Why Great Customer Experience Comes from Workforce Management
Today’s consumers are more careful than ever about how they spend their hard-earned dollars. Your brand can stand out from the competition through a fantastic customer experience (CX).
Strong CX starts with your staff, so how you train and manage them impacts the health of your company.
Studies on the impact of CX indicate the importance of becoming a customer-centred business.
After one bad experience, 75% of consumers say they’ll switch to a different brand. A majority indicate they’ll never return to the company where they had the negative experience.
Losing customers forever shows why it’s crucial to provide a great customer experience. If there is one thing you revamp this year, it should be your focus on your clients.
What Makes a Great Customer Experience?
How can a brand define excellent CX? After all, what equals a positive interaction for one customer may not cut it for the next.
Fortunately, digging deep into your company’s data and analysing your buyers ensures you hit all the right notes for the possibility of great CX.
Here are our top tips for creating a fantastic customer experience and involving your workforce in the process.
Your staff are the face of your brand, so any plan to improve CX must include them.
1 – Take a Customer-First Approach
A great customer experience starts with the policies and approach of the company leaders.
If your focus is on your buyers and ensuring they are 100% satisfied, your attitude will reflect in your employees.
What is your policy when someone wants to return a product? Is the rule customer-friendly? How does management talk about and treat customers?
Realise your buyers brought your company to where it is and are the backbone of what you do. Once you put their needs first, your entire company will be more customer-centric.
2 – Reduce Employee Turnover
When you spend time training your workforce to treat customers with care, you can lose momentum as you gain and lose employees.
A high churn rate means people who are less adept at solving problems and customers aggravated at the lack of information.
Some industries see a high turnover rate at the moment, such as the 33% turnover rates in nursing staff.
The restaurant and travel industries are also struggling to hire and keep workers. Even if you aren’t in one of these industries, you may find your turnover rate is much higher than you’d like.
Business owners can keep staff include offering higher pay, providing excellent benefits, and giving perks larger companies don’t. For example, you might offer extra days off, a chance to participate in charity events or job-sharing programs.
Poll your employees to find out what they need to be loyal to your company. You can’t fix problems until you identify them.
3 – Offer Intensive Training
Sometimes your staff isn’t sure what’s expected of them. They may not know how to respond to an irate customer in a way that diffuses the situation. Train your staff by giving them scenarios and implementing role-playing.
What should they do if a client cusses at them? How do they handle a physical threat?
You can also provide training sessions showing them how to use positive language in a difficult situation. Teach them to tell the customer what they can do for them instead of what they can’t.
The more highly trained your workers are, the better the overall experience becomes for your customers.
Ideally, your employees will understand their direct roles and other positions within the company if they get a call or have a customer who needs help outside their wheelhouse.
At a minimum, they should know where to send the person for assistance.
4 – Know Your Buyers
Provide an excellent CX by understanding who your customers are and what they need.
Start by digging into your databases and figuring out the demographics of those who buy from you. Where are they located? How much money do they make? What are their gender and age?
Next, turn to psychographic data, such as what pain points drive them to buy your product in the first place. What are the emotions behind the problem?
An example might be if you sell smoke alarms. The pain point is keeping your home safe. Emotions include fear and love for family.
Create buyer personas and train your staff about the typical customer you encounter. The better your workers understand your buyers, the better they can talk to them in a language they understand.
5 – Personalise Their Experience
Set the example of a personalised customer experience by knowing your employees and giving them the tools they need to excel at their jobs.
Management must set the tone of putting others first. If leaders act selfishly, you can almost be assured that the staff will.
Studies show that about 36% of shoppers want a personalised experience, but at the same time, they don’t want to share too much private data.
Go back to your buyer personas and use introductory psychology to figure out what customers want.
Seek ways to use the client’s name. Give bonus points to service reps who can solve issues creatively.
Please give them the freedom to come up with solutions others wouldn’t have thought of. The happier the customer is with the interaction, the more loyal they’ll be.
6 – Ask for Feedback
Take the time to gather feedback from customers and your employees.
Strive to fix any issues popping up again and again. For example, if customers gripe about the shipping speeds when placing orders, look for another logistics solution.
If employees want more sick days, offer a few more days to help them deal with sick children and prolonged illnesses.
One idea with your workers is to allow anonymous feedback.
If they feel there might be repercussions for their complaints, they’re less likely to file them. However, you can learn a lot by sharing their thoughts without attaching their name to them.
What you do with the feedback is as important as hearing it.
Management should seek solutions to ongoing issues. Try to find weaknesses within your organisation and fix them before they become problems.
7 – Embrace Remote Work
Many people are scared to go back into the office with COVID-19 numbers still high in some places and variants following one another.
Many customer services related positions can efficiently be completed from the comfort of home.
Figure out which tasks work well remotely and train your employees for at least a hybrid experience.
Ensure they have a nice setup away from distractions and the equipment they need to look into the company’s databases and solve issues on the fly.
You’ll need to invest in a good IT infrastructure to handle people logging in from different locations. A cloud-based computing approach is also a must for a successful remote or hybrid-remote workforce.
At the same time, don’t let your employees feel isolated. Host video meetings and reach out to each one individually to ensure they have the training and tools to do their jobs effectively.
8 – Secure Data
Customers are reluctant to share too much information, but lack of info makes it difficult for your workforce to do their jobs.
It’s up to management to handle security, so people feel safe giving you sensitive info.
The latest Small Business Cybersecurity report indicates that 22% of small businesses experienced a security breach last year.
Make sure you implement every imaginable security measure, so your prospects trust you to keep their data out of the hands of hackers.
Train your employees to use complicated passwords, change them often and not fall for phishing scams.
Ensure you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act and any other applicable local laws.
Be transparent about what you’re doing to keep information safe.
When a customer expresses concern over sharing something, staff should explain both why they need the info and how it’s kept confidential.
9 – Adopt Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence has come a long way since the early days.
Utilising things such as chatbots ensures customers don’t have to wait for a response, and your staff is freed up to focus on more specific problems.
Programming your live chat to answer common questions automatically also saves your agents from repeating the same response over and over until they take on a monotonous tone.
Leave the repetitive tasks to machines and free your people up for more creative tasks.
10 – Hire an Audit
If you want to ensure your company adopts a top-down approach and creates an excellent CX, you should hire an outside firm to conduct a company-wide audit.
A third party has no preconceived notions and can identify potential weaknesses.
Ask for a look at how management keeps things running and how well workers have the tools needed to do their jobs. What training would help most?
At the same time, you should also collect feedback from customers about what might improve their experience.
Customers live the CX of your brand, so they can offer insight no one else can. Put their needs first, and your company will thrive.
Author Bio: Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.