To compete successfully in business today, companies must ensure that clients and customers come away having had a positive experience in dealing with them. Yet, many are using the wrong approach to improving their customer experience. Companies that provide poor service soon learn the consequences with customers sharing it on social media. One recent study found that people who’ve had a negative interaction or experience with a company are 50% more apt to share every detail on social media. Plus, they’re 52% more apt to write a bad review on Yelp and/or other online review sites.
With so much focus these days on customer experience, you would think that customers today generally feel good about the interactions they’re having with businesses. Unfortunately, research says different!
The expression “customer experience” is bandied about so much today that it’s hard to admit that you really have no idea what it means. In a nutshell, it is the perception customers and clients have of you and your brand. While you may have a stellar sales and marketing team, if you’re selling a faulty product the general perception people have of your company will more than likely be negative.
Customer experience takes in the entire gamut of interactions you and/or your business has with any given customer. These interactions may start with visiting your website, phone calls with your customer service department or stopping by your store to buy something. From the very first contact with a client or customer to the very last, you need to make a positive impression, which is what creates a positive perception.
The increase of SMS as a primary communication method for businesses can teach you a few things about your overall customer experience strategy:
1. Texting Respects Customers’ Time
No matter how much you try improving the customer experience, you can’t eliminate all issues. Be careful not to waste your customers’ time as you resolve problems. No one likes waiting on hold, standing in long lines or navigating through a string of confusing emails.
2. Texting Takes Very Little Effort
Your customers are used to ordering pizza, making weekend reservations, and paying their bills without glancing up from their smartphones. The more effort you require of your customers, the less apt they’ll be to continue doing business with you. Understanding this, you should strive to make each experience as effortless as possible for customers no matter what type of interaction they’re having with your company.
3. Texts from Businesses Should be Personalized
The trend these days is to personalize interactions with customers. We’ve learned this from the success of Amazon and Netflix. By personalizing communications, businesses are expected to increase profits by up to 59% by 2035. However, it all depends on consistency. One good experience or personalized text message here and there isn’t going to cut it. It must be consistent across the board in every interaction your company has with customers. That’s the only way you’ll improve your customer experience.
4. Texts Can Be Proactive to Avoid Problems
Customers are never more frustrated than when they have to try multiple times to reach a business regarding the same issue. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do more than resolve each problem as it arises? Wouldn’t it be best to avoid the next one altogether?
Being proactive means sending text messages updating customers with crucial information in advance, like delays in service or deliveries. This logic should carry through to encompass your entire customer journey.
With all the competition out there, businesses more than ever must develop processes to make it as easy as possible for customers to keep doing business with them. There are no quick fixes when it comes to developing these processes. But the lessons learned from the increase in SMS can offer some guidance.