Published: October 12, 2016 | Comments
You can’t read a business blog or magazine without being bombarded with messages about how important customer experience is. As technology has leveled the playing field to the point where most companies’ goods and services are nearly identical to their competitors’ offerings, many are now relying on a best in class customer experience to be their core differentiator. Despite this fact, many brands still take an overly simplistic approach to addressing the issue. Chances are, you know the routine: create a survey, measure and track CSAT/NPS, have meeting after meeting about the results. If that was enough, every business would be a customer experience champion, but that’s obviously not the case.
Your brain combines all five of your senses to paint the picture of the world. You can use these same five senses to develop a better picture of your customer experience and what to do about improving it.
Put some eyes on the conversations about your brand on social media. Are the optics positive or negative? Do your customers engage with your company’s Twitter or Facebook? Take a gaze at your mentions. If you see recurring themes here, then it’s probably something to pay attention to. You may find out you have customer success stories worth sharing. Or if your gaze falls on some negative outliers, these may be perfect opportunities to engage customers and WOW them.
Does something reek in here? Take a whiff of your company’s online reviews. When customers aren’t satisfied, they’re increasingly empowered to make a stink about it in this digital era we’re now living in. If your online reputation has B.O. then you’re likely losing out on potential sales. Take a deep breath, then clear the air with your negative reviewers. Try to fix their situation and learn how to prevent similar issues in the future. Don’t try to mask your problems with cheap perfume.
Your company processes many direct customer contacts every single day. Touch base with some of these customers and embrace the chance to learn from their feedback. What type of experience do they feel they had? What type of mood are they in afterwards? What is their body language or tone of voice telling you?
It may sound cliché, but occasionally eating your own dog food is the best way to judge a customer experience. When is the last time you called in to your own contact center? When’s the last time you tried to order from your own website? Try it! Did the experience leave you savoring the flavor, or did you end up salty and frustrated? It’s easy for upper management to become disconnected from the front lines, experiencing it the same way a customer does can give you invaluable insight.
Don’t let all this input go in one ear and out the other like white noise. Do more than just listen, internalize and understand it. Take it to heart, and act on it. Echo the feedback to all the departments of your company. If it’s positive feedback, feel free to toot your company’s horn. If it’s not, come up with a plan to fix what’s broken and then make it reverberate to all your employees.
Well, you’ve made it through all the cheesy puns about the human senses. Hopefully you’ve also taken away some ideas that can help your business improve the customer experience. It doesn’t take a sixth sense to begin. In fact, almost all your employees probably already have the tools they need to make a difference.