CX Trends 2024: Top 6 Customer Experience Predictions

CX Trends 2024 - Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences

Step into the future of Customer Experience (CX) Trends 2024! Businesses face a pivotal challenge: to elevate their customer experience strategies. Staying ahead requires proactive preparation. Join us as we explore six upcoming CX trends that are reshaping the landscape of how businesses interact with their customers.

Table of contents:

Top 6 CX Trends for 2024

#1 Hyper-personalisation becomes standard 

In 2024, hyper-personalisation will take centre stage. Companies are diving deep into customisation by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics to offer highly tailored experiences. From personalised product recommendations to individualised marketing strategies, those who don’t will risk trailing behind those who have a better understanding of their brand through the customer’s eyes. To stay on top, employing customer journey mapping will be critical, allowing you to easily identify opportunities that enable you to provide exceptional customer experiences where it matters most. 

#2: AI integration as CX Trend in 2024

We believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be further utilised by businesses to seamlessly integrate into customer experiences. We expect to see more advanced use of chatbots, voice assistants, and predictive analytics. This means that AI won’t merely handle routine inquiries but will be able to predict customer needs, providing proactive assistance in real-time – without putting any extra burden on existing resources. We can see this most keenly in one of insight6’s long-time partners, Moneypenny, who’ve perfected the art of giving businesses large or small brilliant people superpowered by technology, to capture every opportunity and deliver outstanding service on your behalf.

#3: Ethical CX and privacy concerns 

With increased data collection and personalisation, ethical customer experience practices and data privacy will be put firmly in the spotlight. Companies will need to transparently communicate how they use customer data, ensuring processes align with evolving privacy regulations. Recent insights from the Institute of Customer Service’s recent Satisfaction Report show that more than half of the organisations in the UKCSI have received lower customer satisfaction than they did a year ago. Highlighting the growing importance of prioritising ethical practices when it comes to ensuring a satisfactory customer experience.  

#4: Virtual and Augmented Reality Transformations 

Forbes predicts that AR and VR will enhance customer experiences in 2024. They’ll also boost business visibility in competitive markets, leading to higher loyalty, engagement, and profits.

VR and AR technologies will find broader applications in enriching customer experiences in 2024, especially in e-commerce and remote services. From virtual product try-ons to immersive shopping experiences – and AR-powered customer support – these experiences will become integral to delivering the next-level interactions that consumers demand. Interactive product catalogues enabled by AR technology allow customers to see products within their environments, enabling them to understand more about size and fit. VR on the other hand places users in an entirely digital environment that completely shuts out the real world, revolutionising the way businesses engage with and interact with customers.

#5: Sustainability-driven experiences

Customer consciousness about sustainability is on the rise – and rightly so. In 2024, companies will need to match this energy and prioritise eco-friendly practices across products, services, and operations, making environmental responsibility a core element of the customer experience. According to Deloitte, a quarter of consumers are prepared to pay more for sustainability. This includes paying more for sustainable products and packaging and choosing for products from suppliers that respect human rights or commit to ethical working practices. This trend reflects a growing awareness and commitment to meeting customers’ expectations for sustainable and responsible business practices across the board. 

#6: Real-time feedback & instant resolution

The advancement of real-time feedback tools empowers customers to share instant reviews and suggestions. In response, companies must prioritise swift issue resolution, employing automated systems to address concerns promptly. Through insight6’s total feedback solution, instant insight, you gain actionable insights from both customers and employees. You can analyse real-time feedback, benchmark against competitors, and improve your offerings. By consistently measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, businesses can foster ongoing improvement, adapting to evolving demands and driving sustained growth. 

Using instant insight will:  

✓ Help you gain customer feedback.   

✓ Allow you to gain employee feedback.   

✓ Analyse/report on real-time feedback.   

✓ Obtain actionable comments.   

✓ Improve your products and services.  

✓ Benchmark against your competitors.   

✓ Increase positive online reviews. 

Discover the power of feedback with instant insight our total feedback solution.

Summary: CX Trends 2024

As we look ahead, these customer experience trends will redefine industry standards. Plus, they present lucrative opportunities to create memorable and meaningful interactions. Stay ahead of the curve, embrace innovation, and make 2024 a year of unparalleled customer experiences. Get in touch with insight6 today for a no-obligation chat. Or, reach out to request a demo and see how instant insight can transform your business.  


Interested to know more? Sign up for the insight6 newsletter and stay up-to-date with everything you need to know to improve your customer experience.  

The Christmas Experience: Tips For CX-Mas Delight

Christmas experience.

‘Tis the season to go beyond transactions and craft an unforgettable Christmas experience. During the bustling holiday rush, expectations soar, and your approach to managing them is vital. Beyond retail, every sector plays a role in shaping memorable festive moments. Our six tips are your guide to creating a positive impression by exceeding expectations that resonate long after the tinsel is packed away!

Christmas Experience: Declining Satisfaction

No matter the season, delivering ‘WOW’ moments in customer experiences is key to business success. Yet, The UK Customer Satisfaction Index notes a dip, hitting the lowest since 2015, across all sectors. With 60% of employees in customer-facing roles and 80% of GDP from services, outstanding customer service is vital for our collective well-being.

Christmas Experience: Squeezed incomes

Amidst a cost of living crisis, pressure on incomes intensifies, casting a shadow over homes and businesses. The impact of a subpar customer experience is felt more keenly, with customers enduring longer wait times and heightened frustrations. For those with low financial well-being, empathy and exceptional service are crucial.

Recognising and responding to unique situations isn’t just good practice; it’s essential. How you make people feel is this season’s smartest strategy to deliver an exceptional Christmas experience to win and keep customers. At insight6, we partner with hundreds of happy clients to transform the customer experience. As we dive into the holiday spirit, our six tips are your trusted guide, adding a sprinkle of magic to make this season a CX-Mas delight.

Six Tips To Enhance The Christmas Experience

CX-Mas Tip 1 – Dive into the Data

Begin your journey by mining gold from past seasons. Scrutinise enquiries, sales, returns, and reviews to spot trends. Quantitative data, like demand metrics, offers strategic foresight but doesn’t neglect the qualitative side. Do you know how your customers feel about your products and services? Asking for and acting on regular customer feedback is critical to business success. 

Implement online feedback or mystery shopping to see through your customer’s eyes, and regularly seek feedback to uncover areas for improvement. Remember, data is powerful only when put into action. Learn how to turn customer feedback into actionable insights.

CX-Mas Tip 2 – Ignite Your Team’s Passion

Fuel the holiday spirit within your team by articulating a shared vision for the season. Communicate the organisation’s goals and emphasise the desired customer experience. As the busy season approaches, ensure your team understands the collective mission: to make it easier and more joyful for customers. Employee engagement is the linchpin of business success, and training them on the customer experience process is pivotal. Instil in them the ability to see through the customer’s eyes.

However, tread carefully— an ill-conceived customer experience strategy can be more detrimental than having none. Managing and implementing feedback is integral, making the choice of a reliable customer experience partner crucial. At insight6, we recognise that feedback is data, not judgment. We harness this data, coupled with the expertise of our local customer experience specialists, to conduct workshops that inspire and motivate teams. Discover how our workshops can empower your team and enhance the customer experience.

