How to improve customer experience when you provide services online

Put yourself in your customer's shoes. What would it be like to find out about your company? Would it be easy to contact you? Would it be possible to find out exactly what you do?Again, what would it be like to work with you? Would an email requesting more information be replied promptly, or would you have to wait for a few days? Would it be easy to book your services whenever you want, or would it be a difficult process? And, once you've finished the interaction, do you get good after-care?Customer Experience (CX) is a powerful way of differentiating the services you provide. However, many firms simply think of customer service as providing satisfaction at the point they actually interact with the customer. However, CX argues that really differntiating your brand involves going further. To quote the Harvard Business Review:"Companies have long emphasized touchpoints—the many critical moments when customers interact with the organization and its offerings on their way to purchase and after. But the narrow focus on maximizing satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture, suggesting that customers are happier with the company than they actually are. It also diverts attention from the bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey".

3 pillars of CX

Customer Experience can be summarized in three pillars:1. How the customer hears about youIs this through positive word of mouth? Interesting tweets? Really annoying ads which pester them everywhere they go online?2. How they interact with youAre you easy to get in touch with? Do you respond fast to requests via email, your website form or over social media?3. After-care and relationshipsOnce a customer has paid their invoice, do you maintain the relationship? Something as simple as a 'thank you' email can go a long way

How to improve CX for your online service

Investing in improving your company's CX will, ultimately, result in happier customers and repeat business. Let's look at how you can improve:Train your employees in best practice• Be totally transparent and honest with clients about costs, and answer questions up front (an FAQ is often helpful)• Be personal – use images of yourself, people will trust you more• Self-service – there's been a ton of research showing people prefer online self-service – let people book you online• Easy to contact – there's no excuse today to not be contactable on your website, via email, over the phone and social media• Measure feedback – it's a good idea to ask customers to review your services and provide anonymous feedback CX is ultimately about making a conscious effort to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If they feel like you understand them, you'll go far.

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