Our customers are our most valuable asset. Without them, we wouldn’t have a business, we’d just have an idea. Putting customers at the heart of your business will help you build an organisation people want to come to time and again. And when we create amazing experiences, we create happy customers who become ambassadors of our brand. Customers who sing your praises and recommend your products or services to everyone they know.
Great experiences also create fiercely loyal customers. As customers, our expectations are higher than ever before– if we’re having a bad experience, we’ll tweet about it, and if we’re receiving a poor service, we’ll leave for a better one. By investing in your customer experience, you’ll ensure that every one of your customers is receiving a great service, and you’ll create happy customers who won’t leave you for your competitors.
So, how do you improve your customer experience?
To design great experiences, we need to deeply understand our customers, and use that feedback to create unforgettable experiences. Here’s how.
Apply a customer-centric perspective
Everything you do should be focused on helping your customers and making a difference to their lives. Here at Complete, we’re on a mission to help businesses get to where they want to be. We exist to help people build great businesses, the kinds of businesses they’ve always dreamed of. To do that, we use leading technology and a strong understanding of the numbers to help people take control of their finances.
So why do you do what you do? How do you want to help your customers, and how can you improve their lives?
Look at the world from your customers’ perspective– what are their problems, needs and frustrations, and what do they want from you? A simple shift in mindset will make you more in tune to your customers’ problems and more empathetic to their pain points, which is key for designing great experiences.
Define the value you create for customers
To create unforgettable experiences, we need to know what customers actually want. What value do you deliver for your customers, and how can you maximise that value to help them in as many ways as possible?
To help you think about this, consider why your customers come to you and not your competitors. How can you surprise and delight your customers in unexpected ways?
Once you’ve identified how you create value, explore potential areas for maximising that value. Could you create a membership with special benefits for online customers, or could you design a new product or service to sit alongside your current offering?
Talk to your customers
The simplest way to improve your product or service? Address customer complaints! Since your customers are your most valuable asset, their insights are vital for improving your service.
It can be tempting to shy away from negative feedback and the areas of our business that aren’t performing so well, but instead of seeing these as a failure, view them as opportunities for improvement. Complaints are the most valuable type of customer feedback– they’re where we can learn the most about how customers experience our service.
Gaining these insights is as simple as having a conversation. Ask people what it feels like to be your customer, and what areas of your service could be improved. Really listen to their experiences, ask questions, and use that feedback to take action. This is all about finding out what your customers value the most and using that to generate all the ways you can maximise that value.
Innovate how you deliver your product or service
Use your customer feedback to improve elements of your service. Define the problem areas your customers have flagged up and begin generating solutions to help things run more smoothly.
To come up with innovative solutions, we need to adopt a creative mindset. Use divergent thinking to generate as many solutions as possible to improve the customer experience, no matter how unrealistic they might seem, and be open to exploring new possibilities. How can you do things differently? Can you streamline an element of your product or service to make things easier for the customer? How could you use technology to streamline customer touchpoints? You could also experiment with different business models and financial assumptions to help you find the best solution.
Need some tips on divergent thinking? Here’s how you can use it to improve your business.
Once you’ve come up with your ideas, it’s time to narrow them down to a few potential solutions. This means focusing on the ideas that are the most innovative and unique, and discarding the rest. How many of your ideas could be introduced or adapted to solve the customer problems you identified? How can you apply them to surprise and delight your customers?
Building for long-term success
It’s no secret that businesses who invest in customer experience are the ones leading the way.
Since Covid, Zoom has seen a massive upsurge in users, with people flocking to it over its competitors Skype, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams.
So why is Zoom so much more popular than any other video conferencing software?
Because it was designed specifically to solve customers’ problems. Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan originally worked for Webex, another video conferencing platform. During his time at Webex, he didn’t speak to a single happy customer, and he wanted to find out why. So he summarised all of the problems customers shared with him and aimed to create a video conferencing software to solve them. And so Zoom was born. It’s still massively successful today because of its single minded-focus on user experience, accessibility and the value it provides its customers.
So, creating great customer experiences isn’t rocket science. It’s all about stepping into our customers’ shoes, really listening to their problems, and coming up with creative ways we can solve them. And when we do that, we’ll create amazing businesses that are built to last.