Delighting your customers is a critical component that drives your brand’s success. Therefore, measuring customer experience becomes increasingly important as consumers find more power through social media channels. Staying proactive and measuring your customer’s experience also drives some of our more recent trends, such as big data and reputation management.
To continuously delight your customers requires planning and a solid strategy. It also means stepping up to become more cognizant of their wants and needs. Continuously gathering customer insights will net you very little if your organization is unable to stay on top of customer desires. Therefore, it is prudent to engage in initiatives that proactively engage and delight customers.
This sounds simple enough, but how do you actually become proactive in delighting your customers? These 5 tips will help you get started:
- Listen and learn – reputation management is critical for big brands. It is a continuous process which takes a tremendous effort, but can also give you an opportunity to listen to your customers. Getting information from social media channels via monitoring tools provides you with real insights…and opportunities to delight your customers. Active online listening provides you with valuable insights that you will be able to use in your proactive planning.
- Develop engagement guidelines – if your monitoring turns up an unhappy customer, obviously that is the right time to engage, and engage quickly. However, not every single mention of your brand warrants a response. Supporting brand advocates with an occasional response is a good idea (it shows you care). Remember there is a fine line between proactive and coming off like a stalker.
- Set up specialized training – Every representative of your company is, in some sense, a sales person for your brand. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is equally qualified; or, that they should all be trained to respond in public facing forums. Your very best customer service team member may be fabulous when they are supporting customers over the phone. However, when responding to the “Twittersphere,” it is a totally different interaction for them since they must delight the customer in a few characters as possible. You will find providing specialized social media response training will proactively prepare your team to delight customers with every transaction.
- Anticipate customer needs – Every interaction with a customer, whether they visit your website, make a purchase, call for support or Tweet about you says something about them as well. By gathering those clues and analyzing them, you can get out in front and start anticipating your customer’s needs. What channels do they prefer? What types of products do they enjoy? What have you done lately they really liked and supported? All of this information is out there for you to gather and to use proactively to help assist with significant strategic decisions.
- Choose strong technology tools – As technology advances so do the expectations of your customers. If you are able to complete a transaction quicker, faster and more precisely than your competition, your customers will be absolutely delighted. Did you know there are tools available which are designed to match prospective customers with the best agent to further enhance the customer’s experience? Thinking proactively, by having solutions which will track consumer behavior and provide you with a detailed roadmap for customer engagement allows you to stay ahead of the competition. You will know (sometimes even before your customers know) what your customer wants and when they will want it.
Ultimately, the trick is to ensure your organization is ready to embark upon these types of initiative. This includes a solid customer experience strategy, the ability to effectively predict outcomes, and a solid plan to engage your team, whether they are your internal representatives or an outsourcing partner.