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March 27
12:05 2018

Customer experience is a driver to the success of a business. A business cannot exist without its customers, which is why businesses want to win over customers and more importantly retain them. The interactions a customer has with a business is an ongoing process and should improve as the business grows.

So what is customer experience? Customer experience goes beyond fulfilling a transaction with the customer. It is rather an emotional experience with the customer, through which his or her opinions are gathered and understood. Customers seek professionalism, competence and being made to feel valuable. It is critical to understand from the customer what they appreciated whilst being serviced and what they identify as growth areas. The experience extends to the non-transactional features such as the feel around the business starting from the location, the setup within the business area and the colours.

The aim of any business should be to build a positive opinion of the business from the customers’ side. In turn this will ensure repeated business with the customer, ‘loyalty’, and possible recommendations of the business to others. An entrepreneur should then create a platform where customers articulate their experience, for example, through social media and the business website. These insights from the customer should be understood and acted on not only after a purchase or sale but across the entire journey, from the first interaction with them and beyond.

What makes a great customer experience? As mentioned above, in serving the customer competence is key. Entrepreneurs should ensure their teams are trained to deliver service or sell the product to the customer. Staff training is also a means of ensuring that solutions channeled to customers are relevant. Consumers want consistent service, for example, increasing response time in handling customer inquiries or queries. The business brand can improve the experience of the customer through making the customer feel appreciated. To understand the customer is also important throughout the journey to serve them. For example, passing a happy birthday message to a customer who has articulated their birthday as they interact with staff.

Customer expectations are higher more than ever. They have become more empowered and require specific service delivery. Businesses have to structure customer experience strategies which will focus on addressing customer needs, making them feel appreciated and offering them real-time service. This will in turn ensure repeated business, promote new business through referrals and increase revenue.


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