CX-Mas Tip 3 – Navigate Complaints with Empathy

Prevention is the best strategy—anticipate and address issues before they escalate. When things do go awry, resist defensiveness. Acknowledge the problem, listen attentively, and express genuine empathy. Your customers want to be heard. Emphasise your commitment to making things right, and ask them directly how you can restore their experience. In handling complaints with empathy, you turn challenges into opportunities for connection and resolution. Talk to us to explore our approach to empathetic complaint resolution.

CX-Mas Tip 4 – Forge Emotional Bonds for Lasting Impact

Emotional connections are not just sentimental—they’re powerful drivers for customer loyalty and business success. Studies show that emotionally connected customers are more likely to spend more time and money with a brand and become vocal advocates, influencing others. Ensure your teams understand the impact of emotional connections on purchase decisions.

The key is in the details—encourage your teams to serve with a genuine smile, whether in person or over the phone. A positive emotional connection during customer interactions leaves a lasting impression, fostering loyalty and encouraging positive word-of-mouth. Learn how mapping your Customer Journey and understanding touchpoints can shape remarkable experiences.

CX-Mas Tip 5 – Build Trust Through Openness and Authenticity

Trust is the currency of customer relationships. Deliver on promises, whether it’s meeting delivery times or keeping customers informed. In an era marked by concerns over greenwashing and ethical practices, transparency is non-negotiable. Showcase your commitment to authenticity and ethical conduct.

A simple rule applies—be nice. Treat your customers the way you’d want to be treated. The authenticity of your interactions leaves a lasting impression, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty. When customers feel they’re getting the best from you, they become your strongest advocates. Discover how customer satisfaction and a strong CX strategy can help your business succeed.

CX-Mas Tip 6 – Craft Unforgettable ‘WOW’ Moments

Elevate your customer experience by weaving in ‘WOW’ moments that transcend the ordinary. In today’s dynamic business landscape, exceptional customer experiences aren’t just a luxury—they’re essential. A ‘WOW’ moment is that extraordinary interaction that makes customers pause, smile, and remember. It occurs when your service or product goes above and beyond, creating a positive, memorable experience.

Creating ‘WOW’ moments demands a proactive stance. Begin by mapping your customer journey and delving into feedback from your clients. Identify touchpoints and pain points to uncover opportunities for ‘WOW’ moments. Additionally, engaging and empowering your employees is essential to consistently delivering exceptional service.

As we wrap up this festive journey, armed with six invaluable tips to enhance your customer experiences, let the spirit of the season guide your interactions. At insight6, we’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours elevate customer interactions and create lasting impressions.

Ready to embark on a journey of customer experience transformation? Get in touch for a no-obligation chat or request a demo of our online feedback tool, ‘instant insight.’ Let’s make this season one to remember for you and your customers!


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WOW Moments in Customer Experiences

WOW moments - how to create them.

Creating ‘WOW’ moments will take your customer experience (CX) to the next level. In the fast-paced business world, exceptional customer experiences are not just a luxury – they’re essential. But what exactly are ‘WOW’ moments in customer experiences, and why should companies care about them? Here, we delve into ‘WOW’ moments and explore how you can elevate your customer interactions to leave a lasting impact.

Table of contents:

What defines a WOW moment in customer experience?

A ‘WOW’ moment is that extraordinary interaction that makes customers stop, smile, and remember. It’s when your service or product delivers above and beyond their expectations, creating a positive, memorable experience. Can you think about the moments you received exceptional service or encountered a product that exceeded your expectations? Those are ‘WOW’ moments. Let’s look at some examples:

Example #1 - Imagine walking into a local coffee shop, and the barista not only remembers your name but also knows your favourite coffee order. That personal touch is a 'WOW' moment that can turn a casual coffee drinker into a loyal, repeat customer. 
Example #2 - At an automotive dealership, a 'WOW' moment might involve a salesperson going the extra mile to explain the features of a car, arranging a customised test drive experience, or offering a complimentary first service. Such personalised attention can foster customer loyalty and referrals.
Example #3 - In the case of a law firm, a 'WOW' moment could be delivering a quicker resolution to a client's legal issue than expected or providing them with a comprehensive, plain-language guide to the legal process. Exceptional communication, empathy, and transparency can set the stage for lasting client relationships in the legal field.
In the e-commerce world, Amazon's one-click purchase option is a prime example of a 'WOW' moment. It streamlines the buying process to such an extent that customers often don't think twice before making a purchase.

Why are WOW moments important?

Simply put, these moments are more than just fleeting instances of happiness – they have tangible benefits for your business. ‘WOW’ moments can turn first-time customers into loyal advocates, boost your brand’s reputation, and drive revenue growth. Indeed, research has shown that customers who experience ‘WOW’ moments are more likely to recommend your business and return for more.

Positive experiences play a crucial role in customer satisfaction. Moreover, an astounding 90% of customers who are highly satisfied with a brand say they are highly likely to return to that brand to make more purchases (source: SMG research into CX metrics).

Furthermore, experiences have a direct impact on revenue. Brands that prioritise offering exceptional experiences to their customers witness a positive impact on their bottom line, with 84% of companies reporting increased revenue after improving their customer experiences. Additionally, customers are willing to pay a premium for these exceptional experiences, often contributing to an increase in revenue by upwards of 18% says PWC.

These statistics emphasise the concrete advantages of creating ‘WOW’ moments and underscore the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences.

How can I identify opportunities to ‘WOW’?

Creating ‘WOW’ moments requires a proactive approach. Start by mapping your customer journey and analysing feedback from your clients. Identifying touchpoints and pain points can lead to opportunities for ‘WOW’ moments. Additionally, engaging and empowering your employees can help them deliver exceptional service consistently.

What strategies can I use to create WOW moments?

To create ‘WOW’ moments that leave a lasting impact, businesses should consider several strategies to prioritise customer satisfaction and exceptional experiences. Likewise, it’s essential to know how your customers or clients feel about your company, the products or services you provide, and the experience they receive if you’re looking to build loyalty and drive profitability. Let’s dive into some strategies to create ‘WOW’ moments.

1. Customer Experience Reviews (CX Reviews):

Often referred to as Mystery Shopping, CX Reviews are one of the best ways to test a company’s service through the eyes of its customers or clients. While Mystery Shopping is commonly associated with those in the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors, it’s a valuable exercise for firms in any industry keen on enhancing their customer experiences. It enables you to see your business through your customers’ perspective and uncover areas for improvement.

2. Identifying Key Touch Points:

Every customer journey has critical touch points that significantly impact their experience. For example, poor customer service at a crucial touch point can easily throw away sales opportunities. In our market study – The Professional Services Client Journey Report – we discovered numerous areas where accountancy, financial service, property, and legal firms are losing potential revenue due to subpar customer experiences.

3. Effective Customer Experience Strategy:

Implementing a successful customer experience strategy is crucial. Managing and implementing feedback is a significant part of the process. Therefore, employing the right Customer Experience partner is imperative. The process must be carefully considered, ensuring that goals are set from the outset, and reviews and feedback are managed by a skilled team.

