28Mar

Customer Experience: A New Meaning

Hubspot coined 2017 as The Year of The Customer Experience, and we certainly recognize this buzzword’s relevance as the online world becomes more and more a part of our everyday world. Businesses online and on the ground must extend themselves to become more customer-centric if they want to survive the battle against the “Amazons” of the world. We’ve mentioned Amazon a few times on here, but we think it’s worth noting what they’re up to. They are constantly reinventing their business model, and the customer experience is no exception to this ongoing reinvention.

Here’s a real-world example of just how customer-centric Amazon is. Just a couple weeks ago I received a picture frame I had ordered through my Amazon Prime account and realized I had accidentally ordered the wrong size frame. Feeling silly, I emailed the customer service team to let them know of my mistake and initiate an exchange for the right size frame. They responded within the day to let me know I could go ahead and keep the frame and that they had already placed the order for the correct frame size to be sent to me. It’s service like this that blows conventional business practices out of the water and seals customer loyalty. Many have pledged their allegiance to the king of e-commerce, Amazon, and striving businesses need to get behind their ideas.

You might find yourself thinking at this point, I’m not in B2C retail or e-commerce, what does this have to do with me? Well, according to a study by SiriusDecisions, customer experience is not only a priority for the average B2C consumer but also in the B2B sphere. In fact, 80% of B2B customers placed customer experience at the top of their priority list when purchasing products and services from a vendor. In this same study, it is also noted that over 60% would not recommend their vendor to a peer in the industry. As few do it well, the average consumer has become ever more critical of those who aren’t as gracious and helpful in their customer contact. As a dealer or manufacturer, know that there’s always room for improvement and invest some time into your customer experience strategy.

So, how can you make strides towards perfecting your customer experience? Below are 3 things you should focus on.

It starts with your people.

Somewhere in the customer journey, there might be a hiccup, like my frame dimension snafu.  How your team responds to problems like these speaks volumes about who you are as a company and how well you value your customer. For example, minor confusion about a promotion deadline is probably not worth losing a customer over. Extending a promotion for a select few who ask could seal their customer loyalty and radically change their customer experience.

Anticipate needs.

You might be able to think of a couple recent problems. Write them down and meet with your team to brainstorm how you might avoid these mistakes in the future or answer questions before they arise naturally. Your customer might not realize this prep work is preventing effort on their part, but it will definitely pay off when you have less complaints to shield and start generating positive reviews and customer testimonials- not to mention a loyal customer base!

Make online easier.

Lastly, your website should reflect the ease of doing business with an actual person. We know for many of you business is not going to take place online, but it’s probably where the customer journey begins. Simplify things for your consumer by discarding unnecessary info or functions, and instead highlight the easiest route to either contacting someone or making a purchase so that your customers will complete the conversion process. This efficiency will likely make them more prone to coming back.

Don’t feel like you have the ability or time to create this user-friendly customer experience online? The revolution of DIFM– “do it for me”- has bubbled over from the B2C world of things like Uber and Amazon Prime into the space of business to business partnerships as well. Managing websites, social media, SEO and SEM campaigns is what we live for- and we would be honored to do it for you.

For more ideas on how to polish up your customer’s experience or to let us “do it for you” online, reach out to us at marketing@commercialwebservices.com. We’d love to hear from you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Gallagher

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