Many factors drive a customer to return to a business to buy products or services. It may be the quality of the product or service that is offered, the level of customer service they receive from employees, the convenience factor, great sales, or a clean and modern storefront. All of these influences are part of the customers’ experience. Better customer experience is one of the most important aspects of maintaining and growing a business’ customer base and reputation. The following steps are a great start when learning how to improve customer experience.
Customer Experience vs. Customer Service
First, we need to clarify that customer experience is not merely the same thing as customer service. Having great customer service is certainly a part of creating a better customer experience, but it is only one piece of the pie. For example, if you own a restaurant and your wait staff offers impeccable service, but your food doesn’t taste great and your restaurant is unkempt and dingy, your customers won’t have the best experience possible. Hiring a new chef and remodeling the restaurant would be the first steps in figuring out how to improve customer experience in this case.
Enhance Customer Service
Providing better customer service is still a good place to start when you are looking for ways of how to improve customer experience. The first step is to hire the right people and keep them on board. Take the extra time needed when starting your hiring process. It may be easier to skip steps like background checks, checking references, and conducting multiple interviews for individual candidates, but these processes help ensure you will find quality workers and not have to hire, fire, and start over again. Once you find your top-quality employees, it’s key to keep them stimulated with incentives and provide them with up-to-date tools and knowledge to do their job properly.
Provide Employees With Modern Tools
In this era, modern tools include software options for many businesses and industries. For example, professional associations, clubs, and membership societies need excellent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software when seeking ways of how to improve customer experience. Businesses that run on schedules based around appointments, like dental offices, healthcare facilities, veterinarian clinics, and government offices, need software that can schedule appointments via their company website and customers’ cell phones and integrate with receptionist input. Some of the latest technology options available also include queue management software. Queue management uses an app on customers’ cell phones to let them join a virtual line while they wait for service. This disperses crowded lines and waiting rooms, letting employees focus on one customer at a time.
Technology Makes a Better Customer Experience
Utilizing up-to-date software is a good step in how to improve customer experience because both employees and customers benefit. Employees will find performing their job is easier and more efficient, while customers reap the benefits of modern technology. When a business uses the latest appointment scheduling software, customers get extra confirmations, text message updates about their appointment, and can even receive direct text communications from employees about delays in the schedule or other issues. Customers are kept directly in the loop, so there is no wasted time standing around in waiting rooms. Similarly, queue management software also sends text or voice messages directly to customers’ cell phones. Instead of standing in a long line, customers are free to continue shopping or utilize their wait time in any way they see fit. Customers are happier when businesses implement modern technology that makes their lives easier.
Create Custom Promotions And Loyalty Programs
There’s no doubt that great sales draw in customers by the droves. Just look at any Black Friday, Memorial Day sale, or clearance sale that has had proper advertisement to promote it. When you employ the use of modern software, creating promos that your customers want is easier than ever. Improve your customer experience by learning how to take full advantage of all the features your company’s software programs have to offer. Many of these modern technologies, like the QLess appointment scheduling app and queue management app, record and track valuable data from each customer. Business owners can look at metrics like customer habits, customer feedback, transaction types, and more that give them an advantage when planning out promotions and loyalty programs. Promo advertisements can also be sent directly to the customers’ phones for increased marketing exposure that blows email and print advertisements out of the water.
Act on Feedback
Feedback is not only useful for how to improve promotions, but it lets business owners understand customers’ real experiences. Modern software can also be used to collect customer satisfaction surveys. Yes, these have been done for years, but physical, mail-in, and email surveys don’t have as high a return rate as ones that are conducted through apps and text messages. When considering customer responses, you don’t want to ignore the negative feedback. Always take the time to right the situation and make the customer happy. This way, they will be more likely to leave a good review or update their previous negative review. Feedback from employees is also important since they are the ones who are performing daily business operations.
When you follow these steps for how to improve customer experience, you create a better business model for sustained growth. Customers who have an excellent experience will tell others by word of mouth, leave good online reviews that reach even further into the community, and they will return in the future for your goods or services. You can think of customer experience as a free opportunity to learn how to improve your advertising efforts. Word is spread, new customers visit your business, and better experience converts new customers into repeat customers. Floundering around and repeating old methods that just aren’t getting the job done can hurt your reputation. As they say, a reputation is like glass, and trying to recover from negative reviews and experiences will be difficult, to say the least. Start your business off on the right foot with great customer service, quality products and services, and modern technology that will give you an edge over the competition.
Learn more about the industries that QLess software serves and how to improve customer experience with our app by contacting us to request a free business demo of our appointment scheduling and queue management technology.