Designing great customer experiences begins with truly knowing your customers. While surveys reveal valuable insights about their needs, a global view of customer emotions and expectations across all channels is the real key to offering the services and products they want. Here are six essential rules for designing great experiences that reflect your customers’ needs.
Identify your target audience
First and foremost, every brand needs to identify its target audience. Demographic and ethnographic research combined with information from current customers’ profiles can be used to create personas to guide your company. For example, identifying age groups and socioeconomic status can help you define the needs and possible pain points for each persona, such as the products they are most likely to want, the channels they will prefer, and the potential service issues that might prevent them from further engaging with your brand.
Create customer journey maps
Once you have defined your personas, create customer journey maps that reflect their needs. You may consider creating a map for each profile, as customer expectations will vary from one persona to another. At each step of the journey, consider all the channels that may be used and clearly outline the possible customer expectations, obstacles, and emotions involved.
Consider all departments when designing customer experiences
Great service can only be delivered when your whole company works as a team. For this reason, it’s critical to consider the impact of design decisions on each department. For example, if a customer is communicating with a service agent on live chat and needs more information about a product, is the agent able to check with a colleague efficiently? Will the customer be asked to wait as the agent obtains more information, or will he be transferred to another agent? Understanding how agents and departments will communicate with each other during service interactions and whether they can fulfill customer expectations is absolutely essential to offering great experiences.
Deliver on brand promises
Once your company understands what your customers want, always meet—and even surpass—their expectations. It’s especially important to deliver on your brand promises. For example, product information should be clear, and any prices or promotional events that are advertised should be accurate. If customers ever experience any problems with your brand, take immediate action and appease unhappy clients with goodwill gestures and follow-up contact to make sure the problem does not occur again.
Assess customer feedback to improve service
To improve customer experiences continuously, look at all sources of feedback. Your surveys are an excellent place to start, as well as customer satisfaction scores. However, be sure to pay attention to customer emotions as well. Use speech and text analytics on all your brand channels to get a better sense of how people feel about your company. In addition, reach out to customers on social media and form focus groups to understand how your brand might improve.
Engage employees when designing experiences
Your employees can provide valuable insights regarding the best ways to improve your brand. Customer service agents may offer input about recurring issues on specific channels, for example, whereas sales agents may suggest ways to make the purchasing process more seamless. Employees may also discuss ways in which communications and practices may be improved internally, creating a better work environment that translates into better service.
When your brand is committed to improving its practices, it pays off. According to Dimension Data, 84% of companies working to improve customer service increased revenue. By taking a global look at your customers’ needs, creating the products and services they want, and involving your employees, your company can design the experiences that turn customers into advocates. To deliver the very best customer experiences, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in AI-powered contact center software solutions and premium omnichannel customer interaction platform.