If you are struggling to increase sales in your company, it may be time to take a closer look at your existing customers experience to see how they interact with business. This will provide you good benchmarks for optimizations in order to increase sales.
Suppose there are gaps between what customers expect from an interaction and what they’re actually getting. The chances are good that word will spread about these issues through social media channels. Given how quickly content goes viral nowadays, it might not be long before a few negative posts result in lost revenues.
The customer experience is key to business success. If you want to increase the output of your sales process and help your company grow, it’s essential that you meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
An Amazing Customer Experience = A Valuable Brand Advocate
The Internet is full of anecdotes about brands going above and beyond to help their customers.
For example, there’s one that involves the hotel chain Ritz-Carlton. The company is well-known for going to great lengths to satisfy its customers, which its Bali location proved in 2007.
That year, a family on vacation brought specialized eggs and milk with them for their son, who had severe food allergies. Upon arrival, they discovered that the eggs had broken and the milk had gone sour in transit.
Finding a Solution
The Ritz-Carlton Bali staff scoured the entire island for replacements, but unfortunately, they couldn’t find any. However, the executive chef remembered that a store in Singapore carried these specific brands of eggs and milk. Without hesitation, he reached out to his mother-in-law (who lived in Singapore) and asked her to buy the products, before flying her down to Bali to deliver them.
Creating Customers for Life
This anecdote is often cited as the reason so many of the Ritz-Carlton’s guests opt to stay with them for life. A Most Engaged Customers (MEC) study showed that 80% of the Ritz’s customers were engaged, which meant that they agreed or strongly agreed on the following points:
- Guests will return to the Ritz-Carlton.
- They will go out of their way to do business with the Ritz-Carlton.
- Guests will recommend the Ritz-Carlton to friends.
- They feel love or affection for the Ritz-Carlton.
This high ranking means that Ritz-Carlton’s overall customer engagement score sits somewhere above the 90th percentile. As research from Gallup determined, companies that scored above the 50th percentile on either employee or customer engagement were more likely to deliver 70% higher financial results when compared to companies that received a lower score.
The Ritz-Carlton is just one of many brands that have figured out the answer to increasing sales. It achieved it by improving its sales strategy and focusing on the customer experience.
Businesses across all industries are trying to replicate that success, but many of them don’t arrive at the same conclusion. For instance, 68% of B2B companies admit to struggling to generate. The sales performance research firm CSO Insights also found that in 2013, only 58.2% of sales reps made their quota.
These numbers demonstrate that increasing sales is a challenge that countless organizations face. Given that sales play an important role in sustaining operations, it’s imperative that businesses resolve these issues.
Let’s explore how your business can boost its sales strategy by focusing on the customer experience.
How to Increase Sales by Increasing Customer Engagement
Up to two-thirds of a company’s profits rely on effective customer engagement, so businesses hoping to increase sales should look into this area first. To do so, here are some practices that you can implement:
- Ask customers for feedback.
- Respond to customer feedback.
- Incorporate feedback into your product, service, or e-commerce website.
Organizations stand to gain a ton of insight by collecting customer feedback. By doing so, they can obtain an in-depth understanding of how people experience their product or service. They can also get an idea of how they can improve the customer experience.
The value of a positive customer experience cannot be overstated. According to our 2021 ECommerce report, when people genuinely enjoy their interactions with a brand:
- 55% of them will continue purchasing from the company or brand.
- 44% of them will share their positive experience with friends and family.
- 35% of them will post a positive review online.
The last figure increases if the product or service belongs to the electronics and security industry. In this sector, 39% of customers claimed that they would most likely leave a positive review online after a great experience with the brand.
Let’s look into some of the specific things you can do to increase engagement and increase sales.
Improve the Customer Experience to Boost Your Sales Strategy
You don’t have to incorporate expensive software or time-consuming processes to boost your company’s sales strategies. Rather, it can be as simple as improving the customer experience (like the Ritz-Carlton).
When buying a product or service, customers have a lot of options. Their purchasing behaviors are no longer solely driven by advertisements, given how easy it is to access information about what they’re buying. They now have access to reviews, testimonials, and comments on social media.
This is why providing customers with a positive experience across every touchpoint is so important. Doing so promotes loyalty and encourages them to share your business with their network, which leads to an increase in sales.
In fact, 84% of companies that strive to improve their customer experience have reported a significant increase in their revenue. Additionally, companies that put the customer at the center of their operations are 60% more profitable than those that do not.
