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Is your team struggling to predict customer needs and find ways to improve each customer experience?

Don’t worry if this sounds familiar; several small businesses struggle to meet customer demands because they haven’t implemented a customer experience strategy.

Hi! My name is AJ! I recently sold my business for multiple seven figures. Now, I focus on giving entrepreneurs like you helpful advice for scaling their companies.

After operating a business for numerous years, I learned a lot about how consumers think. One example of this is the importance of creating an excellent customer experience.

What do I mean by customer experience? Keep reading to find out! I’m releasing all my tips and tricks you must know!

Key Takeaways

Related Reading: Best CRM for Small Businesses

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What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience is the impression your company’s brand has on customers throughout the buyer’s journey.

When your company has a positive customer experience, it can result in the following things:

Higher salesIncreased revenueHigher customer satisfaction ratesMore customer loyalty

Put simply, customer experience is how potential and current consumers feel about your brand.

What are Customer Journeys?

A customer journey is the sequence of experiences a customer goes through when interacting with your brand.

Further, a customer journey maps out all a customer’s touchpoints with your business, from the initial point of contact through engagement into long-term loyalty and advocacy.

Understanding your customer’s journey is essential in creating a positive customer experience, as it allows you to do the following things:

Anticipate customer needsUnderstand potential and current customer motivationsTailor your interactions to maximize satisfaction and loyalty

Pro Tip #1: Utilize email marketing and discount codes to encourage previous customers to complete surveys about your products or services.
– AJ Silber

Importance of Customer Experience

Is it actually worth it to invest time and energy into customer experience management?

In short, YES!

An excellent customer experience is essential for long-term company growth.

Whether your business’s top priority is increasing sales or boosting satisfaction ratings, paying attention to your customers is ALWAYS a wise choice.

Remember, customers have endless possibilities regarding where they can shop.

Therefore, you and your team must do everything possible to stand out in the best ways possible.

And creating a top-notch customer experience will do the trick!

How to Measure Customer Experience

Now that you understand the importance of creating a top-notch customer experience, I’ll show you how to measure it!

When you follow this five-step process, your company will meet (and often exceed) customer expectations in no time!

Step 1: Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey

The first step is to create a customer satisfaction survey to send to existing customers.

Typically, companies have their target audience rate specific experiences on a scale of one to ten, but you can also scale from one to five for simplicity.

You can ask the following questions to measure customer satisfaction more accurately:

How satisfied are you with the products you purchased?Rate your overall shopping experience.Would you recommend our brand to your friends and family?How satisfied are you regarding the shipping time?

Step 2: Analyze Customer Survey Results

Once you have your survey results, take some time to analyze them.

Look for common trends in customer responses and see if there are any areas of improvement.

An effective way to measure customer experience is with a Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Additionally, it’s helpful to connect with customers who gave detailed feedback, whether it was excellent or poor.

Step 3: Identify Reasons for Customer Churn

Although customer churn is unavoidable (it’s a part of any business), learning from the customer churn rate is essential.

That way, you can prevent it from happening repeatedly.

Also, it’s critical to analyze customer churn rate consistently because it helps you determine whether it’s increasing or decreasing!

Step 4: Ask for Product Feature Requests

Rely on your customers to communicate what they want in your products or services.

Creating an open forum where customers can request new products, features, or services is an efficient way to see what consumers want.

You can share this forum via the following outlets:

Email surveySocial mediaCommunity page on your websiteSuggestion box (if your company offers in-person shopping)

Step 5: Analyze Support Ticket Trends

Analyzing support tickets is essential for understanding customer pain points.

It’s also an excellent way to determine if customer service teams are providing helpful and timely solutions.

You can analyze any customer feedback trends by using the following methods:

Average wait time from customers submitting a ticket to when they receive a responseThe most famous customer questionsCommon issues customers experienceNumber of tickets resolved each day/week/month

Customer Experience Metrics

Below, I’ve compiled three customer experience metrics you must utilize to improve the customer journey.

