Grey Idol is the marketing director at altLine by the Southern Bank, a trusted provider of invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing. He shares six ways companies and their brands can deliver an exceptional customer experience. Companies and their brands are no longer built through advertising but through experiences, and these experiences are customer-driven. Creating an […]
Grey Idol is the marketing director at altLine by the Southern Bank, a trusted provider of invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing. He shares six ways companies and their brands can deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Companies and their brands are no longer built through advertising but through experiences, and these experiences are customer-driven.
Creating an exceptional customer experience has become the top priority for companies that are looking to strengthen their relationships with customers and build loyalty. However, as the expectations of these consumers rise at speeds that outpace company improvements in this area, it becomes paramount that they satisfy the needs their loyal customer base may have, from product or service satisfaction up through social media connectivity.
Here are six ways you can deliver an exceptional customer experience.
The customer experience is easily the most critical aspect of how your business operates. A clear company vision that drives everything you do will make it easier to stay on track and keep your customers happy. The first step in building this strategy should establish a set of guiding principles that everyone can learn by heart so they are always at work. These fundamentals drive behavior inside an organization: If all staff know these guidelines well, their actions match precisely what you want your company’s culture to stand for.
The next step in building upon these customer experience principles is to bring to life the different types of customers who deal with your company. If you want to develop an outstanding customer experience, you need to understand what people expect. Personalize your customer avatars and have your team members learn about them. When we are clear on who we are serving and their needs, we are better equipped to exceed their expectations and have them thrilled with their experience.
The Journal of Consumer Research has found that more than 50% of a customer experience is based on emotions: People remember how you made them feel. This means you achieve the best customer experiences when a member of your team creates emotional connections with customers by looking for ways to make them happy or act as their hero in some manner every day.
Find ways to surprise customers with moments of delight. Could you send flowers on their birthday or have a special dedicated phone line for them? Celebrate long-time customer relationships by setting up anniversary celebrations at your business that celebrates the relationship (and perhaps offer some perks). Make these moments memorable, and you’ll develop happy and loyal customers who are sharing their experiences with their friends.
While invoice factoring, you are investing in the customer experience. Here’s why:
Factoring is a service that allows you to get the cash from your outstanding invoices immediately. You can use this money for working capital or other operational needs, such as investing in customer experience, which will lead to higher profit margins and more customers through improved customer satisfaction levels. Hire a factoring company to handle the business of accounts receivable and take that time to focus on building relationships with your customers, leveraging that cash flow to create experiences that delight them.
Employees are the most effective leverage; they are front line with your customer, receive feedback, represent your brand, and provide innovative ideas to help your company grow. When employees feel cared for and supported by their organization, they go above and beyond to serve customers well. Harnessing your people in a way that makes them care about what you do as an organization will pay dividends far beyond anything else in customer experience. Empower your team to make decisions to serve your customers and reward them for being creative, prompt, empathetic, and mindful. Create employee experience programs to understand the gaps between what employees expect and receive to drive better customer experiences.
Employees are your most valuable assets, and empowering them is the best way to show it. Empowerment brings confidence that impacts customers by surpassing their expectations with a powerful customer experience they cannot find elsewhere. Invest in customer service training for your team and create the best user experience for your clients.
A customer experience strategy is not a one-time occurrence. Adopt an incremental improvement approach to create better results and more satisfied customers with each process iteration. Now is the time to invest in ways that will pay off in the future, not just for your customer experience but also for your company’s reputation. Measure the metrics and look closely at the relationship between your return on investment and your customer experiences. Review, improve and repeat using feedback from your entire team while listening to your customers.
Businesses today are competing in an experience economy, though many still don’t operate that way. Many still work on a product-based competition model, believing that the “best product will win.” This approach no longer fits in today’s economy. If you want to stand out truly — you need to compete on customer experience. Customer referrals, satisfaction rates, loyalty, and retention are all positively influenced by these investments in improving your company’s relationship with its customers, and improving your bottom line. Make your customers love not only your product but the act of doing business with you.
Grey Idol is the marketing director at altLine by the Southern Bank, a trusted provider of invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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