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Customer Experience

What kind of CX do your customers want? And when did you last ask them?

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What matters most to your customers right now? If you’re not listening to them, you cannot know the answer – and your customer experience will certainly miss the mark.

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Have you ever received a gift that seemed completely random? Something totally at odds with your tastes, lifestyle or interests. Maybe it was a cookery book of 100 radish recipes. A really ugly artwork. Pasta in the shape of wine bottles. Whether hilarious, insulting or bemusing, these gifts make you wonder whether the giver really knows you at all.

Is your CX the equivalent of 100 radish recipes?

Now, the question I put to you is: what do your customers want from you? Are you sending them useless stuff they don’t want? Are your emails, texts and letters the equivalent of that random radish recipe book?

What do you think is top of your customers’ wishlist this week, for example?

  • An update on your latest products
  • A solution that impresses their boss, so they get better job security
  • To know that you’re fighting racism and inequality
  • Reassurance that your services will continue even if there’s a no-deal Brexit
  • A commitment from you to minimise your impact on the environment.

The answer might be something on this list, everything on this list – or not on this list at all. But if you’re not listening to your customers, you can only guess what they want. And I think there’s a high chance you could guess wrong.

Your customers’ values have changed

Over the last few months, banks, utility companies, tech firms and restaurants all rushed to tell us the same thing: we’re here for you.

Meanwhile, our neighbours supported each other. Communities clapped for care workers. Local shopkeepers opened all hours. Wildlife flourished.

Consumers had time to pause and reassess what matters to them. Companies large and small adapted their products, processes and messaging.

Brewdog, for example, switched from making beer to producing free hand-sanitiser for charities. Shoe company Zappos revamped its customer service line by offering support to anyone who needed a chat. This provided work for call centre employees, made people feel warm and fuzzy about the brand, and gave Zappos direct insight into how their customers and prospects were feeling.

Consumers of every sector witnessed which businesses reflected their own values – and which did not. Employees and job hunters did the same.

With more time at home, customers also had a greater opportunity to notice who got their CX right – and who got it wrong.

This, for me, is the crux of the matter. Over the last few weeks, your customers’ and employees’ wants, needs and feelings have probably changed. Maybe just a little bit – or perhaps, significantly. Over the next few weeks, they will no doubt change again.

A great customer experience should make life easy and efficient but it also needs to create an emotional connection. To forge a meaningful emotional connection with your customers and employees, you need to listen to them more frequently than ever before. Only then can you understand what matters to them most right now.

With an agile customer experience programme you can then adapt or transform your messaging and behaviours to satisfy your customers in these fast-moving times.

5 easy ways to listen to your customers

If you don’t have a customer survey programme in place, here are some quick tips and tricks to find out what your customers are thinking.

  1. Analyse your website traffic. See what people are searching for and which content is proving to be most useful. Does your content need updating?
  2. Check what enquiries are coming in to your contact centre, Virtual Assistant and web chat.
  3. Monitor your social media channels.
  4. Hang out on the forums and platforms where your customers are right now.
  5. If you have speech and sentiment analytics installed, use this data to the full.

If you are already surveying customers, whatever you do, don’t stop now! Instead, you should consider what you are asking, why, and how you can use the data to build positive engagements with your consumers.

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