Consumers are faced with more and more brand decisions every day, but what they really want isn’t a product or a service. They want the experience of a brand promise.
Welcome to the age of ‘experience’, where customer perception directly influences company performance.
The same way you track website traffic and pay attention to customer reviews, keeping tabs on your customers’ experiences with your company is key to thriving in this new economy. Here are 3 tips for measuring and utilizing customer experience.
1. Understand your customers’ situational realities
Build a better brand promise by collecting customer data to better understand their situational realities. Collecting data about your customers enables you to do three things:
- Get a better understanding of whom you’re serving
- Offer more targeted solutions.
- Look for opportunities to encourage customers to switch brands.
Big life events present an opportunity for marketers because stress actually makes consumers more likely to switch brands and try something new.
Jenny Craig is a good example of understanding and drawing on situational realities. They collect data to track birthdays and milestones, aware that big life events are likely to trigger their customers to want to lose those last ten pounds.
2. Listen in a systematic way
Voice of the Customer (VoC) – defined by Forrester as a systematic approach for collecting customer insights and incorporating them into business decisions – has become more important than ever in the experience economy.
Every successful VoC system incorporates these six elements:
- Hear by implementing mechanisms to collect customer experiences.
- Listen to what customers are saying and interpret what is heard.
- Understand why the experience happened and what the implications are.
- Act – connect understanding to actions.
- Learn through measuring your progress to a goal.
- Invite customers to re-engage.
Forums, blogs, surveys and rating polls are excellent tools to include in your VoC system. Whatever you determine is the best method of gathering customer feedback, make sure you implement a streamlined system that all employees can easily be trained in.
3. Respond and reward
In this digital age, a multitude of customer touch points amplifies your customers’ voices. Each customer is now empowered to communicate positively and negatively about companies.
Good customer experience management (CEM) strategy is responsive. It addresses customer concerns and suggestions and builds loyalty and engagement.
A strong CEM strategy also rewards customers for providing feedback. Exclusive access, badges of participation or even discounts on offerings are all great ways to encourage interaction.
Done well, CEM can be a key differentiator for your company and make a major impact on moving from being just a brand to a true lifestyle.
Collecting data, listening to the voice of the customer and responding to feedback are all central elements to a better customer experience. Put a system in place to gather this information and you’ll be one big step ahead of your competitors.