While attracting new clients is extremely important for firms, developing client-firm relationships after contracts are signed may be paramount. Many companies focus so intently on getting new businesses through the door that they neglect to establish customer experience strategies with their existing clients. Often, they don’t consider the entire customer journey but are focused solely on customer service — a single event when a customer seeks assistance and support during this process.
In the current business environment, many clients do not stay with a company simply because they have been with them for years. As an example, approximately 87% of accountants state their clients are more demanding than five years ago — in fact, 96% of them will leave after one poor experience. This implies that great customer service alone is not enough. Therefore, companies must make their business stand out from the competition by providing a superior customer experience. Additionally, automation of certain aspects will yield even better results.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of customer experience, how it differs from customer service, and how it can be automated.
“Customer service is what happens when the experience breaks down.”
Chris Zane, Founder of Zane’s Cycles
Customer experience must not be confused with customer service, as they are not the same. Namely, customer service is the assistance your company provides to people who buy or use your services or products. On the other hand, customer experience is the sum of all interactions between a customer and your organization.
Customer service is reactive and designed to deliver a service when clients ask for it. It’s more problem-oriented and focused on resolving existing customer needs. However, customer experience is proactive. Its goal is to satisfy the clients and strengthen the bond between them and your company. It is more feelings-oriented, as it helps you attract and retain customers and assist them across their entire customer journey. Essentially, it allows you to define your clients’ entire perception of your company. When leveraged to its fullest potential, it is a competitive advantage that can attract loyal customers and increase revenue.
Customer experience must be seamless and consistent. To accomplish this, all departments within an organization must work closely together. However, the problem with customer experience is that it’s difficult to scale. The more a business grows, the more challenging it becomes to provide customers with a personalized experience, which can be an issue since organizations risk losing clients after just one disappointing interaction. In those situations, automated customer experience becomes increasingly important to the business strategy. Automating and digitizing vital elements of a company’s customer experience workflow and processes can help build customer loyalty, reduce churn, and increase efficiency.
To deliver a 5-star customer experience and connect with their clients, businesses need to leverage technology and invest in adequate software. This is what they can do:
Businesses have a variety of tools at their disposal for automating onboarding-related processes. These processes are mostly repetitive and can be used for every new client. They can include a welcome email, an automated engagement document that explains what comes next, template emails, and how-to videos. This way, a client can quickly become acquainted with your company’s workflow and the technology it uses.
This is a very effective method to determine how customers truly feel about your services or products. You can collect customer feedback by sending them surveys, which you will later use to improve customer experience. Automating this process is essential, as it stores all the feedback in one centralized database. This way, everyone in the company has access to it. You can use different methods to collect it, such as emails, pop-up forms, polls, or live chat for instant feedback.
Businesses usually use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys for gathering feedback. By using a scale of 0–10, NPS surveys ask customers if they would recommend your business to friends and family, how happy they are with your services, and so on. This can give you some insight into their satisfaction level. It is advisable to keep track of this metric over time, especially if you want to adjust your business operations. This will enable you to see how changes may affect your clients.
Clients often have a difficult time navigating their daily activities and all the obligations associated with it. This is where personalized experience can come in and save the day. For instance, you can send them an automated text message or email wishing them a happy birthday, thereby reducing their anxiety. Paying attention to little details like these goes a long way in elevating the overall customer experience.
Companies can express genuine interest in their clients by providing solutions to their most common problems before they arise. For example, they can advise them on new products, highlight products with in-depth analysis, providing case studies on how another customer has been successful with product A, or other industry developments. It is possible to keep clients informed by sending periodic automated emails.
Clients love to work with people who are always available and know how to maintain smooth communication. Since they will often reach out to you to discuss their business needs or ask ad-hoc questions, it is best to provide them with multiple communication channels, such as chatbots and communication platforms with round-the-clock customer service. You can also add the FAQ section on your website that will answer their basic questions.
Technology is steadily changing the business industry. As a result, it is no longer a luxury — it is a necessity. Businesses are slowly realizing that putting their client family at the centre of everything and applying the methods we have discussed above is the way that leads to a superb customer experience. This can also bring them profitability, greater margins, customer retention, and positive word-of-mouth.
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