4. The Role of Technology:

Technology solutions can streamline processes, making the customer experience more seamless and convenient. Indeed, implementing an online feedback tool to regularly and consistently ask and act on feedback offers many benefits to your business. It makes the feedback process easier and more accessible to customers, increasing their willingness to participate and provide valuable insights.

These strategies are the foundation for building exceptional customer experiences and creating ‘WOW’ moments. They help you uncover areas for improvement and enhance the overall quality of service and products your business provides. As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” and these strategies offer the tools and insights needed to manage and enhance your customer experience.

How can I transform the customer experience?

Transforming the customer experience isn’t a journey to embark on alone. Consequently, it requires expertise, strategy, and tools to turn insights into actionable improvements. To explore how you can make this transformation and learn more about the solutions available, visit our About insight6 page for comprehensive information on how we can assist you in enhancing your customer experiences.

How we can help you create WOW moments to transform your business

At insight6, we understand that feedback is data, not judgment. We are deeply committed to helping businesses create ‘WOW’ moments for their customers. Furthermore, our services are designed to provide you with the insights, strategies, and technology you need to unlock the full potential of your customer interactions.

From Customer Experience Reviews (CX Reviews) to advanced feedback programs, our local experts in the UK are ready to work with you to transform your business. Moreover, we believe that to build loyalty and drive profitability, it’s not enough to conduct one-off reviews.

Regular, consistent feedback and action are critical. Our online feedback tool makes it easy for your customers to share their insights, allowing you to gather in-depth information about how they feel about your services, products, and company.

WOW moments with insight6: Exploring what we do with our icx6 model.
– Our unique process for transforming your business with insight6

By partnering with insight6, you gain access to a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a deep commitment to elevating the customer experience. We’re here to help you implement effective strategies and make data-driven decisions that lead to increased customer loyalty and revenue growth.

Now that you understand ‘WOW’ moments and their importance, we invite you to get in touch for a no-obligation chat or to request a demo of our online feedback tool ‘instant insight’. Transform your customer experience with insight6 and see the results for yourself!


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AI in CX: Balancing Automation with the Human Touch

AI in CX.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly central in shaping the customer experience (CX) landscape. But in today’s tech-savvy world, where businesses use AI to get things done faster, there’s a big question: How do we keep that personal touch while letting robots help? It’s a balancing act that matters a lot. In this blog post, we’ll dive into why it’s so crucial for businesses to get the mix right to keep customers smiling.

Table of contents:

What is AI’s impact on customer experience?

AI is a growing area in the customer experience. With its ability to analyse vast amounts of data and predict customer behaviour, AI empowers businesses to tailor their interactions with customers profoundly.

One notable aspect is personalisation. AI algorithms analyse customer data to offer tailored recommendations and content, giving customers individualised attention. Whether suggesting products based on past purchases or curating content to match specific preferences, AI-driven personalisation significantly enhances customer engagement.

AI is also being used to support customer service. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants offer round-the-clock support and quick responses to customer enquiries. They can handle routine queries, freeing staff time for more complex tasks. These efficiencies reduce response times and minimise wait times, improving the overall experience.

Nevertheless, AI introduces challenges in preserving that essential human touch.

Why is balancing AI and human touchpoints necessary?

According to a recent article, 81% of customers prefer having a human involved in reviewing and validating generative AI outputs.

Balancing AI and human touchpoints is essential for several reasons. Customers value genuine human interactions, which foster trust and emotional connections. Overreliance on automation can erode this trust, leaving customers feeling disconnected and underserved.

Maintaining a balance between AI-driven efficiency and authentic human engagement ensures a more well-rounded customer experience. While AI excels at speed and efficiency, human touchpoints bring empathy, understanding, and the ability to handle complex and emotionally charged situations.

Integrating AI and customer experience can enhance satisfaction, foster lasting loyalty, and strengthen customer relationships. Now, let’s delve into when and how to incorporate AI into your customer experience strategy effectively.

How can businesses use AI to enhance CX?

AI has the potential to enhance the customer experience if done right. Equally, the consequences of getting it wrong could do the opposite, damaging your reputation.

Simply put, implementing AI solutions should be done to improve customer satisfaction, not just as a cost-cutting exercise. To do this effectively, you must understand when and where to incorporate AI into the customer journey to enhance the overall experience.

Three steps to introduce AI to enhance CX:

1. Understanding the current customer experience:

  • Start by understanding your current performance from the customer’s perspective. This means viewing interactions through the eyes of your customers.
  • Implement CX solutions like mystery shopping and feedback mechanisms to gain invaluable insights. Mystery shopping provides an external evaluation, while feedback offers direct input from customers themselves.

2. Mapping the actual customer Journey:

  • It’s essential to map the customer journey, not just the ideal one. Journey mapping is a powerful technique to identify what’s working well and areas needing improvement.
  • By scrutinising each touchpoint in the customer journey, businesses can pinpoint pain points and areas where customers might be experiencing frustration or dissatisfaction.

3. Integration of AI solutions:

  • Once a clear understanding of the current customer experience is established, AI solutions can be strategically integrated to improve it further.
  • AI-powered tools can streamline customer interactions, from chatbots and virtual assistants providing instant support to predictive analytics anticipating customer needs.
  • By integrating AI within the customer journey, businesses can increase efficiency, minimise wait times, and improve personalisation to enhance the overall experience.

What are the challenges of implementing AI in CX?

Implementing AI into the customer experience presents several hurdles for businesses. These include ensuring data quality and integration, maintaining customer trust amid automation, addressing privacy and security concerns, managing implementation costs, training employees, dealing with ethical considerations, and ensuring scalability.

Overcoming these challenges demands meticulous planning, a customer-centric approach, and a commitment to addressing potential roadblocks proactively. By doing so, businesses can unlock the benefits of AI in enhancing customer experiences.

Where should companies start before using AI?

To start enhancing your operations with AI, begin with two crucial steps.

First, understand your customer experience from their perspective—mystery shopping and customer or employee feedback ensures you get invaluable, unbiased insights.

Next, focus on mapping the customer journey, not just the ideal one. Customer journey mapping is a powerful technique for finding what’s working well and needs improvement.

AI solutions can be thoughtfully integrated to enhance efficiency and improve customer experience. Once you have a firm grasp of the current experience, you can make a plan to enhance it. Having identified opportunities for improvement, you will be able to assess whether an AI solution or adding a human touch is best on a case-by-case basis.

When you’re ready to take these steps, insight6 is here to assist. As the UK’s largest CX consultancy with over 25 local CX specialists, we excel at understanding your business from your customers and employees’ perspectives.

Our innovative CX solutions help you create an exceptional customer experience, driving engagement, loyalty, and meaningful connections. Our experienced CX Directors aren’t just experts; they’re seasoned business professionals ready to guide your team, regardless of size, toward changes that make your customer journey unforgettable.

Ready to take your customer experience to the next level with AI?

Start by understanding your customers’ needs and mapping their journey. Reach out to us today to connect with your local CX specialist. Let’s discuss how AI can transform your business and arrange a free demonstration of our innovative total feedback solution. Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your customer experience – get in touch now!

