9 Best Practices in Customer Experience
Not sure how to maximize your brand’s CX? Discover nine customer experience best practices that will surely help your business succeed.
To acquire and keep customers, a brand needs to provide phenomenal customer experiences from start to finish. In fact, CX is arguably the single most important factor for a business, regardless of its niche or industry. A good customer experience for each client will lead to long-term relationships and excellent revenue. Bad CX practices can lead to the opposite.
Join us as we break down nine of the customer experience best practices to utilize.
Customer experience is the collective and holistic range of emotions and processes that customers encounter when interacting with your brand, whether they buy something, talk with one of your customer support specialists, or ask for something else.
It’s broadly made up of three factors:
- The emotions of the customer. Depending on your branding, support, and the focus you place on your client, different people can feel different things when they interact with your business. This is part of the sales personas you create in early marketing strategies.
- The effort of the customer. Each client may offer a different amount of effort to interact with your brand, such as navigating through your website, making a purchase, etc. The easier it is for a customer to work with your brand in some way, the better it is for your CX.
- The success rate of a given interaction. Naturally, the more successful the interaction is with a person, the better it is for your business. Sales success is defined as a client achieving whatever goal they sought out to complete when they decided to work with your brand.
Why Develop a Customer Experience Strategy?
The right CX strategy can positively affect your business. You’ll take customer feedback to develop new customer journeys, market better on social media and elsewhere, and meet customer needs more effectively. In the long run, you’ll exceed customer expectations and increase your customer loyalty and retention rate.
By emphasizing CX, you can make each of these elements better for your target audience members. For example, your target consumers:
- Will feel relieved, delighted, and satisfied when they buy something from your business or work with your company.
- Will feel like they barely had to expend any effort to have their needs met and that you anticipated their needs from the get-go.
- Will determine that they got what they needed from your company. This will likely inspire them to make another purchase from your brand in the future.
In short, customer experience is highly important for your brand's initial profitability and long-term revenue stability. With great CX processes, new and long-term loyal customers alike will have a stellar time at your company, and they'll spread word of your business far and wide. Never say no to free marketing and positive word-of-mouth!
9 Top Customer Experience Strategy Best Practices
Learning how to provide good customer experiences takes a lot of time and effort, especially for new business owners and smaller enterprises.
Get a head start on that effort with the below nine customer experience best practices:
1. Perform Market Research
It should almost go without saying that you need to perform extensive market research to better understand your target consumers. Once you do that, you’re on the road to providing top-notch CX experiences.
Relevant market research topics include:
- The types of customers you are targeting. Who are they, and where are they in the sales funnel?
- What your target audience wants and needs from your brand and its products (this stems from their pain points)
- How your audience feels (or will feel) about your brand
- The budget of the target audience
Once you know all of this, you’ll be better equipped to market more directly. Not only will this result in your marketing efforts being more successful, but incoming customers will feel an emotional resonance with your brand right from the get-go. That’s an invaluable benefit, especially for new businesses.
2. Make a CX Plan
Only after performing market research should you develop a comprehensive customer experience plan. Take your customer data and use segmentation to identify different customer groups in your CRM software. Then you can make a plan to deliver a better customer experience.
The right CX plan will:
- Help you determine the resources and money you need to spend to revamp your customer experience efforts.
- Let you plan out where you’ll make the most important, initial improvements to your CX.
If you don’t know where to start, experienced organizations like Awesome OS can assist right now. Our specialists can help you develop a CX plan to maximize the effectiveness of your brand’s website, customer support processes, and much more.
3. Offer Self-Service Tools
These days, many customers prefer to be able to handle things themselves, especially when it comes to answering basic questions or accessing their data. With this in mind, empower customers by offering as many self-service tools as you can (and that makes sense in the scenario).
For instance, say that you have an FAQ page. Why not expand it into a much larger, more comprehensive knowledge base? Doing that will not only take away some of the labor from your customer experience department (since they won’t have to answer basic questions). It’ll also put power in the hands of your consumers, which is always a good thing.
Other self-service tools can include:
- Customer portals (maybe in a handy mobile app) to access important data or orders
- Self-service shipping and return portals
Using Google Analytics or a similar platform, it’s possible to look at real-time analyses of your customers’ behavior to identify touchpoints where self-service might be smart. For instance, maybe customers are abandoning their checkout carts — perhaps they have a last-minute question or the page is tricky to use. This is a great opportunity to flag to customer experience management (and perhaps your dev and sales team) that something is disrupting purchases.
