In today’s world, customer experience is everything. It’s what drives referrals and boosts brand reputation. It’s the secret sauce behind the world’s greatest companies and up-and-coming leaders. If you can’t deliver a great experience, you’re falling behind the competition. This is why customer experience consulting is vital for all businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve.
When you go above and beyond for customers, it doesn’t just make customers feel better about working with you. It also encourages them to stay loyal long-term, purchase more, and share their experience with others. With 76% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs, you need to not only meet customer expectations but exceed them again and again.
Customer experience consulting is a helpful way to streamline your customer experience. When you’re working on your own customer journey, it’s hard to see the big picture. A customer experience consultant brings an outside perspective. They review any challenges in the way of your current customer experience, and they help you overcome them one by one. Having a fresh, experienced set of eyes on your business only makes you stronger.
Still, the idea of optimizing the customer experience can be daunting for businesses of all sizes. It’s hard to figure things out on your own. Customer experience consulting breaks down these barriers into actionable steps, creating a path for success. In this guide, we’ll explore the concrete reasons why customer experience consulting is vital for all businesses.
What is a customer experience consultant?
First, what even is a customer experience consultant? Creating a winning, goal-driven customer experience strategy for your brand is no easy feat. While more brands want to focus on this aspect than ever before, few are actually hitting the mark. Regardless of your industry, you’re competing on experience more than ever before.
An experience consultant is someone who has real-world experience helping brands focus on customers in a meaningful way. Customer experience is something that needs to be at the foundation of the entire brand. It’s a part of every interaction. Because of this, it takes a comprehensive, whole-company approach.
Working with an experience consultant helps brands:
- Identify and attract ideal customers
- Build customer loyalty to create superfans
- Leverage customer analytics to better serve customers
- Increase revenue and reputation
- Encourage referrals
- Reduce churn long-term
- Create a strategy for customer experience at every level
In other words, a consultant is a hands-on partner who not only takes inventory of your current progress but helps you reach even further. Because customer experience continues to reign supreme, it’s vital for brands to take this process seriously.
The latest research shows that brands experience an 80% increase in revenue when they focus on the customer experience. Who doesn’t want more income? With this in mind, it’s easy to see the value of a consultant. Now, let’s dive deeper into why working with a pro makes all the difference.
To begin, customer experience consulting is one of the best ways to create strong management for your team. Managers are responsible for a lot. Their role isn’t just to lead but to confidently train new employees to meet customer experience standards. They need to be confident, humble, approachable, and willing to talk to customers themselves. This applies to managers at all levels.
Management coaching is a big aspect of customer experience consulting. Though many current leaders might believe otherwise, great managers are rare. Only 19% of people believe they have a “world-class” manager. Other managers fall into good, average, not-so-great, and even terrible. As the saying goes, people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.
While being a great team leader takes a bit of natural talent, there are many real-world skills taught by customer experience consultants specifically. This includes creating a culture of motivation, openness, and trust. More importantly, they lead by example when it comes to the customer experience. Because they know what it means to deliver a great customer experience, consultants empower their employees to do the same.
Team Uniformity & Autonomy
Next, customer experience consultants also bring teams together. The customer experience, unlike what the name implies, isn’t just focused on customers. It’s also focused on employees. Employees should feel confident and empowered when providing top-level service. Better yet, they shouldn’t have to worry about needing manager approval at every intersection.
Similarly, customers should know they’re getting a consistent experience no matter who they interact with on the team. Many companies focus their customer experience training only on their support staff. While this makes sense, customer experience doesn’t exist in a silo away from the rest of the company. It’s something every department should understand. This means customers have a similarly excellent experience whether they’re talking to the IT department or sales team.
A customer experience consultant knows how to break down barriers between teams. With clear, actionable ways to educate your entire team in the latest customer expectations, this is an invaluable tool. Because 32% of customers stop doing business with a brand they love after a single bad experience, you can’t afford to not have consistency across teams.
Customer Profile & Journey Mapping
Aside from team autonomy, how well do you know your own customers? Your customer profile is an outline of your “ideal” customer. What steps does this perfect customer take on their path from discovery to purchase? A customer service consultant helps teams identify not only who their ideal customer is, but also how to target them efficiently.
While it might sound tempting to gear your marketing to everyone, casting that wide of a net doesn’t usually pay off. When you’re talking to everyone, nobody actually hears you. Though your brand would be a great fit for everyone in a perfect world, things don’t actually work like that. Instead, focus on those you’re best equipped to serve at a high level.
Trying to market to everyone is time-consuming and expensive. By focusing on your best customers with the help of a consultant, you don’t waste resources changing people who won’t convert. Because your customers know how to serve these customers, they’ll also be better prepared to meet their needs. This is how you create superfans!
Additionally, a customer experience consultant can tackle your customer’s problems as well as your brand’s problems. Are there things bugging customers that haven’t been fixed? What concerns might your customers have that you don’t even know about? Because you’re so close to your daily practices, you might not see these things right in front of you.
It’s easy to hang service initiatives and goals out to dry when other tasks get in the way. Perhaps a snag or challenge held you back, and you tabled these concerns for now. A consultant is here to iron out these kinks, getting you back on track to solve these problems for good.
When you’re proactive (not reactive) to customer problems, you alleviate the tension with each purchase. Customers expect a seamless experience now more than ever before. Believe it or not, 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after a single bad experience. Limiting these negative experiences and preventing them altogether is the best way to encourage customer loyalty.
Customer Experience Strategy
Last but not least, you need a concrete customer experience strategy if you want to succeed nowadays. Your strategy isn’t just for right now. It’s a path forward towards the future. A consultant starts by pinpointing your baseline metrics. From there, they build a strong plan for tracking these metrics and using them to your advantage over time.
In other words, you need to know where you’re going if you ever want to get there. By targeting your customer experience goals, you can discover ways to better adapt to customer needs. Any consultant knows that this is far from one-and-done. It’s a long-term, evolving process that requires brands to be light on their feet.
If you’re struggling to create a concrete, action-based customer experience strategy, a skilled consultant can help. Since they bring an outside perspective, they often are a breath of fresh air. Their experience helping countless brands through similar problems means they know what customers want on a unique level. Better yet, they use their skills and experience to meet your goals.
Are You Ready for a Customer Experience Consultant?
As you can see, there are so many valuable reasons to consider a customer experience consultant. With consumer expectations changing all the time, it’s never been more essential to understand your customers and what they need from you. “Good” and even “great” aren’t enough anymore. You have to be super.
As a consultant myself, I’ve worked with dozens of brands across industry lines. I know firsthand the challenges companies face at all levels when it comes to adapting to customer experience needs. To learn more about my services, let’s chat about your goals. If there’s one thing to take from this guide, it’s that customer experience can’t be an afterthought. It needs to be at the foundation of every part of your business.