Why Customer Experience (CX) monitoring should be at the top of every Franchisor’s to do list in January

CX is arguably the biggest differentiator, or battleground, between businesses right now. Every business needs a well-considered and executed customer experience strategy, to deliver more business, repeat business and a positive brand reputation. But when it comes to the franchise sector, it’s vital to not only implement, but continuously monitor your CX strategy. 

You’re only as successful as your weakest performing franchisee

By the very nature of a franchised business model, you, the franchisor, are one step removed from delivering your brand to the end customer. That can have negative consequences for your whole company if poor CX goes undetected.  

By measuring the CX that your franchisees are delivering on a monthly basis, you not only get a real time picture of how the brand is being received overall, but also an indication of any potential problems within your network. 

At the very worst end of the scale, you could uncover a franchisee treating customers terribly – if they hadn’t already made a complaint – but generally, you could discover things customers may not have noticed, but weaken the experience that you had designed. For example, missed processes, failing to follow up or a lack of personalisation may need addressing individually, or across your network.

CX monitoring isn’t about franchisee bashing

The very opposite in fact. It’s about assessing what works well and uncovering new ideas that can be shared across the network. Because the most successful franchises are the ones that operate in an open, honest, collaborative, and supportive way – and you get this through monitoring and feedback. 

Putting CX at the heart of the business and measuring against KPI’s should always have positive intentions. Yes, it can create a bit of competitive spirit amongst franchisees, but it should also create positive conversations where someone may seek out help or advice. 

Franchised businesses must take a 360 degree approach to monitoring CX.

CX in the traditional sense (franchisee to end customer), is only one element at play here. A franchise network also needs to monitor the experience a franchisee receives from other franchisees and from the franchisor. 

For your franchisees to deliver a superior customer experience, they must receive the right tools, information, and support – and it must be delivered in a way that works for them, not you. By asking for regular feedback from your network you can quickly get a better understanding of where you may need to provide extra resources or training, or where you may need to improve your communication style or timings. 

It’s not just a tick-box exercise.

Once you’ve monitored it’s vital that you do something with the results. Too many times we see businesses collect insight and then don’t take any action to improve the experience and the scores before they repeat the same research 12 months later. 

Monitoring every 12 or six months is also not good enough, you need to be monitoring on a monthly basis to get the best impetus and improvement. This helps improve the CX culture.

Ultimately, knowledge is power. 

If you as the franchisor understand the quality of service that is being delivered by your franchisees, you have the ability to make changes. If you are giving your franchisees the opportunity to give you feedback on the quality of service they are receiving, you are able to make changes. It fosters a transparent working relationship that results in a better experience for all.  

 

Jonathan Winchester is a customer experience entrepreneur, franchisor, speaker and business leader. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of insight6. insight6 is a franchise. For more information on how to improve your customer experience, visit www.insight6.com. Request to connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

Six steps to guarantee a ROI (return on investment) in customer experience

How do you know when to invest in Customer Experience?  What does such an investment look like? Is it training or measuring or just paying attention to the customer? And then, the million-dollar question, how do you know your investment in customer experience has actually worked?  AND, is there a time you can stop investing in this valuable resource?

At insight6, our team of 24 Customer Experience Experts (CXDs) work across the UK and Ireland, with more than 1,000 businesses.

We asked them how they would answer these questions.

Our CXD team have very impressive senior management experience in customer centric companies from Tesler to Tescos, from Costa to Coke, Apple to Heineken.

What we discovered from our team of CXD’s can be summed up in six key findings:

1. One size does not fit all

The first step with any new client is to gain an understanding of the needs of the organisation. Some clients know exactly what is needed, for example, a team training programme or a competitor analysis. Other clients may need to gain an objective view on whether there is a customer experience issue to address. When a client does not know if there is an issue, the only way to find out is by asking either customers, the team or both! Whatever the client issue, whether it be high team turnover or low customer retention, the results of asking the right questions will always illuminate a path of action that will solve the problem. Simply having an open discussion with an expert will open up the world of CX and allow exploration into what can be achieved.

We had such a discussion with the CEO of a private school, which had a problem with their open days lacking purpose. Measuring the customer experience through insight6 CX reviews across all their open days led to identifying untapped specific sales opportunities that were immediately actioned by the whole team. This, in turn, led to an increase in conversion on new students of 49%! The return on investment on a school with £25K fees per annum is significant.

2. The time is right when you are ready for change

The only time to invest in Customer Experience is when you are prepared to take action. How many times have you decided to undertake research and used the report to fill a bookshelf, or attended a training course and, within a week, forgotten what you learnt? We all do it.

The truth is that you will know when it is time to invest in customer experience; it’s when you know you are ready and are open minded enough to embrace what comes next, and then make it happen.

Two live examples from our team are:

In an accountancy practice, staff focus groups and a team engagement survey were conducted across the business: the results were poor, as expected. The manner in which the results were presented, and the clarity of the next steps were too compelling for the managing partner to ignore. Within 6 months of the results and the actions of the management team, staff morale and retention had improved, and like for like sales had increased on the previous 6 months.

Conversely, a business had commissioned Customer Experience reviews (mystery shopping) to measure the customer’s perceptions of the service. KPI data was generated from the customer experience studies on sales, service and presentation over a series of months. The detailed gap analysis over time, clearly highlighted the need for sales skills training but the business was not ready to take the plunge. When measurement is used without the accompanying action, it is not possible to create the impact on the business and maximise your return.

Improving CX is about changing behaviour and that needs to be central to all activity.

3. Investment in Customer Experience is everything to do with the Customer

Take a look at your business through the lens of your customer, and you will see everything that needs to change! Keep the customer as a metaphoric ‘horse whisperer’ by having a continuous 'feed in' of how they see your business, from focus groups to CX reviews (mystery shopping), on-line immediate feedback, to Video mystery visits. The only thing that is vital, is that you listen to the ‘whispers’, and elevate their status in your business to the most important voice in your management team. One of our clients has an empty chair at their board table that represents the customer, so the customer’s perception can never be forgotten. This makes the point to the whole management team that the person in that chair is the one who needs to be most impressed with the decisions made in the meeting.

Our CXD’s recount some great examples where…

An optician's practice committed to an ongoing programme of CX reviews (mystery shopping), Feedback Direct (real time customer feedback) and annual Focus Groups, which led to a change in strategic direction, continued investment and acquisition. All this was possible through deeply understanding the relationship with customers.

In a farm shop, the investment in understanding their customers better resulted in an observable increase in confidence in the management of the teams; they delivered great service and developed the art of selling through being ‘in service to customers’, rather than ‘hard selling'. The ROI was staggering.

4. Investing in the Catalysts to Customer Experience

Customer experience is not something that can be ‘given’ by a business. Customer experience is a subjective feeling that the customer has, which results from a series of events and encounters which leave an impression. This is called the Customer Journey. In order to create the blank canvas so that a customer journey can be identified, everyone in the organisation needs to see themselves as a catalyst to a great customer experience - from the leaders to the front-line team.

In a business that we worked with, the Customer Experience reviews (mystery shopping) and team engagement surveys revealed the need for sales training, coaching and mentoring for the whole team from the Senior leadership team to the salespeople. The team recognised the need to treat their customers better than their competitors, which resulted in an increase in sales and referrals.

