Why are companies allowed to get away with poor customer service so often? In the case of larger companies, it is because people have no choice but to put up with it. With smaller companies, poor quality customer service can scare away warm leads and can convince first-time buyers to never buy again.
Here are six ways you may improve customer experiences.
1. Improve Customer Experiences from the First Point Of Contact
The first points of contact are when people visit your store, website, or call you. Make the process as quick and hassle-free as possible. For example, if your first point of contact is your website, then make sure:
- it loads quickly
- it is not cluttered
- it efficiently directs people to where they wish to go.
New visitors are the hardest to engage with because you only have a few seconds with which to impress them. If you have set their expectations prior to visiting, such as with an advertisement, then make sure you live up to those expectations in the most expedient manner.
Prioritize being concise and efficient over salesmanship. If the first point of contact is phone calls, then work on your customer communications management. You can find out more here.
2. Analyze Touchpoints, Interactions, and Engagement
Improving your user experience across the board means understanding what is happening throughout the process:
- Touchpoints are your first points of contact, such as in a store, on social media, on a website, etc.
- Interactions are things like emails, cold calls, etc.
- Engagement is any sort of conversion, be it an email sign-up or a sale.
Careful monitoring will help you see where you are losing customers, which may help you figure out why you are losing customers and viewers.
The point of analyzing touchpoints, interactions, and engagement is to check what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. A certain level of trial and error testing is also required to check your theories. The only downfalls are related to the analysis process itself.
Not only may you suffer a little paralysis by analysis, but you may also misinterpret your analytics. For example, a customer may be very invested in your company and your emails but may rarely open them. You may misinterpret this as being a bad thing and try changing your email strategy, yet the customer is actually quite happy, just not ready to buy right now.
3. Have People Rate your Customer Support Staff
Having customers rate support staff is a new and popular trend for live-chat workers and used well it can enhance customer experience. The customer is asked to rate the customer support they received after they have finished their live chat. Staff members who offer poor quality service or who disappoint the customer are rated poorly, which raises a few red flags.
It may highlight a problem that can be resolved internally, such as a problem with a product, or it may highlight that a member of staff needs further training.
Just be careful of staff-review exploits. You need to stamp them out or your review system will fail and your visitors will continue to have negative experiences.
For example, one trick is to tell a customer that everything is fine and that whatever unsolvable problem will be rectified in the next 45 minutes. The customer finishes the live chat, gives a glowing review, waits 45 minutes and discovers that the problem still remains and that they were lied to.
4. Stop Harassing Your Website Visitors
Can you imagine how annoying it would be if you walked into a store, and before you got over the threshold you were asked by someone with a clipboard to sign up for their email newsletter? Then, as you walked around the store, someone held up a poster in front of your face and wouldn’t allow you to look away unless you pressed a small cross at the top corner. As you leave the store, somebody grabs you by the arm and gives you a “before you leave” discount offer.
If this sort of behavior is not suitable in real life, why are you subjecting your visitors to it on your website?
5. Stick to Your Brand Principles
Clearly defined and reinforced brand principles have a very big impact on each customer’s experience. It is especially pronounced if your customer already has experience with your brand because your customer will already have certain expectations of your company.
Sticking to your brand principles is something you must do across the board. You cannot have a very grown-up TV advertisement and then have a very childish website if you want to improve your customer experience.
When companies try to extend their lines, they often fall into the trap of shaking their brand principles, which then leads to poor customer experience.
An example is when Harley Davidson tried to expand its line into perfumes and body washes. Their brand principles were very masculine and macho, so people’s view of the brand was damaged when they walked into stores and saw bottles of Harley Davidson perfume on the shelves.
6. Have a “Call Me Back” Function on Your Website
What is great about the “Call Me Back” function is that people think it is some sort of special service, especially since the customer doesn’t have to pay for the call. It may take time and money calling people back, but the “Call Me Back” function can also save you a lot of money.
Instead of paying for staff to work around the clock, you can hire a small number of people and simply have them answering emails and calling people back. It is a good stopgap between being a small business with limited customer support, to becoming a medium-sized business with a full-time customer support department.
Test Your Customer Services
The only way to improve customer experiences over the long term is to keep testing them. This is especially important when it comes to staff training because a disgruntled or poorly trained staff member can undo the hard work you have put into making your customer service better than ever. Test your user experience as a whole, from your quick-loading website to the customer support staff at the end of phone lines.
For more business, management and marketing advice, try a few of the other posts on Businessblogshub.com.