6 Things you need for a Great Customer Service Strategy
Developing a roadmap to good customer service should come with a great customer experience strategy. It’s something every company needs, and it’s not always something that seems clear cut. The short of the long of it, however, is that it’s all very easy to get started. A great customer experience strategy doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel or cure cancer – it can start with small steps that add up and grow into something amazing, grand, and deliverable.
Why do you need a customer experience strategy at all? To be fair, some companies are probably doing okay without an explicit strategy, but is ‘okay’ really where you want to be? Also, how do you know if you’re doing ‘okay’? Are you measuring your customer experiences? Are you experimenting with what can be done better? We all know that if you take the guesswork out of things, you’ll have a clear picture of what you’re doing, where you’re going, and how you can achieve the things you’re striving for.
So, let’s keep things simple!
6 Steps to developing a Customer Experience Strategy:
- Have a clear vision for what your company’s customer experience should be. This will let you communicate it to all the relevant parties in the company and make it easier to bring to life. Many companies – AQ included – use core values to set the tone for their customer experience and internal culture, a lot of the time these two aspects are very much connected – you are what you eat, I guess.
- Know who you’re dealing with. Ever heard of the adage ‘know your audience’? Well, that applies to the customer experience game as well. To really be able to deliver what your customer is looking for in a great experience you have to understand who they are first. Marketers and salespeople have been using the idea of ‘buyer personas’ for decades, and it’s high time these personas are put to full use to do more than just bringing in more sales. Buyer personas are fictional people created to better understand the needs and want of the general demographic a company is targeting. They can be incredibly detailed personas, with names, backstories, families, etc. much like characters in a TV show – albeit based on real life. By using them to inform and train staff in customer experience development you can allow a staff member to really get to know what drives the real customers they deal with on a day to day basis.
- Connect with your customer on a human level. We’ve talked many times before about creating human connections, emotional connections, with customers. “The New Science of Customer Emotions” from the Harvard Business Review analyzes in great detail the impact of connecting emotionally with customers, they highlight a few key elements stating that emotionally-engaged customers:
- Are at least 3 times more likely to recommend products or services
- Are also 3 times more likely to return to a company to reuse/repurchase services or products
- And are less likely to be swayed by the price of said services or products
- Get feedback! And then act on it. Running customer satisfaction surveys can be a really great way to capture some real-time data on how customers are feeling about your company’s brand promises and how well you’re meeting their expectations. (Psst… you can always complement the subjective data of satisfaction surveys with a good mystery shopping program to get the full picture!) Once you know what’s on your customers’ minds you need to act on it, follow through – do something about the things that are bothering them, and add to the aspects that are working.
- Support your Frontline Team. Customer experience isn’t just about one person, it’s important to help your customer-facing team be the best they can be and deliver those customer experiences you’re striving for. Without them, where would you be? Without customers entirely!
- Setup measurements for your customer experience strategy. What gets measured gets done after all, so start measuring! Using the NPS is a great way to get started.