Is the customer always right? Not necessarily, but the customer should always feel that businesses value their feedback and opinions and are constantly striving to provide the best possible experience. To ensure your business is delivering on that promise, it needs to have a sound customer experience strategy in place.
Top down and bottom up
Any successful CX program has to have buy-in from leadership. A business’ employees can quickly discern what is and what isn’t important to a company. If it is evident that management isn’t focused on customer experience, then many frontline employees won’t put forth the effort to provide a good experience either. So what can business owners do to communicate the importance of customer experience?
- Training and education: Your business’ values should be readily apparent from day one and should be incorporated into onboarding activities. This training shouldn’t just give lip service to the idea that customer service is important to the business. It should dig into the nuts and bolts of why it is important and how the whole business benefits from creating happy customers.
- Leading by example: Speaking of not giving lip service, the best way that business leaders can communicate the value of customer experience is by rolling up their sleeves and showing employees what is important to them by their actions and not by their words. Doing so will solidify the importance of customer service in the minds of employees.
- Rewarding behavior: Another way to communicate the value of customer experience is by rewarding employees who go above and beyond to serve your customers. This can be accomplished by making it part of the annual review process or making it a key component of an employee’s overall comp plan. Money is a big motivator for your employees, so rewarding good behavior with cash and gifts can further reinforce the importance of customer service.
Another key component of customer experience strategy is continually collecting feedback. There are a number of effective methods you can use, including:
- Customer satisfaction surveys: Customer satisfaction surveys can provide your business with quantitative data about what your customers like and don’t like about your business, what is and what isn’t working in your product or service, while also providing you with actionable insights that can help improve your business operations and in turn the overall customer experience.
- Customer interviews: If you want to get in-depth customer feedback, you should identify who your power users are and conduct interviews with them. This might take more effort than conducting a focus group, but it will allow you to avoid groupthink and get a more accurate picture of what your customers’ wants and needs are.
- Online reviews: Online reviews can give you the best of what surveys and customer interviews have to offer. If you are proactively seeking feedback from all of your customers, it allows you to easily and inexpensively gather input across a wide swath of your customer base. But unlike surveys, the data compiled is in-depth and can be collected in real-time as opposed to over the course of a few weeks or even months.
Regardless of how you collect customer feedback, it’s important to use that data to inform your customer experience strategy. At Podium, we like to follow something called the customer experience feedback loop, which is a simple way to look at incorporating feedback into your business. There are three simple steps.
First, a transaction occurs and feedback is left. Second, you respond to the feedback, while also thanking the customer for their business. Finally, the process is either altered and improved based on the feedback or you receive reinforcement that the process is working.
It’s not rocket science, but it is an effective way for you to harness the voice of your customers to improve business operations, increase trust and loyalty with your customers, and give a lift to your bottom line. To put it simply, having a strong customer experience strategy really is the rising tide that lifts all boats.
Improve customer experience strategy with Podium
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite your happiest customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x more reviews than traditional platforms, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.