Whether your business is B2B, B2C or B2B2C, today, every business must be C2B—customer to business. The customers should guide your strategy for delivering valuable engagement. Here are 5 customer experience tips that I learned from listening to our key industry influencers and an IBM executive.
1. Social listening is key. When a customer complains about a brand on social media, it’s no longer a one-on-one conversation—their entire network will see that post. A brand that responds quickly and solves the issue gains the trust of networks of customers, satisfied that they’re engaging with a business that supports them.
“The secret to good customer reaction time? Help them when they need it, now not later.” —Shep Hyken, customer service and experience expert, and NYT bestselling author
2. Speed is everything. Customers judge brands by how long it takes to resolve their issues. Acknowledging the value of your customers’ time verbally or with some form of compensation for the time they’ve lost can improve their experience and future loyalty.
“I had to spend four hours on the phone with different reps trying to resolve a billing issue.” —Phil Simon, award-winning author and adviser
3. Exceed expectations. In the moment when an unhappy customer wants an immediate resolution, a powerful brand works hard make things right. Taking a positive action during a moment of adversity delights customers and sets a great brand apart from its competitors. Be ahead of the curve; knowing your customer as best as you can is your “leg up.”
“You need to get everything right or don’t bother entering the market…” —Bryan Kramer, Speaker, CEO of @PureMatter, author of bestseller, Human to Human
4. Treat people like people. One brand warns its customers: “You have two days to return an item, or you keep it.” Another promises: “If you don’t love your purchase, we’ll pay for the return and even pick it up for you.” Which brand deserves its customers’ business?
“Develop REAL relationships: Reciprocal, Empathetic, Authentic, Long-lasting.” —Kristie Wells, global social media strategy, Ancestry.com
5. Everyone’s a representative. As customer expectations increase for the convenience and seamlessness of e-commerce, brands need to help more of their staff prepare to be on the front lines, interacting directly with individuals and giving them a rewarding interaction.
“I had the kind of seamless cross-channel brand experience that strengthens trust and loyalty.” —John L. Stelzer, senior omni-channel strategist, IBM
See how IBM Commerce can help move your C2B business forward: ibm.com/commerce
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