Improving Customer Experience

February 28, 2017 2:02 pm
posted by

posted within Continuous Improvement, General

Improving Customer Experience

Customer experience is a priority for most business to consumer (B2C) companies.  However, many business to business (B2B) companies have not had the same level of focus on improving their customer experiences.  Some are starting to see this impacting their businesses as customer expectations continue to rise.

We have all had both good and bad customer experiences in our personal lives.  When we experience great customer service, it is only human nature to expect the same treatment from the next company we contact.  It does not matter whether the interaction is at home or work.

As B2C companies continue to focus on consumer experiences, they are effectively increasing our expectations for all of our interactions with companies, including those who are exclusively B2B.  It is smart business to ensure that your company is prioritizing your customers and their experiences with your business.

4 Steps to Improve Your Customers’ Experience

Focus On Your Customer

Shift your focus for a moment.  Look at one of the products that you manufacture from the customers perspective.  Start with your most popular product.  Why do you make this product?  Where is the customer pain point?  How does your product solve their issue?  Now ask yourself those same three questions about your least popular product.  You might find that the features or the focus of the less popular product are on your business instead of the customers business.  It has been shown that when a customer feels like you care about their needs it builds a trusting relationship.  Focusing on what your customer needs will drive results for their business.  Helping your customer to solve their need makes them feel like you care.  This is just as important in B2B as it is in B2C.  A customer who feels valued will buy more from you.  Which then drives revenue to your business.

 

Make It Easy To Buy

Digital devices are having a great impact on the speed and ease of doing business.  We now live in a world of digital apps and online grocery shopping.  Every company needs to have a digital presence to make access to information easy for customers and potential customers.  If you are a small manufacturer, start by creating a website.  As you grow you can add online stock information and the ability to handle online ordering, etc.  Creating accounts on social media can open the lines of communication with your customers and help to drive sales.  However, make sure that you are prepared to handle any questions and complaints.  See if you can automate some of your less value added processes.  Maybe you could begin sending automated emails to notify your customers of their next scheduled maintenance for example.  There are many tools available.  You can ease into digital a little bit at a time.  Most importantly, you can make things easier for your clients.

 

Gather Real Data

Ask your customers how you are doing.  Many customers do not complain, they simply purchase the products that they need from somewhere else.  If you are able to find out what went wrong and then work to fix the issue, you can make sure that is does not happen again and the loss of more business.  Be your own secret shopper and call your company.  Call the customer service number and pretend to be a customer.  Ask a few questions to find out how your staff is doing.  Call and complain about quality and see how your team does at handling difficult conversations.  This gives you instant real life feedback on some of the most important customer experiences.

 

Get A Holistic View

Focus on the whole customer experience.  You can have a fabulous customer service experience when placing the order but if there is an issue with the quality of the product when you get it, your experience is not good.  The customer journey has to be consistently good at each of the touch points.  Make sure you gather information from each of the places where your company is interacting with your customers.  There are many touch points to consider outside of sales and customer service.  Be sure to review the quoting process, order entry, design, quality, shipping, receiving, and even billing.  Creating an experience that impresses customers and exceeds their expectations will require the big picture view of their complete experience.

 

Want advice on how to improve your customer experience?  Call (937) 229-1368 or email FASTLANE@udri.udayton.edu