Cally Tomlinson
Cally Tomlinson 1 February 2019

How to (actually) improve your Customer Experience in 2019

January is a time for resolutions, and what could be better than improving customer happiness? Too often, good intentions produce few results. Here's how to build CX Success into the fibre of your business.

A very happy 2019 from us in Prague

January, a time for resolutions, is upon us. Whatever you might be looking to change in your personal life, it’s also a great chance for your business to take stock, and make changes in the new year ahead.

More and more people are agreeing that customer experience is becoming a leading differentiator between brands, and businesses ought to be paying attention. For a great number of companies, 2019 should bring with it a pledge to improve customer experience.

On its own, this is a lovely, but rather vague promise, and one which might not lead to a great deal of concrete change. What’s really important is to put in place a system (preferably a semi-automated one) which guarantees your customers voices are heard where they matter.

We’ve put together a quick guide on exactly how to put such a system in place, and hope it can kick-start your 2019. 

First Contact

This is going to seem obvious, but to improve your customer experience, you need to know what they’re thinking. Many businesses compile support issues, or take stock of returning customers, and feel this is enough. But proactively asking for feedback can work wonders.

That’s why our first recommendation is that you build a feedback system into your customer lifecycle. They shouldn’t need to hunt you down with their suggestions, you should be asking them.

Doing so will bring in a far greater variety of feedback, both good and bad, from a larger section of your customer base. If done well it will be consistent in volume over time, and provide for both numerical scoring and written comments.

Unsurprisingly, we’d recommend the Net Promoter System for this purpose. We’ve been helping companies collect it for years and we’d love for newcomers to consider our simple free trial. However, if you don’t, please make sure you establish a way to regularly touch base with your users, improving CX depends on it.

Get Product Involved

For many working directly with customer success, support, and experience, this might seem like a step that comes some way down the line. However, if you’re gathering feedback (via a system like NPS, or simply through support channels) there’s no reason it can’t go directly to your product team.

The trick here is creating a system which turns user comments into data that it’s simple to handle, even in large numbers, to help prioritise and guide product decisions.

Methods for categorisation and tagging are your friends here, especially if they also allow different teams to add comments, and highlight the right data for the right people. Best practice will depend on the method and volume of the feedback you gather.

A great first step is to create a simple Slack channel into which user comments can be funnelled. This is a great solution for low-volume feedback, or as a basic mechanism to keep everyone in touch with customer sentiment.

For those looking to deal with greater amounts of feedback in a systematic way, ProductBoard can be incredibly handy. Feedback can be sent there automatically, categorised, and arranged to provide prioritisation and monitor progress.

Look at the Full Picture

Making sure that you regularly touch base with your customers is vital when aiming to improve their experience, but taking in the full scope of ways we communicate with them can be overwhelming.

Far too often businesses might find that they have heard from the same user, or about the same issue, from a multitude of channels. If you’re working with support, feedback, social media, review sites, and good old fashioned email all at once, things can quickly get out of hand.

The absolute worst response to this scenario is to narrow the routes your users have to reach out. What suits one won’t suit all, and by cutting off certain means of communication you’ll leave some customers isolated.

Gathering, categorising, and analysing all of your data streams in one place is the ideal solution, and NomNom Insights aims to let you do just that. They allow you to automatically pull in insights from well over 20 sources with one-click integrations, apply rules, and analyse simply and quickly.

Now do Something

Once you’re checking in regularly with users, sending your findings over to the product team, and keeping all your data in an easy-to-understand format, what’s left? You need to do something with it.

Over time, product changes are what you should be aiming for, but there’s so much more you can do with customer insights. Failing to act could mean you’re missing out on not one, but many, golden opportunities.

By far the best way to achieve your goals here is using automation. Even if it covers only the first step of follow-up to a customer interaction, it can provide the catalyst you need to make the most of every customer interaction.

While these might not be direct interventions in Customer Experience, each of them takes customer interaction a step further for the benefit of your business, ultimately benefiting everyone.

This article was first published here.

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