Positive CX sprouts from listening, adapting, and understanding your customers’ needs.
When your team is set up for success, that will fuel positive customer experience.
A voice of the customer (VoC) program is a powerful tool to make your customers heard so that you can act on their feedback.
While not the sexiest recommendation, careful documentation helps your team know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.
Research shows that for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues, a CX improvement can generate approximately $832 million more in revenue over three years.
With such a significant impact possible, creating a strategy that centers on the customer experience for potential, new, and existing customers are crucial for the growth of your organization.
Let’s break down our favorite CX tips for improving the experience for every customer that interacts with your business – starting with what we’re working toward (positive CX) and what we’re trying to avoid (negative CX).
What Makes for a Positive Customer Experience
According to Hotjar, companies who identify as being mature in their customer experience strategy development place customer feedback as a vital starting point. This indicates that a good strategy listens to the customer and incorporates tools that will help the customer in the way they want to be helped.
Understanding customer needs and pain points during the buyer’s journey — and implementing a strategy to address them — can help make the customer experience more positive.
In many cases, a positive user experience stems from a quick response by the customer service team. At other times, customers were pleased because their problem was solved, or they at least felt that they were listened to and an honest attempt was made to help them.
What Makes for a Negative Customer Experience
Because 66% of customers expect a business to understand their needs and expectations, it can be an unpleasant experience when the business doesn’t live up to that expectation.
An example of this is when a customer interprets a landing page as offering them one thing, but they receive something else entirely once they fill out the form.
Unfortunately, there are several pitfalls when attempting to create the best experience possible for your customers.
This is why your strategy should not be static. Staying organized and communicative both internally and externally can help improve the CX no matter if you’re a novice or veteran at building your customer base.
25 Tips to Improve Your Customer Experience
Position Your People for Success
The best-laid plans for improving your customer experience can’t get off the ground without your team.
In the same way you evaluate friction points in your buyer’s journey and the customer journey (more on that below), you must also evaluate friction for your teams who create and own interactions with buyers and customers.
When your employees have a positive outlook, they are more likely to be engaged during their work hours to help create a positive customer experience with each interaction.
But how do you set employees up to improve your customer experience?
Hype up your brand promise (buy-in is so important)
Identify their challenges in delivering
Engage your teams in planning
Refine their processes
Facilitate ongoing conversations between marketing, sales, and customer success/operations
Give them the right tech and tools
The key is to keep employees engaged on the common goal — and not overwhelmed or frustrated.
Identifying and addressing common pain points for your people and improving systematic processes can enable employees to get their work done with less stress which is likely to result in increased employee performance.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…
employee satisfaction fuels customer satisfaction
LISTEN to Your Customers
Customer feedback in any form is critical to helping your business grow. This is why it’s important to incorporate opportunities for customer feedback throughout the buyer’s journey and beyond to the customer journey.
Remember, your customers want to be heard. They will tell you their expectations if you ask.
Sometimes, simply by engaging them in this active conversation, customers also become promoters of your brand.
Want to give this data collection a more formal name? It’s called a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program. As the name suggests, in VoC both positive and negative feedback is gathered and reported on directly from your customers using their own words.
Give them a voice in how they want to interact with your brand and what their expectations are. No guesswork is required.
- Customer Interviews
- Online Customer Surveys
- Live Chat
- Social Media
- Website Behavior
- Recorded Call Data
- Online Customer Reviews
- In-Person Surveys
- Net Promoter Score®
- Focus Groups
- Dedicated Feedback Form
Remember that creating these feedback loops is inherently part of your customer experience. Consider how your methodology and interactions during these listening sessions reflect your brand promise.
VoC can be as formal or informal as you'd like – so long as it feels authentic to your brand.
Document, Document, Document
As you undergo the evaluation and planning processes outlined above for improving your customer experience, document your findings and strategic and tactical changes. Your documentation should be living resources for your team as you organize the next steps for improving your customer experience.
Documentation powers internal communication, education and alignment. It builds transparency.
By making resources available to everyone, your team has visibility into what needs to be done to meet your organization's goals and why. CX documentation should always include:
- Your Brand Promise
- Buyer’s Journey Map(s)
- Customer Journey Map(s)
- CX Strategy and process flows
- VoC findings
- Product/service roadmap
This documentation is especially important when it’s time to implement your CX strategy, as it will keep your team on the same page, so no one is left to fend for themselves.
Prioritize (and Reprioritize) Company Objectives
As your customer experience strategy evolves, keep in mind that your key performance indicators (KPIs) should take priority in order to steer your organization on the right path. What’s more, the KPIs across your different teams should align so that everyone is working (together!) towards the same company objectives.
If any KPIs indicate that something isn’t quite right, take a deeper look, and make adjustments by testing and tracking your changes to see the impact.
4 Ways Departments Can Contribute to CX Strategy Improvement
Every team member at your company has a valuable skill set and ability to help improve the customer experience. This is why one singular department should not be expected to handle “it all” when it comes to creating the ultimate customer experience.
If one department receives customer feedback, another department analyzes that feedback, and yet another department makes adjustments based on the findings, things could get lost in the pipeline without good communication.
Departments such as sales, marketing, and customer service should work together, but that doesn’t just mean forwarding information. The sharing of ideas and suggestions for improving the strategy should be seen as a collaborative conversation between departments.
1. CX + Marketing: Content and Campaign Adjustments
Your marketing team crafts the first touchpoints of your customer experience.
Between 50-90% of the buying journey happens in marketing.
Marketing automation and A/B testing can better verify strategy changes.
It’s best to align expectations with buyers early.
Your marketing team has a unique advantage in one-to-many communication to adjust marketing campaigns and messaging. This makes marketing a great place to test messaging, test value propositions to set experience expectations with buyers early.
The promises marketing makes sets the stage for the rest of your customer experience.
Make buyers feel valued.
2. Align Sales and Service Team Processes
From Qualtrics: “Bain & Co found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.”
This is a great reminder to unite sales and service teams. However, if their processes are different, then it becomes a challenge to be truly cohesive.
For example, consider taking a look at your post-sale nurturing process. Is there a seamless transition, or is the customer left with questions unanswered? A seamless process to gather information and guide the customer on the path to customer loyalty will need the involvement of more than one team in a way that is streamlined and precise.
3. Adapt the Product or Service to Marketing Expectations
If your product or service is not what your customer is expecting, then their experience is unlikely to be a good one.
Your CX strategy should embrace an omnichannel experience. This means that all hands will need to be on deck to ensure consistency between forms of interaction, and feedback both in-store and online is used when making decisions and adjusting to market trends.
4. Audit Existing Content
All departments should have their content audited for consistency and accuracy. A brand is only as strong as its components.
That means if there is a broken link, outdated message, or other issues that a consumer may encounter at any point during the buyer’s journey OR the customer’s journey, then there is a risk that the individual will not feel confident in your brand and may go somewhere else to do business now or in the future.
A content audit can help you form a strategy that will address any existing issues and will help you recognize what’s already working. What’s more, your departments may find that they have valuable content that can be repurposed within other departments.
Customer Experience Goals are Achievable...
Creating a strategy based on the knowledge of what is working and not working with each interaction of your customers is essential to reaching your CX goals. If your team is working together and listening to feedback from customers to improve the customer experience, then you’ll turn your customers into promoters, and in turn, create long-term growth.
...But You Have to Set Them First
If your strategy is not directed at the right customer experience goals, then all of your hard work may not make a difference to your company's growth.
Put all the components of a winning customer experience together when you use our free CX Notebook + Planning Kit. It’s a one-stop shop for goal-setting, brainstorming, evaluating, and reflecting on all things customer experience.