In the past few years, the conversation around customer service has shifted from reactive to proactive, from delivering service to creating great customer experiences. As many studies suggest, brands that value great experiences and embrace a customer-centric approach achieve the most growth and long-term loyalty. Forrester’s Customer Index reported that brands that prioritize customer experience gained 43% in performance. And what are customers asking for? According to a survey by thinkJar, a customer strategy consulting organization, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience, while 86% of consumers would pay more for an upgraded experience. So is your brand taking a customer-centric approach? Here are five questions to consider.
Is your brand open to change?
Every brand needs to question its mindset toward changing practices that fail to enrich the customer experience. If customers are not satisfied with service, are you willing to reconsider the technologies, training practices, and implementation of new service structures or channels? If a product fails to please customers, will you consider their feedback and make changes to it? An openness to understanding brand weak points is vital to making any brand truly customer-centric.
Do you offer a seamless customer experience?
Customers want timely service and quick access to information across all devices and channels. According to Google, 90% of people move between their devices to finish a task, including smartphones, PCs, and tablets. A recent survey by (24) 7 confirmed what many brands are noting these days: that customers simply want a consistent omnichannel experience. In the study, 78% of customers claimed to switch channels and 68% changed devices when unable to complete a task on their preferred channel or device. A critical aspect of a customer-centric brand culture therefore involves creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience. Customers should be able to switch between channels and devices easily while also enjoying an experience optimized to each channel and device.
Do your products and services truly serve your customers?
Brand success often relies on marketing not just to the general public, but to a targeted population of consumers who are most likely to enjoy the offered products or services. Once your target audience has been identified, do your research to better understand what exactly such consumers are looking for. Understanding their purchasing habits, preferred channels, and even their personal values can help your brand tailor its products to customer needs. For example, millennial consumers tend to be loyal to brands that actually understand their tastes, use their language, and value their feedback. To be customer-centric, you must consider the customer’s needs.
How well do you listen to customer and employee feedback?
Customer feedback is crucial to embracing a customer-centric approach. Your customers provide valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, so listening to their comments is one of the most important ways you can serve them. Collect feedback formally through surveys, solicit customer opinions on social media, and use advanced social listening tools to better grasp any and all commentary on your brand that is happening online. In addition, asking employees for feedback can be critical to improving customer service and sales processes, as they can offer tremendous insights into customer interactions.
Do you exceed customer expectations?
Customers may be satisfied if you meet their needs, but they will become loyal if you exceed their expectations. Never pass up on an opportunity to dazzle your customers, whether it be through great customer service interactions, goodwill gestures when situations are tough, advanced technologies that streamline service, or targeted marketing offers and loyalty programs. There are numerous ways to impress your customers, but the main idea is to deliver on your promises and then add an extra touch to show customers you truly value their business.
Creating a customer-centric brand culture begins with putting oneself in the place of the customer. Consider what your targeted customers might want, what needs they will have, and how those needs may be met with maximum efficiency. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for creating great omnichannel customer experiences.
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