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Every business owner knows that creating a great customer experience is crucial for success. In today’s world of technology and social proof, appealing to the customer is more important than ever. Don’t believe us? Consider the following customer service statistics:

  • On average, happy customers will verbally tell nine other people about their experience with a company. However, angry customers are much more likely to speak up, and will tell at least 16 other people
  • Selling to existing happy customers is easier than acquiring new ones
  • Customers are willing to spend, on average, 140% more on services and products if they have a good customer experience
  • Forty percent of consumers want a “better human experience” from brands’ customer service operations.

As you can tell, you pay a steep price when your customer experience isn’t stellar. In fact, companies lose $83 billion collectively every year due to poor customer service. On the other hand, a positive customer experience can create long-lasting value and generate more revenue. Here’s how you can move towards creating a better experience for your customers:

Offer Live Chat

Adding a live chat feature to your website offers several benefits. For starters, many of today’s consumers expect multiple methods of communication between brands, and people are relying less on phone communication. Live chat provides faster resolution times and also humanizes the customer service portal without requiring that a customer gets on the phone. This proactive approach to instant service means a lot to your customers. Additionally, customers have reported the highest satisfaction rate with live chat at 73%, compared to 61% for email, and 44% for phone.

Respond To Reviews

Another way to create a positive customer experience is by responding to reviews, both positive and negative. While the ultimate goal is to prevent a negative review, sometimes bad moments slip through the cracks. When this happens, damage control should be a top priority. Responding to negative reviews helps prevent that customer from creating anti-referrals, and shows people who are researching your business that you can address and solve any issues that arise.

Many businesses who take the time to address negative reviews let positive reviews fall to the wayside. However, there’s huge potential in responding to positive reviews, too. About 78% of consumers say that hearing from management regarding their reviews makes them feel more valued as a customer. When you thank people for their positive review, it reinforces their positive experience and deepens their loyalty. People are more willing to go out of their way to provide referrals or repeat business when they feel acknowledged and important.

Tailor The User Experience

Behavior-based analytics allow businesses to respond in real-time to customer action. One of the best ways to achieve this is by using software like Everage, which allows you to proactively give your customers what they want. It uses machine learning to gauge information about how a site visitor is navigating around your site, and delivers a customized experience based on what they’re searching for and what’s most important to them. It aims to determine the true intent of each visitor by combining insight like clicks, time spent, inactivity, scrolling, mouse movements, and more.

Use A Help Desk Portal

Help Desk portals keep you in the know by making it easy to manage all your customer service interactions. Some of the more popular help desk platforms include FreshDesk, ZenDesk, and Desk.com. One of the biggest benefits of help desks are the ability to automatically add tags to certain inquiries. For example, a real estate agent or broker might add the tags “Buyer” or “Seller.” Or, you could have neighborhood tags like “Echo Park,” “DTLA,” or “Pasadena.” As a real estate professional, you could easily filter through tags to get the information you need. You could also sort emails based on lead status.

Analytics are also another huge part of the desk portal success equation. Use the platform’s data to measure individual performance among your staff (and yourself), learn more about what your customers are asking for or having trouble with, and glean a multitude of insights from your ticket volume and response times.

Give Away Free Stuff

Everyone loves a freebie, and it means a lot to your customers. It’s important that when you choose your freebies, they’re gifts that actually contribute to their lives and aren’t meaningless items that end up in the trash can. If possible, these gifts should be branded as well (as long as it doesn’t compromise the product). This freebie could come in the form of information products like ebooks, or actual products if you run a business like an ecommerce shop.

The Flattery Project from Wallet Hacks is a solid example of the power of great customer service and free things. During the project, over 40 major brands were contacted by a customer who simply explained they were a huge fan of the company, and wanted to know if there were any samples or coupons available. Most of the companies responded with free coupons, and offered encouraging words and thankfulness.

Tough Nickel also posted an expansive list of companies they reached out to and received free items. Among the results: Tom’s Maine provided free samples of toothpaste and soap; Pure Protein Bars gave free bars; Jane Cosmetics provided free lip gloss and mascara; and Colonial Candle gave free candle votives.

When it comes to your customer strategy, not only should you responding to such requests positively, but you should be ahead of the schedule by reaching out to them first.