What Customer Experience Says About Your Business and How to Improve It
To thrive in today’s world, customer experience must be a priority for every organization, big and small. Make sure you follow these best practices for ultimate customer satisfaction.
The digital world has made customer experience more important than ever.
Do a great job, and customers write a glowing review that drives more business. Do a bad job, and you may find yourself managing a Twitter PR nightmare.
In Growing Business 101, marketer Jana Rumberger says: “If you deliver a quality product with excellent service, you will build a loyal following, which will be your best advertising on social media, in your niche, and with your community. Make a mistake with your customers, and the world will know within hours (sometimes minutes).”
Make a mistake with your customers, and the world will know within hours (sometimes minutes).
Coming back from that mistake can be hard, especially when people share it on social media or in a review.
Customer experience plays a critical role in your bottom line.
In fact, recent studies have found that 86% of consumers will stop doing business with a company because of a negative customer experience, while 42% will buy again if the experience is positive.
Follow these important best practices to ensure business growth.
1. Send Email Newsletters to Your Customers
One of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your customers is with a regular email newsletter.
Email newsletters improve brand awareness and allow you to build relationships with customers and prospects.
Plus, they can be used to drive traffic to your website, where customers can buy products or learn more about your services.
There are two main types of email newsletters to consider for your customers. Promotional newsletters are used to introduce new products or share company news, while informational, content-based, newsletters focus on sharing valuable content—your own or curated.
See an example below from Later. Its monthly newsletter is always packed with helpful articles and social media information to keep customers up to date.
This content provides education or thought leadership about topics that are of interest to your customers.
The best part about starting a regular email newsletter is that you don’t have to design something fancy for it to be effective.
TheSkimm's newsletter is a great example of a simple newsletter that’s also hugely popular—so much so, it’s been endorsed by Oprah.
Don’t forget to give your subscribers a personalized customer experience, including their first name in the subject line or email intro.
You can further personalize with birthday offers, location-based deals, and purchase recommendations based on recent activity.
2. Engage With Your Customers on Social Media
If your customers and leads are following you on social media, use this as an opportunity to engage in an authentic and direct manner.
Fast-food chain Wendy’s does this well on its Twitter account, leveraging its brand to give sarcastic responses and make humorous comments on its followers’ posts.
For Wendy’s, sarcasm and humor is a cornerstone of its brand and determines the brand experience for followers and customers.
A consistent experience will lend itself to brand awareness and loyalty, so start by determining your company’s brand identity and how that plays out with customer interactions like this.
Use Content Marketing Institute’s guide for finding your brand voice if you haven’t done this yet.
Next, find ways to ensure your customers are active with your brand on social media. Here are a few tips for getting them to connect with you:
- Use hashtags that allow your customers to join the conversation around a specific topic or product. For example, #MisterGsSupport allows customers to reach out with questions and ensures that you see them and can respond.
- Use polls (on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) regularly, as a way for your customers to share insights, give feedback, or make requests for updates.
- Encourage customers to submit user-generated content (UGC) of themselves using a specific product or service. Be sure to comment and re-share it on your social channels. Remember: even small businesses can leverage user-generated content. Check out this guide on UGC for small business.
Take a look at Hydroflask's Instagram to see UGC in action. Hydroflask regularly reposts customer photos.
It’s important to remember that social media is a place where you’re having conversations. You need to listen to what your customers say first and foremost, and then use what you hear to craft their experience.
3. Ask Your Customers for Feedback
Customers always want to be heard, so asking them what’s working and what isn’t is a great way to connect.
For example, after your customers make a purchase, email them a survey asking about the process—could anything could be improved? What stood out the most? What was the least helpful?
Use this as a way to improve the customer experience on a regular basis. Keep all the answers in a dashboard or spreadsheet, and check it each month or every quarter. Use those responses to determine company priorities to keep your customer experience at the center of what you’re doing.
Finally, don’t forget to respond to what your customers are saying.
ReviewTrackers found that more than half of consumers say they expect brands to respond to their negative comments, but 63% of customers say that a business has ignored their review.
Don’t let this negative customer experience affect your business.
Reward Customers With a Loyalty Program
It costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
Keep your existing customers happy by creating a loyalty program that gives them access to exclusive discounts, freebies, products, or even events.
Starbucks has a well-known loyalty program that rewards stars to customers for each dollar they spend.
Once customers reach 125 stars, they earn a free drink. This simple loyalty program keeps customers coming back time and time again while encouraging them to spend more at each visit.
While loyalty programs are effective at retaining customers, they’re also a strategic incentive for attracting new customers.
In fact, most young consumers expect a loyalty program as part of their experience. About 63% of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers won’t commit to a brand unless they offer a loyalty program.
Once in place, ensure a smooth customer experience by following up with all questions or concerns.
Make sure everyone on your team is able to execute during their portion of the process and that systems are in place to streamline as needed.
A Positive Customer Experience Is Essential to Your Growth
Customer satisfaction is essential for your business growth. When your customers are happy, they’re more likely to buy again and become brand ambassadors, staying loyal to you and not your competitors.
If you’re serious about improving your bottom line, make your customer experience the best it can be and watch the business thrive.