Have you ever dealt with a company and you were primed and ready to buy, but your experience was so awful you left instead? I know I have, and then I wrote a Yelp Review on how awful my experience was. I don’t like to hurt a business, but if they won’t take care of me, I don’t want anyone else to waste their money on that business either.
On the flip side, I write positive reviews when I have a great customer experience. I like to drive more business to a company for a job well done. Customers are people and it’s obvious when a business just sees them as dollar signs and could care less about anything other than getting their money. I want to do business with a company that not only solves a problem for me but wants to earn my business.
What Is The Definition of Customer Experience?
The definition of customer experience also known as CX is how customers feel going through the process of buying goods or services from a business. The entire experience, not just one part of the CX but the entire process. A customer is much more likely to tell their friends and be repeat business if they have a great customer experience.
A great customer experience doesn’t happen by accident, it begins with a clear plan.
1 – Be User Friendly
Whether it’s a website or a store, for a great customer experience you must be user-friendly. If your site is slow, and hard to use that is not friendly and your customers will bounce right off of your website.
From the moment a customer sets foot into your store or looks at your website the CX has to be friendly. Have you ever gone into a store and there was no one to be found to help you and you turned around and left? Of course you have, it is not user friendly to go look for something and be unable to find it. People have enough stress in their life, your business needs to be an oasis from all the negativity and noise in the world.
When you have a website that doesn’t load quickly, or is really difficult to find anything people will leave. Your storefront or website is the first point in the customer experience and if the experience isn’t easy to navigate it will also be the last point for them.
Not only will your customers access your website on their computers, but most of them will access your website on their phones. Is your site mobile-friendly? The most simple way to check if your site is mobile-friendly is to check your website pages on your own mobile device. If it looks strange and isn’t easy to use, fix that right away. Most of your customers will experience your business on a mobile device so be user-friendly for them!
2 – The Customer Journey
Did you ever have a trip from hell? You know the one, where everything was working against you and nothing was easy? Or how about a dream trip, the one that you will remember with fondness for the rest of your life.
The customer journey is a trip that they take with your business. Do you want to create long lasting memories that make people smile, or memories that raise their blood pressure? The journey can also be ordinary and you never get a second thought, good or bad. Wouldn’t you prefer to create a great memorable journey for your customers?
3 – Value Your Customers Enough To Create A Memorable Experience
When you take the customer experience seriously, it shows that you value your customer. Think about relationships, have you been in a relationship where you felt used and unappreciated. Yeah, me too and guess what? I’m no longer in any of those relationships. Nobody wants to spend their time or money in a relationship (professional or otherwise) where they don’t feel valued.
If you show your customers how much you value them, they will want to continue to do business with you. People won’t always remember exactly what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. How does your customer experience make them feel?
Make the customer journey memorable. It doesn’t even have to be one thing, it can be the whole customer experience that adds up to a wonderfully memorable experience.
If you truly care about your customers, it will show in your marketing, your products, your interactions, your copy, and your website. Every single thing you do in your business will show the customer either that you care or don’t care.
Being memorable goes both ways, you can be remembered for being great or you can be remembered for being a pain in the ass. Which will you choose?
4 – Solve The Problem Don’t Create A Problem
Most people have a to-do list that is a mile long, and if they don’t they are just ignoring their to-do’s. There are a million and one things that have to be done every day and dealing with a problematic business should never be one of them.
A business is in business to solve a problem. Solving problems are great, people have problems and a business gets paid to solve them. You have a tooth problem, a dentist solves it, you have a car problem, a mechanic solves it. But what happens if you go to someone to solve your problem and instead of solving your problem they create another one?
I get it, problems can arise with products and services, but that is the exception, not the rule. It should be anyway. For example, I just bought two super expensive mountain bikes. Every single part of the process was a major pain in my ass. The only easy thing in dealing with the company was paying for the bikes.
There was excuse after excuse for shipping delays, then when one of the products came the seat was defective. I had no problem with the shipping delays, the excuses were thinly veiled. There was no apology, just excuses. All they had to say was, hey sorry we made a mistake, it’s on its way. Nope, I got a 500-word email of why it wasn’t their fault when obviously it was.
So I’m not going to write a bad review, but my customer experience was less than stellar. Back to that defective seat, so the seat was defective, OK, sure that happens no problem. It’s a pain, but not something that I can fault them for too much. Yes they should have looked at the seat to make sure it wasn’t defective before they shipped it, but I digress.
Here’s where the customer experience took a turn for the worse. They asked me for pictures of the seat so that they could send me a new one for warranty replacement, I immediately took two pictures of the seat and emailed it to them. Of course they need pictures, that’s standard business practice.
But what happened next got me annoyed. They then said, “We need pictures taken from these three angles”. Why didn’t they tell me that in the first place? Now they are trying my patience.
I obliged and sent in the pictures. Then guess what? They need more pictures. One of the bikes from far away and one with the serial number. Now I’m saying why the h e double hockey sticks didn’t these morons ask me for that in the first place?!?!? It’s a damn seat and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on this damn bike. See the stress it caused me? I’m obviously annoyed, and I’m using it to drive my point home.