These metrics prove why collecting customer data is critical to succeed!

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) indicates overall customer advocacy.

However, there’s much debate on how valuable this metric is.

Therefore, you and your customer support team must set expectations and rules about how you plan to utilize NPS to measure customer experience.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how easily a customer can complete any task associated with the customer journey.

CES indicates whether certain aspects of the purchasing process are unnecessarily tricky, such as adding items to the cart or finding a specific product.

A significant customer retention factor is how user-friendly a brand’s platform is!

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Lastly, there is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

CSAT ensures you understand how satisfied your customers are with your business’s products or services.

Collecting this customer data helps you and your team find critical factors determining a positive from a poor customer experience.

Pro Tip #2: Create a customer journey map to see every single step someone takes when interacting with your brand and purchasing your products or services.
– AJ Silber

Customer Experience Survey Example Questions

Here are some examples of customer experience survey questions your team can use!

Can we email you about your survey responses?Is there something our employees can do better next time?What aspects of the product do you love?Could we improve your shopping experience?What is your favorite feature included with our product?How often do you use our products?How long have you been shopping with us?Were there any alternative brands you considered before finding us?How was your customer support experience?Why did you choose our products?How likely are you to repurchase our products?Was your issue resolved promptly?What is your least favorite aspect about our products?Did your online shopping experience go smoothly?Did you find our website easy to use?What is your approximate income?What is the most challenging aspect of our products?Do our products make your daily life easier?What is your most significant factor when shopping?On average, how much time do you spend on Instagram?

What is Customer Experience Management?

Customer experience management (CMX) is when companies survey, analyze, and improve each customer interaction.

Further, customer experience management monitors every customer touch point to evaluate how a business can improve the customer journey accurately.

CMX invests in customer needs to improve brand loyalty and gain a competitive advantage over other brands in your industry!

How to Make a Great Customer Experience

What distinguishes a great customer experience strategy from a poor one?

Here are some tips and tricks for creating a positive customer experience!

Create Clear Customer Experience Goals

When you’re improving your customer experience strategy, ensure you and your team set clear, measurable, and achievable goals!

Setting goals gives your team aspects to focus on throughout their work day.

So, instead of mindlessly going through the workday, your customer service reps understand there are customer-centric targets they’re striving toward.

Understand Your Target Customer

Understanding your target customer and building a remarkable customer experience is important!

Some aspects you must know about your target audience that can help you improve customer relationships include the following:

AgeGenderHobbiesInterestsJob titlesShopping history

Create an Emotional Connection with Customers

Analyze customer behavior and data to learn what your target audience is passionate about.

Creating emotional connections leads to personalized customer interactions.

And personalization leads to more sales, brand loyalty, and positive customer feedback!

Capture Customer Feedback in Real Time

Collecting customer feedback in real-time lets you act quickly on concerns and alleviate pain points.

You can use customer surveys and online reviews to analyze how your customers feel about your products or services.

Also, utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent way to analyze customer experience as it’s happening!

Act on Regular Customer Feedback

Gathering data on customer experiences doesn’t mean you have to implement every suggestion your customers provide.

However, act on these suggestions if you see a trend in the customer feedback surveys!

Retaining customers is much easier when you listen to their demands and offer them what they need.

Use a Quality Framework for Your Team

Developing a quality framework helps customer service teams determine what tasks must be completed and how to do them.

Creating an internal process for customer service reps helps your team stay organized while aiding customers quickly and efficiently.

Once again, this is an area where a customer relationship management system comes in handy!

Personalize the Customer Experience

As I previously mentioned, personalizing any aspect of the customer journey is a MUST!

Personalized experiences are meaningful to consumers in today’s shopping age.

Even if a product or service costs more, your typical consumer will continue to shop with this company if they have a positive experience.

