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Customer Experience

Customer Experience Improvements To Focus On Today

An image of a complicated network map. Customer experience improvements are critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer experience improvements are a never-ending process, at least until the experience is perfect (and no company’s is). So enjoy the journey, because there is no destination.

Teaching employees to identify gaps in your customer experience will help to build a culture of customer-centricity into your company’s business model.

Employees should focus on making small customer experience improvements every day, because it’s the little things that really add up in a customer’s perception of a brand. Many of these things will have been languishing for a long time because of lack of prioritization.

Today is a great day to take a step back and take stock of your existing customer journey and where it might need to be improved. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and walk through their customer experience one step at a time.

Here are some places to look for customer experience improvements:

  1. Identify any written communications – from signage to letters to call center scripts to email confirmations – and look for opportunities to simplify the language. This can include reducing words, eliminating legalese, and writing in a more human tone. Pay special attention to the “boring” parts of the business, such as contracts, invoices, and even legal disclosures.
  2. Dust off the list of customer pain points and “known errors” that haven’t been addressed, and use some downtime to take care of those. According to Harvard Business Review, the number-one most important factor in a customer’s loyalty is reducing customer effort. Known errors do the opposite. At Discover, I managed to borrow a single coder for two weeks to fix more than 100 known errors on the website, resulting in customer satisfaction scores skyrocketing and Customer Service calls significantly decreasing,
  3. Assign cross-functional teams to focus specifically on customer transitions and handoffs. This is often where things apart and customer experience improvements can make the most impact. For example:
  • From Sales to Customer Success or Installation
  • From Acquisition to Membership to Retention
  • From chatbot to human agent
  • From signup to first login to product tutorial
  • From one Customer Service channel to another
  • From a free trial to a paid subscription
  1. Look at certain high-stress or overly complex transactions and how to make them easier for your customers. For example:
  • Application forms – reducing the number of questions will almost always increase the completion rate
  • Contacting Customer Service – is your IVR actually helpful or just meant to stall the customer from talking to a human?
  • Locating documentation – is it easy to find product instructions, tutorials, previous orders and invoices, etc.?
  • Resetting a forgotten password – no company has figured out how to make this an enjoyable process yet!
  • Billing and statements – anything having to do with payment is naturally high stress, so try to make it simple
  • Returns and exchanges – Simplify the process to minimize customer frustration at an already challenging time

5. Focus on the digital experience, which in many cases has become the vast majority of the entire experience. For example:

  • Audit automated systems (like chatbots) to ensure they are providing value and not hindering the customer experience.
  • Review website and mobile app navigation for intuitive design – can users find what they need in three clicks or less?
  • Regularly update FAQ and help sections to reflect current customer inquiries and concerns.
  • Introduce clear and concise error messages that guide users on how to proceed or correct their actions.
  • Integrate accessibility features to support users with disabilities, including screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation. (I highly recommend AccessiBe for this; it’s inexpensive and very effective, saving hours of coding time.)

Customer expectations are only increasing, so expect this list to continue to grow. But by creating a customer-centric culture where your employees are empowered to make things easier for customers, you’ll have a sustainable model of customer experience improvements.

Your customers and prospects will thank you, and you will have engendered deep loyalty that will last for years.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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