The customer experience is more important than ever. This pandemic will end. When it does, there will be fewer standing – and those standing will need to differentiate themselves with superior buying experiences. And while we live in a virtual world, companies need to know if their sales machine is functioning digitally. Can today’s prospects find you? If so, can you close deals virtually?
Now that we’re at the dawn of a transformation (of the economy and our current standards and definition of working), stepping up your customer experience game is no longer an option. It’s a must. Where to begin?
What makes or breaks a customer experience?
While others debate over what the customer experience entails and how to map your customer journey within it, we prefer a more commercial, science-based view. Working with our 160+ point methodology to analyze the effectiveness of our clients’ sales efforts, we’ve experienced a variety of buying and customer experiences. Some were amazing, others mediocre. And several needed serious improvement. The question is, what makes or breaks a customer experience?
An average buying process runs smoothly and as expected. It’s relevant to your buyer and meets their current needs. This means, for example, that all web forms and email addresses work. When a buyer contacts your sales staff, they’ll answer directly and thoroughly, ask about the buyer’s business, and prompt the buyer to ask questions they didn’t know they had. The process is hassle free, so the buyer can quickly start using the product or services.
An exceptional experience is a positively memorable one where unexpected delighters occur, such as support with purchasing, an invitation to an upcoming event, or an outstanding proposal that breaks away from the industry norm.
When the buyer encounters challenges, things become less ideal – mediocre, if you will. And a mediocre experience usually results in a lost sale. If, for example, your website design or the description of your products or services raises more questions than answers, that’s not a good sign. And if your sales rep is salesy rather than consultative, that’s another element you’d want to improve.
Top 3 red flags: Is the writing on the wall for you?
Don’t fret if your customer experience is not yet up to par. What you need to do is spot the red flags that indicate you might be losing buyers.
With that in mind, what are the top 3 red flags that need improvement?
- You’re not on page 1, 2, or 3 on Google. Chances are potential buyers won’t find you at all.
- Your website leaves the visitor with a myriad of questions. If you don’t provide them with all required information on your product or services, they’ll simply go to a competitor’s website that does offer the answers they’re looking for.
- The proposal made to the buyer sets certain expectations that subsequently aren’t met, which causes you to lose the sale. Whether it’s a one-time mistake or a structural issue, be sure to check if this is happening.
Want to tackle red flags and step up your customer experience game? Don’t hesitate to (contact us) Customer.Experience@Alinea-Partners.com so we can discuss your opportunities.