Customer experience is crucial in hard times. When disaster strikes, be it social, economic, or otherwise, it leaves customers uneasy and in need of simplicity, ease of use, and speed. Customer experience can make a difference not just when times are unsettled, but for the long haul. Consider these five factors for building a more innovative customer experience.
Eliminate Pain Points
Look for difficulties customers may have when interacting with your services. Where are they frustrated? What makes them try to “go around” your customer service apparatus with emails, tweets, or phone calls? What feedback do you get when you ask about usability and experience? Find and get rid of these pain points, and also make a point of diagnosing why they came about in the first place.
This applies behind the scenes as well. If it’s difficult for your team to interact with your customers, clearing that roadblock will help.
If you track clicks on your website or touch on your customer experience, you know that the more steps someone has to take to access something, whether it’s buying something from your website or sending an email, the fewer people will ultimately do it. Removing those steps will help customers get what they need.
However, remember these steps were often created for a reason, so ensure you’re not losing anything by eliminating a step. Look for behind-the-scenes technology to condense and reduce steps like gathering login information or payment data.
Overhaul Your Infrastructure
Taking a look at your overall infrastructure with an eye for bottlenecks both internally and externally is an essential part of your innovation strategy. A slow server will be a liability for customer experience, for example, even if the customer never interacts with the server. And don’t forget, people and policy are a key part of any company’s infrastructure. Your team should be able to say that they have too much or not enough work, and be empowered to reallocate tasks, ask questions, and work flexibly for maximum productivity. This has been dramatically demonstrated by companies that had robust remote work infrastructure.
Use Technology Judiciously
New technology can be impressive, but you should always ask whether it adds value to the user. For example, augmented reality tools may be neat for the customer, but will it be something that makes using your product or interacting with your company easier? Conversely, would AR technology in your warehouse or job sites be useful in some way to your team? Remember that friction and pain points apply to implement new technology, as this is customer experience as well.
Remember the Basics
Customer experience isn’t just the speed of a website, it’s quickly picking up the phone, responding to emails, processing paperwork, sending invoices, and all the other “touches” a customer experiences when they interact with your company. Something as simple as a personal thank you note for a new sale or returning a call within a fifteen-minute window can do wonders for the customer experience.
Tough times are not unique, but the strategy to get through them usually is for each company. To learn more about how innovation can get you through hard times, contact us.
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