end well for a company. Studies have found that 60 percent of customers aren’t willing to wait more than a minute on hold and 32 percent won’t wait at all!
However, sometimes, when you have a small team, hold times are inevitable. In those instances, company announcements or fun facts being played through a VoIP system can distract or alleviate a customer’s impatience. Providing estimated wait times can also help prevent hang-ups.
- Attention to Detail
Would your employees walk a customer out and open the door if his or her arms are full? Would they notice an older female patron who is unsteady on her feet and help her carry her purchase to her car? Is your store or office furniture easy for all customers to get in and out of? If your shop sells gift-related items, do you provide gift wrapping services? If your target customers are young families, do you provide changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms? Many times, “smaller details” of the customer experience are remembered more than the product or service purchased.
- Self Service
In today’s digital age, customer service goes well beyond face-to-face interactions. And in many industries, it can be advantageous to provide web-based support. Customers don’t always want to go through the process of contacting their rep or customer support over the phone. In fact, in a recent study, an alarming 73 percent of customers said they prefer to communicate with businesses through live chat or social media messaging. However, know that web-based support can quickly turn into a disaster if the info being provided isn’t clear and concise. Make sure your team is well trained!
- Personalized Marketing Messaging
If your company has access to customer data—indicating what they’ve previously browsed or purchased—you can tailor the content you’re sending them (like email marketing) to their interests and needs. Customers will find your products or services more valuable when you’re providing them with relevant/timely incentives.
Ultimately, you want your customers to feel like you know them, understand their needs and are looking to create a relationship with them—not just a sale. But there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to building a great “customer experience.” That’s where we come in. Baer Performance Marketing’s experienced team can help your business integrate a high-performance, customized customer experience strategy. Contact us today.