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Customer experience continues to remain one of business’ perennial Georgian knots. For those few companies that manage to find an insight the rewards are substantial but sadly, for many companies, these rewards remain frustratingly out of reach.
In this article we will overview some of the surprisingly simple but all too uncommon methods that have been used to improve customer satisfaction and experience. We shall focus specifically on surprisingly simple solutions that are often overlooked with a view of suggesting a few minor changes or small projects that can make a big difference to customer experience regardless of the industry in which a company competes.
By way of a simple summary there are major strategy groups that have been shown to significantly improve customer experience. The strategy groups are: meet customer expectations, impress the customer, acknowledge feedback, keep it simple and involve the whole company.
1. Meeting customer expectations comes down to making claims that are matched by the customer’s experience. It is important to make claims and set customer expectations around service quality, speed, service levels, and price. When customer experience does not match the claims, frustration and disappointment quickly follow.
2. Impress the customer by delivering value quickly, rewarding loyalty, involving customers in your success, providing a great in-store experience, making an effort to “make it right” when something goes wrong, be there when the customer really needs you, or to give the customer something they are not expecting. People will not churn if they have a something invested in your success, receive stand-out assistance in-store, or are given something in return when something goes wrong. (To learn more about how to impress the customer read my blog “ 5 ways to impress the customer”.)
3. One of the simplest approaches to improve customer satisfaction scores is to acknowledge the feedback. Some organizations try to contact a subscriber both to thank them and to show empathy. In the case of negative feedback, acknowledge the feedback and discuss what will be done to improve it. Methods that have been used to increase feedback, suggestions and comments include offering a reward for feedback, or asking to complete a review after a sales experience or positive interactions such as resolving a support issue.
4. Keep it simple. Simplicity is the key to customers deriving maximum value and satisfaction. Simplifying a number of areas can improve customer experience and NPS scores. Some of the most important parts of the business to simplify include ordering services, easy to understand bills, solution bundles, customer support and self-service ways to interact with the business.
5. Involving your whole company in improving customer experience can be done by something as simple as displaying your NPS results in common internal locations. Sharing honest customer feedback on notice boards for everyone to see makes problems public. It is likely the problems your customers have with your business stem from multiple departments within your organization. Sharing this feedback enables your whole organization to develop more customer empathy. This strategy has been used by a number of organizations as part of their program to promote team spirit and a ‘customer first’ culture.
To learn more about how we have helped Telecommunications and Media & Entertainment companies improve customer experience, visit ibm.biz/Bd4tB8 .