New Year’s Resolutions for improving the customer experience
As we enter 2013, it is a good time for companies (as well as individuals) to take stock of where they are and come up with New Year’s Resolutions. Commentators and analysts all agree that the customer experience is a vital part of business success, so what resolutions do you need to make to achieve it for your organisation?
To help Eptica has come up with three key areas where you can focus your 2013 customer experience resolutions:
1. Everyone is involved in the customer experience
The experience a customer receives spans multiple departments and functions within a company. From the customer service agent that takes an inbound call, to the marketing team designing and running your website and the IT department designing your mobile strategy, everyone is involved. And that’s before you add in branch or shop staff who are meeting customers face to face, product experts or those interacting with customers on social media. So, how do you bring all of these disparate groups together? Firstly, map the customer journey against different touchpoints. Then look at creating a taskforce made up of representatives of every department involved to look at how the customer experience is currently measured – and can be improved moving forward. This may mean breaking down barriers between departments but remember that customers see you and your brand as a single organisation, whoever they are interacting with.
2. Customers want choice
The era of companies forcing customers down specific channels to contact them is well and truly over. Customers want the choice of contacting you by whatever channel they choose – whether it is email, phone or social media. This will vary depending on the nature of their query and the device they are using. As a first step analyse your customer base – how are they currently contacting you? Ask them how they’d prefer to make contact and change your strategy so it is in line with their needs.
3. The experience must be joined up
However they contact you, customers want a consistent, joined up experience. So when it comes to customer service you need to ensure that they receive the same response whether they call, email, browse your web site or visit your Facebook page. The customer experience needs to be seamless – so invest in channels such as mobile and social media so that customers receive the same, positive, interaction however they deal with you. And customers want the experience to be joined up in other ways as well – they expect you to have a record of all interactions, whatever the channel so that they don’t have to repeat themselves or re-enter information. With economic conditions remaining poor 2013 promises to be a crucial year for many organisations – focusing your New Year’s Resolutions on the customer experience is therefore critical to winning and retaining customers, whatever industry you are in.