If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that we’re officially in the era of the customer. As we jump into the New Year, here are five simple customer experience resolutions you (and your brand!) can adopt to kickstart 2022:
1. Be more active
While it’s easy to listen to client concerns, how often do you actually hear what they’re saying? Active listening is the foundation of communication and service. When you’re an active listener, you actually understand what your customer says and their feelings behind the words. More importantly, you make each client feel like they’re valued.
Behind every client is a real person. Though sometimes they have real problems they want to be fixed, usually they just want to feel heard. If you’re an active listener, you’ll understand everything your customers are telling you… and everything they’re not telling you. They have ideas about how you should improve, what’s working for them, and how you can take your products/services further. If you want raving fans, you need to be an active listener.
2022 is your year to become an active listener. Start by asking follow-up questions, confirm you understand what your clients need, and practice empathy.
2. Spend less, save more
As Dharmesh Shah said, “The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.” When it comes to getting more business, referral marketing is a powerful tool. Having customers who trust your business enough to give word-of-mouth reviews is worth its weight in gold. Why not let your best customers do your sales for you?
Consumers trust other consumers. They read reviews, talk to friends, and do research. In fact, consumers nowadays are more informed than ever before. A reported 87% of shoppers begin product searches online before making a purchase.
The best way to save money is to let your customers do the marketing for you – if you deliver an outstanding experience, it speaks for itself. We are living in an Experience Economy. Regardless of what you’re selling, you are ultimately selling experience. Referral marketing is all about making it easy (and enticing) for users to refer others, as well as engaging them back into your content.
Looking for more tips on how to create a referral marketing strategy? Check out this article.
3. Stay in touch better
Unfortunately, too many salespeople (and brands!) focus all of their attention on new customers. This makes sense—they’re the ones actively engaging with the sales process. However, with 63% of a company’s business coming from existing customers, it’s worth spending extra time making sure they feel important, too… especially since research shows it’s easier, faster, AND cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to develop a new one.
Every client wants to feel noticed, valued, and appreciated. These small actions go a long way towards encouraging repeat business and creating superfans. Moreover, you should also make a point to reach out to absent or “quiet” clients. These silent customers are the ones who aren’t making complaints or giving feedback, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely satisfied. These clients aren’t likely to make a purchase any time soon unless you engage them in a new way.
According to recent research, only 13% of unhappy customers actually share their complaints. Of these, only 1 in 25 complain directly to you. The customers that don’t complain? They’ll likely just stop doing business with you sooner or later. Your job is to re-engage these customers before it’s too late.
How do you reach out to absent clients? You can begin by asking for feedback about their current experience and what you can do better. When in doubt, offer freebies, discounts, and coupons to re-engage their interests. In a perfect world, all customers would be enthusiastic superfans. In reality, you have to put in the work to convert passive customers to engaged customers.
Make a promise to yourself to reach out and stay connected with all of your customers in 2022 and it will pay dividends.
4. Get a check-up
How often do you run quality-control tests with your internal systems and platforms? Just as you would get an annual check-up with your primary care doctor to ensure everything is working, you should also run a CX self-audit on your business! We usually don’t catch mistakes until something breaks or a customer points it out to us. To be proactive in the new year, let’s make sure everything is running smoothly before it’s too late:
- Surf your own website on multiple devices
- Use your product or service
- Interact with your chat bots
- Call your customer support center
- Subscribe & Unsubscribe from marketing emails
Is your website design intuitive? Does it load properly on mobile devices? Was the order process quick? Are your questions getting answered with your support staff? By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes every once in a while, you can spot errors before they become a problem, or think of innovative ways to improve your systems. Start the new year off with a full CX check-up and you’ll thank yourself later!
5. Lose the Wait
As a customer, is there anything more frustrating than waiting on hold to speak to a customer agent? We all have busy lives, and taking the time to call a support center and waiting on hold can be a big commitment. And if you get accidentally hung up on? Forget it. Your day is over!
If your brand doesn’t have a virtual queuing system for its call center, 2022 is your time to invest. With virtual queues, your customers’ wait time turns into free time, which likely ameliorates their frustration when it’s time to speak to an agent and improves customer satisfaction. With calmer customers on the other end, your employees will have a less stressful working environment. Furthermore, with the option to reschedule a callback, agents can spread their volume of calls more evenly throughout the day and work more efficiently, while providing customers with definitive timelines. It’s the ultimate win-win!