Monthly Archives: January 2017

customer service

How to Build Amazing Bonds With Your Customers

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement, Salesforce | No Comments

Getting up close and personal with your customers has never been more important than it is now. In an increasingly competitive business environment, customer bonds and close relationships can be a crucial factor in getting ahead of the competition and growing those sales.

Many businesses struggle to come up with effective ways to stay close to their customers and build those relationships. It doesn’t have to be difficult but you do need to be consistent and adopt a customer centric attitude. According to Salesforce, here are five great ways to build those bonds with your customers and help ensure their loyalty over the long term.

1. Prioritise customer experience

It’s important that your customers feel they are your priority and this will need to be demonstrated through a clear commitment to customer service at every touchpoint. Without this commitment to customer experience it’s unlikely you’ll be able to build those strong bonds.

2. Present a good image

Your brand image is the first impression you give to people. Make sure you keep it as shiny and clean as possible. Your customers are not likely to want to deal with an organisation that is known for being untrustworthy, unethical or anything else negative.

3. Create content for your customers

The right content helps your customers engage with your brand and feel connected on a deeper level. If it’s useful, funny or informative your customers will appreciate it and they are more likely to return to your business over and over again. Great content doesn’t focus on selling, it provides something of value and creates awareness about the story behind your brand.

4. Be proactive in seeking feedback

More and more customers rely on feedback before they make a decision to buy and the more positive feedback they can find, the more likely they are to purchase from you. To establish a good base of feedback, you can actively encourage your customers to leave a review or rating. This will give you a steady flow of good feedback that you can publish on your website or another digital platform.

5. Be transparent

Trust is an essential factor in any relationship and once it’s gone it’s very hard to get back again. If you want to build strong bonds with your customers you need to be honest and transparent at all times. Keep your customers informed of changes and deal with any complaints openly and honestly and you will build a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness that will stand you in good stead over the long term.

It’s well worth taking the time to build those great relationships with your customers now. As we go into the next few years we’re going to see an increase in customer centric businesses and if you can gain the hearts and minds of your customers now, you can set yourself up for greater future success.

Customer EXperience

Why is it so Hard to Make Customer Experience a Priority?

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

Customer experience is not a new concept but it’s one that’s really come to the fore in the last five years or so. As more and more organisations realise the need to move away from product centered business models and put the customer at the center of their brand, they often struggle to find the time to commit 100% to creating an amazing customer experience.

We find that most companies struggle to “connect the dots” across their organisation.

This leaves many of us with a half in half out approach where organisations develop a few customer centered policies but struggle to sustain them over the long term. They might see the importance of creating an outstanding customer experience but struggle to make it viable. This eventually brings them back to their old ways, confusing their customers and creating an inconsistent brand message.

So just why is it so difficult for businesses to really give 100% to customer experience and make it their number one priority? According to Customer Experience specialist Ian Golding, there are five main reasons why it’s such a challenge:

  1. Failure to create an operational plan. When it comes to focusing on customer experience, it’s all very easy to talk about it but without making operational changes, nothing is actually going to happen.
  2. Lack of stability in an organisation. The problem with making sweeping changes in an organisation is that it also brings restructuring and instability. This in turn will impact customer experience, probably negatively.
  3. Not thinking long term. Changing to a customer experience focus isn’t going to bring you any short-term results and this can make it hard to get over the line with those stakeholders who lack the vision to think long term.
  4. Lack of knowledge and education. Without the necessary skills and competencies to focus on customer experience it’s going to be very difficult to achieve any success. Many employees and organisational leaders simply don’t have the knowledge to make customer experience work.
  5. Inability to put others first. If an organisation doesn’t put its employees first, they’re going to have a hard time putting customers first. Employees who are unhappy or unempowered are not going to be capable of putting customers first.

While these are all common obstacles to creating a truly customer focused business, none of them are insurmountable. The truth is customer experience is only going to get more important in the future, not less. Now is the time to think about what might be holding your business back and take steps to commit 100% to putting your customers front and center of your organisation.

Header Trends

5 Customer Experience Trends for 2017

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

The last few years have seen some fundamental shifts in attitude and mentality for many organisations, and this is set to continue in 2017 and beyond.

The days of product-based business are numbered, now it’s all about the customer with customer experience rated as more important than ever. There’s no doubt that organisations that want to thrive and succeed need to be aware of and able to meet their customers’ expectations in 2017.

With so many different developments in technology over the last few years it can be hard to keep up. To give you a head start, we’ve brought you the five most important customer experience trends for 2017 according to Customer Think. Paying attention to these trends will help your organisation improve the overall experience of your customers, build brand loyalty and streamline customer service processes.

  1. Self-service chatbots: More and more customers expect to have their questions answered via messaging platforms and want to be able to interact directly with an organisation at any time of day or night. Chatbots are being used with increasing frequency to help customers answer common questions, and help with transactions. They cost less than a human and they are available 24/7.
  1. Focus on experiences: Millennials form a major portion of consumers today and they have different priorities from their predecessors. Unlike other generations, millennials are less motivated by money than by experiences, and this means they will judge an organisation by the quality of their customer service. It’s imperative that businesses provide a positive customer experience to this generation if they want to build their trust and win their loyalty.
  1. Feedback plays a strong role: Feedback is an entrenched part of providing a great customer experience, but in 2017, it’s time for organisations to get specific and really drill down into the nitty gritty of what their customers are saying about them. With so much technology and data available now there is no excuse not to know exactly what your customers think of your products or service.
  1. We’re getting more specific about times: With the increase in GPS technology, there’s no excuse for being vague about when products might be delivered. These days customers can track the progress of their pizza order on their mobiles – expectations have been raised and people are no longer willing to wait at home for hours for a delivery or be told their package is ‘on the way’.
  1. Multi channel feedback is here: To provide a great customer service experience in 2017, brands will need to be able to synchronise their efforts across multiple platforms. A customer might ask a question via the website, post feedback on social media and complain via a review site. All these need to be addressed quickly and effectively, which means being on top of them all.

Keeping up with customer experience trends and expectations means you can provide a higher level of service to your customers. By meeting your customers’ expectations in 2017 you’ll be building a strong, engaged customer base for the future.