A hospitality business was able to increase average spend by a fifth, and increase Customer Experience scores by 25%, as a result of fully engaging the team and management in the training and coaching programme.

5. ROI on Customer Experience is exponential

How do you measure the impact of making your team happier? What do you ask your customers to find out if they had a good experience? And how do you know if all your investment in your customers and team really did increase your sales?

Part of any customer experience project is to put ROI at the core of the work. It is vital that you can quantify the impact of the work and the money invested. The only place to start is by asking yourself questions about where your business is now and where you would like it to be and what would ‘great’ look like. Over 25 years, insight6 has developed robust tools to measure and quantify the impact of investing in customer experience for businesses, so you can know what works and what does not.

Examples:
A retail and hospitality business wanted to understand what the increase would be in sales following a programme of CX reviews that identified an issue with the cafe team not upselling.

As a result, a sales training programme was delivered to the team. A carefully structured benchmark was created with the client on current customer spend levels and footfall before starting the project, so that any increases would be recognised and rewarded. At the end of a 12-month period, the spend levels increased as a result of 75% more customers responding to the service of the team and they purchased more product.

In a solicitor’s practice, a client journey mapping exercise led to the whole team becoming engaged in the customer experience. As a result, client retention and team productivity was increased. Just one client - who decided to stay with the practice after all - paid for the investment in the customer experience project 52 times over.

6. The magic sauce for customer experience is objectivity and expertise

The journey to being ‘great’ is continuous, especially as we live in a world where expectations from customers increase every single moment. Keeping up with customer expectations, knowing how to respond and being aware of what the priority is in your business, is a difficult task when you are ‘looking out’ from your business, as opposed to having the benefit of looking from outside in. Finding a trusted, objective and expert human adviser/partner is the magic sauce for knowing when and how to act with customer experience. Have you ever tried being your own therapist or coach? It does work, but only to the limit of what you have already experienced in your life. Gaining the insight of an expert will always allow you to step outside the boundaries of your own thinking, and experience a fresh, new way of looking at your business, inspiring you to go boldly into your future.

“Having the experience to mentor the managers to follow up the training is essential to create the transformation.” Harriet, Scotland

“We provided powerful insight with a large sample size which clearly showed the changes needed, those changes in this example created an extra £200k of income.” Graham Hill

So, is investing in Customer Experience a choice? The answer is not binary - the business needs to commit to changing and you need to find the expertise to rocket fuel your customer experience.

A Reliable Approach to Turning Complaints into Custom

Dealing with complaints

Dealing with complaintsCustomer complaints are an unavoidable challenge that any business inevitably face sooner or later. Your team will be working hard to maintain a high standard of business in order to prevent customer discontent, however the reality of human error renders total satisfaction amongst every customer impossible. Once in a while, a slip-up will occur, and a customer will make sure that any inconvenience the mistake caused them is known to your organisation. The complaint could be in the form of a disgruntled phone call, a strongly worded email, a targeted social media post or even an in-person confrontation.

The folly of most companies however, is in immediately disregarding these complaining customers as lost business. By sending complaining customers away with a partial refund or some other form of compensation and thinking no further about them, many companies are missing out on a chance to improve precarious business relationships, and in doing so, strengthening their reputation.

In fact, statistics show that those who complain when dissatisfied with customer treatment are more likely to want to continue a business relationship with your organisation than those who do not complain.

“A customer complaint highlights a problem, whether that’s a problem with your product, employees or internal processes, and by hearing these problems directly from your customers, you can investigate and improve to prevent further complaints in the future.”[i] (SuperOffice).

 Complaints represent a customer’s disappointment in the standard of your company, which has fallen below their expectation. It is the job of your customer service staff to reinstate this expectation at its prior high level. To do this, insight6 has come up with an effective strategy that will help you to negotiate angry customers into loyal patrons.

Clean up the first response

 Before responding to an irate customer, consider their position. Nobody contacts the complaints department of a business because they want to. The reason for the call is likely to be because the caller is upset due to what they consider to be sub-par treatment from your company. Whether or not this upset is justified is, at the first point of contact, irrelevant. Your position when hearing out the complaint should come from one of total un-bias; good customer service employees are willing to listen and accept the customer’s story at face value instead of immediately attempting to negate it.

As Mark Goulston says in his book Talking To Crazy: ‘leaning in to crazy [a term he uses to describe incomprehensible hostile behaviour] can empower you to break free from communication strategies that [typically] fail and break through’[ii]. What Goulston means by this is that even if the person you are speaking with is being belligerent, rude or irrational, it is important not to allow your own instinctive anger to form a response. Instead, by attempting to empathise with the customer, even in an absurd context, you can diffuse their anger, and get to a place where you can negotiate. Through ‘leaning in’ to their perspective, you can convey to complaining customers that you have acknowledged and understood their frustration, which is what they want.

Something to keep in mind is that your customer is already aggrieved before reaching out to complain, and then on top of this, they are forced to plough through whatever formal complaints process your company has in place. Customer complaints processes can often be frustrating and unpleasant, as no doubt you have probably experienced at some point. Hostile responses from front of house staff are a shortcut towards the notorious “I wish to speak to the manager” request. This is an easily avoided conversation, combated by implementing proper training for your customer service staff.

Another fault that many companies fall into is failing to impress authority through tone and language during the initial report of a customer complaint. The last thing customers want is to feel in this situation is that their time is being wasted by speaking with someone that is not taking them seriously. By utilising simple, confident phrases such as: “I have the expertise to help you with your issue,” or “let’s go through what next steps we can take to solve this”, your staff can provide immediate assurance that they are in control, and are able to handle the complaint without needing to pass the phone around to find someone ‘in charge’.

Get the apology right

According to Forum Corporation’s research, 70% of customers leave a business because they feel the company doesn’t care about them. If a customer complains, it is because they feel they have been wronged by your organisation, and are seeking amends. The first step towards righting any wrong is an apology. Unfortunately, a large percentage of corporations and brands do not understand how to make a sincere apology, leaving customers disinclined to believe they are genuinely sorry.

To simplify this grey area, here is a formula for a proper apology that can be taught to your customer service team as a guideline when speaking with disgruntled clients:

  1. Express remorse for the specific problems the error has caused.
  2. Admit the company is at fault, and do not try to excuse the mistake.
  3. Offer to make it right and assure them it will not be repeated.

This formula is based on an article written by psychologist Christine Carter called The Three Parts of an Effective Apology. This article breaks down the concept of an apology into three components, based on what the apology intends to achieve. Apologies are not a chance to list excuses for behaviour that caused hurt, they are a demonstration of remorse for this behaviour. If the actions of your company somehow upset a customer, the apology for this should be reassuring enough that the upset party knows your company is totally accepting of the error, and fully intend to make up for it.

What does the customer want from the complaint?

Customers complain for a few different reasons: to express their dissatisfaction, to release their frustration, and to receive some compensation for their struggle. An apology will go a long way, but to ensure a customer does not move their business elsewhere, compensation can be a necessary part of smoothing over the issue.

