Prioritizing Customer Experience (CX) is one of the best ways that businesses can get ahead of the competition in 2020. No longer is it a race to the bottom on price. CX initiatives take priority with more than 80% of buyers stating that they’re willing to pay more for a product or service if the customer experience is better. In this article, we look at some CX tips in COVID times.
What is customer experience?
To begin with, it’s important to understand what customer experience is. It goes way beyond customer service and product quality – your customer experience is the way you make your customers feel in their interactions with you.
As Forbes suggests, even if you have a high-quality product but it arrives damaged, or there are delays with shipping and delivery, your customer experience will be poor –that’s the experience and perception that the customer has had with your brand. If you’re just starting with your CX journey, read more on how to improve your CX here.
CX tips in COVID times:
Now we’ve got to grips with what CX is, take a look at some of our tips for improving your customer experience during and after COVID.
1. Review your priorities
There’s no better (for want of a better word) time than a pandemic to review your business priorities. Not only for growth but also for reconsidering budgets and resource allocation.
Before the coronavirus, your priorities and budgets may have been skewed toward customer acquisition, exploring new marketing channels, or growing your customer service team. It’s important to review and reallocate the resources and budgets as necessary to deal with not only the short-term effects of the pandemic and local lockdowns but also the medium- to long-term effects, including shifts in customer behavior and expectations.
CX-wise, your new priorities may involve making your customer communications clearer, particularly if you are facing supply, manufacturing, or demand issues. You may look at investing in chatbots and/or additional customer service channels to better serve your audience, or into creating a self-service solution for your prospects and customers to find help whenever they need it.
2. Listen to your customers
Now is a great time to gather some customer feedback. Think about using surveys or sending automated emails to your current customers to uncover their insights, and be sure to proactively reach out to your previous customer base, too.
By investing in conversations with your customers now, their feedback will help drive your decision-making process, as well as highlight the priorities for your business moving forward.
It’s also a great time to start gathering reviews. With more and more transactions shifting away from brick-and-mortar stores than ever before due to the pandemic, reviews are essential for customers who shop online, with up to 84% of shoppers trusting online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family members. You can gather reviews on your social channels, Google My Business, website, or even on review platforms such as Feefo.
3. Focus on retention strategies
Interestingly, research has shown that 89% of companies see customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention.
While new customer acquisition is undeniably important during this time, retention strategies are critical for successful businesses. Multiple independent studies have shown that loyal customers spend an average of 41% more, are more likely to recommend you to their friends, colleagues, and family, and are four times as likely to be sold to than a new customer.
4. Work alongside your customer service team
Although CX encompasses more than simply customer service, it undoubtedly plays a significant part in fostering a pleasant customer experience. Your customer service personnel has to be fully informed and supported at this time since they are the face of your business and are more likely to connect directly with your consumers.
Additionally, you should make sure that the broader staff is informed of their talks regarding consumer patterns, recurring problems, or FAQs. To ensure that client issues are addressed and given top priority, think about listening in on a few team conversations, reading chat transcripts, or setting up a feedback loop.
The worldwide pandemic is an excellent opportunity to take stock of your CX strategy. Good CX should be a priority for most modern firms since it improves customer retention, loyalty, and referrals by a large margin. You may take charge of your customer experience strategy during difficult times by engaging with your customer care staff, hearing customer feedback, giving current customers priority, assessing your budget, and allocating resources wisely.