From Apple to Amazon, companies that are known for delivering great customer experiences have disrupted their respective industries and set a new standard for others to follow. Studies have shown that customer experience is now the leading brand differentiator, surpassing both price and product.
So, what is it about the customer experience that’s so important? And how can you create an exceptional customer experience that builds relationships and drives brand loyalty?
Great customer experiences are built on a foundation of trust, personal connection, and loyalty. When done right, customer service becomes an experience that customers enjoy and actually look forward to. Think we’re overstating things? Think back to when you last visited the Apple Store. The entire experience both in-person and online has been designed to be enjoyable, helpful, and efficient. From the knowledgeable, personable staff to the clean and modern store design, everything about the Apple Store experience makes you want to come back.
Creating a great customer experience requires attention to detail and a customer-centric focus at every touchpoint. Every interaction is an opportunity to build trust, loyalty, and a personal connection with your customer.
Here’s a closer look at each of these customer experience pillars:
1. Trust is the foundation of any good relationship.
For customers to trust your brand, they need to feel confident that you’re looking out for their best interests. This means being transparent about pricing, delivery timelines, product availability, and anything else that might impact their pre-and post-purchase decisions. It also means being honest about any problems or issues that might arise and working quickly to resolve them.
2. Personal connection is what sets your brand apart from the competition.
It’s the feeling that customers get when they know you care about them as individuals, not just a number on a spreadsheet. Imagine, speaking to a contact center agent who remembers that you prefer to be called Ms. over Mrs., or that you prefer to be contacted through SMS over voice. These small, personalized actions signal to the client that not only are you listening to them but that you care. Thoughtful customer service interactions should be the norm.
3. Loyalty is what keeps customers coming back, even when there are cheaper or more convenient options available.
It’s the result of consistently delivering on your promises and providing an exceptional level of customer service and care. When customers are loyal to your brand, they’re less likely to be swayed by competitors’ efforts to lure them away – even when faced with dramatic price drops or special offers.
Creating an exceptional customer experience requires a genuine commitment to actually putting your customers first by designing it into all your customer service processes. It starts with understanding who your customers are and what they need from you. Once you know this, you can design every touchpoint in the customer journey to deliver on their needs. This could be anything from streamlining your online checkout process to making it easy for customers to get in touch with you when they need help. Understand your customer’s needs, and then go above and beyond to deliver on them. If you can do that, you’ll build relationships that last, and turn one-time buyers into lifelong loyalists.
It’s also important to remember that customer experience is not a one-time event. You need to continuously strive to improve the customer experience you’re delivering. This means constantly collecting feedback from your customers and using it to make changes and improvements.
So, if you’re ready to take your customer experience to the next level, here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Determine what your customers’ needs are.
2. Design every touchpoint in the customer journey with those needs in mind.
3. Make sure your team is aligned with your customer experience goals.
4. Collect feedback and use it to continuously improve your customer experience.
Make sure your customer service is exceptional if you want to build a lasting relationship with them. Customer service is the opportunity to build trust, loyalty, and a personal connection with your customer. All it takes is a little extra care and customer-centric focus at every touchpoint. You should also be constantly collecting feedback and using it to improve the experience you’re delivering.
By making customer service a priority, you can set your brand apart from the competition to establish a true customer relationship.
What are you doing to create a great customer experience?