Companies and Customers Are Having a Disagreement

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3 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

If there is one common thread that is woven through every business on the planet, be it construction or anything else, it is the need for customers. Thankfully, due to customers being the lifeblood of every business, every business makes it a priority to treat them as such.

Ha… just kidding.

Customer service is a funny thing. It’s funny because there are exactly zero businesses that can survive without customers, yet a great customer experience can be so elusive that when one actually manifests itself you feel lucky enough to run out and immediately buy a lottery ticket. It’s almost like the expectation has now become poor service and anything above that is an added bonus.

Did you know that when CEOs were surveyed, 88% of them said they believed that their company had exceptional customer service? The real issue with that number only came to light when that same survey asked their customers to rate the companies, and how many of those customers gave the companies a top rating for customer experience? 12%.

12%?!? Yes, 12%. There’s only a small 76% discrepancy there, no worries. Check that, big worries; especially if you’re someone responsible for keeping customers happy, which is everyone.

Luckily for you, you’ve happened upon this blog and I am going to give you three ways to improve your customer experience. In full disclosure, these three points came from an article written by a company called Help Scout. Help Scout is a customer experience software company that specializes in helping companies interact with customers.

Eliminate ‘high-effort experiences’

Keep in mind that most customers don’t need to be “wowed” — they simply want their issues to be addressed as painlessly as possible. It’s more impactful to reduce customer effort than it is to engage in “delightful” tactics.

According to Harvard Business Review, true customer satisfaction and loyalty come from reducing the amount of effort a customer has to expend to get their issue resolved.

That’s not to say you should stop trying to delight your customers, but it’s a better use of your energy to make it easy for your customers to get help (and to reduce their need to seek help in the first place!)

Be Relentless About Talking to Customers

Or, should we say, listening to customers — since, as Samuel Hulick points out, talking to customers won’t teach you anything: The purpose of customer interviews is to extract insights from the minds of your customers. Talking can’t achieve this; only listening can.

When your goal is to create a better customer experience, who do you think is going to be the most reliable source of insight regarding how to do that?

Prioritize Quality Support

A great customer experience is still reliant on memorable employee-to-customer interactions. In other words, it’s still about the people. Think of the brands that customers rave about. How many of them get away with offering crummy customer support?

Not a lot. The companies who create incredible customer experiences (and enjoy immense brand loyalty) treat customer support as a feature of their product or service.

On the flip side, think of the companies you would cease doing business with tomorrow if you found a slightly better option (DirecTV, CenturyLink, Windstream, etc.).