If you are trying to figure out the best investment to make in your business this year, you might want to consider investing in customer experience (sometimes referred to as CX).
If you’ve followed business trends over the past few years, you’ve noticed that we don’t really talk about customer service anymore. Instead, we hear and read about the importance of the customer experience, which encompasses the full range of emotions people feel when interacting with your brand, in person and online.
Customer experience is emerging as an important differentiator, which Brian Solis speaks about at length in this article. If you read it (which I urge you to), he points out that:
- 85 percent of customers have said that they would pay up to 25 percent more for a superior experience.
- 89 percent of customers will switch brands because of a negative customer experience.
- 95 percent of customers have taken action as a result of a bad experience.
- 79 percent have told others about their negative experiences.
- Yet only 37 percent of executives have been motivated to start formal CX initiatives.
So despite overwhelming evidence of how important the customer experience is, people are resting on their laurels – which is good news for you! However, if you think that customer experience is only something Fortune 500 companies can do, think again.
Here are four specific things your small business can do to ensure an outstanding customer experience:
Keep marketing and branding consistent
Use the same logo, the same colors, the same value proposition, and the same messages everywhere – your website, social media accounts, and email marketing. That consistency ensures your clients will have a similar experience no matter where they interact with your brand.
Put account and/or project management processes in place
This kind of structure has been a lifesaver for my own business, especially as it has grown. Everyone on my team follows the same steps while working with clients, which means everyone is on the same page, and things flow much more smoothly. It’s awesome.
Invest in design
I have always been an advocate of investing in good design, but now more than ever, people have high expectations of what a high quality brand looks like. Use the best graphic and Web designers you can afford for your website, email marketing templates, presentation templates, digital stationery, business cards, custom cover images for social media, etc.
Surprise your clients
Call your clients just to say hi. Pop a handwritten note in the mail. Send a little thank-you gift when they refer you. Email them an article they might find interesting and useful. These small gestures add up to an amazing experience.
What does your small business already do to ensure a fabulous customer experience? What are you putting in place this year?
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