Creating a great customer experience should be relatively straightforward. After all, we are all customers ourselves and know what service we like to receive.
The more convenience we get from our technology, be it real-time delivery updates or comparing brands on social media, the more our expectations rise. As a result, when encounters with other companies don’t measure up, we’re more likely to take our business elsewhere.
The challenge is to keep the customer experience seamless and personal for everyone.
Here are some important things to consider when looking at how to improve yours.
1. Rediscover what your organisation does well
Start by listening to what your customers think.
Track your current brand sentiment on social media and in the media. Gather feedback from your customer engagement team to see where you might be missing the mark and don’t forget to keep an eye on the competition.
Data can be a hugely beneficial tool here in helping collect and analyse this information.
More than four in 10 businesses that consider themselves ‘future ready’ are actively ‘seeking data-driven insights’ as a way of meeting rising customer expectations.
Once you understand what your customers want more of, you can adjust and adapt your strategy to align.
2. Never be complacent, or consider the job ‘done’
The message here is about continuous improvement and innovation. What looks and feels great to customers today may not feel as impressive when everyone else is delivering the same experience.
It’s especially important to keep innovating for existing customers, to keep them engaged, excited and loyal.
All too often companies go all out to attract new customers, offering them the latest and best deals. In the meantime, long-standing customers are left with older, less competitive rates or service levels.
3. Demonstrate shared values
Customers increasingly look to organisations for more than just a great product at the right price. They expect companies to uphold certain values, which includes looking after the environment.
Sustainability and ethical sourcing has become a top priority for businesses during the past year, according to our Future Ready Report.
With 68% of large businesses agreeing that sustainability is “absolutely necessary” or “an important strategic goal”, it’s clear the drive for environmentally conscious business is prevalent across both businesses and consumers.
Given the choice between two businesses, many customers will prefer buying from the more sustainable option. This insight has also been verified in an expansive study by Nielsen.
4. Ensure customers feel safe
The pandemic has brought about new challenges when it comes to keeping customers safe.
Digital solutions such as track and trace systems, connected delivery lockers, contactless payment systems and digital signage, can all help reduce the need for human contact without reducing the quality of the customer experience.
IoT devices such as connected sensors in areas of high traffic can detect crowds, queues or service bottlenecks, triggering action to alleviate the problem. For example, a train operator can use the information provided by these devices, such as surveillance cameras, to advise passengers on which carriages have the most free seats.
More than eight in 10 organisations confirmed that they can now do things they couldn’t before as they digitalise their business, according to our IoT Spotlight report.
5. Maintaining trust
Don’t forget about privacy though.
Most connected devices can anonymise data, which is crucial in adhering to data privacy regulations. Keeping all customer data secure is critical too and a major factor in retaining customer trust.
Almost half (48 per cent) of businesses already consider maintaining trust in the safe handling of data to be critical to their ability to operate, according to our Future Ready Report. Eighty per cent believe this will only become more important in the future.