Essential Ways To Deliver an Exceptional Customer Experience

It's important for companies to think more broadly about how their employees contribute to the overall organization.

employees in a meeting

Many B2B buyers are looking for — and expect — a buying experience like that of a B2C customer and most put their buying experience on the same level of importance as the products and services sold to them. Though the products being sold are different, the mentality for B2B or B2C companies doesn't have to be. A successful organization should be customer-centric, anticipating a customer's wants and needs. To build an effective customer strategy, companies should consider these ideas.

Redefining Success Beyond Revenue Generation

Leaders must embrace the customer experience. However, too many are focused on revenue generation alone. According to McKinsey, "Customer-experience transformations stall because senior leaders fail to directly link the efforts with strategic priorities, such as revenue growth." It's easy to define success only by what's measurable, such as financial stats. What would happen if we changed how we view success?

It's important for companies to think more broadly about how their employees contribute to the overall organization. For example, the value an employee with strong customer relationships adds to the company's positive reputation. They may unknowingly be bringing in new customers through word of mouth. By thinking about success in more ways than one, companies allow themselves to see the unique value that each employee brings, financial or otherwise.

Identify the Challenge To Find a Solution

Similar to the process of elimination, identifying challenges within an organization helps find a solution. If customers are complaining about not receiving enough attention, approach the issue with a curious mind. Are these customers all located within a specific region that's being overlooked? Are they categorized within a specific part of the business that has undergone change? Asking questions is a good way to identify what's causing an issue in the first place.

When asking these questions, remember to not rush to find a solution. A band-aid solution only lasts so long. Dig deeper and ask for feedback from employees. Talk with those who work directly with customers and ask them why they think a problem arose — and how they'd solve it. Take that feedback and implement it across the organization.

Owning the Customer Journey and Customer Experience

To build meaningful relationships with customers, employees should own the customer journey and the customer experience. Companies can reach customers across many different channels, including social media, online, through word of mouth and more. If an employee reaches a customer during the purchasing process, a relationship is already established. Once the customer is acquired, the same employee can continue to build on the relationship to foster loyalty.

As Deloitte claims in this modern consumer report, the "days of a linear and disconnected journey are obsolete." By marrying the customer journey and experience together, the pre- to post-purchase stage is smoother. Employees will already have a basic understanding of a customer's needs and preferences to build on. Understanding a customer at such an early stage also allows the employee to identify trends faster. These details may seem minute, but to an employee, they're key to understanding the customer better and building a stronger relationship.

Finding the "Why" in Failure

It's easy to credit success to skill and failure to bad luck. The reality is that luck exists in every scenario. For initiatives that are successful, consider each step that led to a product launch or goal achieved. Were there any steps that could've been done more efficiently, or had the potential to fail but didn't because of a bit of luck?

The same questions can be asked when a project doesn't work out. These projects are challenging to review since nobody likes to be reminded of their failures. Growth requires learning, which only happens with an evaluation of the bad as much as the good. There are many reasons why an initiative might not have worked, including:

  • Lack of communication
  • Inefficient processes
  • Siloed teams

It's possible that an issue arose for a few of these reasons. By looking at the bigger picture, whether it's a communication, organization or team issue, leaders can address the challenge faster. When a problem arises again, teams can recognize it and problem-solve earlier knowing how to deal with it.

Simplify the Journey: Consolidating Products and Services

The paradox of choice tells us that more options can cause stress and interrupt the decision-making process. Organizations should look at the products and services that complement each other and consolidate them. If specific services are only offered with certain products, think about grouping those together on the same page on a company website. Find groupings that make sense and see how they resonate with potential customers. To evaluate the success of these groupings, look at stats such as click-through rate across pages on the company website. Are customers giving up after reaching a certain page because it took them too many steps to get there?

The majority of global consumers surveyed (56%) expect to be able to find what they need from a company in three clicks or less. Making the process simpler ensures that customers can reach what they're looking for sooner.

Start With the Customer for Seamless Technology Integration

Technology has the ability to transform the customer experience. More companies are adopting AI-powered tools such as chatbots, with 31% of service organizations surveyed expecting to use chatbots within 18 months. Benefits of using this technology include letting the AI chatbot handle simpler requests so customer service agents can focus on more complicated requests. More specifically, Salesforce found that 64% of agents utilizing AI chatbots are able to spend most of their time working on complex problems, compared to 50% of agents not using AI chatbots.

Companies without a strong customer service strategy will have a difficult time implementing this technology effectively. Before introducing more advanced technologies into the mix, companies should evaluate their current strategy and establish a customer-centric business model. Those who already have a strategy in place will benefit from seamlessly integrating new technologies into their program and creating an even better customer experience.

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