What sets the best businesses apart? Here’s a customer experience example that can help answer that question.
A few months ago, a friend of mine recommended that I check out an acupuncture practice. With the name of the practice in-hand, I found their site on Google and went to their website. I filled out a form on the practice’s website and within a day, the practice’s owner got into contact with me. After a phone call, I scheduled my first appointment.
The owner was kind, gracious and happy to answer my questions. After a great first appointment, I recommended the practice to a few of my friends as well. What struck me about the experience was how rare it was.
Usually when I’m reaching out to a business, I’m left on hold for long amounts of time and when I finally am connected, I’m speaking to a representative who seems like they have a million other things to deal with. In those cases, I typically am not interested in visiting the business, and I end the conversation right there.
Let’s talk about how you can build a quality customer experience from the moment of first contact.
Customer experience examples: companies that go above and beyond
Let’s talk about a few businesses that come to mind when you think about superior customer experiences. While these companies do have tons of resources, they can teach us lessons that are applicable to any business.
Want to buy a new dog leash on Amazon? You’ll immediately see related items as well, like dog harnesses and dog bowls. It seems like Amazon knows what you want before you actually say anything. Of course, this is accomplished through vast amounts of consumer data. Amazon knows what other customers who have purchased dog leashes have also purchased in the past.
Let’s say that you order a dog leash and the package gets delivered to the wrong house. Getting into contact with Amazon customer service is easy and chances are that they’re more than happy to help solve the issue you experienced.
There’s a reason why ride-hailing companies like Uber have taken market share away from the taxi industry: Uber provided a relief from bad customer experience.
Once, I had a conversation with my Uber driver about why so many people prefer Uber to taxis. “I’ve had a couple of riders come in and tell me ‘You won.’ I asked them what they meant and they told me they called an Uber and a taxi at the same time, and the Uber came way faster.”
But a superior product isn’t the only thing that Uber offers over competitors. Ogilvy executive Rory Sutherland identified another characteristic: the loss of uncertainty. While you often don’t know when your taxi driver is set to arrive, Uber shows you exactly where your driver is and how many minutes away they are. Uber eliminates the uncertainty and stress of wondering when your taxi is finally going to show up at your house.
What can we learn from these two examples?
While Amazon and Uber might be billion-dollar companies, there are some things that all businesses can take away.
- Providing a superior product
- Great service at every touchpoint
- Using the data to give customers what they want
- Eliminating uncertainty
So let’s talk about some of the ways that you can integrate some of these tips into your own business operations.
How to improve customer experience
Here are a few ways that you can start improving your customer experience.
Illustrate the customer journey
The first step to improving your customer experience is mapping out your customer journey. What that means is understanding how your customer interacts with your business, from the moment of first discovery to the final touchpoint, whatever that may be.
Here’s an example: A patient discovers a dental practice on Google. They get in contact with the practice through live chat and then book their first appointment. After going in for a routine check-up, they get a follow-up text from the office manager.
Think about how your customers are discovering your business and every touchpoint where they interact with your brand. That can help you understand where you can start improving both individual touchpoints and your overall customer experience.
Not being able to get into contact with a business is frustrating. If you’re not able to get in contact with a customer within a reasonable amount of time, chances are that the customer’s priorities will change and they may no longer be interested in your services.
Remember, one of the things that companies like Uber do well at is eliminating uncertainty. Just as customers may feel frustrated waiting for a ride, they may feel frustrated when they get put on hold and have to wait to get a response from your customer service team.
A great way to make it easy to contact your business is by introducing chat options like Livechat, Chatbots, and Webchat. Studies show that customers prefer chat to both email and phone calls. All they have to do is leave a quick message, and they get an answer right away.
Send customer surveys to improve overall experience
In order to make sure that you’re providing superior services, it’s important to collect customer feedback. This data can help you understand where you need to improve in terms of your customer experience.
So how can you collect this data? Send customer surveys. A short customer survey can give you great insights into what customers think about various aspects of your business. You don’t need to guess what’s working and what’s not. The data can tell the whole story.
Consider sending both transactional and relationship surveys. A transactional survey is meant to measure a customer’s experience with individual touchpoints, while a relationship survey is meant to measure the customer’s overall experience.
Pay close attention to customer reviews
There’s one channel where customers often provide feedback on your overall experience: customer reviews. On sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, customers give their honest feedback about their experience with your business. Not only does this help prospective customers understand your strengths, it helps you understand possible areas of improvement.
But don’t just stop at your overall star rating. Make sure that you’re paying close attention to the areas of your business that customers are mentioning in reviews. Maybe they’re complaining about things like “customer service” or “wait time”. This can help you understand exactly where you can improve your operations.
There is one problem: the customers who are most motivated to leave reviews about your business are those who feel that they’ve had a strongly negative experience. That by itself is not something to worry about. Having a few negative reviews can be a good thing, because it shows that all your reviews are legitimate.
However, it’s possible that your business’s reviews are skewed towards the opinions of your angriest customers. To help even things out, consider sending review requests to all your customers to make sure that you’re getting balanced feedback.
There are various channels that a customer can use to reach out to your business. Maybe they find you on Facebook and send you a message via Facebook Messenger. Later, they may give you a phone call to reach your customer service team. Chances are that they’re expecting the same level of service in both channels.
You need an omnichannel customer experience. What that means is fairly simple: no matter if your customer reaches out to your business via social media, Facebook Messenger, text message, or email, they can expect the same quality of service.
The problem is that many business teams have data silos. One team handles Facebook Messenger while another handles text messaging. This problem can be solved with a software like BirdEye. BirdEye allows you to view all of your customer interactions in an easy-to-use, all-in-one customer experience platform, making it easy for your team to provide great service across the board.
How customer experience management can help
If you want to start improving your customer experience, software like BirdEye can help. Here’s how.
- Easily interact with your customers
With BirdEye, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with website visitors and customers. BirdEye’s chat features include Livechat, Chatbots, and Webchat. No matter which option you choose for your business, you’ll make it easy to reach out to your business.
- Analyze review sentiment
BirdEye’s Natural Language Processing engine Athena helps analyze review sentiment. Find the categories that customers are mentioning the most and get grades on each one.
- Send customer surveys
Want to start sending surveys to your customers? BirdEye can help with that. The platform allows customers to send fully customized surveys via email and text and then analyze the results on the platform. BirdEye has been named a Leader in Surveys by G2.
How BirdEye can improve your customer experience
Don’t let your business’s customer experience lag behind your competitors. With BirdEye, you can communicate with your customers, collect quality customer feedback, and Get started with BirdEye, the #1 customer experience platform.