Customer experience is taking center stage in 2017 and for good reason. People expect a good customer experience whether buying online or offline. More and more statistics from all industries reflect CX (or Customer Experience) is becoming center stage of business and customer loyalty. In their article titled “75 Customer Service Facts”, HelpScout shares some eye-opening realities of customer service and total customer experience.
As we know, great CX goes beyond customer support, it includes everything from the time people see your ad for the first time online, to your website, to interaction with your sales team, to contract signing, customer onboarding and ongoing support throughout the lifecycle.
No one realizes this reality more than the retail industry which over the last few years has seen retailers acknowledge that good customer experience is the path to higher profit. Smart retailers are investing heavily in optimizing customer experience as online shopping is no longer enough; customers want to check store inventory online, order online and pick up at the nearest store. Customers want the mobile experience to match that in the store, they want a single cohesive experience, and retailers are just starting to deliver with omni-channel projects. Forrester released a report last year that demonstrates that CX leaders grow revenue as much as 25% than CX laggards in their category, this again shows the proven importance of customer experience.
Convenience is king and so is speed, from same day to delivery to drone-based delivery, retailers are pushing the edge to make sure customers get the wow factor every time they experience their brand. On the run, no problem, Amazon Go allows you to get your grocery without talking to anyone, load up your basket and walk out, you card is signed, sealed and delivered automatically.
This week is #NRF17 where world of retail converges on the Javits center in New York to talk about the future of retail, and again the customer experience is center stage. Wearable technology, Smart Technology, Artificial Intelligence are prominent themes this year.
There is a lot we can learn from retail, but the core lesson is that customers want an easy and frictionless experience, all the time.
Here are 5 simple ways other industries can improve their customer experience:
- Test every customer touch point to make sure it works and that is inline with your brand promise. Tools like UserTesting and 5SecondTest are great for getting quality feedback from people in your target audience.
- Automate. Right now there is an explosion of online tools to help you service customers and reduce errors. Make it easy for them, implement things like Intercom on your website for better communication, Slack channels or even venture into smart chat bots.
- If you are billing online, make sure it’s done right and easy. I recommend trying FreshBooks.
- Make sure you make the most out of your CRM. We at Signority use and love Pipedrive. Use your CRM well along with other tools and plugins to empower you to know what to say and when to say it. These tools not only help save you time and be more productive, it also ensures a better CX in the sales process.
- Use smart signatures. Businesses sometimes do not think of contract signing as being part of the CX, although in our humble opinion it is still a big part of it. Think about it, after all the hard work by marketing and sales is done, and a prospect is in the last stages of closing the deal. You want to make sure you have a process in place that makes it easy and convenient for them (while also secure). Offering a paperless contract signing experience is what we do best and I encourage you to read some of our other posts on this blog to learn more.