Nowadays standing out of the crowd against your competitors is harder than ever. More people are becoming entrepreneurs and as such, more competitors are popping up in your industry every single day. After studying a list of successful companies, I noticed that almost every successful startup and company have one common practice:
Creating a great customer experience
You need to have advocates that love your product/service in order to develop a unique brand that stands out. Advocates aren’t only considered die-hard fans. They’re your promoters that would recommend your product to their friends and family. A good example of this is Zappos. Zappos built their business entirely on customer loyalty.
They do stuff that no one would even think about them doing. Yet they’re able to gain loyal customers every day by creating a great customer experience and showing that they care. There was a story of when a person returned a pair of shoes. The rep found out that someone in their family had passed away, so they sent flowers to that person. It was on Zappos’s dime. The customer, of course, was in complete shock and was very gracious at the genuine generosity. Again, a customer experience that will stay for life.
Customer satisfaction is important
According to Zendesk, 95% of dissatisfied customers tell people about their experiences. What’s more, 76% of consumers see customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. A lot of companies think providing minimum customer support and responding to customers is enough. But this isn’t true at all. You have to go routinely go above and beyond to show that you care about the customer and take their feedback seriously.
So what can you do to create an amazing customer experience and satisfaction as a company? What can you implement today to start making a difference? Here are some of the things that you can do and implement right now:
It’s not enough to say that you care about your customers, you have to talk to every single one of your customers on a daily basis. With all the modern customer feedback tools out there, there’s no reason that your company should not be actively seeking feedback. One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is that they’re guessing what their customers want. But they’re not actually talking to them. This is a huge mistake because you never know how to build a product roadmap to best suit what your customers want! Most customers won’t actually speak up about their pain points unless you actively engage in them.
There’s no shortage in ways that you can get started gathering customer feedback and improving your customer experience. Here are some of the most common ways. It doesn’t matter which one you choose for your company, just make sure that you actually use one.
Welcome email greeting
Marketers spend a lot of time trying to get fancy with their welcoming emails. They’re constantly testing open rates, adding fancy HTML designs, putting promotional offers, and etc. But the truth is that does not necessarily improve your customer experience. Actually, it can lead to a bad first impression.
The welcome email should be personalized and it should feel warm. It’s the first time you are interacting with your customers, so building a strong first impression is a must!
The below example is one of the emails that we send out to all users that sign up for YesInsights.
Our goal with this email isn’t to sell to the user nor is it to convert them into a paying user. We’re trying to build a solid relationship with the customer and understand their pain points. Then we figure out how we can make their life easier by solving their problems. It’s not an easy task, but we try our best. More than 60% of the people who open this email select a response.
The first thing we do is give a brief introduction of ourselves. We give them a quick story behind our app and the reason behind why we built in. Think about the last time you went on a first date. What happens after you guys greet each other? The first thing that happens after the greeting is usually a brief introduction of what both of you guys do. Neil Patel talks about the importance of storytelling in his online marketing guide. Keep the story short, but make sure it hits the point.
This is a great way for us to start the customer experience journey. We show them that we care about their problem(s) and that this isn’t just some random promotional welcome email. This is a one-click survey email created through our own tool YesInsights.
There are 4 big advantages of using inline email surveys:
- It feels like a natural part of your email content
- Customers can respond painlessly with one click
- You don’t have to send extra emails asking leads to take a survey
- It’s literally the most scalable, yet nonintrusive way to get customer intel.
And if you ask the right questions, you can actually get people to recommend your product even if they never convert to a paid customer. It’s super awesome!
Website Feedback Widget
I completely understand that you won’t always have an email of your customers. Matter of fact it’s harder than ever to get someone to give you their email nowadays. This is where the power of a website feedback widget kicks in. With a website feedback widget, you can improve your customer experience directly on your site.
Recently I had a conversation with one of our active customers that uses YesInsights‘ website feedback widget to find out what podcast interview topics he should be creating next. He was looking for more suggestions on different feedback questions to ask. I noticed that they did a revamp of their podcast website where the widget was being hosted. So I recommended that he ask its visitors about the design. He created a website feedback survey that looked like this:
Right after the visitor selects a response, the survey will trigger a post action comment box to request more comments and feedback based on the selection. It looks like this:
From this, he was able to learn that most people had a hard time finding the podcast interview that they wanted to listen to. The visitors left additional comments advising that the website should be categorized based on different podcast topics. This allowed him to improve the customer experience directly on the website and attract more listeners, showing that they actually care and listen.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS is a simple survey that asks, “How likely are you to recommend our company?” on a scale from 1-10. Respondents are then categorized according to their rating as detractors, passives or promoters.
The Net Promoter Score isn’t a new concept and there are a lot of solutions out there for it. If you’re looking for a quick and easy one that requires zero coding and also integrates with most email providers, give our NPS survey at YesInsights a try.
Simplicity is the NPS survey’s strength. The survey is one question — a rating between 1 and 10 — followed by an optional open-ended question asking for a quick explanation of the rating. The lightweight nature of the task makes it easy for people to respond.
You can get creative with the follow-up tactics by offering referral incentives as well as requesting additional comments to understand more about why your customers selected a specific number.
Just make sure you don’t get carried away and end up asking a ton of follow up questions. The simple number rating and the option to leave qualitative feedback make NPS elegant.
You also don’t want to send out Net Promoter Score surveys every day. I suggest that you segment your list of people you are sending the survey out to and separately test different groups. This way, you’re able to segment things out and figure out what exactly each different set of customers actually want.
This lets you narrow down their problems and start creating a great customer experience. Here’s how the NPS survey that we send out at YesInsights look like:
Acting upon feedback
In the above section, I listed different ways your company can start collecting customer feedback to start creating a great customer experience to stand out. But data alone is never enough. Your company must act upon the feedback. This is the most difficult step, but it’s also the most necessary step.
This isn’t just the job of the customer success team or management team, but it’s a team effort. Marketing strategies and tactics can help your company generate quick wins, but only long term customer experience and satisfaction will get customers to stay and be happy.
In your weekly meetings and standups, your team should go over all of the gathered feedback collected from the customers and see how your company can improve it. If you’re an e-commerce site, you might notice that a lot of customers complain about your shipping time. Or maybe you’re always running out of a certain color for that t-shirt.
Take the majority of the concerns into consideration and come up with a solution along with your other departments on how you can fix that issue. For example, if shipping is a problem, it’s the supply and logistic team’s responsibility to improve the customer experience and speed.
You must get the entire company actively involved in the feedback process to improve in the long run. Gathering feedback is useless if you’re not acting upon it.
It’s crucial that you reach back out to those customers that provided concerns and delight them by telling them you found a solution. This should be the responsibility of the customer success manager to effectively communicate with the customer and update them on any new policy changes.
Wrapping it up
I hope this blog post motivated your company to start rethinking the need of actively collecting feedback. Then acting upon it. Without customers, your business won’t operate. Not showing customers that you care is one of the biggest reason behind a customer not coming back to buy again. Further, it’s also the biggest reason why customers churn. You have to go out of your way to create the best customer experience in order to stand out against your competitors to build that loyal brand.
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