How can I improve the customer experience?

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Many large businesses have historically been good at solving human problems. Netflix makes it easy to stream your favourite movies and films, for example, while Instacart simplifies the process of shopping for groceries, Dropbox enables you to safely store, sync and share your files, and Podio makes collaboration and managing projects fun and easy.

What makes these businesses successful is their ability to not only identify and address real human problems, but also eliminate the friction points that slow the customer down, or impede the person from taking a certain action or completing a purchase. Friction doesn’t necessarily stop your customers from doing something, but it negatively affects the customer experience and significantly reduces your chances of turning first-time customers into loyal followers.

Consider the following statistics, which highlight the importance of removing friction points and delivering empathetic customer experiences:

  • 55 per cent of consumers think that a frustrating experience on a website can negatively impact on their overall opinion of the brand
  • Poor service can cause up to 66 per cent of consumers to switch brand
  • Forbes: 86 per cent of consumers are willing to pay a premium for a more satisfactory customer experience.
  • American Express: nearly 80 per cent of consumers have not completed a purchase as a result of a poor service experience.
  • Econsultancy: Seventy-eight per cent of marketing professionals state that they use customer experience as a means to differentiate their brand from their competitors.
  • Oracle: nine out of ten customer experience decision-makers believe that a good experience is critical for their success.

One of our clients, the global hospitality company Hilton, has with their updated app Hilton HHonors turned this problem and friction point into an opportunity to seamlessly delight their guests. This app gives guests the opportunity to skip the line at the front desk and check in digitally via their smart phone. Additionally, the app enables hero guests to select both room type and exactly which room at the hotel they want to have. Other features include providing access to digital floor plans, the ability to purchase upgrades, make special requests and check-out.

This gives their guests more insight and control over their hotel stay. The benefit for Hilton is that this app enables them to gather valuable data about their guests, which gives them an opportunity to optimise processes like cleaning, re-stocking of the minibar and much more.

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Ask yourself…
You need to have deep insight into why certain interactions can create a sense of frustration among your customers. Small incidents might seem trivial, but they can significantly damage customers’ overall experience and thus their attitude towards your brand.

Think about the following questions in relation to your small business:

  1. Do you have any touch points that would deliver more value if they were to be digitised?
  2. How can you become better at gathering data throughout the customer journey?
  3. How would you use that data to improve your product and service offerings?
  4. What can you do to make your customer experience unique and memorable?
  5. How can you use this experience to better improve your brand from your competitors?

This is an edited extract from Seamless: A hero’s journey of digital disruption, adaptation and human transformation by Anders Sorman-Nilsson – designed to help you transform your brand and heroically take your business into the future.


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