Creating better customer experiences

If the customer is always right - or always comes first at least - then focusing on creating better customer experiences has to be extremely important for businesses.

If the customer is always right - or always comes first at least - then focusing on creating better customer experiences has to be extremely important for businesses. 

As a business professional, customer experience is typically the number one thing on your mind. After all, the customer is always right (or at least, always comes first). Research tells us that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. So how do we create better customer experiences and get that revenue bump? Let’s take a look.

Focus on consistency

Your customers expect to have the same experience no matter which one of your locations they step into. Take McDonald’s as a prime example of consistency. You walk into one of their restaurants in Melbourne, and you will get the exact same customer service and the exact same burger that you did in Perth. That’s one of the amazing things about McDonald’s that keeps their customers coming back. 

By providing your customers with a consistent experience across all of your locations, your customers will always know what they are getting when they enter any of your locations and when they make a purchase. This means there is very little room for alienating customers that have a bad/inconsistent experience and it encourages them to come back and continually interact with your business regardless of where they are. 

Happy employees = happy life

  • Happy employees = better experiences

You know that if you’re unhappy in your life, it’s not that easy to put on a smile and pretend that you love it. That principle is the same when it comes to your job. If an employee is unhappy with their role, they aren’t likely to provide stellar customer service. In fact, you might find them providing poor customer service - and we know that poor customer service can easily deter customers from going back to a particular location or even the company as a whole!

While there are sometimes employees who are unhappy for circumstances outside of your control, you should be going above and beyond to ensure your employees are happy in their role. No, a simple post saying “{company name} cares about their employees” won’t cut it. Ensure your team are being paid correctly, are safe in their role and are getting the entitlements they deserve. You should also do extra things like employee satisfaction surveys and social events so that your employees' concerns are heard and they are able to involve themselves with the company in positive ways unrelated to their work. 

Staff correctly

When costs get higher (like they are now with rising inflation), companies tend to compensate for those additional costs by reducing the number of staff on shift. That will likely mean there just aren't enough staff on shift. 

When that happens, your staff will be overrun with tasks, always just a bit behind and probably quite frustrated and stressed. In terms of the customer experience, all those feelings your staff are feeling project onto them and they are probably waiting a much longer time for service too. A recipe for disastrous customer experiences.

While your staffing woes might come from a place of skills shortage rather than costing issues, it’s extremely important to understand how a lack of staff affects your customers. 

Consult with your customers

Who knows the customer experience better than your very own customers? Sending short surveys to your customers to ask them about their experience can provide you with some really valuable insights into shortfallings and areas of excellence.

Doing a little market research with customers that have purchased or interacted with your company isn't a bad idea either. You can ask them what would make them purchase again with you, what they expect from your company and your staff, anything that would improve their experience really. Again, you’re going to get some killer feedback from probing questions like those and it can inform future customer experience strategies. 

Loyalty and rewards program

Probably one of the most common customer experience strategies is implementing loyalty and/or rewards programs. Things like a simple stamp to earn a free coffee or something as elaborate as the Mecca Beauty Loop can make a huge difference when it comes to great customer experiences, but can also create a lot of brand loyalty. 

If you have the resources to do so, try out a comprehensive loyalty/rewards program. Treat it as a full marketing campaign and create some real hype and awareness around your program. It can create a real sense of community and keep your customers coming back instead of purchasing with a competitor.

Customer experience is undoubtedly important to you. My advice is this: think outside the box and examine the reasons why customer experiences are particularly poor or particularly good.

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