“Who’s your boss?”
You might immediately think of your manager or the CEO. Or, if you own the company, you might proudly say, “Me!” However, there is someone else who is above you in the chain of command — your customers!
You might not think of your customers as the boss, but they are the reason you make money and are successful. So while you don’t necessarily have to cater to every customer’s whim, you do need to build your business around the customer experience (CX).
How do you prioritize customer experience in every aspect of your business? Let’s take a look.
Marketing is the beginning of your relationship with any customer. The goal is to focus all of your marketing messages on the customer’s needs and how you can be the solution to those.
Donald Miller of StoryBrand takes it a step further. He says that every aspect of your marketing should be focused on telling the story of how your customer is the hero. Your business is the sidekick that will help them achieve their mission.
No matter how you go about it, it’s essential to ensure that your customers feel they are the center of your marketing message. Start with fully understanding your target market, and then speak directly to them. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect with them and bring them into your circle of influence.
Your website is part of your marketing, but we’re listing it separately because people often won’t come to your website unless you’ve already connected to them in another way.
Once your marketing brings someone to your website, what do they experience there? Having excellent UX design is an important part of not only keeping visitors engaged on your website but also ranking well in search results.
Google wants to deliver the most relevant, high-quality content available each time a user enters a query. When you have a great user experience on your website, your site will be in sync with what Google is trying to offer. As a result, you’ll rank more highly.
Review your website. Are the menus easy to read and understand? Can you navigate the website on a mobile device? Are your message and offer clear within the first few seconds? If so, you’re on the right track.
Every product or service should be designed to solve a specific problem that the customer has. The more precisely you target your product or service, the more successful you will be at selling it.
Unfortunately, some folks get tied up in what they want the design to be, rather than what the customer is looking for. They can add too many features, too little training, or create an unattractive behemoth.
Both services and products face another question. Should it be a subscription or a one-time delivery? Many businesses love subscription-based services for the consistent cash flow and retention rates. You can also offer a lower price point, which is attractive to many consumers.
However, some customers want to own what they pay for rather than feeling like they’re renting it. Only by doing the right market research will you know if your customers would prefer a subscription or ownership model.
You’d think that an excellent CX in customer service would be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, so many consumers have a poor customer service experience that excellent service is a selling point and can retain customers for years.
Is your customer service department an afterthought or a focus for your business? How do you treat, train, and pay customer service staff? Is the culture of your company that customers calling in are “complainers,” or do your staff focus on delighting everyone?
A lot of major corporations handsomely reward salespeople but almost ignore customer service departments. But, as it has been said, “Sales without service is like stuffing money into a pocket full of holes.”
Don’t make that mistake. After the sale, your relationship with the customer has only just begun. Excellent customer service can retain them, turn them into customer advocates, and boost repeat sales.
We’ve been talking about customer experience up until now, so why mention prioritizing your employees?
Very simply, the employees you have will define the customer experience you’re able to offer. Happy, satisfied, and engaged employees will work hard to delight customers and create a world-class experience. Disengaged, unhappy, and disgruntled employees will drive customers away.
You have a great deal of control over how your company culture and how employees experience work every day. Do you add meaning to daily tasks by explaining how they fit with the mission and make a difference in others’ lives? Do you pay appropriately and have benefits that employees look for? Do you encourage career advancement and continuing education?
The better you take care of your employees, the better they will take care of your customers. That’s why the employee experience is at the center of the customer experience.
Making customer experience a priority in every aspect of your business doesn’t happen automatically. It takes research of relevant data, focus, and a commitment to your real boss — your target market!
If you want a truly successful business, it’s essential to focus on CX. Targeted marketing will bring in the right audience, and a website focused on your customers’ needs will convert them into buyers.
Of course, to sell well you need product or service design on par with what customers expect and enjoy. Finally, excellent customer service will turn buyers into repeat customers and brand advocates.
Which of these areas needs the most attention in your company? Today’s the day to make a difference.