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Beginning Steps of Customer Experience Success
By: Janet Kalandranis
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This week there has been a lot of conversation around customer service, customer experience, and customer feedback. With examples to review, both good and not so good, the question now lies in how brands can change. How do they make sure to be on that customer “good list” with potential for social media praise and engagement for years to come? First things first, it’s not going to be easy. And it won’t happen in a matter of months. Those brands that truly engage customers and put them first have spent a great deal of time and money making this element of the business as important as sales. Ultimately, these brands have determined that the two are connected. Happy, engaged customers = more sales. Annoyed customers are instead going to a competitor. Remember, customers have choices; they are able to order from a phone, call for help, or even find a solution in the most unexpected location. So don’t turn away from these helpful tips, instead embrace them.

Integrate customer experience into every aspect of the brand. This is where many brands fail. They create a focus around customer experience, give it a special group, put dollars and brains behind it...and then they keep it separate, excluded from important parts of the brand that need to understand and embrace customer experience so it’s one and the same. The more brands can incorporate customer experience into the building blocks of every system, every training, every initiative, the more likely that it will start to be something each and every employee uses as the first step.

Empower employees. Remember that senior management is not who customers interact with on a daily basis. It’s the employees that answer the phone, help a customer with a purchase, and greet them at brick-and-mortar locations. These are the most important people when customer experience comes into play. So train these employees, but more importantly empower them. Let them know they have the opportunity to make a customer have the best experience possible.

Evaluate pain points and create solutions. Every brand has them; heck, every person has them. It’s those items that exist that cause customers to cringe, get frustrated, or even leave. Maybe it’s an online system or a loyalty program that isn’t so seamless. Whatever it is, these things need to be identified, and more importantly improved. Even if there is a midway solution that makes something more customer friendly, do it. Customers want to know that brands value what they want as a group and are working hard to make it better.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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