“Every day we’re saying, ‘How can we keep the customer happy? How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this?’… because if we don’t, somebody else will.” – Bill Gates
Happy customers are a result of many factors — exceptional product, stellar communication, and good customer experience, just to name a few. And good customer experience doesn’t happen by accident. So, how do you create a fantastic customer experience for your business? Learn how to get started with an all-encompassing and thorough customer experience framework through these best practices.
What is a customer experience framework?
Customer experience framework is a set of tools and procedures that businesses put in place to ensure exceptional CX. But as Harvard Business Review (HBR) points out, “Many companies don’t intentionally plan their customer experiences.” HBR also explains that most customer relationship management initiatives of businesses are focused on making internal processes easier and are profit-driven, but are not really focused on the customer.
“This mindset is perfectly illustrated by the most common CRM objectives: increase sales, drive cross-selling, minimize resources, reduce ancillary expenses, and lower the number of costly channel interactions. Those objectives indicate an inside-out view that implicitly treats the processes and internal metrics as more important than the customer.” – Harvard Business Review
By focusing on customer service alone, you cannot guarantee a good customer experience. Customer service is only one piece of the puzzle. CX sits at the intersection of design, product value, brand, customer interactions and transactions, marketing, and communication strategy. When all these departments work together well, you have happy and loyal customers. This is why having a strong customer experience framework is important.
4 pillars of a good customer experience framework
There are four main pillars of a good customer experience framework. All four are important and need to work well together for a framework that will deliver good customer experience consistently. Let’s get into it.
Whether it is marketing strategy, understanding the voice of the customer for good feedback, or other business strategies, every strategy implemented needs to be looked at through a customer-first lens.
Effortless and timely communication with customers, both customer-led and business-led, is key to good customer experience. Be sure to be present on customer-preferred communication channels, such as social media, website chat and text messaging. These channels need to be run well too, with frequent posting, high-response rate and good visibility. Another factor that promotes a good customer experience is optimization for mobile. If your website doesn’t read well on mobile, it’s going to drive customers away.
Leadership and staff
Business leaders should be focused on Customer Experience across all touchpoints. This should be communicated well with staff and employees across departments to train them to focus on providing exceptional CX as well.
Customer service isn’t just for tech giants such as Amazon or Uber. Every business needs a good relationship with their customers to ensure their success. Imagine this, you are an electronics company and a customer bought a laptop that had dead pixels in the screen. How would you handle this? For the best customer service, the company should respond quickly by replacing the defective item free of charge. Quick and effective solutions are key with customer service. This way the customer isn’t discouraged from doing business with you in the future. Customer service can also be improved by asking for feedback. Surveys are a great way to get actionable insights and feedback from the customers to make improvements to existing processes.
Best practices to create a good customer experience framework
It can be challenging to create a successful customer experience framework. Let’s start with talking about some best practices that can act as guidelines.
Think from the customer’s point of view
A good CX is one which is always focused on the customer. While this might sound obvious, what businesses fail to understand is that all internal processes and decisions affect the customer. Customers aren’t just simply affected by the end result, because the end result is a product of all the decision making processes.
Businesses make the mistake of changing processes to suit the internal agenda, which often does not take the customer into consideration. By thinking about all decisions first from the customer point of view, this can be avoided.
For example, if Jenny’s auto repair shop made the decision to postpone the redesign of their old website to next year, this affects CX. If the website is hard-to-use, not mobile-friendly or doesn’t have enough information, it doesn’t encourage customers to be on the website. This is bad CX.
Work with all departments
It is not just something the Customer Success Department or Chief Customer officer needs to think about. Every department within the business, including leadership, needs to focus on the customer.
Great CX is “intentional, purposeful and consistent,” said Diane Magers, CEO and chairman of the board of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. A customer experience framework that runs across all the departments within the business helps make CX intentional, purposeful and consistent and not just transaction-focused.
For example, in a dental practice, all departments work together to create a CX that is exceptional across all touchpoints. Dentists need to focus on providing high-quality patient care, the front desk needs to focus on processes that promote easy appointments, and the janitor and cleaning staff need to focus on excellent hygiene. By keeping the potential patient in mind, your dental practice will act in a way that benefits your patient or customer. This is good CX.
Constant tuning to better existing processes
If you have a good customer experience framework in place, the work doesn’t end there. Best practices of customer relationship management continuously evolve and your framework should as well.
This constant tuning should also happen across all departments, from product development to marketing. Trusting and learning from departments that are constantly engaging with customers can help here. For example, if you are a law firm, where the front desk attendant gets at least two comments a day from clients about website chat availability while making appointments. The law firm needs to listen to these comments and gather feedback from the front desk attendant. If the feedback is that website chat will make your law firm’s client experience better, you should act on it.
Stellar customer experience, no matter what
Customers are likely contacting you through various communication channels including email, SMS texting, webchat, and Facebook Messenger. Instead of overextending your staff and becoming overwhelmed, get a customer interaction management system that integrates all of these communications into one unified inbox. Now your employees don’t need to waste time sorting through messages in every single channel, and the quality of responses can be monitored in one location. Unified inboxes make it easier than ever to respond quickly and keep track of your customer communications. Never miss another message again! With a customer interaction management system, you can deliver high quality customer experience across all channels.
How can Birdeye help
Birdeye is an all-in-one experience marketing platform that has all the tools you need to establish a good customer service framework. Businesses can use tools such as website chat, surveys, text messaging, including bulk text messaging to improve their customer experience management and customer service. Find out how Birdeye can help you create the best customer experience framework for your business.
Originally published Apr 24, 2020, updated