How to Play Chess With Your Customers – Strategy Counts

When a business mulls over the best strategy to employ - marketing, accounting, sales - they often neglect to think of the right customer strategy. In the post-recession economy, it takes a game of chess to get a customer to take money out of their wallet and give it to your brand.

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Although businesses worldwide are honing in on social media marketing, mobile search engine optimization and big data analytics, the customer experience is a facet that presents the most opportunities for businesses to enhance sales. Let’s face it: a spectacular customer experience is something that needs to be improved on.

Studies over the past few years have highlighted the fact that client relations and customer service have certainly waned. For instance, Temkin Group’s 2014 customer experience survey found that only seven percent of businesses received an "excellent" score on customer experience. Most businesses garnered anywhere from "poor" to "okay."

Now that we understand the importance of strategizing when considering the customer, what are some of the steps that should be taken? Well, first and foremost staff must realize that customers are the most important thing whenever they walk in the door or enter the web portal. Accomplishing a successful customer experience can lead to social media praise, customer acquisition enhancement and competitive advantage.

With that being said, here are five successful customer experience strategies - otherwise known as a Customer Centric Strategy - that should be incorporated into your business model immediately:

1. Define What a Customer Experience is

Prior to strategizing, the business owner and his team have to sit down and define what exactly is the customer experience. It’s important to outline the concept of delivering customer service, delivering value to the customer and producing concepts to continually give customers the right experience. In addition, a business has to hire the right people, empower these employees, come up with solutions and don’t allow customers to sit in purgatory. 

2. Customer Profile

When you have a brand, then you have some sort of idea who you’re catering to. Upon establishing a customer centric strategy, a brand has to determine who their customers are. With the power of analytics and metrics, a consumer profile is the best step for this. For instance, John Smith is a tech-savvy web specialist while Jane Done is a neophyte in the tech industry but wants to learn more. 

3. Receive Customer Feedback in Real-Time

Is your customer happy? Is she dissatisfied with the service she has received thus far? In order to determine if you’re doing the right job then simply ask. This could consist of a post-transaction survey or a brief email questionnaire after the interaction - to further capitalize on this your company could always hold a draw for a cash prize.

4. Customer Experience with Real People

Sometimes, interactions can seem automated, forced and performed by robots. This is the wrong thing to do, even if it’s cost-effective. Consumers want to deal with real people and not tweets, emails and answering machines. When contacting customers by email, personalize it. When speaking with customers face-to-face, create an emotional connection with them. When handling customers in call centers, do not worry about time as this produces a relationship with the company and the client.

5. Calculate ROI on Customer Experience

By investing in this type of customer strategy, the obvious question to ask after a little while is: is this paying dividends? It’s a prudent step to calculate the return on investment in relation to the customer experience strategy. The answer is likely "yes", and you’ll continue to push ahead with such a strategy.  

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A business can experience a significant boost to overall revenues and profits by maintaining a focus on customers’ wants and needs. Without having a clear plan and direction of how to embark upon a remarkable customer experience, your brand might as well concede defeat to your competitors.

Are you attempting to create a customer centric business? How have you found the process? Your thoughts and comments below please...

Temkin Group