How do you acquire new and retain repeat customers? This is a helpful question to ask, even if you already have a loyal and reliable customer base at your business.
As a business owner, you know that customers are basically the lifeblood of your business, and without a reliable number of repeat customers, your business is likely to fail. So looking at the ways in which you can acquire new customers and increase your retention rate will only help you.
Giving customers a good reason to visit your business in the first place, and then giving them a reason to come back will reinforce your chances of success. The best part? You can kill two birds with one stone, as both reasons can be linked to customer experience.
What is customer experience?
According to expert Blake Morgan, customer experience (CX) can be defined as the sum of all interactions a customer has with a business, including each stage of the customer life cycle, such as:
- Discovery of the business
- Research of the business
- Shopping at the business
- Making a purchase
- Using the product
- Post-purchase follow up
CX also measures how customers feel about a business overall, examining their emotional and physical connections to the business and its products or services. In this regard, the very important concept of customer satisfaction is just one aspect of the overall customer experience. It’s an emotional measurement of the CX, and can factor into customer acquisition and retention rates.
Physical aspect of CX
All things considered, customer experience is a large part of doing business, so there’s no surprise that there are physical matters that factor into your customers’ perceptions of your business. The physical factors range, but here are a few examples:
- Technology – Does your business have an online presence? Is your website easy to read and navigate? Are your employees aided by technology to provide better assistance?
- Physical environment – Is the building where your business is located well maintained? Is the building clean? Is it easy to find products?
- Staff interactions – Are your employees friendly to all customers? Are they knowledgeable and able to provide answers quickly with or without assistance from technology? Are they helpful?
Emotional aspect of CX
As mentioned previously, the emotional aspect of customer experience can be measured through customer satisfaction, or the lack thereof. The emotional aspect is just as important as the physical, as it can be the reason a customer decides to continue shopping at a business, or it can be the reason why they never return.
Ask yourself these questions to gauge the emotional impact of your CX:
- How do your customers act when they are at your business? Are they impatient, happy, excited, nervous, or frustrated?
- How do they perceive your business? Are they satisfied with the customer service and the products sold, or are they dissatisfied? What makes them feel this way?
- What do they tell others about your business? Are they saying mostly positive things or negative? Would they or would they not recommend it to a friend?
Improving your customer experience
In the digital age, more than 89% of businesses are using their customer experience to set themselves apart from their competitors. Improving your own customer experience is just one step your business can take to acquire and retain more customers.
Here are a few customer demands that your business can address to bring in more customers:
Learn about each individual customer, including their wants and needs, desires, preferences, and even their frustrations. Then personalize each experience at your business to that individual to entice them into coming back. This can result in an increase in impulse purchases, more business revenue, fewer returns, and higher customer loyalty.
Customers want their interactions with any business to happen more quickly. That means they don’t want to wait in line to check out or order and they don’t want to wait to receive an answer from support or service teams. The faster a business is able to help them, the better their customer experience will be.
Customers want to interact with a business on their own terms and have easy access to the information, items, or services they need. There are some technologies that are able to assist in addressing the customer demand for convenience, allowing customers to have more control over how they interact with a business.
Technology and CX
The changes in customer demands (see above) have spurred technologies to evolve as well. Things such as artificial intelligence (AI) and self-service software all assist businesses with meeting customer expectations and improving their experience with your business.
Artificial intelligence is helpful in providing a better customer experience because it provides more accurate insights about customers, provides more relevant communications, and improves business performance over time through more accurate targeting and personalization.
Self service software
Self service solutions also offer several benefits to businesses that want to improve their customer experience. Customers are able to check themselves out, place orders, or retrieve information without assistance from an employee. This allows for greater cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency for the business, and raises customer satisfaction levels.
In order to run a successful business, it is imperative to pay attention to your customer experience. By addressing customer demands, businesses are more likely to satisfy their customers and provide a positive experience. Often, the best method for meeting customer demands is by implementing a technology solution like artificial intelligence or self-service software. These solutions make it easier to significantly improve the customer experience, therefore increasing your customer acquisition and retention rates.