With all these in mind, it is clear that businesses should focus on positive customer experiences when trying to boost sales. But what exactly can you do to achieve this?
Understand Your Customers
Before introducing any improvements, you must first understand what your customers are experiencing.
You can learn about your customer experience by conducting research, surveys, and focus groups. By listening to both positive and negative experiences, you’ll know what areas of your business are performing well and which ones should be improved upon.
When you take the time to get to know your customers, you’ll know exactly what services or products to offer them. And when your customers feel like you’ve made an effort to get to know them, they’ll feel more engaged and more confident in doing business with you.
Solve Your Customers’ Problems
Companies should also have an idea of what problems their customers face. When you have a firm grasp of your customer’s concerns, you can tailor your products or customer service offerings to resolve those issues.
This promotes brand loyalty and increases the likelihood of retention. It also enables you to address the common frustrations that people have with the customer experience. This will help you can create a better experience for your customers in the future.
If you’re not sure what concerns your customers usually encounter, here are a few common issues that customers raise:
Time is a valuable commodity. It is no surprise then that nothing is more annoying for your customers than being put on hold for more than five minutes.
According to our 2021 ECommerce report, long wait times were the number one customer service frustration.
Once their call is answered, customers also want an agent’s undivided attention and become frustrated if it seems as if they are not receiving it. This means it’s also important to resolve issues quickly and avoid mid-call holds when possible.
2. Navigation Menus
Your customers’ first point of interaction with your website is usually through its navigation buttons. Poorly designed ones can be a huge source of customer frustration.
A good rule of thumb is that it shouldn’t take visitors more than three clicks to find what they need. The text should be easily readable with an appropriate font and font size.
3. Call Transfers
For many, a positive customer experience is one where they feel genuinely heard and acknowledged by the business. Unfortunately, shuffling them from one agent to the next is not indicative of this.
Instead, agents should address any customer issues or inquiries without transferring them to several different people.
4. Repeating Information
Around 17% of our survey respondents hate repeating themselves when they have an issue with a business. Not only is this incredibly frustrating, but giving the same information over and over again is also a waste of time (remember customer pain point number one?).
5. Multiple Interactions
If a concern can’t be resolved in a single call, it’s normal for agents to consult with their supervisor, and then call a customer back when they have the right information.
But some of them fail to carry out their promise, which leads to customers having to reach out again. This is very frustrating since customers hang up the first call expecting that their issues will be addressed in the next.
6. Dropped Calls
A sure-fire way to lose customers is by having a phone system that often disconnects or fails to function correctly. No one appreciates a dropped call, especially if they have already spent a long time on hold or waiting for a call transfer.
7. Scripted Responses
Some companies have started giving their agents a fixed set of responses to streamline the customer service process.
This is helpful when dealing with common customer complaints. However, it also makes the agent sound less empathetic and less human, leaving the customer feeling like their needs were insufficiently met.
8. Lack of Knowledge Among Staff
When speaking with a customer service representative, people expect to receive answers to their queries and solutions to their problems.
This expectation leads to frustration when agents give them incomplete or unclear information.
9. Poor Attitude Among Staff
A customer service agent has to deal with concerns and complaints all day. Unfortunately, some callers are sensitive and easily offended, so they end up taking out their frustration on the person on the other end of the line.
However, agents need to remember that their job is to remain positive at all times, even when handling a demanding customer.
Have you had a customer raise any of the issues above?
As a business owner, it’s important for you to find out whether these are issues your customers experience frequently. You can do this through relevant surveys and feedback forms. Note: Long-winded surveys are off-putting, and customers will be less likely to complete them, so keep them short and effective.
Once you thoroughly understand how your customers interact with your business, you will be one step closer to improving their experience and increasing sales.
Sales Increase When You Meet Your Audience Where They Are
How else can you improve your customer service experience?
You can meet your potential customers or current customers where they are. If they’re frequently posting on Twitter, then you need to set up a support channel via that platform. On the other hand, if your clients prefer to talk with an agent before making a purchase, your website should incorporate a live chat feature.
Here are a few more customer service channels that your business should consider having to provide an omnichannel customer service experience:
1. Live Chat
Many customers prefer speaking one-on-one with a salesperson or customer representative whenever they have any concerns or inquiries.
In our ECommerce report, we found that 50% of respondents used a website’s live chat feature in the past six months. 65% rated live chat as the most effective customer service channel.
