One of our passions is delivering an excellent experience to our customers: we like to get to know them, tailor solutions to just what they need, and make the whole process a positive one for them. We have some tried-and-true methods for making this happen, and these can be helpful for any business working with customers—especially those in service industries. Here are seven tips for the best customer experience, or CX, that we like to live by.
1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Whether it’s a new customer exploring unfamiliar territory or a client dealing with a frustrating situation, remember to put yourself in their shoes. Empathy and understanding can go a long way. Being aware of what the customer is feeling shows them that you’re paying attention—and if you can relate, that lets them know they’re not alone in their challenge. You might even point out a time you went through a similar concern, with other clients or in your own experience. Then be ready to redirect any discussion of problem situations to the positive solutions that you will help your customers achieve.
2. Don’t take clients that want something you don’t offer.
It’s important to be honest from the start—some potential customers may not be a good fit for your business. Shops or companies that “take everything” often wind up with unhappy clients as well as employees. Being upfront about what you offer and asking clear questions about what the customer wants will set you up to decide whether it’s right to move forward, and it will ultimately make your work much more enjoyable for everyone.
3. Set clear expectations.
Similarly, once you’re working with a customer, make sure you’re both on the same page. Let them know about workflows and timelines before projects begin. If they have responsibilities on their end, make sure they understand what is expected of them. Keeping roles and responsibilities clear among your own internal team will also allow processes to go smoothly and end up pleasing the customer more.
4. Frame your delivery around the customer, not yourself.
Rather than selling a cookie-cutter product or service and trying to make your client fit it, be willing to adapt to what works well for them—as long as it’s within your own offerings and philosophy. Again, ensuring a shared vision from the start will make it easier to then customize the journey to the client’s needs. The service you deliver revolves around them: focusing on the unique specifics of their desired outcome and process is something they are likely to find rare and refreshing.
5. Make it a team effort.
Studies show that satisfied employees lead to happy customers, and one of the best ways to achieve satisfaction at work is to be a part of a well-functioning team. Collaboration within your own team makes workflows go efficiently, which means happier workers and faster delivery to the customer. Dividing up tasks in a way that makes sense within a core department as well as across departments also breeds better quality. Know the strengths and skill set of each team member and break up projects so that the best work will be done for each element of the job. Then keep a team mentality when interacting with the customer too, since you are working together to achieve their goal.
6. Stay in touch with your clients.
Communication is crucial for any relationship, and especially so in business with customers. Following up with clients, sending them relevant reminders, and making sure they’re informed of what’s happening will keep them feeling connected and more satisfied with your service. Not only does it ensure they know what they need to know, it also strengthens a sense of familiarity and builds trust. Internally, staying in touch keeps things running smoothly behind the scenes—even a quick message or 15-minute meeting helps everyone stay updated.
7. Make the answer “Yes.”
As marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki points out, defaulting to “yes” as an answer can open up all kinds of opportunities that otherwise could have been missed. When clients ask if it’s possible to do something, we always aim to make the answer yes. In some cases this may mean an adjusted timeline or creative path to get to the desired outcome—but framing the discussion around possibility rather than limitation allows ideas to flourish and makes the experience much more favorable for customers. Wouldn’t it be great to work with someone who’s driven to turn concepts into realities and make things happen? The answer is yes!
Creating the Best Customer Experience
In short, the best overall customer experience happens when you treat your clients like people you want to build relationships with. Doing work that’s rewarding to both parties is all about that ongoing connection, and it just may lead to some amazing results for everyone.