The paradigm has changed with serving customers. Because of increased competition, shifting your thinking about customer service is as easy as calling it—the customer experience. Once you start thinking in terms of enhancing the customer experience, then you’ll see subtle, yet important changes in your approach to retaining customers, which leads to winning over new ones.

What Makes an Outstanding Customer Experience?

Customer service is company focused—not customer focused. To make the change, you need to examine every moment your customer interacts with your company. From the storefront to the website, you need to understand what they say about their experience in your store. This goes beyond superficial online reviews and digs deep into their overall experience.

An outstanding customer experience is one that keeps customers coming back, while spreading the word about their experience. One of the ways to make sure your customers are completely satisfied is to give your employees the resources and authority to deliver on the promise of excellent service. Customers want to deal with one person, not three at a time. This is even more important when a customer has a problem. Empowering your employees to do what’s best for the customer will avoid negative experiences.

Employees need to be trained on giving a great customer experience, because it doesn’t come naturally. They need to be trained on how to provide quick solutions for customers who are having problems with products or services. They also need to follow a path that helps them be successful with each and every customer. To help you with this process, we made a list of 8 things you can do to create a great customer experience.

1. Design the Experience

Every company has a mission and its own set of goals. Design your customer’s experience with those in mind to make your company stand out from the rest.

2. Show Empathy

Having empathy for your customers is knowing what their needs are when they enter your store. This personalizes the experience for everyone.

3. Be Friendly

When you make eye contact and use warm words, customers will feel comfortable in your store.

4. Provide Value

You need to deliver the best value at the right price for your customers. An easy way to do this is to make the sales process as easy as possible. Clearly marked pricing and taking the time to answer any questions help with their decision-making process.

5. Never Stop Improving

The feedback you do receive from your customers is vital to your success. Always look at ways to develop a better way to improve their experience. Don’t just settle on what you’ve always done.

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6. Be Consistent.

Now that you’ve developed your customer’s experience, consistency is the key to return business.

7. Leverage Technology.

Use technology to enhance, not create, the experience. Too many bells and whistles can lead to distractions. Texting your customers is a great place to start.

8. Appreciate Your Customers.

Show your appreciation of their patronage. Sometimes, this is as simple as holding the door for them when they leave. Always say “Thank You.”

Reasons for Great Customer Experiences

Companies with great customer experiences report having higher customer referral rates and customer satisfaction. This means higher customer loyalty and retention. These customers will speak highly of you and want to return, because you made them feel good and made their experience enjoyable.

Positive customer experiences are passed on to family and friends. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool for customer acquisition and saves you time and money. Competing on price is not enough, today. You need to compete with great experiences. Your customers want to feel emotionally connected with your business. Once you design and follow through on providing an outstanding customer experience, your investment will pay off in many ways. It’s your advantage over the competition.

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