An effective method of letting a customer feel they have been appropriately compensated is to personalise their reward to them. Instead of a generic partial refund, or company-branded merchandise, find the root of their initial complaint and tailor the offer around it. For example, if a customer purchased some legal advice on a house purchase and ended up dissatisfied, their compensation could be a discount on future mortgage advisement.

Regardless of the size of your business, your customers want to feel that they are your priority, that you value their specific custom. By paying attention to the precise needs of each individual client, you are more likely to build a loyal base of consumers, eager to recommend you to their family and friends.

Follow-up

At insight6, our Customer Experience Directors (CXD’s) have found time and again that one of the most significant positive changes a business can make to turn enquiries into confirmed clients is to follow-up. The follow-up is a simple and effective tool, comprising of a simple phone call or email one to three days after a client conversation. In this follow-up call or email, the client’s name should be used, details of their enquiry should be peppered in, and a plan should be established to secure further business.

After a complaint has been recorded, the follow-up is crucial. Whilst following the steps above will do wonders to placate an irate customer, the final step that will eradicate any further concerns about the competence of your company, is this follow-up call. Checking in with a client after their report of a problem is a signal that you still care about their satisfaction in regards to the organisation, even after the initial complaint has been resolved. This will make a customer feel valuable to the business, and at last the matter can be left alone.

When discussing how to deal with angry customers, remember to impress upon your customer service team that complaints should not be viewed as a wholly negative response. In a survey conducted by Customer Strategies Analyst Esteban Kolsky, only 1 in 25 customers complain to the company as opposed to sharing their grievances online. Once your customers begin typing their negative responses into the many review sites across the internet, it is far more difficult to erase their detrimental impact from your company’s reputation.

Direct complaints can be handled out of the public eye with the correct know-how. Once your staff have been trained in mediation strategies such as the ones we have exampled in this article, insight6 can guarantee you will see a significant decrease in loss of business from complaining customers.

Private Schools – Handling Professional Enquiries: Are You Failing At The Follow Up?

Across the UK, a huge percentage of private schools are failing to retain the interest of potential clients for one simple and easily amendable reason: neglecting the ‘follow-up’. Failing to ‘follow-up’ on an enquiry or visit means that your school is bypassing a vital ‘conversion window’, during which clients are most amenable to negotiation, and therefore more likely to be converted from a potential client into the parent of one of your students. Ignoring the client in this window could be perceived as a lack of interest and more crucially, an indifference towards the individual needs of the client and his or her child. So, what is the ‘follow-up’ rule, and where are you going wrong?

insight6 partners a number of independent schools, sending a team of our Researchers to assess the standards of customer service. Looking at a sample of reviews from schools prior to working with insight6 there was a lack of aftercare for potential clients, which may well have contributed to their disinclination to pursue business with the school. Once an initial enquiry has been made, it is vital that the client be contacted shortly afterward to resolve any outstanding concerns, and to lay the first stepping-stones towards securing their business. If a client is left to pursue the school of their own accord, your school risks their interest waning, or shifting towards other establishments with better customer service structures in place; there will be plenty of competitors poised to take the initiative where you did not. A ‘follow-up’ conversation is paramount to retaining your potential client’s attention, and should be thought of as part of the natural flow between handling a preliminary enquiry and enrolling a new student.

To ensure a successful school-client ‘courtship’, the ‘follow-up’ should be implemented in two stages: after the client’s initial enquiry, and then after their visit to the school. According to our Customer Experience Reviews (CX Reviews), the treatment received during these stages was lacking in a variety of ways, but most significantly during the immediate aftermath of correspondence. Whilst school’s often put effort into strengthening their front of house department to ensure that preliminary enquiries are handled with professionalism, it is crucial to note that a high standard of customer service needs to extend beyond a cheerful greeting and a pleasant phone attitude, and into the ‘follow-up’ phase.

A primary interaction with a possible client does not stop once the web or phone enquiry has ended. The ‘follow-up’ should be thought of as an additional step to this interaction, and a vital part of it. By implementing a set waiting period of 3 – 5 days, after which a ‘follow-up’ will be made if the client has not gotten back in touch, your school will stand out amongst others, and increase your prospects of gaining the client’s trust.

According to the sample insight6 looked at, only 41% of potential clients received a ‘follow-up’ call after their initial phone conversation, prior to working with insight6, meaning that over half (59%) of those that make an enquiry are not pursued by the school, despite indications that they may want to book a visit or learn more about what the school has to offer. Without a clear indication that their custom is wanted, clients may feel that their child is not being given precedence, which can be a deterrent from further attempts to form a relationship with the school.

In the initial stages of forming a relationship with your client, it is of the utmost importance that they are made to feel as though their needs are being prioritised. A ‘follow-up’ phone call to provide updates, and to remind the client of the school’s assets, is a small but enormously effective tool in eliminating any doubts about their importance to you.

Whilst it may seem obvious, an often neglected but important step to remember when dealing with any new client is to ensure their contact information is collected. According to our sample, less than half of potential clients had their details taken at the first point of contact. Not only does this lack of foresight immediately cancel out any chance of a ‘follow-up’, the message sent to clients is one of unprofessionalism and disinterest. The significance of making a record of even a small enquiry cannot be overlooked, as the ‘follow-up’ that will stem from this record could be the key.

Another step is to set an appropriate time for the ‘follow-up’ call with the prospective client where possible. This way, he or she immediately knows that they are being taken seriously, and that their child’s potential enrolment is important enough to the school to be pursued at a later date.

Your school is in its most advantageous position to convince a client to enrol their child just after a tour of the school has been given. Tours of the establishment are proven to be an effective way of attracting business. This is why it is once again vital to ensure a ‘follow-up’ takes place in the small window of time between the visit ending and the client having the chance to explore alternatives. Your staff will have worked hard to create a vibrant impression of the offer on the tour but the longer the ‘follow-up’ is left, the duller the impression of the visit becomes.in your client’s mind. The advantages of your establishment, however strongly impressed, can be diluted by the indifference of the school afterwards; the hard work your team put in to gain a rapport with the client or child may well be undone. Establishing a clear time and date for a follow-up call with your client is a simple but extremely effective tool to use to prevent this from happening. Just by reaching out to remind the client of your interest in them, and to thank them for their visit, you could distinguish yourself as a more personalised, caring establishment than your competitors.

Finally, the ‘follow-up’ call in itself should be representative of the high standards set by your school; your staff should understand the goal of the conversation – whether this is to answer any previous queries, to provide further information, or to schedule a visit to the school.  Data from our sample shows that in only 33% of cases did the school follow up with the client within that ideal 3 – 5 day window prior to working with insight6. Moreover, none of our Researchers reported any enthusiasm whatsoever from the staff member they were speaking within the ‘follow-up’ call, and no indication that the school had been doing anything to resolve their concerns.

A school’s reputation for professionalism is at risk in these small errors – as for example in not knowing the client’s name or being unable to recall previous conversations – and in this period, when a client is still forming their opinion of the school, you cannot afford oversights. The client is the priority, and needs to be treated as such by all of your team, including those that handle the customer service department.