Create a Seamless Omni-Channel Experience

Creating a seamless omni-channel experience is essential for the customer journey.

Customers want to easily switch between channels such as online, mobile, or physical stores without any disruption.

Consumers value convenience more than anything else, so if your business can provide that, they’ll become diehard fans of the brand!

Good Customer Experience Example

Consider a hypothetical company called Ruthless Threads, a streetwear brand, for this example of successful customer experience management.

Ruthless Threads’ online store goes beyond a mere e-commerce platform and offers customers a highly interactive shopping experience.

When you visit the site, you’re greeted by a virtual stylist who assists in navigating the vast collection based on their style, color, and fit preferences.

Then, Ruthless Threads saves these preferences for future visits and email marketing messages, creating a personalized shopping journey for each customer.

The virtual stylist is how Ruthless Threads stands out from other streetwear brands (of which there are several).

Because the company offers SO many clothing options, customers may not know where to start browsing.

Therefore, Ruthless Threads offers a guide to improve the customer experience, leading to more customer loyalty and repeat buyers.

Another tactic Ruthless Threads uses to create a positive customer journey is exclusive discounts, product offerings, and company insights to their loyal customers.

Each time a new shopper enters their email address, they receive email marketing messages tailored to their interests and preferences.

Bad Customer Experience Example

Now that you’ve seen an example of a positive customer experience, it’s time to see a poor one.

Let’s take another hypothetical company; this time, it’s a subscription-based music streaming service called GoTunes.

GoTunes offers a basic account that is free to use; all users need to do is enter their email address.

However, if a GoTunes user wants to deactivate or delete their account, the company makes them jump through several hoops, making the process unnecessarily complicated.

As you can imagine, this creates a poor customer experience.

Not only will this result in customers refusing to use GoTunes ever again, but it will also deter them from recommending the music streaming platform to their friends and family.

What is Digital Customer Experience?

Digital customer experience is the experiences your company creates through online platforms.

Some examples of digital customer experience outlets include the following:

Mobile phonesAppsDesktop

More business models are considering online customer experience because the internet is only growing in popularity.

Therefore, if your company is exclusively online, there are a few things to consider regarding digital customer experience.

Mobile Experience

A company with an online presence means your website is accessible through a smart device, like an iPhone or Android phone.

Therefore, customers can find your company’s products or services, mission, etc., wherever they have cell service or Wi-Fi!

Being accessible from virtually anywhere can be great for business.

However, you MUST ensure the customers accessing your website from their mobile phones have the same customer experience as those accessing it from a desktop.

If your site isn’t user-friendly across all devices, customer interactions won’t be as good.

Websites that aren’t user-friendly on a mobile device can lead to:

Lost salesMore abandoned cartsLower satisfaction ratingsFrustrated shoppersMissing out on loyal potential customers

Think about it from the customer’s perspective.

You want the freedom to purchase your favorite t-shirt from your mobile phone, especially if you have no desktop computer access.

Website Usability

Even if your product or service quality is the best, if your website is hard to use, it doesn’t matter.

Websites must be intuitive and user-friendly.

Therefore, your customers should be able to figure out how to purchase something easily.

Creating a user-friendly website is easier than you may think.

In fact, most platforms allow you to run usability tests on your website, evaluating how easy it is to operate your site or mobile app.

Run these tests before officially releasing your website to the public.

That way, you decrease the chances of poor customer reviews.

User Onboarding

User onboarding refers to introducing new customers to your website and services.

Giving potential customers a tour of how to use your platform can benefit customer experience, as it reduces confusion when operating the website.

This puts customers at ease because they know what to do to purchase something.

Customized Communication

Customers appreciate a hands-on approach.

When companies customize communication channels, such as addressing the customer by name in emails and other marketing messages, it creates a solid customer-company relationship.

Personalization shows customers that their opinions matter to you as a business and makes them feel valued.

It also encourages customers to purchase more as they feel more connected to the company.

