improve customer experience

You're not alone. 

Recently, many other companies are also scrambling for how to improve the customer experience. 

Don't take my words for it, a quick search for "customer experience" on Google reveals mind-blowing results:

improve customer experience

Over 40k monthly searches/3 billion results for customer experience

Accompanying that, you also get high volume searches for related terms like:

  • What is the customer experience?
  • What is the importance of customer experience?
  • Is it customer service or customer experience? And, of course, that which you'll learn in this well-researched guide:
  • How do you improve customer experience? (And several others).

As per SEOQuake's analysis, companies are even bidding to pay as much as $10/click for this search term. Just one click!

But, why so?

Shouldn't it be common knowledge that customer happiness leads to brand loyalty and increased patronage (and more revenues)?

Well, as we've all come to discover, common sense isn't common. 

However, some of the world's largest companies are leveraging this common sense of focusing on the customer experience to build their billion-dollar companies. 

Hear what Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon (valued at over a trillion dollars), says about it:

"If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word-of-mouth is so very, very powerful.”

Even in Africa, it's a focus on making customers happy Aliko Dangote builds his billion-dollar empires. Here's what he said:

"My grandfather once told me; the soul of business is not making money but making people happy."

I know you'll be asking, how do I improve customer experience for instant results?

Not so fast. 

Even Jeff Bezos confirmed it requires patience to achieve meaningful success:

“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.

So, even if you've developed a customer experience strategy for your business, you'll still need the virtue of patience to get it kicking.

Download our FREE Customer Experience (CX) Strategy Checklist and tick the steps you need to excite and activate customers

However, you shouldn't shy away because being patient helps to reveal sweet spots to transform customers into raving fans and brand ambassadors of your company. 

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Customer Experience

With the need to be patient out of the way, below are 5 sure-fire ways to improve your customer experience in 2019 and beyond. 

1. Know Who Your Customers/Prospects Are

If you don't know your customers, you can't even create an experience for them, let alone improve one.

Simple and short. 

Again, it's common sense. I mean, how could I possibly improve your experience if I don't even know who you are or what matters to you?

This whole craze about improving CX simply involves giving people what they want, how, and when they want it. 

The hard part?

People's wants are never the same. Two people buying the same product/service still have the slightest differences prompting their purchase.

Those slight differences are what matters to them. You can't just lump them together if they're not relevant to each other, hoping to achieve an improved CX for each.

Thus, you need to get as many details as possible about those unique differences and use the same to create experiences relevant to each. 

Of course, you can't please every single customer by creating an experience unique to every one of them. 

However, you don't need to either, as that's where customer segmentation comes to play. 

To start, create a customer persona profile for different people who buy or could purchase from you. Make sure you cover both the demographic and psychographic details of each. 

The more in-depth you go profiling your different customer groups, the more you'll gather detailed information about them, and know them better.

Doing this, you can discover how to differentiate your business' CX, following what follows next.

2. Set a Clear CX Vision

You'll need a north-star, company-wide focus if you hope to improve the CX of your company to boost sales and revenues. 

Having researched and segmented your customers, according to their demographic and psychographic data, this vision must articulate what needs to be delivered to customers.

Also, it should capture how you want them to feel about your brand, throughout the customer journey from product discovery to after-sales interactions. 

It could be something as simple as, "I want my customers to feel empowered every time they interact with my brand."

Or, "I want customers to feel like they're part of a company changing the world each time they patronize or interact with my company."

There's no one-size-fits-all clear CX improvement vision statement. 

Prioritize what works for your business and is appealing to your customers.

No fluffs or unnecessary jargon 

...just a simple vision statement every staff can look at and be reminded of your company's commitment to always improve the experience provided to buyers any time or place they make contact with your brand. 

GIG Motors did this, improved their CX strategy, and now dominate Nigeria's transport industry. 

3. Create Emotional Connections

Emotions before logic, hearts before wallets. 

Those are significant steps toward having an intentional customer focus to create experiences for customers.

As most businesses move online, there has been a proliferation of massive volumes of data, as well as tools to track the same. 

From websites, mobile apps, web apps, to connected devices, and others, data can easily be made available at the push of the right buttons. 

Unfortunately, human beings aren't robots.

We're first emotional before logical. We also invest our hearts to something before reaching for our wallets. Thus, data would not reveal useful info without layers of context.

To laser-focus on customers and improve CX, you'll need to create emotional connections between what matters to them by examining data they generate relative to your business. 

Firstly, you need to collect as much data as you can from prospects and customers; then, delve into this data to identify the emotions behind them. 

In simple terms, it's about always asking the time-tested question: Why?

  • Why do they prefer this product over another?
  • Why are they navigating your website/app the way they do?
  • Why did they abandon the purchase after filling the cart? 
  • Like, Simon Sinek said, always start with "why?"

Discovering why your customers or prospects do the things they do gives you ideas about what emotions is triggering such actions.

Next, identify how your company can take advantage of such "why" triggers to create relevant emotional connections. 

So, to connect with customers emotionally and improve the experience your company delivers to them:

  • Collect data from their interactions with your brand.
  • Find the "why" behind their actions.
  • Identify how to connect emotionally with them, based on their actions. 

4. Send Gifts/Reach Out to Top Customers

Making customers happy come in many forms. Some times, you need to be proactive about it.

That's where embarking on rare initiatives to excite your best customers become incredibly important.

Depending on your business, some ways you can do this include:

  • Sending them gifts.
  • Offering free phone consultations.
  • Sending personalized messages (on birthdays or other important anniversaries).
  • Personalized packages.
  • Free tools or a free version of your premium tool (e.g., SaaS companies)

The aim shouldn't be to send any generic gift or reach out to everyone en-mass.

That would not add value to anyone, as everyone is no one. 

Instead, make every gift or outreach count. Really try to reach out on a personal level, where the customer feels special and truly appreciated. 

Only when you do that would they feel delighted and eager to spread the word out. 

5. Use CX-Enabling Technologies

Gartner's prediction that by 2020, 85% of businesses would use chatbots for automating customer interactions is for a reason:

Every company is on a race to please customers whenever, as that is now a real competitive advantage. 

The goal of CX is to make customers feel good.

So, if using technology makes that possible, your business shouldn't be a laggard. 

It's why companies now leverage technologies like Blockchain and projection mapping -- two of which are on the rise. 

While Blockchain helps to ensure your customers that transactions between you and them are secure, projection mapping provides a projected virtual environment of what your products/services would offer them. 

It's like getting them to experience the promised land your product/service would take them to, all thanks to technology.

Again, the goal is to only use technology that is mutually beneficial to your business and its customers. 

Don't be like people who jump on trends only for the sake of feeling among. 

When it comes to improving customer experience to please and acquire more customers, the best place to start is to have a defined strategy in place. 

Download our FREE CX strategy checklist below.

When you do, we'll email you a guide on how to develop a customer experience strategy for your business. 

Download our FREE Customer Experience (CX) Strategy Checklist and tick the steps you need to excite and activate customers

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Victor Eduoh

Victor is DigitalSproutNG's B2B Content Strategist & CX Expert, leading the agency's initiatives to help companies deploy data-driven customer experiences that drive business growth.