No matter what is happening around the world, companies like Amazon and Starbucks have proven time and time again that consistently excellent customer experience is what creates word-of-mouth, buzz, and – ultimately – business success. Whether you are building a business from scratch or working to evolve your large company to meet current customer needs, “consistent excellence” is the key phrase you need to utilize for your company growth.
The Importance of Customer Experience
Many business owners know instinctually that excellent customer experience (also called CX) is essential. However, that undefined feeling can be quantified in real numbers.
Here are some stats that support your feeling:
- Companies that improve CX report a 10-15% increase in revenue.
- The money spent on CX is generally recovered within three months. After that, it’s all profit.
- 96% of customers say that customer service plays an important role in their brand loyalty.
- Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase from you again – and four times more likely to refer new business to you.
- Employees even prefer to work at companies that focus on improving the customer experience – with surveyed employees saying they are 1.5 times more engaged in their work when they work in a company focusing on CX improvement.
Your instincts as a business owner are correct. The customer and their experience is truly the most important piece of your business.
How to Create a Consistent Experience
Now that you feel affirmed in your intuition to focus on customer experience, it’s time to dive into how you can do it.
There are many, many methods and automations that you can utilize to improve CX in your company generally. However, here at Business Success Consulting Group, we focus on consistency and foundational change. We look at the processes, procedures, and policies that affect your customer service and experience.
With this in mind, we recommend not only looking at the customer service and sales departments but at the entire customer experience as a whole. This can seem like a big job, so we will break it down.
1. Examine company policies as they affect customers.
You have likely looked at company policies as they affect employees and production – but how do those same policies affect customers? Do your company policies create inconveniences for customers or make it harder for them to receive service? Are these policies prohibitive or welcoming to customers – new and old?
Often, examining policies from a new perspective provides an opportunity to catch an issue before it becomes a real problem. You will also be able to see the holes in your service.
Once you have discovered any speedbumps that your policies place in the road of your customer, you should be able to correct them and provide a smooth path forward.
As a note, it is not required that you review these policies on your own. Instead, use a team of employees to test out the policies from a customer service angle. Your employees have different life experiences and may be able to spot holes that you would not otherwise see.
2. Create consistency with processes and procedures.
While creating foundational policies is a key action, the execution of those policies is vital. Until a policy is executed, it’s just words on a computer screen.
This is where processes and procedures come in. Business processes provide the overall framework that allows your company to achieve its goals. Business procedures provide a more in-depth breakdown within the process, giving consistent instructions for employees to follow.
Both of these activities are essential in executing strategies and setting policies into motion. Therefore, once you have modified your policies, you must then modify or create new processes and procedures. This is the best way to create consistency across departments, so that every customer gets the same level of service and care, no matter with whom they are dealing.
3. Utilize knowledge transfer systems to create a consistent experience – no matter who takes over a job within your company.
Knowledge transfer systems are both underused within companies and absolutely vital to consistent operation. In the case of CX, an effective knowledge transfer system provides a constant experience to every customer over the many years they will interact with your business. It won’t matter if one employee retires or moves on, the knowledge and processes will be passed on to their replacement, allowing customers to feel cared for, even if a new person takes on a key role.
Final Notes on Improving Customer Experience
The above three steps encourage you to examine your company as a whole – not in pieces. This is certainly easier said than done, and it will take time and energy to go through the review and update process. However, you may be surprised by how interested your employees become in this project.
Good employees want to work with your customers and provide them with the best possible service. Often, employees become just as frustrated as your clients when they are forced to offer a bad experience. So, as a final piece to this “how-to”, we want to remind you to delegate and incorporate employee help in this project. You may be surprised by how energetically your staff works toward providing an excellent customer experience.
Are you ready to work with the process experts here at Business Success Consulting Group? Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.