I’ve spent a fair deal of my time in recent years giving out customer experience tips to those in the CRM, CS and UX fields, and I’m happy to say my experience and understanding of the topic must be solid, because I’ve always been a help not a hindrance. So, with that in mind, I feel confident in dispensing some customer experience tips for digital businesses.
Digital businesses have more room to be creative and effective with their customer experience than industries with concrete product/service output. As a result, there’s also quite a bit of room for things to go terribly wrong if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s a world with its own wolves, too, and security is always a touchy thing at best.
So, given how well or poorly this can go depending, I’ve decided to give out six customer experience tips that everyone should try, even if comfortable with their current models and strategies.
#1 – Embracing Self-Service
Embracing self-service has its risks and its difficulties, but if you can pull this off properly, it’s worth the effort. The thing with self-service is that you can reduce the workload on your CS call centers, and reduce the use of staff for daily routines customers can handle themselves.
Until software was built around the idea, it wasn’t feasible to really implement, but that’s changed in recent years with onboard software for websites making it very easy.
#2 – Greater Social Network Presence
I’m not going to waste your time pounding into the ground the idea of using social media for customer service. Oh, I am a proponent of it and have written a great deal on the subject, but that’s not what I mean here.
See, social networks could have been a fad. But, they took hold and are now a de facto part of our lives. As a result, almost everyone has a Twitter account, likely a Facebook account and probably either a Tumblr or Reddit account as well. Most companies have a mild presence on these channels, but a more active role could be assumed here.
Listening to customers, following them, and responding positively to both positive and negative posts the customers make relating to your company is an excellent strategy. Not only does it show you to care, but it also puts you on the same casual level as your customers, as they will see you as another user at this point.
#3 – Gamification
This may not be applicable in all cases, but use of gamification is actually a pretty sound idea. See, if you gamify things like customer learning, as well as any customer incentive drives you conduct, customers will be more cooperative with them, and more enthused.
The easiest way to obtain and maintain the attention of a human being is through engagement, so make all aspects of customer experience engaging in any way you logically and practically can.
#4 – Incentive Surveys
Following the gamification, there is actually a time and place for surveys. The problem is that customers seldom have a reason to fill out these surveys unless upset. The trick here is to provide an incentive to fill them out.
Gamification of surveys may work, but for the moment, classical incentives like discounts, prizes and other such motives work well enough. The reason this is important is that surveys tell you how customers are experiencing their relationship with you. While angry customers will make you quite aware of your flaws, your positives need quantified too, so motivating content customers is something you should attempt here, somehow.
#5 – Cloud CRM
On your end, making your CRM software a cloud/SaaS model with shared central data is going to, in the long run, make customer service far more streamlined for customers and agents alike. With all of the data centralized and accessible by anyone with the privileges to do so, agents can remedy problems customers have, as well as look them up and answer questions, at a much faster rate.
Positive customer service is one of the biggest pieces of the customer experience puzzle, after all. So, taking this simple and logical step will help greatly there.
#6 – Public Forums
Provide a public discussion place for customers. A forum is one of the better choices, and it will allow customers to discuss things related to your service, both among themselves and with your staff.
This will again improve customer service as forum lurkers may help new users just because they feel motivated to. It also is another finger on the pulse of your user base, where you can visibly see what people like, dislike and what problems or desires for new features your customers may have.
If you follow these simple customer experience tips, and you’re on the right track to do much better business in the 21st century. Again, this is especially applicable to e-businesses.
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