Customer experience when delivered right can work wonders for your business. Irrespective of your industry and market segment, seamless customer experience and customer delight must be at the heart of your sales strategy.
We all know that to attract and retain customers is always an uphill battle.
It takes lot more than just bulk emails, cold calls, discount coupons, seasonal offers and other traditional selling tactics.
The key lies in listening and understanding your customers.
Sure, we all have heard it a zillion times and know it all.
But when it comes to practice things go haywire.
Take a look around your current customer touch-points and processes thereof. Identify if each of these touch points function optimally i.e. do your customers get what they want from these touch-points.
Some common touch-point examples would be:
- Your Website
- Live Chat
- Customer Care
- Support Inbox
- Google Groups or Forums
Each of these interfaces present added opportunity for you. The question becomes, how resourcefully are you utilizing them to your advantage?
Here is how we can leverage the interfaces we have for a “total customer experience (TCE)”.
Website & Social Media Pages
Never forget that your website is your most important product or offering & your visitor’s attention span in less than 10-secs.
Thus be extra judicious with your messaging. You cannot be everything to everyone.
Focus on that one or two pain points or benefits that you solve & meet the best.
Be very clear about who your target audience is, what exactly are they looking for and ensure your messaging is in 100% alignment with it.
A quick glance on your homepage must excite and generate enough interest in your offering for your visitors to take the next step. Be it a signup, download or contact form.
You’ve won 50% of the war if you manage to nail it successfully.
Avoid information overload, be precise & establish a direct link between the problem and your offering.
Make it easier for your visitors to find the information they need. E.g. a robust context search.
Today’s visitor are smart and rely on self-help rather than hand-holding. The easier it is for them to get to what they want, the higher you rank on their shortlist.
Live Chat and Customer Support
These 2 are a great source of lead generation and conversion for your business.
Chat bots and AI Bots have made it a lot easier for us to prompt and initiate a chat with our visitors.
However, do not overdo or make it obtrusive. Keep in mind that if not used wisely, you are causing distraction for your visitor and he may end up losing interest and just leave your site.
Stick to the basics. The whole idea of a live chat is for your customer to communicate with you for instant answers. Hence, make sure those answers are readily available.
A very common mistake seen on most sites is the chat is active while it is not being manned.
Just imagine you are on a site ready to take the plunge and make the purchase; but there is no response on the chat to answer a simple question you may have.
Most likely you will defer the purchase or may not go through it at all! Lost opportunity & revenue.
Thus defeating the sole purpose of customer support and rather dampening the customer experience.
Similarly, the customer care desk and the support inbox are 2 other great customer touch-points that can turn the tide in your favour.
But we all have had our share of experiences with both these customer connect mediums.
Why is it so hard to keep things simple and enable a seamless experience for our customers?
Do you really expect to sustain in the market if you make it difficult for your customers to connect with you or rather penalize them for trying to connect with you?
Practical, simple & quick tips to fix your customer connect mediums:
- Simplify the process. Easy in, easy out.
- Ensure rapid response rates at least during the business hours – less than 2-hours or rather instantly.
- Make sure your support hours are known to your visitors, prospective & existing customers.
- Be ready for the test! Customers are smarter. They are going to test your support, response and resolution times before they make the purchase to see if you are good for your word.
- Do not force your customers to share contact info unless absolutely needed.
- Collect minimum info that will allow to get the job done. Control the urge at the initial stages and build rapport that makes them comfortable to share their details willingly.
- Any “verification for security reasons” must be minimized and optimized for convenience and optimal customer experience.
- Minimize hops! Do not make your customers to share the same info across mediums or support personnel. Understand that if your customer has come to live chat, he needs instant answers. Do not ask him to send an email or call etc. except circumstances where company policy or regulatory requirements warranty it.
- Train your support personnel for success and conversion. Don’t make them postmen! This is the most common and dangerous mistake there is. Utilize them wisely and make them go for the kill.
- Focus on “successful closure” than just ticket closure! i.e. outcomes rather than ticket status.
- Collect customer feedback for the support provided to them. Make it easier for them to share it. E.g. allow a feedback feature within your product itself so that they can send out their findings and share their experience instantly while on your platform. This makes them realize that you are willing to listen and the fact that they can expect some quick answers.
See, the whole idea is to make the journey from being a visitor to a customer a breeze.
Give them that seamless total customer experience that makes them come back for more.
I am sure we all have heard of the AIDA model – Awareness, Interest, Desire &Action
And I read it as:
Attract: grab their attention (engage) with your messaging
Inform: make all info available as easily and steadily as possible
Delight: identify their wow moments and repeat them over and over
Acquire: win them over!
Map your sales and support processes with these 4 stages. Identify the loopholes in your current setup be it the:
- call wait times
- email response times
- idle chat times
- self-help links not updated with accurate info
- support personnel not well-trained or do not fully understand your product(s) and offering(s)
- checkout process is cumbersome
- website needs an upgrade
The great news is – All of the above are fixable and without major investments unless you do not have these established at all.
Take one step at a time and build a seamlessly integrated mechanism that is scalable, repeatable and is in direct alignment with your AIDA model!
It may take a while but the proven results are mind-blowingly favourable to your business, highly satisfying for your customers and equally rewarding for your team!
What else have you got on your mind?