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Guest Post: 5 Rules for a Great Customer Experience

This week we feature an article by Ashwini Dave, a digital marketing expert at Acquire, a conversational customer experience software platform. She shares five rules that businesses should follow to create a great customer experience. If you think brands can get away with a shoddy, below-average customer experience and put the blame on COVID-19, consider […]

This week we feature an article by Ashwini Dave, a digital marketing expert at Acquire, a conversational customer experience software platform. She shares five rules that businesses should follow to create a great customer experience.

If you think brands can get away with a shoddy, below-average customer experience and put the blame on COVID-19, consider this: “Post-COVID, 59% of consumers care more about customer experience when they decide what company to support or buy from”. In fact, research claims that creating a customer experience (CX) strategy will act as a stepping stone for businesses in 2021. So, it makes logical (and business) sense to understand how your brand can rise above the competition and deliver an extraordinary, despite being in the thick of a global pandemic. Let’s jump right in.

The 5 Cardinal Rules for a Stellar CX

  1. Drive customers towards self-help.

There was a time when driving a “contactless, self-service driven” customer experience was considered innovative; today is a necessity. Consider how universal QR codes have become in restaurants. This self-service-led trend is here to stay.

A recent study by Oracle claims that around “35% of customers will be more comfortable staying at a hotel if the facility offers contactless payment.” So if your business is not keen on adopting a self-service route, you may lose out your edge. One effective way brands of all shapes, sizes and forms can embrace self-service is by using a knowledge base software to create a repository of quality and updated information and empower customers to answer FAQ-type queries themselves.

Take a look at Asana’s knowledge base page which is organized, educative, in-depth, and informative.

Asana's knowledge base page organized, educative, in-depth, and informative


Key takeaway: A knowledge base software allows brands to set up a centralized repository of information that can address customer queries with speed and convenience. This trend will dictate in 2021 and beyond, owing to its immediacy and ability to help customers at literally the click of a button.

  1. Offer a personalized experience.

Personalization as a brand ethos worked wonders pre-COVID and will continue to drive a positive customer experience post-COVID. As per data, “80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when brands provide a personalized experience.”

So the real question then becomes how brands can personalize the customer experience from start to finish? Let’s take a look at a few real-life examples for inspiration.

  • Amazon uses artificial intelligence and data to drive personalization.

Amazon uses artificial intelligence and data to drive personalization

  • Then you have Spotify, which makes use of account customization to offer relevant music suggestions and drive user engagement (effectively so).

Spotify account customization offering relevant music suggestions and drive user engagement

  • Grammarly too aces personalization by leveraging user-centric data it collects to deliver customized weekly reports. The beauty of these reports lies in providing an in-depth analysis of the user’s writing technique.

Grammarly personalization leveraging user-centric data collects to deliver customized weekly reports

Key takeaway: At the heart of hardcore personalization lies real-time data. Brands that invest in collecting and analyzing real-time user data will be winners of personalized CX in the long run.

  1. Listen and take the customer queries and feedback seriously.

If there’s one brand that takes its customers seriously, it is Starbucks. Consider the following instances if you don’t believe us:

  • The brand created a dedicated website – “My Starbucks Idea” for starters to empower customers to leave feedback and suggestions.Starbucks Idea empower customers to leave feedback and suggestions
  • Here’s how successful this campaign has been over the years.

Starbucks marketing campaign

  • The brand’s social media strategy also deserves a special mention as it encourages to actively go and submit their feedback by redirecting users to their dedicated website.

Starbuck's social media strategy encourages feedback by redirecting users dedicated website

Key takeaway: The end goal is to offer users a real platform to voice their concerns and suggestions. It is not simply about providing a fancy suggestion box. It is about driving customer engagement and building a community of brand loyalists who can share, discuss, and openly communicate about what’s working with the brand (and what’s not).

  1. Train your employees right.

Owing to COVID-19, employee training has become more important than ever. Your employees may have questions about major changes in the business policies, their role while working from home, and what kind of expectations the company has from them while working remotely. This is why cross-training, up-skilling, and re-training are taking the center stage.

As a brand, here are five tips on how you can train your employees, remotely and effectively:

  • Curate your digital training assets by looking at customer feedback and questions, and link them back to the company’s long-term purpose and strategy.
  • Drive consistent real-time conversations with your team to set the right expectations and understand how your employees are faring.
  • Clearly communicate the training benefits to your employee base so that they are motivated to undertake the training.
  • Focus on creating short and focused e-learning modules instead of driving longer, boring training material.
  • Encourage experiential learning by modeling your digital content on real-world experiences, as Lessonly demonstrates below.

train your employees, remotely and effectively

Key takeaway: As a thumb rule, drive employee training that’s fun, interactive, informative, and memorable. You can make use of training software to lessen the workload while ensuring that your CX team stays up-to-date.

  1. Focus on customer journey maps.

Today, the average customer uses multiple touchpoints to communicate with a brand. And most customers expect brands to provide contextual information in real-time while users engage in an omnichannel approach. This is where a customer journey map comes in handy.

To put it simply, a customer journey map is a visual representation of the user’s journey with your brand. It provides a glimpse of your customer’s experiences with your brand across all touchpoints–from social media and email to live chat and website.

Here’s an example of a customer journey map that offers insights into the user’s pain points, activities, and motivations, allowing the brand to deliver a hyper-personalized customer experience.

customer journey map offers insights into user's pain points, activities, and motivation

Remember that to create a customer journey map, you will need to understand your ideal customer to the t and get accurate information on their interests, buying behavior, preferences, and dislikes, and so on.

Key takeaway: If you wish to ensure that no customer of yours slips through the cracks, you need to engage in the process of customer journey mapping and optimize your customer experience from the insights gathered.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the long and short of it: Customer experience is all about building a positive relationship with your customer and delivering on the promise you made to your customers, every single time. As long as you put yourself in the customer’s shoes and place their interests ahead of everything else, you’re good to go.

Follow these time-tested CX strategies and supercharge your customer experience to enter the (iconic brand) hall of fame.

Ashwini is passionate about business, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, emerging technology, and digital marketing. You can find her on Linkedin.

FShep Hyken Guest Blog Postor more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to

Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Want To Create Customer Loyalty? Make The Customer An Owner

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