If you want to move the needle, you need to start from the ground up. Anything without a strong foundation is sure to sink! Ultimately, you want to create a consistent (positive) customer experience.
Here are 5 ways you can create a solid customer experience strategy.
Step 1 — Create a Clear Vision and Define Your Goals
If you speak to everyone, you’ll speak to no one. Let that sink in.
You need to determine who your target audience is so that you can speak to them effectively. In order to do this, you need to sit down and determine what makes you stand out. What’s your mission? What’s your vision?
This is the beginning of your CX foundation. When you know who you are, who your audience is, and what your goals are, you can communicate more effectively with your customers and create a unique relationship with them.
Ablis CBD recently sat down and mapped out their brand guidelines using BrandBeat, and then used this clear vision to save money and time on their marketing efforts. They were able to create a clean, crisp website that speaks to their customers without answering 100 emails from their website developers, and now they’re using their website to positively impact their customers with great CX.
- Outline your 10-year goals and work backwards to determine three-year goals that create traction.
- Assess your brand’s core values (or create a set if you don’t have them). These establish trust with your customers.
- Define who your customers are, and determine demographics such as average age, gender, location, and family status.
Step 2 — Determine Your Customers Needs (and Solve for Them)
Once you clarify who your customers are, you can put yourself in their shoes and make their lives easier with great CX.
You want to do two things:
- Define your customer’s problems and what they need.
- Position yourself as a guide with a plan.
When you know what the customer’s problem is, it will be easier to solve with your product or service. This will help you determine what messaging you should use in your marketing (like your blogs, social media posts, or emails).
Create a crystal clear path towards:
- Who you’ll speak to
- What you’ll say
- How you’ll say it
- How you’ll present yourself
This can also help you determine the platforms where your customer is going to encounter you. Do they use Facebook, or do they use Instagram? Would they be the type of person to text you, or would they use live chat? All of these factors play into meeting your customer in the right place at the right time and creating an experience they’ll remember and appreciate.
Make sure that you meet your customers where they’re at (for instance, if they send you an Instagram DM), and offer tailored services on each platform by reviewing interactions you’ve had on each of your pages. This will also help you see trends, or inconsistencies.
Step 3 — Create a Consistent Customer Experience
The key to standing out in your customer’s mind is providing them with valuable information, so at every touchpoint, you want to be sure that you’re giving your customer a (positive) experience with your brand providing valuable information.
This can look like several different things:
- A social media post that notifies followers of a sale.
- A blog article that shares insider knowledge about your product.
- An email that provides a special discount code.
- A SMS message with a birthday coupon.
- A live chat exchange that solves their product issue.
You need to make sure that the customer experience matches up despite the platform where the customer encounters your brand. This is why it’s important to create a clear vision and define your goals in the first step of this process—You need the groundwork before moving forward.
In order to create a consistent CX, you need to brand your voice. Determine whether or not it’s okay to use emojis in texts and emails, or if multiple ellipses...fit your customer’s persona.
Take time to think about key questions like:
- How do you want to refer to your customers?
- What message are you trying to convey when you speak to them?
- How do you want them to feel?
Make sure you document all your answers to these questions, along with your expectations of customers' reactions to messages and how they will need to be handled.
Step 4 — Use a Knowledge Base to Document Your Process
This is beneficial, because you can share a knowledge base internally with staff and chat agents, or externally as self-serve customer support.
We’ll talk more about knowledge bases later, but for now, I’ll say this: Knowledge bases are helpful, and will save you time. It would be wise to create one and keep it updated.
Step 5 — Train Staff to Ensure Alignment
You can use your knowledge base for the very next step: Making sure your staff is aligned on your CX.
Changes happen as goals are met and the company grows, but if you have a knowledge base, you can continuously update it to prevent knowledge gaps among employees and live chat agents.
Use your knowledge base to train everyone on your team and make sure everyone—especially live chat agents—are aware of the brand’s CX strategy. It’s important that everyone is on the same page, considering that CX flows into many different customer touchpoints.
Step 6 — Gather Customer Feedback
Customer touchpoints like live chat transcripts and customer service emails provide a wealth of information just waiting to be tapped.
Gather data from your customers to learn insights that will elevate your company:
- See trends in product returns and complaints.
- Learn how your customers talk and use this to inform marketing copy and live chat strategy.
- Send out surveys after a customer service exchange to learn about how your customers are perceiving you and how you can improve.
Step 7 — Measure Results and Use Insights to Optimize CX
Armed with your customer feedback and key metrics, you’ll be able to continuously watch and improve your customer experience strategy. If you ever get to a point where you’re not improving your CX, you may want to take another look—In a world where customers are constantly evolving, your CX should be, too.
Here are a few things you should watch as you grow:
- See how quickly you’re responding to customers questions on live chat and/or email. Fast responses lead to happy customers!
- Measure your customer satisfaction rating to see how they’re perceiving your brand.
- Keep an eye out for kinks in your CX strategy that could cause miscommunication or bottlenecks.
- Make it a routine to review customer feedback and results, then draw insights that you can use to make your CX even stronger.
Don’t jump ahead without making sure your foundation is in place. If you do, it could come back to bite you in the long run!