4. Develop Comprehensive Customer Support Processes
Customer support is highly important for any CX process. It’s how your target audience will resolve complaints or issues, after all.
Therefore, you need to develop effective, customer-centric support processes if you haven’t already. Make sure CS agents know how to speak to customers, how to follow support workflows to handle more technical issues, and when to follow up with customers to other experts if needed. A fast response time usually leads to a great customer experience. Make sure your agents hit benchmarks to improve customer interactions.
5. Practice Personalization in All Things
Personalization is an important element of all customer relationships.
Try to improve or implement personalized elements in:
- Marketing. For instance, every marketing email sent out should be personalized for the recipient by using that recipient’s name, referencing previous orders, and offering specially tailored discounts or initiatives. If a shopper leaves something behind in their cart, perhaps an email code half an hour later for 10% off can help push them to purchase. Maybe they bought a pair of running shoes — send an email with the best sock recommendations based on their previous purchase.
- Customer support chats. If necessary, assign a dedicated human agent to every major account you service. That way, they’ll feel like they get special customer support each time you have an issue.
6. Offer Multiple Options for Payment and Communication
Flexibility is another inherent part of modern successful CX design. Be as flexible as possible when it comes to payment and communication channels.
For instance, if you already accept several major credit cards, consider also accepting crypto tokens through a dedicated payment processor. People love being able to pay the way they want.
This has an ancillary benefit, too: the more ways you allow your customers to pay, the bigger your customer base can grow. It essentially allows you to draw clients or shoppers from a worldwide market.
In terms of communication, develop, maintain, and improve several communication channels, especially successful customer experiences.
At a minimum, most user experiences providers offer:
- A dedicated phone number for customer support needs
- At least one email address dedicated to consumers with problems
- A chat or live support team communication service
Through all of these channels, your target consumers will always feel like they can get in contact with you if there’s an emergency.
7. Collect and Analyze Feedback
The best brands regularly gather feedback and data from their customers. To maximize your CX for your target audience members, gather and analyze feedback regularly using surveys.
You might provide your target audience members with surveys at the end of purchases or at the end of customer support tickets. Alternatively, include a survey page right on your website so anyone can provide you with feedback if they so desire.
Regardless, analyze all the feedback you include to identify the weak spots in your current CX design. Your website visitors and e-commerce shoppers are best equipped to tell you exactly what’s wrong with your CX as it stands today. Listen to them, then develop solutions based on what they want or need.
Not sure where to start? Check out our tips on analyzing CX feedback.
8. Leverage Modern AI Tools for Automation
Streamlining the operation of your business is another good way to improve your CX across the board. Fortunately, many modern AI tools, like machine learning algorithms and software platforms, allow you to automate much of the rote or repetitive work that goes along with running a business.
Depending on your industry, you may be able to use AI tools for:
- Chatbot customer support to answer basic customer queries
- Data analysis and accounting work
- Inventory management and order prediction
Whatever the case happens to be for your brand or industry, use AI tools as much as possible. By freeing up time and personnel resources from rote work that can be automated, you’ll have much more resource flexibility to respond to real issues and maximize the talents of your workforce.
9. Use Metrics To Determine Further Improvements
Don’t forget to analyze the most important metrics based on your business’s performance and income to identify and enact further improvements. Some of the most important metrics to examine for CX include:
- Net promoter score (NPS): This measures how likely customers are to recommend your brand to others they know. (Our NPS is 86 compared to the industry average of 54, by the way!)
- Customer effort score (CES): This tells you how much effort a customer has to expend to complete a process, like making a purchase or completing a technical support ticket.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): The CSAT allows you to quantify the average level of satisfaction a person has with your business.
- Churn rate: This metric tells you the percentage of new visitors who churn and stop using your business or its products.
Let Awesome CX Enhance Your CX Today
Each of these nine best practices for user experience can help your brand deliver memorable, fulfilling experiences for each client on your roster. Even better, you don’t have to pursue and master these practices by yourself.
When you work with Awesome CX, you gain access to talented specialists who will draw up a unique plan to help your brand succeed. With our assistance, you’ll revamp your CX processes and attract long-term customers to your business for years to come.
Drop us a note, and let’s get started today!