Companies are increasingly seeing the vital importance of improving the customer experience. According to a 2022 Broadridge report, 65% of consumers believe brands they do business with need to improve their customer experience, up from 35% in 2019. And of the thousands of consumers surveyed, 77% said they would spend more money with a company that provides a good customer experience.
The bar is high and the stakes are higher. How can brands step up to provide standout experiences that turn customers into loyal brand advocates? Here are six proven strategies to improve your customers’ experience today.
1. Visualize the customer experience through customer journey mapping
A customer journey map is a powerful visualization and storytelling tool. It helps your team to better understand and address customer needs and pain points as they experience your product or service. Mapping out the touchpoints of a customer’s journey helps you to see potential pain points from an unbiased perspective.
We broke down how to create a powerful customer journey map and identify points of friction here: How to Master Journey Mapping that Results in Killer Customer Service.
2. Develop customer service skills
This may seem obvious, but it’s so vitally important. People who directly interact with customers have a huge impact on the customer experience, and they must possess the right skills and attributes to positively affect the customer. And that requires training.
Skills like empathy, active listening, problem solving, and even upselling can all be developed through training — and can go a long way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Customer service training can be hugely beneficial and play a key role in customer satisfaction.
Read: Four skills to develop in your customer service team in hard times
3. Rethink empathy
Forbes called empathy “the next business disrupter” – a response to cultural shifts that occurred during the pandemic. Unfortunately, a 2022 survey revealed that 69% of employees say their organizations are empathetic – which is down from 72% in 2021. Businesses are missing the mark, and it’s time to rethink what it means to be empathetic.
Every customer service interaction is an opportunity to convey that someone actually cares about the challenges people are facing. In an era of advancing technology and AI, when customers engage with real people, they want it to feel human. They want to feel seen and heard by a person who can relate to them in a non-robotic way.
Genuine empathy will be mission-critical to CX in 2023. Authentic empathy doesn’t come from scripted empathetic statements, and customers can see right through the performance. Give agents the freedom to be authentic (training will help, too), and harness the power of meaningful human connection to elevate the customer experience.
4. Focus on the agent experience
A vital and often overlooked part of good CX is your agent’s experience (AX). If agents aren’t empowered, or worse, they’re micromanaged, it can result in a negative customer experience.
Your people entered the customer service business because they enjoy helping people. And it turns out that every effort you put towards equipping them to do just that helps your team succeed on all fronts. Giving them quality training, the right technology, flexibility, and a positive work environment can boost team morale and customer satisfaction.
Read: Four customer service management trends for 2023 you’ll need to prepare for
5. Support customers and agents with the right technology
Technology can play a crucial role in the customer experience. But technology for technology’s sake can result in a clunky, disjointed experience.
Ensure your technology use is intentional and in sync. And if you’re not already — consider AI. More than 60% of companies are using or planning to use AI to improve employee and customer experience. AI solutions like chatbots and predictive CX present compelling opportunities to better triage and route customer support calls. We shared the top five applications of AI for CX in 2023 in this post if you’re unsure where to go next.
6. Develop a guided customer experience (Guided CX) framework
Visual engagement enhances customer interactions by moving beyond messaging, email, or voice communications. When companies interact with their customers using enhanced visuals, they are providing a Guided Customer Experience, or Guided CX. Nearly 60% of companies use some form of visual engagement components like screen sharing and video. And those who do report increases in revenue, decreases in overall costs, and improved CSAT.
Ready to learn how? Click the link below to download the eBook written by Metrigy Research Strategic Consulting and Advising to discover how and why you should elevate your customer experience through Guided CX.
Download the eBook: Guided CX: Establish convenient, contextual customer experience that drives measurable business value