This a 3-part series about improving customer satisfaction. Last week, we started with how to boost customer value. Today, let’s see why it’s equally important to hone your customer experience to delight your customers.
When I was 5 years old, I went to the funfair for the first time. All I was interested in was riding a horse on the merry-go-round. I wanted to feel like I was galloping on a real horse and feel the wind on my face.
But to get there, I had to go through the purchase process:
- select the merry-go-round (the pink unicorn was far more enticing than the boring white horses!)
- find how much the ride costed,
- buy the ticket and then,
- join the other kids in the queue.
It was a long sequence of events for a little girl. At each step, I could have gone back to Mom. So why did I go through it all on my own?
As a customer experience, it was dead easy. Each step was clear, and got me closer to my magical merry-go-round ride.
Now, think of your own funnel. Do your clients abandon your cart because you confuse them? Is there a tipping point where the initial excitement you built disappears?
If so, you probably need to tweak your customer experience.
Your customer experience is all about simplicity
Customer experience starts when possible clients interact with you for the first time. You don’t want to seem confusing or complicated! Simplicity is paramount. Ideally, even a kid should enjoy purchasing from you!
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
― Albert Einstein
A good customer experience is a friendly, simple and quick process that directs you to a service or product that is both useful and that makes you feel better.
Uber is the perfect example. You need a car ride? In 5 clicks, and without any cash to carry, you get into a car, know what people think of your driver, have an estimation of how long it will take to arrive at your destination, and can even tell your partner where you are at any time.
If you don’t have a car, or can’t drive after a long night, or your car is out of service, you can move between places for an affordable price (useful) and in relative safety (makes you feel good). Bullseye.
Why so easy? If you take a closer look, Uber is guiding you from one question to another. It feels like they know exactly what you are thinking.
Now, what about you? To what extent have you anticipated the questions your clients will ask along the way? Would the process be understood by a kid? Is it quick enough?
To improve your customer experience, start with addressing each question with a simple and clear action.
For instance, the answer to the question “Can I buy this product on my mobile?” is a mobile-responsive website. The answer to the question “How can I buy the product?” is a short description of the few steps your client will go through until she purchases. The answer to the question “Is the fabric of these baby clothes responsibly sourced?” is a picture of the family growing the cotton you use, with their names and where they live. The answer to the question “How does it work?” is “how-to” videos to show them how to use the product.
Get into your clients’ minds. The closer you get to their needs, the stronger the connection you’ll make with them.
Your customer experience is creating a story with your clients
People never forget how you make them feel; it’s the first step of their personal experience. And they love talking about what happens to them. People won’t talk about the number of lessons in a course, or if the product dimensions are too long or too short.
But when they experience something special, they have a story to tell. And they come back.
Your job is to construct that story, so that they become loyal customers, spreading the good word about what you do.
You can use different ways to foster an emotional connection with them.
- You can connect to their vision of a better future, where buying your product becomes part of a bigger intention, such as helping a particular cause.
- You can create a tribe of like-minded people. Here, you want them to identify with other customers, with whom they’ll share experiences and opinions.
- You can gather people’s minds around a strong opinion, something important to you, that was the core reason for doing what you do.
- You can offer a special way of doing things (if you’ve been to an Apple store, you know what I mean!).
When you tap into your clients’ emotional experience, they envision a real-life interaction with your brand. It means they relate to your values and have a connection robust enough to express their feelings. And this is what sets the scene for evangelisation.
A customer experience is how your clients feel when they interact with you, your brand, and your products. It’s the foundation for the story they’ll tell the rest of the world. This exact story is how they connect to you and grow loyalty over time.
What could you do to improve the story your clients will tell about you? Share your thoughts in the comments!