In business, customer experience is described as an interaction between the customer and the organisation over a period of time. It is a relationship with three dimensions to it – the customer journey, brand touch points and the environment in which the customer experiences satisfaction. A good experience is one in which the customer is able to get what he or she expects.
To give customers a good experience, the business must be able to involve the customer at multiple levels. It includes involving the customer emotionally, physically and spiritually. Customers can be got to be involved directly as well as indirectly. Direct contact occurs when the customer takes the initiatives to buy from a business, the other – indirect, occurs when a customer responds to advertisements, media reports, an unplanned encounter with a salesman or from a word-of-mouth recommendation (or sometimes criticism).
The scope of customer experience is wide and may include customer care, advertising, appealing packages, product features, reliability and ease of use. The foundation for a great customer relationship is laid not only by the contribution of the business but also by the company providing goods and services. In brief, we can state that customer experience happens before and after the purchase and must be memorable leading to brand loyalty. A customer experience strategy is therefore important for businesses to grow.
Customer Experience Strategy not to be Missed
Customer Experience Management is a buzzword in business circles and centres around tracking customer points of interaction during the period of a relationship. We call this a strategy because it requires extensive planning revolving around individual customers. It is a complex process that involves integrating with technology, brand management and finally getting committed to these. To realise the benefits, companies must understand all the dimension of the customer experience and have a long-term strategy. The strategy must take into consideration such factors like incentivising, focusing on delivery and consistency in execution. Here are a few elements that businesses need to strategise to give a great customer experience.
- Have a clear vision. This is the first of a few steps and clarity is the word to watch. A clear vision is one that focuses on the customer and communicated clearly. It should also be the organisation guideline principle. More importantly, the vision should be embedded in the minds of every employee that works for the business. Proactive businesses do it by making it a part of their training programmes at the time of onboarding an employee.
- Understand customers in depth. Unless your organisation understands its customers, strategies cannot be formulated, and importantly not all customers are the same. When you strategise, create different personas and assign each a name. Creating personas will chart the path to understanding customers and interacting will be all the easier leading to a higher level of customer experience.
- Bring emotion into play. Creating an emotional touch can work wonders. If your salesperson is able to do it in style and finesse, it can lay the foundation for an extraordinary customer experience. It is something beyond description in which the business can benefit from loyalty. Things don’t stop here either; an emotionally connected customer is more likely to recommend your business, and frequent your stores more often, will be less bothered about prices and not look around for a better place for the shopping experience.
- Don’t miss the feedback; not even one. Getting a feedback is critically important and it should be done on a real-time basis on the sales floor itself. A well-articulated feedback can educate the organisation on what is a great customer experience. Customer feedbacks can also be captured in outbound emails and apps. Don’t miss the technology angle to it.
- Listen to your employees with an open ear. Your salesperson is your connection between you and the customer at large. The salesperson is also the one who can instantly gauge the customers’ satisfaction at the micro level and transmit his findings to the organisation for implementation and strategising future endeavours.
- Don’t forget the metrics of customer experience. There are many things to consider in measuring, such as: improved sales, more returning customers, fewer product returns and reduced customer complaints.
Researching and Implementing Strategies
Giving customers a fulfilling experience is no mean job and requires the services of experienced business consultants in India. Experience is important because it is both science and an art and must, therefore, be mixed in the right proportion to give customers a unique experience.
What businesses need to understand is that customer preferences change constantly and constant research and revisiting strategies should be a regular feature of growing organisations.
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