How to Improve Customer Experience

Andy Lees

by Andy Lees

April 8, 2015

Before we get to: how to improve customer experience. Let’s just recap on why we should care about improving the customer experience.

Deloitte said that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than their less customer-centric counterparts. That’s right 60% more profitable. And that’s not just one of those throw-away marketing stats. It’s from Deloitte, one of the world’s most respected accountancy firms.

But I guess you understand that. And of course you want to be more profitable. After all you’ve already clicked through to post called “how to improve customer experience”, so I’ll get to right to it. Below are the four steps you need to complete to improve your customer experience and build a loyal, more profitable customer base.

 

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How to improve customer experience: 4 steps

Step 1: Map

Before you start any journey, it’s always good to know where you are and where you’re going. To understand the landscape, the first thing to do is to map out your customer journey (See: 3 powerful tips to map your customer journey).

By mapping your customer journey you’ll gain a better appreciation of what your organisation looks like from the customer’s point-of-view.

Use your customer journey map to help you identify areas for initial focus and to set yourself some objectives.

Actions:

  • Brainstorm with your team to map out your customer experience touchpoints.
  • Take note of the touchpoints using customer experience mapping software or simply list them out in a spreadsheet.

Step 2: Measure

Next, take stock of where you are currently, giving yourself a baseline customer experience metric that you can improve on.

In this step you’ll also be taking the critical step of opening up a line of communication with your customers, because the only people who can really help you improve customer experience, are of course, your customers!

Actions:

  • Create feedback channels at each of your key customer touchpoints
  • Ensure you have the right balance of passive and active customer data (that’s things you track, like web analytics vs. things your customers tell you directly, like survey responses)
  • Use appropriate customer experience management software and ensure your surveys aren’t too long (see: why long customer satisfaction surveys are bad for business) – they reflect on your customer experience too!

Step 3: Improve

Hang in there. Now we’re getting to the exciting bit. This is where you get those profits! It’s true you get some benefit just from asking your customers for feedback – they like to know you care. But you don’t get the big bucks unless you make that feedback count.

Now you need to sift through all that feedback data, which should be linked to your customer touchpoints. If you used the right customer experience management software, it should make that process easy, guiding you to the areas of your customer experience that require that most attention and those that will give you the biggest impact with your customers.

The data should give you some clear ideas about how to improve and you can use the metrics you get as baseline KPIs (see: How to get the right KPIs for customer service). It’s important at this stage to share the results with your team. Letting them know what you’re tracking, what you’re focussing on, and what the goal is.

Actions:

  • Use your customer experience management software to identify KPIs, share them with your team and track improvements

or, if you collected the data using basic survey tools

  • Get a data scientist to analyse your data and built you a custom dashboard to track progress

Step 4: Iterate

I’d like to tell you that working through those three steps will be enough. And certainly if you’ve given them the focus they deserve, you’ll already be benefiting from increased customer retention and recommendations. But nothing lasts forever. If you want to build a sustainable competitive advantage, you need to keep at. The world’s most customer centric companies continually track their customer metrics.

Actions:

  • Repeat steps 2 and 3, ensuring you respond to any changes in your customer data
  • Make your customer metrics central to your organisational culture; share, report them, be accountable for them and most importantly, act on them!

I’ve shown you how to improve customer experience in 4 steps. I know they are not 4 SIMPLE steps. But they are 4 critical steps. As the value of a great customer experience becomes more widely appreciated, only those companies that really nail it will survive.

Get started today by booking a meeting with your team to map out your customer experience touchpoints.

Andy Lees

About 

Andy has 18 years experience managing technology and data for the consumer insight industry. He is passionate about innovation, fascinated by data and inspired by smart digital products.