Your customers have hundreds of options when they’re deciding where to shop. From niche online boutiques and eBay to local businesses and mass retailers, there have never been more ways to get yoga mats, pet grooming brushes, artisan salami . . . or whatever it is consumers need.
So what makes your business the best choice? If you’re offering an outstanding customer experience, you’re sure to see the customers come flocking. Here are 16 ideas to improve your customer experience today.
1. Analyze the Customer Journey
The first step to improve your customer experience strategy should be taking time to analyze how your customer engages with your brand every step of the way. This includes marketing, user experience on your website, sales, returns, etc. Ask questions such as:
- How does the average customer discover your brand?
- How long do they usually spend on your website?
- How much money do they spend?
2. Define Your Strategy
Once you’ve analyzed the current customer journey, it’s time to define what makes a great customer experience. Get customer feedback, set goals, and develop a strategy for how you will measure results. You might consider sending out customer surveys or conducting small market research groups.
3. Be a Proactive Problem-Solver
Every brand makes mistakes, but how you react to those mistakes could make or break your business. So what should you do if you ship the wrong item or put the wrong link in your email? Correct the mistake before customers point it out. When you make engagement with your brand easy, you’ll have happy customers.
4. Outsource Customer Service
When you’re looking for ways to save money without reducing the quality of your customer experience, it may be time to outsource some of your services to a reputable third-party. A customer service call center can help you reduce wait times, increase customer satisfaction, and better manage inbound calls during the busy season.
5. Respond Quickly
Life seems to be moving at a faster pace all the time, and customers don’t want to wait around for a response from your business. Be sure to respond to social media inquiries or customer service emails in a timely manner.
6. Build Customer Personas
How old is your average customer? Where do they live? What do they do for work? Imagining several possible scenarios to these questions will give you a better ability to connect with your customers. Create a few imaginary customer profiles and develop marketing plans to appeal to those personas.
7. Invest in Good Design
These days, there’s no excuse for a poorly designed website. Good design makes it easier for customers to navigate your website, and when a website is easy to use, customers will be more likely to return. Make sure you’re allotting room in your budget to hire talented web and graphic designers.
8. Check Out the Competition
Do you know what your competitors are doing? Though we don’t recommend copying other businesses, knowing what your competitors are doing may give you unique ideas to improve customer experience. Occasionally check out competitor websites, social media, and email marketing to stay ahead of the curve.
9. Remind Customers of Your History
Sometimes customers need a little encouragement before they make a purchase. Luckily, the latest technology makes it easy for you to remind customers of their search history or purchase history. Display these items on the website or in email marketing to increase conversions and make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.
10. Create an Omnichannel Experience
In today’s world, a customer might start an order on their smartphone while they’re at work, then get distracted, and remember to pull up the website on their desktop computer at home. If you’ve created an omnichannel user experience, the customer can view their shopping cart or reach out for customer service across any platform, without having to explain or retrace their history every time.
11. Send a Personalized Message
Though you may spend hours thinking of innovative ideas to improve customer service, sometimes the old-fashioned route is the most effective. If you really want to wow your customers, send a personalized note with an order, give a custom response to an email, or send a DM to a follower. There’s nothing quite like a personalized touch to make your customers feel important.
12. Give Away Freebies
Another sure-fire way to make your customers feel important is by sending out occasional freebies. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the desired effect—sometimes all it takes is a free pen or fridge magnet to do the trick. This strategy is especially effective if it is unexpected, so don’t overdo it.
13. Improve Products
No matter how much time you spend improving the customer experience, nothing can compensate for a poorly made product. Set your business up on a solid foundation by offering quality products your customers will love, then continue to innovate and improve products based on customer feedback.
14. Offer Self-Service
Both you and your customers will benefit from self-service opportunities. You’ll save time and money by allowing customers to help themselves, and customers will be glad they don’t have to wait for someone else to resolve simple problems. Consider adding features like an FAQ page, an automated returns process, or live chat.
15. Create a Loyalty Program
The smartest businesses know it’s much more cost-effective to focus on retaining old customers than it is to constantly be having to attract new customers—and one of the best ways to retain customers is by rewarding them for their loyalty. Set up a program incentivizing customers with discounts and freebies the more they shop with you.
16. Highlight Customers
In the social media age, it’s easier than ever to give your customers a moment to shine. This will increase customer loyalty and build more meaningful connections. Think of creative ways to thank your customers, whether you repost customer photos or interview interesting customers.
Don’t Stop Innovating!
We’ve given you 16 great ideas to improve customer experience. We encourage you to start implementing these suggestions with your team, but don’t stop there—constant innovation is the key to any truly great business. Always put your customers first, listen to their feedback, and you’re sure to be successful.