It is a common misconception that email is a dying platform, given the near-ubiquity of social media. However, 91% of consumers reportedly check their email at least once a day, which means that this channel is very much alive.
For 76% of our survey respondents, this is their preferred method of customer support.
One thing that digital communication channels cannot re-create is humanity. Customers still look for this when they interact with companies, and telephone support offers precisely that.
87% of our survey respondents ranked phone as the best customer service channel, and 74% ranked it as the most effective.
This channel reduces the chances of miscommunication since agents can gauge the caller’s emotions and make further clarifications when needed. It is also ideal for customers who are not tech-savvy and might have trouble navigating an online platform.
4. Social Media
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are quickly becoming the preferred customer service channel among younger consumers.
Social media is increasingly becoming ubiquitous, so businesses should not overlook the tremendous value it offers. In fact, a Gartner study found that companies that did not offer customer support on social media platforms had a churn rate that was 15% higher than those that did.
These are just a few channels you can use to reach your customers where they are. Keep in mind that there are other emerging channels or formats for engaging your customers, but make sure to choose the medium your clients usually use.
Also, always seek permission before contacting your customers with promotional materials or news about your services.
Build a Comprehensive Customer Resource Center
Next up is the Customer Resource Center, which is also referred to as a “Knowledge Base”. This is a collection of content that helps your customers navigate the various aspects of your product or service.
The Customer Resource Center can consist of different kinds of mediums, such as how-to articles, tutorials, infographics, and the like. It should also be available online, so your customers can easily access it whenever they need it.
Creating a comprehensive Customer Resource Center has a ton of benefits, including:
1. It makes the customer experience more positive.
Resource Centers are incredibly meaningful to customers since they can turn to them whenever they need help.
It demonstrates that your company cares about helping people use your product or service. It can also free up the amount of time your agents spend answering common questions, which means they can spend more time providing a great experience to callers.
2. It attracts more leads.
A Resource Center filled with educational content is a great way to attract visitors to your site. It also increases your brand reputation and establishes your company as a reputable and trustworthy expert.
3. It empowers your customers.
A comprehensive Resource Center is a great self-service alternative to customer support.
With it, your customers are empowered to search for the answers and solutions themselves. It also eliminates waiting for an agent to return their email or phone call.
In addition to these benefits, a comprehensive Customer Resource Center also involves a support staff that knows your brand inside and out. This enables them to answer inquiries quickly and provide help when needed.
Use Customer Experience Management Software
Customer experience management (CEM) software consists of several tools and automated processes that businesses can use to track and manage their customer interactions. You can also use these to optimize these interactions to retain more customers and increase brand loyalty.
There are countless benefits to using CEM software, including:
- Increased customer loyalty and retention
- Improved customer engagement
- Better brand equity
When implemented, CEM software provides a 360-degree view of customer service support services, from phone calls and live chat to social media. This data can then be used by the business to create strategies that will improve the customer experience.
Optimize Your Customer Experience Strategy to Increase Sales
After doing market research and addressing your customers’ common issues, you should review your customer experience strategy. It isn’t a one-time thing. The improvement of the customer experience is a continuous process to ensure that all interactions with your agents are positive.
This is what Aircall brings to the table.
We help businesses become more customer-centric by providing them with cloud-based call center software that’s designed to help improve customer experiences and engagement.
Our top-of-the-line phone system has many features, including the ability to set up international numbers. Aircall also helps to encourage collaboration by enabling staff to comment on assigned calls and share contacts with the rest of the team.
Meanwhile, our call center-based features include skill-based routing, which allows you to route calls to the agent with the right technical skills to handle customers’ specific concerns. To help reduce customer frustration, it also allows for call queuing, queue callback, and parallel calls.
Our software provides several productivity-based features too. For instance, custom filters enable agents to find the exact conversation that they are looking for. There are also tags to facilitate smart decisions and smoother follow-ups. You can integrate these features with your existing CRM and Helpdesk tools to keep conversations connected.
Lastly, our powerful analytics will give insight into the customer support that you are currently providing. This includes call monitoring to boost quality assurance and a live feed feature that helps optimize productivity. With these tools, it will be easy for your business to access the data you need to create and implement strategies tailored to your customers’ needs.
Are you ready to take the next steps to increase your sales? Schedule a consultation with our team, and let’s find out how best to help your business.