On December 11, 2016, a distressed customer took to twitter. He was en route to a meeting in Silicon Valley and needed to charge his Tesla but couldn’t because so many other drivers had left their cars standing there.
Within a day, Elon Musk had responded to this customer. In doing so, he provided a great example of good, honest customer engagement. Six days later, Tesla announced a new policy that addressed the issue of abandoned vehicles at charging spots.
Not every business can make changes like these as fast as Tesla, but the ability for customers to connect with a brand, receive feedback and benefit from a quick resolution is what sets brands like Telsa apart. It's a great example of the importance of customer engagement and positive customer experiences.
Defining customer engagement and experience
There’s a fine line between customer engagement and customer experience. One of the best explanations we’ve come across is from Hootsuite. Hootsuite defines customer engagement as a direct interaction with the brand, initiated by the customers or the brand; while customer experience is what happens at touchpoints throughout this engagement.
In practice, this means that every time a customer comes into contact with your brand and its employees, you have an opportunity to create a memorable experience.
Customer touchpoints vs. journeys
So, how do you create delightful experiences when your customers might experience hundreds of touchpoints with your brand?
The best place to start is with a map of the customer journey. According to McKinsey, customer journeys are easier to work with and use thana list of touchpoints. Focusing on customer journeys also makes it possible to link experiences to business outcomes. Touchpoints offer limited insight into what really leads to customer dissatisfaction because touchpoints are measured in isolation.
For example, asking a customer to complete a survey after a call to your support center relates to one experience, the phone call. However, if the customer’s problem is not resolved, and later falls through the cracks of your support team’s workload, can you still say that customer is happy?
Customer journeys enable you to measure your customer touchpoints as part of a journey. This is how the consulting giant has been able to help businesses enhance customer satisfaction.
McKinsey recommends that you look at touchpoints and convert them into customer journeys. This way, you’ll be able to design experiences that your business can measure and perfect.
Setting up your brand for customer experience success
If you’re looking for ways to elevate your customer satisfaction levels, here are a few ideas worth experimenting with:
Executives who are vested in creating stellar experiences need to take action.
Elon Musk’s ability to take action and make a positive difference in the way Tesla customers use and experience Superchargers shows that change doesn’t require countless emails, meetings or the need for lengthy approval processes.
If something about the way sales, support or marketing operate is creating customer friction, own the challenge and rectify it as soon as possible.
All cylinders, all the time
Whether you’re responsible for product, sales, marketing or support, your team must know how to create meaningful and delightful experiences.
Every employee in your business has to understand your customer journeys and what a positive experience looks like at the end of the customer journey.
Get the right technology in place
Few businesses use their CRM tools to the fullest, and even fewer are aware that customer journeys rely on the speed at which they can make technology work.
For example, if you’re in sales and find that it takes forever to produce meaningful content that accelerates sales, this is definitely hurting your brand in the eyes of your customer. Using the right sales enablement software can change that.
How Qorus or Office 365 speeds up search and content delivery in businesses.
Invest in customer success
Customer success is a concept that’s grown over the years. It’s more common in technology businesses where the complexity of the solution requires more attention (especially when onboarding new customers) to ensure attrition is limited.
We have a customer success team and they’ve been instrumental in helping us keep our thumbs on the pulse of our client’s businesses, and meet and exceed their expectations.
Customer success teams take a while to develop and, according to the Customer Success Association, it could take anywhere from one to two years before they’re ready to make a difference. But once they’re in place, magic starts to happen.
The best experiences occur when businesses measure satisfaction of customer journeys and not touchpoints. The most successful businesses understand that leadership must take an active position in creating an environment which enables customer satisfaction, and that investing in customer success and using the right technology to create positive experiences can enhance competitive advantage.
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