5 Ways to Boost Customer Experience

By: Mahnoor Awan

What is considered a good customer experience? An interaction with a professional employee who is courteous and helpful? Getting through to a customer service representative within the first minute of a phone call? Or being greeted by a call agent who isn't annoyed? How about getting free stuff? The truth is, customer experience is not a customer's single interaction with your business. According to Harvard Business Review, "(customer satisfaction is through) cumulative experiences across multiple touchpoints and in multiple channels over time."

When a business acquires a new customer, that customer goes through a process of dealing with different aspects of the business that include (but not limited to), interacting with the business's website, employees, call agents, and the products or services themselves. It is your customer's journey through which they form perceptions, feelings, and memories about a brand that could potentially lead to loyalty, (or dismay) depending on their interaction.

Giving your customers a complete package leads to higher satisfaction rates for your business. Here are a few ways through which you can boost your business's customer experience.

  1. Have a Responsive Web Design
  2. If your business has a website or if it is operated mainly through a website, it is important to have a responsive web design. These days, people use multiple devices to go on the Internet. Based on a Mobile to Outpace Desktop study in 2015, "mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search."

    If more Internet searches are made on devices with smaller screen sizes than an average PC, a non-responsive website could be a frustrating experience for customers. To provide your customers with the best experience, your business should have a responsive website that is optimized for multiple screen sizes, where the desktop experience isn't ruined and at the same time, the content is tailored for smartphones and tablets.

    It could be a separate but synchronized website streamlined for mobile, where it takes into account the trends in user behavior on mobile devices, and focuses on specific Call to Actions (CTA).

    Take the example of Luna Dentistry, where they have two separate sites. One is optimized for desktops to provide the full web experience, and the microsite is designed to prioritize the main CTA's like 'Book an Appointment' or 'Find Us.' on mobile. If you are looking for responsive or multiple optimized websites for your business, click here for more information on how UpOnline can help you.

  3. Create a Self-Serve Experience
  4. Based on data, the use of web or mobile self-serve has increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014. Customers prefer getting their queries answered in as short of a time as possible, and picking up the phone to make a call, or sending an email, takes longer than if answers are available right there and then.
    To provide a self-serve experience, the most effective and cost efficient way is to either have an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or a forum page. FAQ's allow your business to provide customers with the most relevant information about your product or service. To make sure that your content is relevant to what most of your customers are looking for, adding a rating option of 'how helpful was this answer' can help to get a better idea of what your customers are looking for and if they found the 'answers' helpful.

    In addition to question and answers, consider adding YouTube tutorial videos to the experience, for your content to be more engaging.

    Forums can also be effective since it also allows customers to interact with each other and solve each other's problems. However, it is especially important to monitor any forum to avoid customer harassment and also to make sure that the customers can provide each other with proper information.

  5. Monitor Social Media
  6. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are effective ways to add to the customer experience. In a ComScore 2016 report, data shows that nearly 20% of the time spent online in U.S. is on social media, out of which 14% is on Facebook.
    Research what social media platforms talk most about your brand or industry and try engaging in conversations where your brand or industry is mentioned. Keep an eye on the content your customers post, as that gives you more insight about what they are looking for, and it could help you fill in some blanks between the customer and your business.

  7. Act on Customer Feedback
  8. When customers leave feedback on review pages, on calls, forums, or social media platforms, it is important to respond to them. However, the responses should be appropriate & professional, and aligned with the values of your brand. Here are more ways on how you can respond to customer feedback.

    However, providing a good overall customer experience is more than just responding with a thank you or an apology. How you act on a customer's feedback is also really important. Data shows that when businesses resolve a customer's complaint, there's a 70% chance the customer will come back for more business.

    Here's an example from JetBlue Airways that illustrates providing good customer service can lead to happy customers.
    Customer feedback helps businesses to realize and understand where they are lacking and how they could improve overall, and if they take that feedback into account and make some changes to their business, it further enhances the customer experience.

  9. Train Employees who Interact with Customers
  10. Last but not the least, train your employees to deal with customers. In a 2009 Genesys Global Survey, 78% of customers say that competent service representatives makes the customer experience a happy one.
    Whether your employees are answering calls, or interacting face-to-face with customers, it is important that they are not only polite and professional, but also friendly and able to provide a personalized experience for customers. They should also be knowledgeable about the business's products and/or services because data shows that according to customers, 50% of customer service representatives are unable to answer their questions, which in turn, leaves the customers unsatisfied.

Customers keep a business going. This sentiment is valid more now than ever before. A business can use a good customer experience to help differentiate themselves from their competitors. A 2011 American Express survey shows that 59% of Americans are willing to try a new brand for a better service experience. Personalized experiences and one-on-one interactions between customers and employees, or customer engagements through Internet platforms, add to the perceived quality of your business. Through this, you are not just providing a good product or service, but an overall added value because of the complete customer service package your business is able to provide to satisfy customers.