Tag Archives: personalization

10 Ways to Rock the Customer Experience In 2023

10 Ways to Rock the Customer Experience In 2023

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

As of today, 2022 is behind us. It was quite a year. Some businesses are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, and then came employment issues, supply-chain problems and a shaky economy. All that makes for a company’s leaders having to use every skill they ever learned in their careers.

Our CX research indicated that 2022 was worse for customer service than the prior year. So we don’t continue that trend in 2023, I’ve created a list of tactics to help you. And while these may seem basic, they are essential to your organization’s success. With that in mind, here are ten ways that you can rock the customer experience in 2023:

1. Manage First and Last Impressions

There may not be anything more basic than this. Start with a strong first impression—and not just the first time a customer interacts with you. It could be the 500th time. First impressions set the tone for whatever is to follow, be it the first interaction or the 500th. As for last impressions, be sure to end strong. Last impressions create lasting impressions.

2. Give Back

Customers gravitate toward companies and brands that give back. Forty-five percent of the customers we surveyed in our annual customer experience research said that a company that gives back to the community or stands for a social cause is important to them. That’s almost half of your customers.

3. Be Customer-Focused

My definition of customer-focused is more than just delivering a good customer service experience. In addition to paying attention to customer service and CX, every decision you make keeps the customer in mind. Even if you are considering a change that will negatively impact the customer, you think it through, understand the ramifications and strategize how to overcome or handle the decision’s impact.

4. Empower Your Employees

If you want to keep your best employees and want them to take care of your customers, you need to hire good people, train them to do their job and then let them do it. Customers become frustrated when they encounter employees who aren’t able to make smart decisions. By the way, employees become frustrated as well, and that’s not good for the culture.

5. Practice Proactive Customer Service

This how you create customer confidence. Reach out to them proactively if you know of a problem. For example, the cable company that reaches out to its customers to let them know about an outage before they turn on their TV or computer. Or the retailer that emails, texts or calls a customer to let them know their purchase is delayed. While nobody likes bad news, knowing in advance gives the customer a sense of control and knowledge that the company is working on the problem.

6. Make It Personal

Find ways to personalize the experience. Customers like to be recognized and remembered. Make your customers feel as if you know them.

7. Have an Abundance Mindset, Especially When It Comes to Time

Zig Ziglar used to say, “You will get all you want in life if you help other people get what they want.” In this case, help customers get the most out of their experience with you and your products. That may mean spending a little more time selling, supporting and relationship-building with your customers. One of the big “loyalty killers” in business is when employees rush a customer to get to the next customer. Customers know it, feel it and don’t like it. An extra minute or two can be the difference between a customer coming back—or not.

8. Be Convenient

Eliminate anything (or at least as much as you can) that causes friction. Don’t make customers wait, don’t make them go through extra steps or do anything that is in the least bit inconvenient. Seventy percent of the customers we surveyed said they would pay more for convenience, and 68% said a convenient experience alone will make them come back.

9. Practice the “Employee Golden Rule”

My Employee Golden Rule goes like this: Do unto employees as you want done unto your customers. In other words, treat the people you work with as well (if not better) than your customers. That sets the tone from the inside and is felt by the customer on the outside.

10. Be Helpful

Ace Hardware is known as “The Helpful Hardware Place.” That’s their secret sauce. It separates them from their direct competitors (Home Depot, Menards, Walmart, etc.). I was interviewing an Ace executive for one of my customer service books, and he said, “Our competition has friendly customer service. So do we, but we also provide helpful service.” Think about how to help your customers be more successful when they buy whatever it is you sell.

BONUS: Show Appreciation

Don’t ever forget to say, “Thank you.” It doesn’t matter if it’s in person, on the phone, a text or an old-fashioned, hand-written note. Customers must always know you appreciate them for their business.

Some of these ideas may seem basic—even common sense. Maybe they are, but they are also essential to delivering the experience that gets customers to say, “I’ll be back!”

This article was originally published on Forbes.com.

Image Credit: Unsplash

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Apple Touches on a Potential Innovation Integration

Apple Touches on a Potential Innovation Integration

Recently Apple announced its intention to acquire Authentec, a biometric authentication company. Apple was in a real hurry to complete the acquisition and it makes you wonder whether Authentec’s fingerprint authentication technology will make it into the home button of the iPhone 5 and possibly the iPad Mini in the coming months.

If Apple were to integrate the Authentec technology into the home button on the iPhone 5, the iPad Mini, and eventually the iPad 4, then it would not only create a handy way to make the devices easily personalized for multiple users of the same device (or just a simple password-free login for a single user), but purportedly the technology also has the ability to recognize multiple fingers (allowing for the home button to potentially achieve multiple functions), and to serve as authentication for mobile payments (most likely via NFC – Near Field Communications).

That would mean that Apple would add a lot of new functionality with the integration of this tiny piece of hardware, several software updates, and another tiny piece of hardware for NFC. But more importantly, these tiny pieces of hardware and software could make the computing experience more personal, and more naturally personalized as you move around the environment into different applications.

I know it is only a replacement for what could or can be done with a password, but I would love to be able to have apps like Netflix personalized based on whose finger was used.

This could become a great example of flexible design and innovating for the future present if they launch the iPhone 5 with these technologies. That would show that they started the design process with this as only a possibility but decided AFTER the technology looked ready to actually integrate it into the shipping product, and remained flexible enough to integrate the component near the end of the design process – something that is very hard to do, but very powerful.

Are all of these potential innovations ranging from the minor (login) to the transformative (speeding up mobile payment adoption) likely to make the cut for the iPhone 5?

I guess we will wait and see what happens on September 12th.

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.