Customer experience is a stable concept in definition, but in practice it goes through constant changes. A mix of technological advancements and client expectations will always keep companies on their toes. It forces them to be dynamic, attentive, and more importantly, memorable.
To craft a unique customer experience that stands out and makes you your audience’s first choice, you need creativity, intuition, and dedication to your audience.
In fact, disruptors force companies to play by the new rules of customer engagement and find new solutions and approaches to old problems. And that is why businesses who adapt the fastest and are willing to think outside the box are the ones who will ultimately win the hearts of their clients. It’s not easy, but it is achievable.
Keep the three D’s in mind
A Harvard Business Review study proved that while it is difficult, creating, managing and executing an excellent strategy will lead to higher customer satisfaction, decreased churn rate, increased revenue, and enhanced employee satisfaction. Crafting a unique customer experience cannot happen without building it on the “three pillars of client engagement” strategy.
- Design value propositions based on them. Vodafone is an exquisite example of a company that creates their strategies around its customers. For the young and active group, it offered services such as Vodafone Live! that provides games, news, and pop-culture ringtones. However, it did not forget the occasional user. The company provided Vodafone Simple for a straightforward experience. To create something unique, you must identify the specific traits of your clients.
- Deliver value above all else. Allow the entire company to focus on delivering an excellent customer experience. In doing so, you will engage clients from all angles and make your brand even more memorable. For example, Electrodry does offer cleaning services to customers, but it also maintains a blog that keeps them informed about matters such as mold. To create an excellent experience, you must be prepared to both help clients and inform them. It creates a sense of trust and loyalty because you are not just selling a product, but displaying genuine intentions to help them.
- Develop abilities to become consistent. One strategy won’t work forever. If you want a unique customer experience, it’s important to accept that you must update it as you go. Embrace change and always think of new ways to surprise them, even if it means taking a chance. Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, for example, had the idea of placing a jelly bean at the bottom of each cone to keep the ice cream from dripping. That’s a quick fix to a common problem. It’s a beautiful example of how a simple touch can surprise and delight your customers.
The problem most face is that client expectations are rising. Temkin Group’s research showed that in 2015, 37% of companies offered “good to excellent” customer experience. However, the number plummeted to 18% in 2016. That’s the lowest it has been since 2011, and it’s because potential clients now have higher expectations. The focus has changed from convenience to comfort.
For example, people don’t pick a banking service anymore because it’s closest to their home. They are free to opt for any other due to the numerous online services all brands provide.
That is why it’s necessary to captivate them. If you need customers to linger for more than five minutes in your store or on your website, offer small surprises. Some Trader Joe’s grocery stores hide stuffed toys in their aisles. The child who finds one gets to keep it. It’s an excellent strategy to keep customers aware of all their products as they peruse the aisles, maintain their attention, and offer an enjoyable experience that they will remember.
You could do the same by providing small incentives that are inexpensive, creative, and interactive. For a website, this could mean puzzles, games, or tests crafted specifically for your business model.
People will remember the experience they had with your brand more than they will recall your logo. In the words of Maya Angelou, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That is why it’s imperative to understand the impact of emotion on customer experience. Offer something that inspires them, shows your value, and makes them feel emotion.
It is claimed that a business that focuses on creating an emotional connection with its client outperforms others by 85% in sales growth. In order to craft a unique customer experience, a company needs to tap into customers’ emotions and keep them coming back. If they are emotionally engaged, they are three times more likely to recommend your product or services, three times more likely to return, 44% less likely to look for alternatives, and much less likely to deflect after price changes.
Set clear core values and act accordingly. Add humor, thank them, always be willing to help, and add a “human factor” to your marketing strategies. That includes more personalized emails that are more targeted and have actual people, not just AI systems, in customer care.
A Bain & Company survey found that 80% of companies firmly believe they offer a “superior customer experience.” In reality, only 8% actually do. This points to the obvious discrepancy between what businesses think of their services and how much they truly listen. That can be the difference that places you in the 8% that truly offer spectacular customer care, loyalty, and experience.
Many companies boast of the attention they pay to clients, but few actually follow through. Most customers have experienced a debate or quarrel with an employee where they were dissatisfied with their services. Unfortunately, those staff members too often focus on being right instead of fixing the problem. Focusing on customers’ needs and listening to feedback is key to providing a unique experience because no one knows better what they want than the customers themselves.
For example, if your business requires customers to spend time waiting, include distractions or forms of entertainment. Whether you run an auto shop or a dental practice, customers will be sitting in waiting rooms. Surprise them with individual tablets offering a selection of lighthearted movies and Internet access. Invest in the time they spend idle. It will shift customers’ focus away from the tedious part of interacting with your services and onto a positive experience. At least 91% of companies want to have a terrific customer experience, but only 37% have actually started investing in it, according to an Oracle study. It’s time to make that change.
Fully 22% of businesses around the world declare that customer experience is the most exciting opportunity for their organization in 2016. That’s the third year in a row customer experience has come out on top, winning over content marketing at 15% and mobile at 13%.
This statistic highlights the fact that companies around the world want to focus on offering a unique customer experience. However, it takes more than good intentions to achieve this goal, and it’s up to each company to decide if it is willing to build a strategy that’s based on their clients’ needs, or simply follow the manual. The companies that go beyond the basics will become memorable.
For more strategies that help you win customers for life, see Deliver Customer Experience In One Language.
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