Do you deliver a seamless customer experience?
Making it easy for clients to buy from your business should be something all business owners strive to achieve. Buyers appreciate a user-friendly customers experience, and they show it by coming back and referring new business.
Why are so many businesses hard to work with?
Most companies start with good intentions, assuming that their business will be naturally user-friendly. No one sets our to be difficult to work with!
But without diligent commitment, the benefits of cultivating customer relationships quickly give way to the practicality of running a company.
- Decisions that improve operations create hoops customers hate to jump through.
- Policies designed to minimize risk turn into roadblocks for buyers.
- Haste to put new employees to work results in training shortcuts that hurt customer relationships.
If you want to sweep away the obstacles and make it simple for customers to engage with you, check your performance in these key areas:
1. Can customers find you online?
It’s amazing how many business think they don’t need a website, but that’s the first place people go when looking for information about a company. Social media alone won’t cut it.
At the very least, you need a basic, user-friendly website on your own domain for credibility. Even a single webpage can impart information about what you do, where you’re located and how to get in touch with you.
2. Are you reachable by phone?
We may live in a world dominated by text, email and social media, but buyers in a fix still want to pick up the phone and talk to a person. Can people find your phone number? When they do, are their calls answered live? If not, does your voice message or auto-attendant enable them to connect with someone who can help? If not, you’re putting up walls that block buyers.
3. Do you respond promptly to inquiries?
Whatever the medium, customer inquires deserve more than an automated response. Start with acknowledgment, “Yes, we got your request,” but don’t drop it there.
Automated confirmations of trouble tickets or email are simply an annoyance if they are not followed up quickly by a real answer. Set expectations for customers by letting them know, “We typically respond within 2 hours,” or whatever benchmark is reasonable for your business.
4. Can you go off script?
If you want to frustrate customers, force them into a dialog that’s yours, not theirs. When customers have questions, listen before responding and answer accordingly. Don’t ask 50 questions that may have nothing to do with their problem. Ask how you can help and take it from there.
Invest in your team so they have the knowledge and skills to address customer concerns, even when they don’t align with the training script.
[Tweet “If you want to frustrate customers, force them into a dialog that’s yours, not theirs. Listen first, then answer accordingly. #CX”]
5. Does a solution help or hurt?
Solving internal issues often creates problems downstream for customers. These take the form of excessive hurdles to doing business, like asking for too much information, waiting for multiple approvals, or telescoping distrust of buyers (hardly a healthy way to build a relationship).
When exploring how to resolve operational challenges ask your team, “Does this benefit us, our customers, or both?” If the answer is “only us,” explore the impact on customers and make sure it’s not negative.
6. Are you proactive?
Being responsive to customer needs is wonderful. They love it even more when you’re proactive, anticipating their needs. Consider how you can help buyers make the right purchase decisions. How can you save them time, money, frustration or heartache?
It takes a little more work to find the real problem a buyer faces. Sometimes the answer is not what they expect. Partner with customers to understand their objectives and work with them to ensure they get what they need.
7. Do you follow through on promises?
It’s a cardinal sin to promise something to a customer and then fail to deliver. It damages your reputation and hurts your brand. The bigger your business, the harder it becomes to meet every commitment.
If your people in the field say “Yes” to client requests just to get them out of the way, make it stop. Set up a tracking system to log commitments and fulfill those promises. Train your team to only promise what they are sure you can deliver.
These are just a few fundamentals to help your business bond with buyers. There are many more ways to build a user-friendly business. Start with these tips and develop a mindset make being ease to do business with a priority,
When you do, your focus on the customer experience will make a huge difference just because you’re primed to notice obstacles. When you’re looking, opportunities for improvement will surface in all kinds of places.
As you work to put customers first, your user-friendly business will deliver lasting rewards. Customer loyalty increases, turnover decreases, and your cost to acquire new business goes down.
When the bottom line looks good, everyone’s happy.