In my mind, it still doesn’t warrant a bad review, but I can assure you I will be buying my bike someplace else from someone who values my time next time. This business doesn’t have their act together and my customer experience kinda sucked. I don’t have time to redo things over and over like that. I’ve got my own business to run.
This happens with so many businesses. They don’t value their customers enough to make a smooth customer experience. Humans make mistakes, mistakes are allowed. But when there is mistake after mistake made, it’s not an oversight, it means you don’t care. Your customers will receive that message loud and clear and it will show in your bottom line.
5 – Make It Easy For The Customer To Buy
When you go to a website or store to buy something if it’s not easy to buy, you will leave. This relates to rule number one of the customer experience, being user friendly.
I want to take it a step farther and make sure that your business is not only user friendly, but it is also easy to pay.
There are so many ways you can make sure the buying experience is easy:
- Place a buy now and add to cart buttons in more than one place
- Make it easy to find your products
- Have a link to buy your products on social media
- Send out product announcements to your email list
- Use breadcrumbs
- Tell people what you want them to do and why
- Have more than one payment method
If you have a great product that can help people and enrich their lives, why would you want to hide it? Make that product easy to find because the more people that find it the more problems you can solve!
6 – Great Customer Service
You work hard to get customers, take great care of them!
If you say you will do something, do it! Don’t pass the buck or make excuses. No business is perfect, but you can show up for your customers like you care.
Not all customers are created equal. Some are tough, some are dream customers but they all deserve to be treated like you care. Sometimes caring is just giving a refund and moving on so you can focus on the right customers for your business.
Even if you pass a customer along to a different department, follow up and make sure they were taken care of. There is nothing like referrals and repeat customers. If you take care of your customers even after the sale, they will sing your praises forever.
I love to take care of my customers, even before they become customers.
Think about how you like to be treated by a business, and then ask yourself am I treating my customers the way I would like to be treated?
When a customer complains, it’s good because you can see what went wrong and fix it. Complaints are an opportunity to see what’s not working. I would much rather a customer tell me if they have a problem, than not say anything and walk away. I want to know what I did wrong so that I can fix it.
When I was in sales, I used to listen to my customers and if they had an issue with the company I would personally see to it that they had their problems resolved. The words “That’s not my department.” never left my mouth and my customers appreciated that. I would have more referrals than I could count. Customer retention was not part of my job description, but I didn’t just work for my company, I worked for my customers and that’s great customer service.
No matter what position you or your employees have in your business, you are all responsible for good customer service. Anyone can do the bare minimum or less so don’t be afraid to go above and beyond for an amazing customer experience. Going above and beyond is the customer experience definition right?
Customer Service Templates & Procedures
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Have customer service templates and procedures in place so that you can quickly and easily follow up with your customers.
If you have a procedure in place that you and your employees can follow it will be a much smoother process. If there were a template and a procedure in place with the company that I bought the bike from, they would have specified exactly which pictures I needed to take from the start and they wouldn’t have wasted so much of my time.
7 – Increase Your Know, Like & Trust Factor
Showing up is half the battle. There is so much noise out there in the marketplace and if you can show up for your customers that is part of the experience. The more you show up and your customers get to know you, the more you increase your know, like, and trust factor.
Be accessible to your customers, talk to them and show them your business is approachable. You’re not just selling products and services, you are creating relationships. In a good relationship, there is communication. If you aren’t that great of a communicator, hire someone that is!
Everyone wants to feel seen, heard and like they belong. If you can incorporate that into your business your customer experience will be positive. There is a caveat, you have to be genuine. If you are not genuine, you will shoot yourself in the foot. If someone drones on and and on about how “heart centered” they are and then acts in a way that is completely opposite it’s going to leave a bitter taste in the consumers mouth.
The more genuine you are the more people will trust you. The more you will earn their trust and the more you earn their trust, the more sales you will make.
8 – Educate Your Customers About Your Product
Just because you know everything about your product, doesn’t mean your customers do! How can they use your product? What is your return policy? How do they use it? What can you teach your customers about your product that will make it more valuable to them? What seems obvious to you may not be obvious to everyone else.
Compile a list of FAQ’s
Whatever questions you get asked by one person, many more people probably have the same question. FAQ’s are a great way to improve the customer experience. They will be less likely to have to reach out if you can beat them to the punch and answer their questions ahead of time.
9 – Know Your Purpose
What is the purpose of your business, products, or services for your customers? Can you break that down simply and easily? What are the benefits of doing business with you? What problem does your business solve? When you can simply and easily answer all of those questions you will be much easier to work with. Clear purpose = clear results.
A great customer experience starts with a clear purpose. Are you clear on your purpose?
10 – Test and Re-Test The Process
Go through the client experience yourself and re-evaluate often. Before you launch a new product be sure that everything runs smooth and efficiently. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
You will make mistakes, mistakes are human, but when you test and retest the process you will find the mistakes and fix them. Listen to your customer feedback and see areas that you need to improve for an amazing customer experience.
You work so hard to be successful, make sure that your customers have the best experience possible.
So there you have it, 10 Important Customer Experience Rules To Skyrocket Your Sales.
Have you had a great customer experience that you can model in your own business?