Customer service is one of the most important pieces of running a small business. It’s clear, and great customer service has always been a point to focus on for businesses, big or small.
The thing is, though, that customer experience is changing in numerous ways all of the time. Operations are moving online, and it’s a lot tougher to intuitively work your way through hiccups in your website’s user experience. Further, issues like a pandemic can pop up in a moment’s notice and throw your entire relationship with customers into a different format.
With all of these things in mind, it’s important to have a customer experience strategy that you can use to consistently make folks happy. We’re going to discuss a few ideas to consider as you work through your strategy.
Let’s get started:
Coming Up with a Customer Experience Strategy
Consider every area of your business that involves interaction with customers. Any part of the process where your product or brand is engaged with a person in some way falls into your “sales funnel.”
The sales funnel is pretty much any point of contact with customers, whether that’s a brief exposure through an advertisement or the process of maintaining a relationship after the purchase is made. Each step of the way provides an opportunity for great customer service as well as the chance that your service could turn someone away.
So, in order to curate a great strategy, you have to account for all areas of your business. Your business is unique, so it would be tough for us to cover all of the bases in this article. That said, we’re going to touch on a few of the key ideas that apply to most businesses.
Hopefully, the ideas below can give you a little push in the right direction as you try to flesh out your strategy.
1. Take Care of Your Brick-and-Mortar First
The physical environment of your store is always going to be important. The nature of your store will determine how you decorate and organize, but keep in mind that atmosphere and organization play a part in customer experience.
Consider a really cozy coffee shop. Someplace that smells great, offers comfortable seating, and has interesting art to look at as you take a break from work or your conversation is one that you’ll want to go back to. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel great to get a cup of coffee, sit on a clunky metal chair, and stare at blank walls and fluorescent lights.
Make sure your business arranged in a way that you’d enjoy as a customer. Further, make sure it smells on par. Find some odor neutralizing products if your building has a particular smell. It might be a good idea to work with some other pleasant scents to create even more of an atmosphere.
Finally, keep the place clean. A dirty business is one that can plant a negative seed in the minds of customers. It’s best to cover your bases in these ways because cleaning and organizing are things that you can do regularly and they will always make a difference.
2. Polish Your Digital Pipeline
Much of business operates online these days. Whether your digital presence serves as a way for people to get information about your business, or you actually conduct sales over the internet, it’s important that your website and social media accounts are up to par.
The first thing to really hone in on and invest in is a functioning website. All of the interfaces on your site should work well and be arranged in a way that’s intuitive for users. That means avoiding dead links, ensuring that your payment processors work, organizing the pages in a logical way. There’s a lot more involved, but laying the foundation makes a massive difference.
It’s also vital that your business information is up to date. Search engines pick apart websites to determine how valuable they’ll be to users. Google looks at things like site organization, page speed, link quality, and a whole lot more. If you’re looking to compete online, at least in the search engines, you’ll have to make sure things are functioning and organized.
Also, keep in mind that your social media accounts are direct lines to your website. The path from social media to your sales pages should be curated. It’s easy to assume that people can figure out how to get from one place to another online, and that’s true, but your goal is customer experience.
If a person wants to look into your site, they should be able to go to your social media page, quickly find the link to your sales pages, enter your site, and have a seamless experience there.
One hiccup or a slow page might be the difference between whether you get the sale.
3. Incentivize and Value Feedback
The final pillar of customer experience that we’ll discuss today is feedback.
Try your best to get customer feedback whenever you can. If possible, try to get that feedback through business review sites where customers can suggest improvements or say how much they enjoyed your business. Feedback is a huge factor in search engine optimization, with positive feedback offering big boosts to your position in the search results.
Beyond SEO, though, feedback gives you a direct line to understanding how people feel about your business. If you can offer them some kind of reason to give you feedback, do it. Whether that’s a discount or the opportunity to receive a gift, the value of their insight is something that can really fine-tune your operation.
Over time, your business will smooth over any customer experience issues and get into a place where people reliably have a great experience.
Need More Business Tips and Tricks?
Fleshing out your customer experience strategy can be tough. Come to think of it, most areas of running a business can be pretty tricky at times. We’re here to help.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to improve your business in little ways that will make a big difference.