Following on from this, your staff should be aware that professional conduct extends to every possible outcome of a client enquiry, even if that is an eventual decision to abandon the pursuit if it is not right for them. Your customer service department is the voice of your school, and represents the way you handle all matters, including disappointment. Leaving a negative impression here is undoubtedly a reputational risk, which is easily avoided through appropriate staff training and guidance.

Here at insight6, we are dedicated to identifying the weaker areas in your customer service department, but also to provide the tools with which to improve. Our thorough training and development sessions are a simple and effective way to teach your staff the importance of the ‘follow-up’, along with other strategies that will guarantee a more successful rate of attracting and keeping business.

Our sessions are tailored to your school’s needs, and provide interesting, interactive, fun methods of helping your staff to reach their highest potential as customer experience providers. During these stringent economic times, it is not an option for your school to be anything less than airtight in all departments, so that clients showing interest cannot be left to slip through the cracks. Paying attention to the small but significant details, making your client feel cared for and important and offering a truly personalised service are sure-fire ways to distinguish yourself amongst the sea of indifference that our research suggests can flow from many establishments.

The ‘follow-up’ is an easily implemented, inexpensive and incredibly effective tool; try making it front and centre stage of your business strategy and see where that takes you!

 

Are legal firms taking Customer Experience seriously?

The moment of truth.

Last year I sat on a panel at a law firm conference and the topic changed to client feedback.

Question from the audience: “Can I ask the CEO of the law firm what feedback he receives from his clients?”

I could have predicted the answer, but here goes…

“We receive a 96% excellent rating from our clients at the end of the experience.”

I had to interject. “So, tell me, what percentage of your clients do you ask?”

There was a pause and then “I believe we send out forms to 11% of our clients at the end of matter.”

“Ok,” I asked, “and what is the response rate of the 11%?”

“I believe 3%.” He murmured.

So, 3% of 11%, which equates to 3% of all clients think you are 96% excellent.

I did not have the courage but the words “so what do the other 98% think?” just fell out of my mouth.

This example highlights the biggest issue facing law firms today. They simply are either too scared to, don’t know how to, or even worse, don’t think they need to, listen to all of their clients all of the time.

Why the stigma?

So why, compared to all other business sectors are law firms so poor at the feedback game?  Arrogance, complacency, too busy, not skilled, can’t find the right partner to help?

We can make as many excuses as we like but it does all start at the top. If that be the CEO, the Department Head or the Marketing Lead.  The truth is most firms think they are really good at cx, when in reality they are getting left behind.

  • When 500 European leaders were asked if they delivered good or better customer service 80% of them raised their hand. When their customers were asked only 8% put their hand up. We all think we are good…but we don’t know if we don’t measure.
  • We know that firms that work with insight6 deliver a 12% better experience on new enquiries than firms that do not. See the Legal Journey 2018 for the proof.

This is not about being left behind other firms (although if you do nothing you will be) it’s about the whole sector being left behind society as they experience exceptional experiences elsewhere…

At a recent conference, that I was involved in organising, Amazon stated that their record click to delivery to the door for food in London is…wait for it…6 minutes.  Yes, 6 minutes.

The customer most likely to be receiving that order is a millennial (25-35 years old?) whose expectation now is just that. When next month it’s 30 minutes, if it ever will be, they are going to be happy, but not ecstatic. The NPS score may move from 10 to 8.

The issue for the law firm that has been trading for hundreds of years is that Amazon are now their competition and when someone calls to speak to a fee earner, how long do you think, is it acceptable to them to wait for a response. In their head “food….6 minutes, returned call…?”  It needs to be now, to compete.

So, the stigma is leaders in firms really need to understand that those raising the customer experience bar sit outside their sector and that is the place to look for the inspiration.  When British Airways introduced the “lie flat” bed, they looked at the luxury boat industry to find a solution. If they had asked their own engineers it would never have happened.  The same applies in law, until the leaders start to look outside their arena they will never make the change required.

Of course, what will, and is happening is that the internet and “disrupters” will come more into play and take the market share of enquiries and then start dominating the legal landscape.  No one can say no one has not been warned or indeed they did not have time to do anything about it.

It’s going to happen and how you respond will determine your firm’s future. 

So why are leaders so slow to react and do anything?

There are generally three categories that we assess firms by as to where their CX thinking is. It goes like this:

  1. Firms that are doing it but need to do it more or properly
  2. Firms that want to but don’t know where to start
  3. Firms that know they are already great

It does not take a brain surgeon to identify the category that needs to worry most, but there is little point in worrying about those firms as they are great already…and by the time the leader retires it will be far too late.

So, let’s look at the first category. Yes, we are doing it but need to do it more or properly.

A few months ago I was sitting in the boardroom of a prominent law firm when I was asked by the partners how much measurement and activity do we need to do to make this really work? My first question was “well, what do you do now?”

They looked at one another.  I was in my head working it out. 60 fee earners, 200 support staff, they must do team surveys, end of matter surveys and maybe some client reviews (mystery shopping) as a bare minimal…surely?

The answer came like a bolt out of the preverbal blue… “last year we did 10 phone surveys.”

“OK, and how many conversations in each survey?”

“That’s it ten.”

The good news is they were a tad embarrassed and were in the room with me as they knew they needed to get it sorted out. The even better news was that they were keen, enthused and were going to be the influencers in this business that have traded for many hundreds of years.  They were going to be the catalysts for CHANGE. One piece of key advice I can give is it is always best to start these programmes in a small way and then open them up slowly to the whole business.

That way the influencers can influence and the partners who sit on the fence see the benefits and then come on board. Over time they all do. If you introduce a large programme across the group excuses are made for the feedback, it gets too hard and it kills off any future activity again.  It would have been less damaging to do nothing.

How do you, the influencers, work your magic?

To help with influencing those who are still sat on the fence it is best to ask whether our CX programmes do one or all of the following:

  1. Will it make us money?
  2. Will it save us money?
  3. Will it make people happier?

So, let us take one department of a firm, let’s say family. Family clients are emotive and therefore tell the story but more than that they need to connect with your team faster and quicker than any other client group, as it’s all about them and their personal needs.

How can we save money by working on the CX in a firm with a family department?  The easiest way is to start with some measurement.

For example, how many clients pay 100% of their bill on time.  Our experience tells us that 20% of clients query their bill, and over 50% of the bills are reduced by 10%.  OK do the maths…a firm turns over £20m. £4m of billing is questioned. £500,000 is given back as a way to appease.  Then add in the time and disruption to the business handling the client plus the reputational damage…you get the picture I am painting here.

Agh, I forgot about the firm I met recently that has a full time complaints officer. Let us make it £600,000 given away each year. That’s a lot of new business to create.

How can a good CX programme actually make you money?

It’s simple.  You totally tear up your enquiry strategy and start again. Here are some startling facts we found when we recently measured the enquiry process for 70 law firms. The headlines are:

  1. Only 7% of new phone enquiries are followed up
  2. Only 25% of clients felt that a meeting with a solicitor was held in a suitably private place on walk-in enquiries.
  3. Only 39% of website enquiries led to a conversation between the client and a fee earner.

If you want to view the full report, please click here.  Handling enquiries really well where the potential client receives good advice quickly and there is a slick follow up process will revolutionise the conversion from enquiry to business.

