By Rachelle McLure -
Providing excellent customer service has become more important than ever before. From hyper-personalized recommendations to high-quality services on-demand, companies that fail to meet these expectations risk losing their business to competitors who can.
However, businesses that lay the proper technical foundations, foster agile business models, and understand how to harness ever-growing streams of data can experience the many benefits of delivering an exceptional customer experience—including increased loyalty, improved satisfaction, and higher sales.
Whether your business is at an inflection point in today’s dynamic marketplace or you’re just beginning to understand what it takes to create exceptional customer experiences, the RCG team has identified seven key best practices that are applicable across industries and business maturity levels.
By following these best practices, companies can enhance their customer experience and achieve greater success in today's demanding global marketplace.
7 Best Practices to Create Exceptional Customer Experiences
1. Personalize Wherever Possible
Customers want to feel seen, heard, and remembered. Personalized experiences can help make this happen—and pay big dividends for businesses. By leveraging data and analytics, companies can gain insights into customers' preferences and behaviors, allowing them to personalize interactions, offers, and recommendations.
Personalization can take many forms, including targeted marketing campaigns, customized product recommendations, and tailored support experiences. By putting the customer at the center of the experience and providing personalized interactions, companies can build stronger relationships, increase customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth.
2. Leverage Data to Drive Insights and Decisions
While some customers are vocal about their positive or negative experiences, not every customer is going to speak up about what is going well, what they wish was a bit different, and what products they are looking for in the future.
This is where having the ability to leverage data analytics to drive decision-making and aid with identifying new insights is so important. Companies can use data to gain valuable insights into what their customers want and need, which can inform everything from product development to marketing campaigns.
Ultimately, leveraging data can help companies build stronger relationships with their customers and deliver experiences that meet or exceed their expectations—whether they voice them or not.
3. Leverage New Tools to Provide Next-Level Responsiveness
Customers expect timely and effective responses to their feedback. To make this happen, companies need to give their employees the tools and training to respond promptly and appropriately to customer inquiries.
Thanks to new technologies, these solutions may include implementing automation, artificial intelligence, and self-service options—such as chatbots or FAQs—to streamline the customer service process and empower customers to solve some of their more basic issues. By doing so, companies can not only provide quicker response times, but also free up their employees to focus on other tasks.
4. Aim for Seamless Experiences Across Platforms
Whether online, via a mobile app, via email, or in-person, customers expect the same level of service, responsiveness, personalization, and quality.
The ability to provide a high level of consistency not only helps to build trust in a brand, but it can also help to lead to increased loyalty and, in turn, more revenue. By prioritizing integration, design, and functionality consistency across all channels and devices, organizations can provide a seamless experience that meets their customers' needs and creates a long-lasting positive impression.
5. Invest in Your Employees
Employees are the face of a company and are responsible for displaying organizational values to customers—directly or indirectly. By investing in employee training, development, and engagement, businesses can:
- Ensure that employees understand how to use organizational tools and processes to better serve customers.
- Help employees to feel supported and valued, which helps them to be more engaged and motivated.
- Better navigate more complex interactions and resolve issues quickly and efficiently, leading to a positive customer experience.
The icing on top? Investing in employee development and career growth can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention, which in turn can lead to increased customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to return to a company when they have positive interactions with familiar and knowledgeable employees.
6. Own Customer Feedback
By actively seeking out feedback from customers via a range of media and using that feedback to improve their products, services, and overall experience, businesses can create a customer-centric approach that works to meet the needs and preferences of their customers.
By having the mechanisms to quickly respond to negative feedback and work to resolve the issue, businesses can turn what would be a long-lasting negative experience into a positive one. In an environment where 32 percent of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience, every investment in owning customer feedback can be directly linked to long-term sustainability.
7. Remember Your Business Values
Business values shape a company's culture, ethics, and identity, and they help to guide consistent and empathetic decision-making. By staying true to their values, businesses can create a sense of connection and shared purpose with their customers and employees, support more authentic customer experiences, and help to establish a strong reputation for customer service and trust.
Putting Customers First Sets Your Business Apart
Despite its importance, only 44 percent of organizations will increase their investment in customer experience initiatives.
Whether you’re looking to build additional momentum for your existing customer experience initiatives or build a business case for future programs, making the decision to focus on the core purpose of your business—serving your customers—is a great opportunity for your business to stand out from the competition.
Want to learn more about the steps, investments, and changes your business can make today to be ready for tomorrow’s opportunities? Then take a moment to download RCG’s latest eBook, Be Ready For Tomorrow's Tech Challenges.