We live in the age of the customer: never before has a single customer had the power to promote or criticize a company to the extent that they may do it today with all of the reach of social media and the internet in general. For that very reason, smart businesses are placing customer experience and customer service at the very core of their operation, even before the traditional concerns of profit maximization and operational efficiency. However, many more companies still make basic errors in their approach to customer experience. Here are 7 in particular that need to be avoided:
You don’t know your customer
This is the first rule of business: understand your customer. If you do not, and you have not created your average customer’s persona as a model, the you will never hope to create the right environment for them, because you do not even understand who they are. Once you have a handle on demographics and the psychology of your customer, you can seek to build the customer experience that suits them not the one that you think your audience needs. You can do surveys and ask for information about your customers upon registration. Learn about the general information of your target audience. You should know this from the start - who you can market your product or service to and be the most effective. You can also use public data to inform your decisions, social media, user data you collect on your own website and social media and so on. But go in deeper - as better, deeper questions about what your customers need and what they want to see.
You don’t measure data
Similarly to not understanding your customer, if you do not analyze the data (or indeed collect it in the first place) of who is interacting with your business, or churn rate, for example, then how can you truly expect to deliver the customer experience that your real audience is looking for. We live in a data-rich society with a data-rich method of conducting business. Make sure you are mining this data for your, and your customers’, shared benefit. As mentioned in the previous section, data is your most valuable resource in getting to know your customer, but also your market, your competition and every other important marker on the market. It’s not something to be ignored, it’s something to be harnessed, analysed and used. Keep in mind that you need the proper tool for data collection and analytics too. For example, you can use Google Analytics as a start and then use something else as you move along. There are numerous ways to get data and you should explore many different ways to get data and to learn from it - it can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.
You don’t make yourself accessible
Failing to provide your customers with the means to easily contact you at any time with whatever the query may be is a fundamental flaw of many otherwise sound businesses. If your website does not have a clear ‘contact us’ section, which then proceeds to offer a variety of channels by which you can be reached – including live chat – then you are simply hiding away from the inevitable queries that will come your way. “If potential customers see that they will get better support elsewhere, that’s where they will go,” adds Graeme Smyth, a marketer at UKTopWriters and Big Assignments.
Customers need you accessible all the time. This means that you should do your best to answer promptly and this doesn’t just mean the standard means like live chat, phone or email or social media messages. It also means responding to comments someone made about you on social media, using user generated content, responding to bad reviews and all around managing every way a customer can come in contact with your brand.
You fail to monitor review sites
It is fundamentally true that you cannot keep everyone happy all of the time. However, what you can do is keep a close tabs on what is being said about you, and in particular cases, respond with an offer to take the complaint to a private space where you can hope to find a resolution. Not only should that (hopefully) appease that one individual, it will show to all others in the audience that you take these issues seriously and are always looking to improve customer experience. That says a lot about your business. Plus, much of the criticism shared on these sites will have some semblance of validity, so you can always take it on board to improve quality. Ignoring it will not help anyone. We mentioned this in the previous point but it’s worth noting again just how important this can be. This is reputation management and you really need to do it if you want to maintain a good image of your brand. There are social listening tools that you can set up and also alerts for your own brand name you can set up so that they will notify you when you have a comment or a review to respond to. You can mitigate a lot of damage this way.
You don’t engage on social media (and in the way customers want)
You may not even like social media, but it doesn’t matter: customers expect it. Not only must you have an active social media voice, you must reach your customers where they frequent, so don’t just do Facebook because everybody does Facebook – find out the mediums that engage your audience, and meet them there. And then use a combination of content while you are there, such as video. Make sure that you stay on top of trends and use the mediums that your target audience uses. If your audience is mostly young, for example, you will benefit more from Instagram, Snapchat than Facebook or Twitter. Follow trends and stay on top of things if you really want to produce the kind of content that will suit your audience and on the right social media.
You haven’t made your site mobile-friendly
Within the next couple of years, a higher value of ecommerce will take place via mobile-platforms than will occur via the traditional desktop channels. Even today, more people view information via their mobile devices than via their desktop. “Simply speaking, if your mobile offering does not meet the standards set these days, you are not providing the customer experience that is now required of all businesses,” warns Aimee Chalton, a project manager at BestBritishEssays and Revieweal.
The truth is that people browse, use social media and communicate on their mobile devices already. The number of people using desktop devices for purposes other than work is smaller and smaller. So, it’s best to think mobile first.
You are not really all about your customer
Be truthful, are you really dedicated to your customer, or to making a profit? It is OK to be both, but not only the latter. If you are, in this day and age, customers know that, and that doesn’t go down well.
As you can see, performing these tasks won’t even break the bank, so there really is no excuse. What are you waiting for?
Nora Mork is a member of the CloudApp guest post community and marketing journalist and content editor at Elite Assignment Help and Write my Australia. She loves taking part in online marketing events, and writing columns at Ukservicesreviews.