Customer Service is now the key differentiator between one brand and another since people were handed the power to shop around and compare products and services from all over the world via the internet. According to Forrester Research, 7 out of 10 business leaders claim that customer experience is now critical to their success.

1. Are you delivering a Consistent Customer Experience?

Customers expect their experience to be of the same high quality each and every time they deal with you -  and what’s more they expect you to be able to pick up the conversation regardless of what means of communication they have been using to talk to you. So whether it is e-mails from their lap top or via Twitter from their mobile they want you to know what they have already told you before. Customer Relationship Management software can be used to help with this.

2. Mobile 1st

By the end of 2015, 42% of the global population will own a smartphone. For these users, mobile will increasingly define how they communicate, shop and engage with brands.

Apps for mobile are still making a big impact – take Domino’s Pizza whose sales are up 19% thanks to their mobile app which allows you to order and keep track of your pizza all the way through its journey from kitchen to doorstep. So far this year, three-quarters of Domino pizza orders were made online and half of those orders have come through the company’s app or digital devices.

3. Keep an eye on your digital trouble-shooting

Some people love the fact they can now get customer service through their favourite social media channels like Twitter – but others are still struggling to find the answers to their problems online and feel frustrated when they are denied access to a phone number and have to trawl through FAQs instead of talking to a human. Keep an eye on what is working for you and whether your customers are getting the resolution to the problems they seek. Dealing with a human may produce a higher percentage of positive outcomes which could prove worth the extra cost.

4. See customer experience as a strategy not a tactic

Shaun Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on customer experience and brand leadership who believes passionately that customer experience should be a central strategy not a short term tactic. His influence has changed the way business leaders think about customers and in particular how they can achieve brand differentiation and long-term customer loyalty through the customer experience.

In his latest book “On Purpose” he calls on companies to keep true to their central purpose, keeping the customer always at the centre while innovating to create a better experience for THEM.

5. Anticipate Customer Needs

With recommendations and online reviews forming an increasingly important part of how customers discover you it makes sense to think about going the extra mile and offering help or support before a customer has even asked for it. Many companies now offer parcel tracking as standard, provide access to real life agents online and even offer customer free coffees and pastries to ensure they make someone’s day!

Oct 29, 2015 By Lucy Thorpe