Customer service is important. Super important. If you underestimate the importance of excellent customer service, chances are somewhat slim to win your customers as your most important influencers.
In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know about customer experience and why it truly matters for your business.
So better let’s get started.
Customer experience is a shared experience
I guess every one of us has been there. You’re sitting at home, chatting with your friends, and somehow the chat drifts off and one of your friends starts sharing her latest customer experience. No matter if it’s a good or bad one.
And let’s be honest: Negative customer experience stays around longer than positive ones. Complicated return policies, lengthy contact forms or not available call centers are just the tip of the iceberg.
But there are also positive experiences.
Just a while ago, my Fitbit activity tracker got damaged. It just took me an email, and three days later a new device arrived at my door.
Isn’t that a great example of customer service. And it definitely was a great customer experience for me. I keep telling that experience to my friends and family. And I’m telling it to you.
Customer success and the role of word of mouth
In his book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” Jonah Berger conducted some research on why some products and services are more successful than others.
His conclusion: Word of Mouth.
In his book, Berger identified six so-called triggers, which make us share our customer experiences. These triggers include: Social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories.
- Social currency: The more something makes us appear in a positive light, the more likely we are to share this experience. Everything we say influences the way other people see us.
- Triggers: The more we think about a product or service, the more likely we are to talk about it. So, the more triggers we have to think about something, the more we’ll share it.
- Emotion: When we care about something, we are more likely to share it with friends and family. Strong emotions drive us to share them – no matter if they are positive or negative ones.
- Public: As people, we tend to imitate others. This means that products with certain attention also drive actions. Take for example the iPod’s white headphones.
- Practical value: We not only want to be put in a good light, we also want to help others. More useful products are therefore more likely being shared.
- Stories: Stories survive the longest as people tend to recall stories easier than stats or other things.
How to improve customer experience?
So, I guess we can agree that customer experiences are an essential factor when it comes to success or failure of a business. So obviously, there’s the question on how to create great customer experience? And how to improve it?
At Usersnap, we collected a few examples on what to look for when getting started with customer experience and when improving it.
If you do have further examples, please leave a comment in the comment section below as this will help us understand certain customer experiences better.
1. There will always be some customer problems. Be prepared.
Let’s face it. We can’t avoid a 100% error-free environment for our customers. Especially when selling highly complex products, I’m sure some of your customers won’t be that happy with your product or service.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost a customer. Neither does it mean that you’ll be facing a shit storm.
Quite the opposite: challenges give you the chance to talk and communicate with your customers. It will enable you to gather insights on how your customer is using your product and why it might not be a perfect fit for them.
By offering excellent customer service you are able not only to win back a dissatisfied customer but also to build a strong relationship.
And by excellent customer service, I don’t mean lengthy contact forms 😉
2. Be open to emotions
When running a business we tend to believe that we need to look super-serious and professional. And we try to avoid any kind of emotion.
As an advocate of emojis in business communication, I truly believe that we – as companies – must enable our customers and users to express emotions. By giving them a visual toolset we also enriched our communication with our customers. And we get deeper insights on the feelings and emotions of them.
Screenshots are especially great when describing and capturing problems and issues. If you see your customers using those visual elements you should find new ways in using those elements as well.
Read more about the case study with Canva in using screenshots and annotations for customer support.
3. Real-time customer service
24/7 customer service is definitely not a required thing to do. Especially if you just launched a new product or service and you started growing your business.
On the other hand, the perceived customer experience on your website is a more important growth factor for your business.
Instead of 24/7 customer service, you better make sure to have the following steps set up:
- Tell your users how they can get in contact with you (whether via email, phone, social media)
- And let them know about your business hours
- Send out auto-reply messages while being away helps too (but be honest and keep to promised response times)
- Provide a go to resource for all your users and make it as easy as possible to access it
Especially nicely written automated replies will give your customers a feeling on when and how to expect a personal answer from you. And the key factor is about being honest.
4. Offer various touch points
Have you ever spent an endless amount of time on a website searching for a contact email address or a phone number?
Well, congratulations! You’ve experienced the worst customer experience.
Better make it easy for your users and customer to get in touch with you. Nobody wants to search hours and hours for your contact information.
Offer various communication points for your customers (like social media, chat, phone or email) and let your customers pick their favorite form of communication.
5. Your customers want to help. Give them the chance to.
Customers aren’t your enemies. They are your friends.
And therefore, you don’t have to live in fear of bad customer reviews. On the contrary, customers want to communicate. And they want to help you.
So, better give them the chance to help.
This means, enabling your customers to send feedback quickly, report bugs easily and send in feature requests. At Usersnap we heavily rely on our own product which enables our customers to send us annotated screenshots with remarks, bugs, or simply some change requests. It is implemented on our website as well as within our product.
Wrapping it up.
Word of mouth is a key success factor. I guess we can agree on that. Great customer experience will help you to stand out from your competitors.
One thing is for sure: Customer experience is something which isn’t done at a certain point. It’s a continuous task which needs to be offered. And requirements on customer service people definitely will change over time as customer needs change too.
The thing I love great customer service? It will not only transform customers to long-standing ones but also makes them your most important influencers. So, have the courage to start communicating.
This article was brought to you by Usersnap – best known for its visual Bug Tracking and User Feedback Tool, which is employed by web developers, ecommerce site owners, and customer care managers worldwide.
Usersnap serves 10,000 customers globally, including companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Hawaiian Airlines, and Runtastic.