Here’s How to Create an Exceptional Customer Experience
Did you know that 90% of Americans use customer service as a deciding factor in whether or not they continue to do business with your company? There’s no better time than right now to take a look at how customers experience your shop—and whether they order on repeat, and refer others to you.
The good news is that 73% of companies with “above average” customer experiences perform better financially than their competitors, the Temkin Group says.
Need one more reason to take a closer look at your customer service inner workings? On average, companies that invest in their customer experience also report an improvement in employee engagement by about 20 percent .
As you review the way your shop interacts with customers, here are six questions to brainstorm with your team.
1. “How can people reach us if they have a question?”
The more ways a customer can get in touch with your shop—phone, text, email, DM and live chat—makes for better customer service, right? Not necessarily.
If customers aren’t sure which channel is the quickest way to get a response, they may send the same message via multiple channels. On your end, two of your reps may be responding to the same problem via email and live chat at once, wasting time and confusing the customer.
There’s no doubt your business needs to have a social media presence to be top of mind for customers. However, your social media channels are another way for customers to interact with you or reach you about an issue.
This year, 62% of customers say they want to communicate with companies via email, 48% want to use the phone, 42% live chat and 36% “Contact Us” forms, according to HubSpot Research . And if a large portion of your buyers are Millennials, they prefer live chat over every other communication channel.
When some shop owners start up, they open up all the channels to learn how customers prefer to communicate with them. Then, they narrow down those channels to the ones that customers prefer, depending on their demographics and lifestyles.
2. “Do I have staffers ready, willing and able to help customers in real time?”
According to buyers, 90% rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and 60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less, according to HubSpot Research .
Depending on the size of your business and customer base, it might be time to hire a full-time customer service rep (or two) whose primary role in your business is to handle questions and urgent concerns—everything from “I need to change my T-shirt sizes” to “My event date has changed, so I need to move the in-hands date two days earlier” to “I got my virtual proof and I hate how the artwork looks!”
You can also look into virtual call center services where you outsource calls during peak times to another company. That way, your customers feel that they’re a priority and their issue is placed in a quickly moving queue. If it’s an urgent problem, their call can be escalated to someone in your shop who can address their problem right away.
3. “Do our customers feel like we ‘know’ them when they reach out?”
The days of sticking Post-It notes or using white boards to record your customers’ orders should be long gone.
However, have you invested in customer service management (CRM) software to streamline knowledge about your customers in your shop?
Notably, 33% of customers get most frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps . An effective CRM system immediately kicks that issue to the curb, since whoever answers your phones or live chats can immediately tap into a customer’s ordering history. That way, they know exactly how to handle their problems.
And of course, “time is money,” so it’s no surprise that 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do when providing customer service. If you haven’t set key performance indicators (such as that your team responds to all customer inquiries within three hours or 90 minutes), put some in place.
4. “Can our customers depend on us for quick-turn product recommendations?”
It probably happens pretty often in your shop: An existing customer or prospect calls up frantically saying that they need to order T-shirts for a virtual employee appreciation event or uniform polos for a virtual trade show.
They’re busy and you’re busy. However, the shop that’s going to win the business is the one that makes selecting the right products a breeze.
At alphabroder, we understand that and are here to help: Our Virtual Content Library is home to product flyers, inspiration boards and lookbooks all ready to be downloaded and branded with your logo. It’s organized by industry and theme—PPE, Workwear, Work from Home and so many more! It’s the perfect DIY option when you’re strapped for time and your customer needed something yesterday.
Notably, 33% of customers get most frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps. An effective CRM system immediately kicks that issue to the curb.
And have you seen our done-for-you digital lookbooks from all your favorite apparel brands? Typical print catalogs can be inconvenient and are often filled with extraneous information that causes sensory overload. You can easily email, share an easy-to-view (and -digest) lookbook link on social media. Or, encourage your prospects to download the lookbook directly to their desktop.
Remember, customers prefer “knowledge bases” over all other self-service channels . That’s why we update our collateral every month, so check back often for additional resources you can use.
5. “Are we providing value to customers via social media?”
There’s no doubt that your business needs to have a social media presence to be top of mind for customers. However, your social media channels are another way for customers to interact with you or reach you about an issue.
In fact, 60% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within an hour . The good news? Solving an issue on social media is 83% cheaper than resolving it through a call center interaction, Go Globe says.
If customers aren’t sure which channel is the quickest way to get a response, they may send the same message multiple times. On your end, two of your reps may be responding to the same problem via email and live chat at once, wasting time and confusing the customer.
Make it a point to designate a staffer to monitor your social media accounts to respond to comments on your posts, as well as to engage with customers who send you DMs.
Many decorators make Instagram their site of choice, since 60% of the site’s users visit the platform on a daily basis. Plus, your company’s Instagram influences 80% of your followers’ decision to buy your product or service .
Wondering where you can get some great content to stay active on social media? Well, if you’ve visited alphabroder’s Digital Lounge lately, you’ll see that we’ve created social media templates for you to grab and use, along with a brand collection to help you showcase your favorites.
You can also download videos and high-quality product images to show product details in action and up close.
6. “How easy does our website make it to find the information your need?”
When browsers land on your site, it should be easy for them to navigate and find the information they need to become serious buyers. Millennial buyers especially gravitate toward:
Include client testimonials and success stories about how you’ve helped others, since 40% of Millennials review these before purchasing
Easy-to-follow process for ordering directly from your site (extra points if your site offers an app-like feel).
To optimize your site experience, look into platforms specifically designed to sell decorated apparel: InkSoft , Printavo , OrderMyGear , DecoNetwork and Spirit Sale , to name a few. Add a 3-D mockup tool to your site so customers can see how their logo or artwork will look on a garment. Consider also adding an abandoned cart tool as well to prompt people who didn’t complete their purchase.
Why You Should Prioritize Your Customers’ Experience, Today.
Here are two ways to get some quick customer service wins:
Create a short survey via easy-to-use online tools and send it to your customer list. Keep it short, but ask your most critical questions, such as: How responsive have we been to your questions or concerns about our products? On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague? If you want to get more replies, offer a thank you like 10% off their next order.
Build in asking each customer you serve to review or rate your company on Facebook or Google if they feel like you’ve addressed their concerns speedily and in a way that feels good to them.
Remember, happy customers share their positive experiences with your shop with 11 people, and unhappy customers share their negative experiences with 15 people, according to American Express . Make it a point to sit down with your staff to review how your company interacts with customers to see where you can make improvements.