Customer mapping, where you work with your team to identify the process now and how it needs to be changed to sign up more business energises the team and makes them responsible for the process, which in turn leads to more sign ups.

It makes firms more money.

How can a programme save you money?

CX programmes save you money because they identify issues before they become problems.  This approach ensures less clients query the bill and if they do the reduction is less. It makes sense really.

Why do restaurant staff ask you if you are enjoying your meal? It’s simple, you are reaffirming to yourself that its good or not. If it’s not they can act on it so when it comes to pay the bill there will be no dispute. In fact, stats tell us customers are happier when a problem is resolved really well, as opposed when nothing has ever happened before.

So, image your firm where 75% of your clients give you feedback on a regular basis which is directly linked to a department, a fee earner or a building.  Every morning you turn on your PC and up the results come in real live time from all the clients that have responded to your online survey. They will answer it as you mentioned it when you signed them up and explained the benefits it will bring to both them and the business.

You can see:

  • Which customers are really happy – these are the ones who are not going to have a query on the bill at the end of matter and become your fans. You can ask them for a testimonial and more importantly say well done to the team and the team member.
  • Those customers who are neither happy or disappointed. So, action is required here, and you ask the head of department to call the client to work out how you can make them really happy with the experience. This is where as a business you really learn. The insight your client will give you leads to internal action that will improve life for everyone.
  • Those clients that are not happy. This is time for the CEO to step into action. There is nothing more powerful than the CEO turning around the situation. The good news is that you have caught it early and you have another 6 months to make them love you again. During which time you shall be asking them 4 more times. It works.

Let me share two top tips that I have picked up working with law firms:

  1. Use technology that is tailored for your business
  2. Work with a supplier who can help you with solutions. There is nothing worse than measuring and the client thinks you are doing something about it and nothing happens.

How can we make the team happier?

In the thousands of team surveys we have conducted the number one incentive teams want is a “well done.” It is that easy. Recognition from the boss, personal and heart felt goes a long, long way.  How can you have such a system in your business?

Let’s start to talk about what you can do about it.

The answer is in the measurement and reflection.

So what next?  This initial process may take 6 to 12 months to bed in but you will see instant results both financial and motivational. The next challenge is how you move this new initiative or culture shift across the whole business.  That one is for another day but if you like what you hear and you need some CX partners then please click here to contact one of our CX Directors who can help you with everything I have mentioned in this article.

 

Customer Engagement Strategies

Strategies you can implement to improve customer engagement

insight6 explores the importance of customer engagement, the impact it has on Customer Experience and the strategies you can apply to your business.

What does it mean?

Customer engagement is any direct contact between a brand and its customers. It is incredibly important that brands reach out to customers in the right way so that they positively enhance the Customer Experience. Interactions between a brand and its customer can be both offline or online, ranging from surveys and point of sale promotions to mentioning each other on Twitter.

How a brand interacts with their customers will vary depending on the business and who their customers are. Brands that are targeted towards the younger generations, for example, should be looking at social media and other forms of online engagement to truly grab their audience’s attention on a platform that suits the customer. The rise of social media has had a real positive influence on the ability of brands to engage with their customers as it provides a quick and accessible way to provide support, information, address issues and increase brand awareness.

What impact does this have on Customer Experience?

To put it simply, when a customer feels engaged and connected to a brand they are more likely to have a positive overall experience.

By engaging with its customers, a brand can positively enhance the emotional connection that is required for the best Customer Experience. The modern customer has become accustomed, and now expects, the opportunity to be an active part of a company. Customers don’t wish too simply make a purchase, they are interested in the journey, they want to actively participate and become a part of a brand.

With the benefits that engaging your customers can bring to Customer Experience in mind, here are our insight6 strategies you should be applying to your brand to improve customer engagement:

6 Customer engagement strategies you should apply to your business

1 ) Take advantage of social media

Without a doubt, social media has had a massive influence on the ability of brands to engage with their customers. Social media, if used properly, can be an extremely effective tool in breaking news to customers, posting engaging content for them to share, to address issues, and to promote your brand.

Do your research and find out which social media sites are popular with your customer base and focus your efforts there. Invite customers to leave reviews of your business online so that they can share their experiences with your brand.

2 ) Open up special communications for ‘V.I.P’ customers

If you want to encourage brand loyalty then creating a form of membership or V.I.P club for long standing customers is a great initiative. V.I.P customers should be those who have used the brand for a while, referred friends and family to it and are genuinely just fans of the brand.

These customers can be offered exclusive access to things such as a member’s login on your website, a special monthly members newsletter with unique discounts available. Whatever you choose to offer it is all about your brand becoming closer to its customers. This form of engagement works really well with any long standing customers, improving their experience and making them feel valued for the time and money they have spent on your brand.

Of course, you should engage with every customer but providing an extra level to that the most loyal customers will add that extra incentive to keep them coming back.

3 ) Closely follow the customer journey

Closely follow the developments and journey of your customers as they use your business – at what points are they most impressed? What issues do they bring up that need to be addressed?

By following their journey and development you will be able to gain a better understanding of the changes you can make at each stage of the process and where you can better engage with your customers in the future. In turn this will allow you to put your time into these ideas with confidence that they will work.

4 ) Personalise your customer communication

There are many ways to ensure that the communication that you have with your customers is personal and it is something that you should make a priority as it helps to make a customer feel closer connected to the brand.

With the advances in technology, it is now easier than ever to provide customers with personalised content, for example, you can send an email to customers on their birthday through an automatically generated system, offering them a discount or special offer to celebrate their day. You will have noticed this is something huge brands such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon do regularly by having ‘recommended for you’ sections on their websites.

A simpler way to personalise your communication with a customer is to ensure that you take down their name and use it whenever you are communicating with them. Whichever way you achieve personalisation, the aim should always be to make the customer feel as welcome as possible.

5 ) Let the customers meet the team behind the brand

While it is possible for customers to connect with a brand, people naturally connect with each other. If it is possible, let the customers meet the team behind your brand, whether that is through social media, email or in person, communication doesn’t have to be signed off from the brand. If you are communicating with the customer via email or social media then let the team member dealing with the customer sign off with their own name and use their own individual personality to their advantage in building a relationship with the customer.

6 ) Host Q&A sessions and events

Not all engagement has to be online. One great way to engage with your customers is to host events or Q&A sessions where customers can come and find out more about the products or services that you offer. Think about what you offer and the kind of event your customer would like to attend – would they like an opportunity to come and ask questions about current products and products of the future? Could you hold a conference style event with seminar speakers? Or an awards evening? There are many possibilities – think back to your V.I.P customers, you could even host an exclusive event for them, think how special and looked after they will feel being given an invite.

Why is customer engagement important?

In terms of numbers, statistics from Gallup research shows that having fully engaged customers leads to 23% more revenue than average.

Having contact and engaging your customers is crucial in gaining a better understanding of what your customer wants from you. There are a huge number of benefits to engaging your customers in the right way including building customer loyalty, trust, building better relationships and gaining their valuable insights.

There is no one engagement strategy that would work for every business, so it is important to tailor yours to your brand and to your customers, but the focus should always be on building a connection with your customers.

Get in touch with your local CX Director today