Customer experience — the sum total of interactions that customers have with your business, good or bad — can make or break a small business
Research from PWC finds that 73% of people consider CX an important factor in purchasing decisions, and that 43% of all customers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience.
Bad customer experience, on the other hand, can quickly encourage a customer to shop with the competition.
Businesses that focus on CX tend to have an easier time keeping customers around — helping them to reduce churn, increase revenue, and secure repeat purchases.
Some businesses, however, don’t put a lot of energy towards CX — sometimes because they’re worried about the potential cost of developing a strong customer experience strategy.
Providing the best CX possible doesn’t have to be expensive. These low-cost tips show how any business can develop an affordable CX strategy.
Make Key Info About Your Business Easy to Find
Sometimes, a company will accidentally make it hard to find basic information about what they do, where they are, and how to do business with them.
For example, less than two-thirds of small businesses have a website. This can be a serious problem, especially when you also consider that 70% to 80% of customers start researching a business by looking for their website. A business without a website may be making basic information much harder to find than it should be.
If you already have a website, you can make small design tweaks to ensure key information is easy to locate.
You may have a physical location or phone number or an About Us page with information like your hours. Making these resources easy to find with design elements like a good navigation header can help ensure customers don’t get frustrated when researching your brand.
Know What Your Customers Need
Market research can pay off when you’re trying to improve CX.
Many businesses, for example, start building a CX strategy by using existing customer data to segment their base and create customer personas. They then use these personas to identify potential issues customers may already have with their business or to anticipate problems that may crop up down the line.
You can also ask customers directly. Email surveys and anonymous response forms, for example, can help ensure you know what customers are thinking. Whether they’ve had positive experiences or not, they can use these tools to share their experience — helping you to learn more about how your business is building relationships with its customers.
Help Customers Help Themselves
In many cases, customers may be able to solve their own issues if they have access to the right information.
Online troubleshooting tools, FAQs, and resource centers that include documentation, tutorials, or tips and tricks relevant to your products can go a long way in helping customers help themselves.
These online resources may allow customers to resolve their problems or answer basic questions without needing to get in touch with your customer service team. This can also take some pressure off your customer service reps.
Find Ways to Capture Customer Feedback
Social listening tools, for example, automatically scour social media and the web for mentions of your brand. When looked at together, these individual mentions can help show you what people think about your business — the good, the bad, and where you may be able to do better.
Records from customer service interactions can also help. If you offer a live chat service, reviewing chat log data may be a good way to know what you’re doing well and what customers are struggling with when they need support.
Other sources of data can also offer some serious benefits. For example, a company with an app may take advantage of user behavior data to see how people are really using their app — allowing them to update the app with new features or streamlined navigation.
You can even use information like voice data to improve your customer service. With the right analytics software, you can break down customer voice data to get a sense of the emotions your customers are expressing during calls, for example, as well as issues that may have been missed by reps.
Together, this data can provide a great source of information on what your customers may like and dislike about interacting with your company.
Ask Your Employees for Advice
Regularly soliciting feedback from employees can help you catch problems you may have missed otherwise.
Your customer service reps, for example, know exactly how customers interact with your brand — including what road bumps they may run into while trying to get help. If there’s something about your customer service process that’s inefficient or limiting your ability to provide a good customer experience, those team members potentially have experience you don’t.
Keeping them in the loop and giving them space to offer feedback or suggest process changes can be a great way to ensure you deliver the best customer experience possible.
Create an Employee Development Framework
Training is crucial in communicating customer-centric values internally, ensuring that all team members at a business know how they can help provide the best experiences possible.
Practical training can help ensure customer service reps, social media managers, and any employee who has direct contact with your customers knows what they can do to resolve customer issues.
This kind of training or employee development also helps bring your employees into the loop about potential issues your company is having.
This could provide them with a space to offer feedback or observations they’ve had in the past about your company’s approach to CX. It may also encourage them to pay special attention to customer problems like those your business has struggled with in the past.
Affordable Strategies for Top-Tier Customer Experience
Good CX doesn’t have to be expensive — often, simple strategies can help you make the most of what you have and cut down on problems customers may be having.
Market research, customer feedback, employee advice, and better training are all great ways to identify potential CX issues and build more streamlined channels for customer service.