When’s the last time you bought a product or service from a brand and then never interacted with that brand again? It probably hasn’t happened often, if at all.
Consumers, for various reasons, need to communicate with the brands they choose to do business with; it’s a natural part of the customer-brand relationship. And in this experience economy, these interactions are becoming as important – or more important – to customers than the products and services themselves.
With people choosing brands as much for the experience they deliver as for the products they sell, companies that don’t offer excellent customer experiences will lose customers to brands that do. Lots of brands sell similar products, but only the best ones deliver the type of effortless CX that delights customers and keeps them coming back.
Is your CX helping you exceed customer expectations and stand out from the crowd? Here are three things that can help.
1. Make it personal
The importance of personalised experiences can’t be overstated. Customers want to feel like brands really know them, like they are being treated as the individuals they are and not just someone in an assembly line.
Consider this example, of a customer who has 10 different accounts with one bank. When the customer needs to speak with someone at the bank about a situation with one account, that customer expects the bank to know about the other nine accounts (even if this interaction doesn’t pertain to those other accounts). The customer wants that bank to demonstrate that it knows who the customer is, what matters to him, and how long he’s done business with the bank.
Customers tell their friends about – and keep coming back to – brands they feel connected to, and personalised experiences are a great way to foster that sense of connection.
2. Be proactive
No brand is perfect, and mistakes and customer inconveniences are bound to happen. If something has gone wrong, or is about to go wrong, always be proactive. Reach out to customers to let them know what is happening and what the company is doing to fix the problem.
It’s always better to let customers know when there’s a problem with something they’ve purchased, rather than wait until they let you know.
For instance, some electric companies proactively send out an alert any time there’s a power outage in their area. While the outage itself may inconvenience customers, most will appreciate the company’s outreach because it helps them stay informed and shows the company acknowledges the inconvenience.
Often, when companies take the time to proactively reach out to customers, the customers end up delighted that the company made that effort, rather than being dissatisfied about the inconvenience.
3. Communicate in customers’ preferred channels
Brands need to know how their customers want to communicate with them. Is it via text, by phone, through email, via chat? Find out and, once you know, make each customer’s preferred channel the default way they are contacted.
Don’t make customers conform to your company’s preferred method of communication; communicate with them the way they want to interact.
When done well, experiences that are personalised, proactive, and meet customers in their preferred channels help grow brand loyalty and drive sales. Because when customers feel like they are in a true relationship with a brand, they don’t want that feeling to end.