3 Tips: How to Improve Your Customer Experience

How to improve customer experience should always be a foremost concern to any business worth their salt. Nobody’s going to argue against this, of course. But there have been many strategies tried over the years.

Customer attitudes change over time, as does the nature of commerce and business itself. As the climates change, the strategies known to work or not work for improving customer experience will change as well, though less drastically than marketing.

Let’s take a look at three tips on how to improve customer experience in this new, technological era in which we live. It’s dangerous to go alone, and these tips come from over two decades of user experience studies dealing with customers in the digital media era.

1 – Respectful Tutorials and Directions

One of the biggest mistakes made in customer experience is assuming that the customer is stupid, or accidentally indicating such in one way or another. It’s important to design tutorials and directions in a way that they cover a range of understanding, intelligence and experience.

However, a balance must be achieved, where the direction or tutorials do not talk down to the customer. Customers don’t appreciate feeling belittled nor condescended to. The best way to manage this is to make light of the fact that something is confusing or mystifying, when introducing the basest stages of educating the user on the product or service.

It also helps to be very visual and less wordy with directions or tutorials, as confusing directions can make it impossible to learn how to properly use the service or product, and add to a customer feeling berated.

There’s no sure answer to this, it takes case studies and trial and error, but is an important factor to always bear in mind from the start.

2 – Quick Response in Customer Service

Avoid phone trees and complicated customer support forms. Customer support is so important when considering how to improve customer experience. There are millions of cases of customers verbally complaining about phone trees – an automated answering systems which has customers dialing their way through directories, or trying to speak to badly-designed voice recognition. It’s best to avoid this system if remotely possible. This is a case where investing in human beings on the phone will ensure positive ROI when customers can easily get a hold of something intelligent, and get their problem solved easily.

Try to avoid help desks and ticket systems for the same reason. If not interested in phone customer support, have a staff of people able to man a forum or chat system, or at the very least, answer emails rapidly. When a problem or question arises for a customer, they do not want to wait for red tape to allow a solution to occur.

3 – Optional Redesigns

YouTube’s continuing failed tinker with their site is a prime example of how this can be handled utterly wrongly. When a site, service or product is experimentally redesigned, not everyone is going to like the design, especially if the change curve is severe.

Some customers may want the classic design or format to be optionally available to revert to. Otherwise, customers may abandon the service or product due to frustration or nostalgia pangs.

Ultimately, it’s all psychology, as you can clearly see. The key in modern times is dealing with the impatience and creature of habit nature of the customer. These are not the only factors for how to improve customer experience , but research and experience have invariably shown they’re the biggest concerns.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe