2024 entitles us to the most modern and tactful advancements in business. It is a new year that promises to be rich with creative innovation, technological advancements, and 360° customer experience strategies. According to a Forbes Business article written by business influencer Bernard Marr, this new year marks a revolution in how easy it is for businesses to succeed in their customer experience.
Since the 90s, business trends have relied on emerging technology to streamline processes from internal management to customer success. Following the pattern, this year is no different. In terms of leaps of progress, however, this year is groundbreaking.
More than ever, customer, members, and guests expect more from businesses. More catering to their custom needs, wants, and desires, and if they don’t find it with your establishment, they may find it at one of your competitors. In this article, we will cover how to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving landscape that is the customer experience.
Be Different in a Small Way
If there’s one thing a business wants to be, hell, everybody wants to be, it’s memorable. Setting your business apart from the competition is something easy to overthink, but could be something as simple as implementing a couple of words into your customer interactions. In Chick-fil-A’s case, it’s saying “my pleasure” as a way to acknowledge gratitude. That simple phrase isn’t the sole reason for Chick-fil-A’s brand leading the ranks atop the American Customer Service Satisfaction Index for the past 7 years in a row, but that phrase represents a crucial piece of their overall customer experience and their brand recall.
A personal anecdote: when I worked as a waiter for a summer at a BBQ restaurant, there were two phrases I got in the habit of saying: ‘howdy’ and ‘my pleasure’. Nearly 90% the time I said, “my pleasure,” I would get asked if I was previously a Chick-fil-A employee, yet I never worked for Chick-fil-A; I just thought it was a polite way to acknowledge gratitude. It’s one of the most basic phrases in the English language, yet Chick-fil-A has claimed it as their own. It’s so synonymous with the brand, in fact, that whenever most Americans hear that phrase, they think of one singular brand.
You don’t have to be a multinational corporation to achieve being memorable, your business only must stay consistent with its chosen tactic. Tactics can range from any one component within the realm of a business’s customer experience, not just verbal expressions.
Optimize the Customer Experience (CX)
As obvious as this point is, it goes unfulfilled with many businesses. From a subjective point of view, many times the product is viewed as the sole aspect of a successful business. In reality, the experience a customer has with your product has a direct correlation with the experience they have with the business itself. A study by Qualtrics XM Institute found that 80% of consumers are willing to forgive a bad experience with a product if they rate the service they received as “very good.” Perfecting your customer experience can be a time-consuming process but maintaining it will save your business exponentially more time and energy in the long run.
Immediate Responses to Customer Inquiries and Support
People expect information quick, and even quicker if they are paying you for something. Every minute that goes by without a response decreases customer loyalty or the potential of turning that customer loyal. Even if a complete solution isn’t immediately available, acknowledging the customer’s inquiry as soon as possible is vital. This could be an automated response or a quick initial reply on live chat, informing the customer that their query has been acknowledged.
It helps to have smart automated systems in place that can digest the customer’s Feedback and respond with an empathetic and helpful response. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be your business’s best friend when dealing with Feedback on a daily basis.
The time of a one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement has long passed. Today’s customers expect a tailored experience to meet their needs and connect with businesses on a more personal level.
Personalized responses that address the customer’s specific situation or history with the company can enhance the effectiveness of customer support. Customers appreciate it when they feel heard and understood, rather than receiving generic or obviously scripted responses. There are many effective ways to personalize your customer engagement, and it can be as easy as including their name in one-on-one conversations. Show that you value customer Feedback by incorporating tailored responses into your service. If a customer has made a suggestion or complaint in the past, acknowledging any changes or improvements made in response to their Feedback can create a strong sense of being heard and valued.
Customer engagement is an ever-evolving landscape that requires businesses, small and large, to follow the needs of an ever-changing consumer mindset. It can be challenging for businesses young and old to maintain a higher level of excellence compared to competitors. The challenge comes when businesses try to do everything themselves, with little-to-no support structures to maintain consistency in their customer experience. That is the reason we started Real Time Feedback. To give businesses a customer experience tool set that molds to your business model and culture, not the other way around. Every point made previously in this blog is an aspect of the customer experience that our suite of features streamlines and enhances.
Aaron Thompson is a standout graduate from Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communication. He has won national awards for his creative writing, including attaining first place in the National Student Advertising Competition during his time as a student. After graduating, he began his career as a brand strategist for one of the largest ad agencies in West Texas, GriffinWink Advertising. Since then, he has moved on to Real Time Feedback, becoming the youngest director of marketing in the company’s history.