How do you create good customer experiences?

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Customer experience management means designing, implementing and facilitating the environment in which your customers interact with you. Experts agree that the best way to create and benefit from good customer experiences is to place the customer firmly at the center of your business strategy.

This means understanding when, where and how your interactions with customers take place, how your customer feels about them, and how you can improve their quality.

To do this consistently and well requires a ‘whole organisation’ approach.

Understand the buying cycle

Every purchase a pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stage. Within these are eight clear phases of customer behaviour based on contacts with your business. Good customer experience management means putting put yourself in your customer’s shoes at every phase and thinking about what they need from you.

Understand your customer contact points

Contact points vary from business to business and cross different channels. It’s your job to understand what those channels are, how customers move between them and to ensure that the experience of moving from one to another is seamless. There is a range of technology to help you track, monitor and engage with customers across a variety of channels. Use it.

Engage the whole organisation

Anything involving contact with customers is often seen as a marketing or sales function. But everyone in a business is involved in shaping the environment that delivers a good customer experience.

For example, if you are in IT, it matters that you understand how to improve the quality of customer interactions online. If you are in HR, you can devise customer experience training for employees.

The secret to creating good customer experiences is to align the organisational goal of delivering great customer experience across departments.

If you’re a CEO, you’re likely to be faced with a traditional organizational structure which has been architected over the last 100 years, to support traditional ways of doing business. Every single one of those [departmental] silos is going to need to be measured and aligned to deliver a really good customer experience. All those VPs or your executive team need to have an aligned objective. If they don’t have an aligned objective of a great customer experience, then they’re not going to be successful.

Being a really good business is all about the customer. But it takes strategic thinking, a shared ethos and joint working between departments and their leaders.

Image: Heather Buckley 

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