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Many local businesses focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience, and for very good reason. If your customers do not have a good experience, they will go elsewhere rather than coming back. Even if your team focuses on providing a top-notch customer experience, there is still a chance you may be falling short. According to research from Bain & Company, 80 percent of organizations believe they provide a superior experience, but only eight percent of customers believe they are receiving a stellar customer experience.

So, how can you close the gap and ensure your customers have a great interaction from start to finish? There are steps you can take to improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenues.   


Establish a customer-focused vision

An important first step to improving your customer experience is to create a clear set of statements. You can then embed these statements into your culture. Every member of your team should know these statements and your organizational values, and the vision should be embedded into all areas of training and development. 


Get to know your customers

You cannot give your clients the kind of service they desire if you do not understand them well. That’s why the next step is creating personas, customer profiles, and journey maps. When you create personas, your customer support team can better understand your customers’ needs and pain points. 


Look for ways to create emotional connections

To improve the customer experience, think about ways you can provide unconventional more than a product or service for your customers. Think about Zappos. When a customer was late on a return due to a death in the family, Zappos arranged for their shoes to be picked up at no cost to the customer. The company also went above and beyond by sending a bouquet of flowers and a note of condolence. 


Get real-time customer feedback

To learn how your customers feel about working with you, ask them. You may try using live chat tools to have real-time conversations and sending a follow-up email to customers using post-interaction surveys. This is the foundational step in reputation management.


Identify your team’s training needs

Once you know how your clients feel about their experience with you, the next step is identifying each team member’s unique skills and needs. While any businesses review the quality of phone and email communication, you may want to consider taking this assessment one step further by scheduling and tracking your team’s development through coaching and group training. You will learn a lot about your customers’ experiences by paying attention to Google and Facebook reviews.


Listen to your team members, and then act

If your company is like most, you get team member feedback during an annual review but rarely take steps to act on their feedback in the months in between. Take time to listen to what your employees have to say and be sure to implement their suggestions.  In addition, have regular conversations with the team to see what is going on.


Measure the ROI for your customer experience

Regardless of the tools you use, it can be as easy as simply asking, “Would you recommend our company?” it’s crucial to understand if your efforts are paying off. Look at the results and adjust where needed. 

 The customer experience should be a priority. If you want your customers to continue working with you, and refer you to others, you should aim to give them a remarkable experience with every interaction. By striving to raise the customer experience, throughout their entire journey, you can work to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

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