Some examples of communication channels include the following outlets:

Phone callsLive chat buttonsSocial mediaEmail

Customer Experience Vs. Customer Service

While closely related, customer service and customer experience are distinct concepts in the business world.

Customer Service refers to the interactions between a business and its customers, typically during the purchase or use of a product or service.

Further, customer service measures how well a company can assist, answer questions, resolve issues, and meet customer needs during these interactions.

On the other hand, Customer Experience (CX) is a concept that encompasses all interactions a customer has with a brand.

This term is proactive, focusing on shaping and improving all customer interactions to make the overall experience more positive and satisfying.

In essence, while customer service is a single touchpoint within the whole customer experience, the cumulative effect of all these touchpoints shapes the customer experience as a whole.

Customer Experience Vs. Employee Experience

The employee experience is everything a worker learns, does, sees, and feels throughout the stages of the employee lifecycle.

Like customer experience (CX), employee experience observes how each person who works for you feels about their job.

Customer experience, in comparison, measures how those who shop with your brand feel about your products or services.

Although customer and employee experience may not seem connected, they are deeply integrated!

For instance, a customer’s experience with your brand is only as good as the employee’s experience.

When employees are passionate about their jobs and the products or services they’re recommending, they’re motivated to connect with customers on a deeper level.

So, if you want an excellent customer experience, invest time, energy, and money into ensuring your employees are happy and motivated!

Best Customer Experience Software

If your company needs customer experience software like yesterday, I’ve got one of the best systems in mind!

Let’s check it out.

HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Customer Service software is an advanced platform that does everything you need and more to ensure customer experiences are top-notch.

HubSpot is one of the industry’s most popular CRM providers, so you can trust its platform and functionalities.

What is HubSpot Service Hub?

HubSpot Service Hub is a customer service software system that helps your company create better, more personalized customer relationships.

Additionally, Hubspot helps your team work more efficiently and connect departments so everyone knows what’s happening and nothing slips through the cracks.

Basically, HubSpot Service Hub is a way to make customer service operations MUCH more manageable and efficient!

What Do We Like About HubSpot?

I like many things about HubSpot (which is why I recommend it to so many people).

First, HubSpot is easy to use, regardless of your experience with CRM software.

With a few training lessons, you and your team will be on your way to deepening customer relationships and personalizing communications.

Another aspect I like about HubSpot is that it helps teams deliver genuine customer service that puts customers first.

Consumers prefer customer-centric companies, and HubSpot simplifies this!

Lastly, the list of features HubSpot offers is incredible! For instance, the Service Hub provides the following things:

Conversational toolsShared inboxKnowledge base functionalityCustom surveysReportingHelp desk automationPlaybooksA customer portal

As I said, HubSpot offers everything you need and MUCH more!

HubSpot Service Hub Pros and Cons

Here is a list of advantages you can expect from HubSpot Service Hub:

There’s a free trialSeveral big-name companies trust the software (AccuWeather, Legal Zoom, etc.)There is a free plan availableThe features are advancedHubSpot offers an all-in-one toolThere are automation toolsReporting offers in-depth suggestions and areas of improvement

In comparison, here is a list of cons you must be aware of before investing in HubSpot:

The plans get pricey as you upgradeThere’s no A/B testing on lower-tiered packagesYou have to pay for additional tech supportSome of the contracts aren’t flexibleThere are some less expensive alternatives out there

If you would like to learn more about HubSpot, take a look at our full HubSpot Service Hub review

Now Go Create a Great Customer Experience!

Now it’s your turn to implement everything I discussed!

You understand how important it is to create an excellent customer experience.

Not only will a great customer experience lead to more sales, but it also leads to free advertising because customers recommend your products or services to their friends and family!

What customer experience strategies will your company use? Let us know in the comments section below!

The post What Is Customer Experience? Guide for Small Businesses appeared first on Small Business Bonfire.

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