Every organization wants to provide a great experience to their customers. After all, if your customers aren’t happy, your business won’t thrive. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain one. Companies today have more reasons than ever to treat their customers well. The problem? They don’t always know how.
To provide a great customer experience, you have to understand what people want. And this 2013 study from Accenture suggests that the answer isn’t all that complicated. Above all else, customers want to be heard. They want companies to provide a way for them to voice their questions and concerns – and then provide answers and drive change accordingly. Our new user interface released to all customers on January 31, 2015 was a direct result of carefully researching what our valued customers wanted - your feedback was a key component to our innovation. This means that if you want to provide a customer experience that sets your organization apart, equip your people with the tools and the customer feedback they need to make that possible.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips for how to keep your customers happy. Hot tip: it starts with your employees.
Hire the right people
Whether you’re in charge of a startup or a Fortune 500 company, make sure the people you are hiring are right for the job. When it comes to being passionate about customers, hire for values – not skill set, says this piece in Forbes: “You can easily train employees, but you can’t change the fabric of who they are.”
Having a diverse workforce is also important. A variety of backgrounds and experiences on staff can ensure that every customer will be understood and recognized. Encouraging diversity isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also good for your bottom line. When your customers see themselves in your workforce, they are far more likely to feel heard and valued.
Cultivate your culture
A healthy workplace culture is one of the most important components of a thriving business. People who are excited to come to work every day are more likely to retain their position, stay engaged on the job and genuinely care about the products or services they are selling. This directly translates to better a customer experience and higher sales. A good working environment is a win for everyone.
Improving your company culture doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Much like your customers, employees want to feel valued and heard. “Letting people know they are important is one of the biggest components to a thriving, concierge-style culture,” says Utility Concierge CEO Gabe Abshire. “When employees feel like meaningless cogs, their work is unlikely to matter to them and they soon look for a job that’s interesting and fulfilling.”
Set aside time to ask your employees how they’re doing – and listen carefully to their responses. Let them know where they shine, and how much you appreciate their unique contribution to helping your organization run. When employees know how important they are, they feel empowered them to take responsibility for customer experience.
Set the stage for strong leaders
People learn by example, and your employees are no exception. If your senior leaders contribute to high morale and act as good role models, that sentiment is likely to be replicated throughout the company. In a positive, customer focused environment, your workers can grow their talents and expand their knowledge – two things that can be used to create even better customer experiences.
Motivation is one of the most important keys to employee happiness, according this article from Tech Cocktail. Thankless jobs aren’t good for anybody. Having leaders reward employees for improving the customer experience is a very good way to keep them – and your company – moving forward.
Earning customer loyalty every day
Last, but certainly not least, creating a great customer experience takes work and focus every day. It’s not a job done once but an ongoing driver of how you look at your strategy, your people and your investments. Making the customer a priority isn’t just great for your customers, it’s great for your bottom line and your employee engagement.
Interested in making expense reports painless to help your employees focus on what matters? Take a test drive of Concur here.