Working to build a successful company requires time and dedication. However, many new businesses fail because they lack the fundamentals of running a business. For businesses these days, these fundamentals include more than just product knowledge and pricing. Today’s savvy business owner knows that to be successful in any business, you need a strong brand identity, detailed customer journey, and an effective marketing strategy to compete and win in a global marketplace. It’s about pulling all the pieces together to create a customer experience that people will want to come back to again and again. Here are six key ways to get started:
Hire the right team and focus on growth
Your customer experience starts with your staff. It’s important that you hire and promote people who understand how to create a customer-centric company culture. Hire people who are excited about the opportunity of working for your company; find someone who is willing to dig deep into data, provide candid feedback and constantly refine your business plan. As your business grows, don’t allow yourself to stagnate. Continue to explore opportunities for growth by examining the market and considering new markets and products for expansion. Keep your customers in mind as you consider those opportunities! What does the marketplace need? What does your company have to offer? Ask yourself these questions as you move into new markets, but also ask them of yourself every day.
Provide transparency and build trust
If you want to create trust, your customers need to be able to see and interact with your brand in real-time. You need to give customers transparency into the business and their experience. One way to ensure this is through social media. Social media allows you to engage and build relationships with both current and potential clients. It also provides a platform for you to show the strength of your brand. This helps build trust and ensure that people are not afraid or hesitant about buying from you. The other key component of building trust with your customers is offering personalized customer service. This can be done through live chat on websites and chatbots on social media platforms. When customers come into your brick-and-mortar business, personalized service can include remembering customers’ names and product preferences, or offering special “members only” benefits. Remember, people are much more likely to purchase from businesses that offer personalized customer service, so you need to make personalization a key part of your business model.
Show your customers that you care
One of the most common mistakes too many businesses make is not taking the time to really listen to their customers. Many businesses place too much value on product creation and not enough on customer experience. You need to listen closely to what customers are saying and then make changes when they need to be made.
By listening closely, you will be able to build a brand that truly resonates with your customers. When they know you’re listening, customers feel cared for by your business and will continue to buy from you in the future. Getting customer feedback will not only help you in your product and service development process, but in your marketing as well. There’s no more powerful marketing tool than the “social proof” of positive customer feedback or showing that you listen to customer input by implementing their suggestions.
Use video marketing effectively to increase engagement
Video marketing is an excellent tool for increasing brand awareness and building customer loyalty. These days, people would rather watch a 2 minute video than read a page of text, so stop fighting the video trend and get onboard! Video marketing can be utilized to promote your products, services, or people to your customers on an individual basis. One of the most effective ways to use video marketing effectively is by creating videos that emphasize your company’s personality. This is especially important when you’re first starting out, because it allows you to establish a strong brand identity in a familiar and relatable way which will allow you to appeal more effectively to customers. These videos also help build relationships with potential customers and reminds them of what makes your company great. And here’s one big tip that will save you a lot of time and frustration . . . your videos don’t have to be perfect or super polished. In fact, they’re more real and relatable when they’re not. As long as they have good sound and a clear image, it’s the message people will focus on, not your production quality.
Continuously improve your website for an optimal customer experience
Your website is your business’s front door. Imagine literally a front door that was placed on a building when a business opened. Over time, without care and attention, the door would start looking shabby and outdated and customers wouldn’t be excited to walk through it. Build a strategy for continuously improving your website to provide the best possible customer experience. If you need to hire a professional to do so, the investment is well worth it. Customers make a lot of judgments about your business from their experience on your website long before they buy from you or walk through your physical doors. One of the biggest complaints from customers about business websites is when they don’t have a clear path to get to where they want to go. Make it easy for people to find the information they are looking for and to use that information to make their decision on whether or not they want to choose your company.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from customers
Your customers are your best resource for improving your service and your brand. It’s important to remember that customers will be your biggest advocates and thus, your strongest source of feedback. You can only learn what you don’t know by asking questions. Start by asking your customers what they like and dislike about the product or service you provide. Then, listen and implement their feedback in your business plan so you can grow successfully. By always staying up-to-date with customer feedback and implementing it into your company’s strategy, you are able to improve the customer experience and increase brand loyalty.