Customer experience is the driver of customer satisfaction, which is essential for every business. Developing a customer experience programme, and successfully implementing it through training, will help maintain standards and build customer relationships.

It is worth regularly asking your customers to rate their satisfaction levels and ideally, you will be aiming to achieve scores of  9 or 10 out of 10. High ratings show that they’re not only satisfied with your service, but, are also likely to recommend your business or brand to a friend.

At the other end of the spectrum, customers who have a bad experience are likely to tell up to 20 people. This can be extremely damaging to your business, particularly with the increase in online reviewing systems.

Who are your customers?

The first step towards enhancing the customer experience that your company is delivering is to define your customers by type.

This may seem obvious; your customers are those who buy your product or service. However, these are known as ‘external customers’. You also need to consider others throughout the supply chain, the ‘internal customers’. This might include suppliers or different teams/departments within your company.

It is helpful at this point to map out your customer personas. Personas are characters who are most likely to use your service. If you’re marketing a fine dining restaurant, customer personas might include businesspeople or people celebrating a special occasion. These personas will help to identify your customers’ needs, expectations, and their journey of touchpoints with your business or brand.

Find out what your customers want

Marketing is not limited to attracting new customers and making sales. It encapsulates every part of your customer relations and retaining quality customers is just as important as attracting new ones.

Finding out what level of customer of experience those using your service want is central to developing your strategy. The best way to do this is by carrying out a customer satisfaction survey. Your survey should check various aspects of customer experience including quality of service, accuracy of service, promptness of responses, satisfaction with facilities, staff attitudes, and how complaints are handled.

For larger companies, it is worth carrying out an employee satisfaction survey. This will identify and help to resolve pain points that staff may have and can improve the customer experience for everyone along the chain. If your staff are happy, they’re more likely to enhance customer experience.

There are many ways in which you can add value to your service which will improve customer experience. This could include a loyalty points scheme or other perks such as complimentary coffee. These customer experiences are ways to stand out from competitors and encourage customer loyalty.

Developing customer experience standards

Once you have concluded the findings from your surveys, it is time to start creating your company’s customer experience standards.

It’s a good idea to start by understanding the approach currently used by those who come into regular contact with customers. Building on this existing approach with staff input can achieve buy-in relating to decision making and ensure the successful implementation of updated standards.

Before you write up your new customer experience standards, make sure to check the new standards against your findings and ensure that they support your company goals.

When producing standards, make sure that they are clear and concise, and include enough detail to eliminate any ambiguity. For example, state that calls should be answered within a certain number of rings, rather than just answered promptly.

Crucially, once the standards are finalised, they must be communicated to everyone involved and supported by the whole team. Getting everyone on board will help to ingrain the standards into company culture.

Finally, it is vital to regularly review customer experiences so that you can respond and amend your standards to stay ahead of your competitors and keep your customers satisfied.