What Your Customers Want From Your Company this Year


The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to set goals for your company and make decisions on where to invest your time and money. Satisfied customers come back to your business in the future and tell others what they love about your brand. Figuring out what your customers want builds your business on multiple levels.

In a study of consumers, researchers learned customers value a positive experience so much that by the year 2020, customer experience (CX) will become even more important than price and product features in highlighting some brands as consumer favorites.

CX is made of intricate layers and hard to define. Below are six key things customers want more of from brands they patronize.

1. Get Personal

The world becomes more impersonal every year. If you phone a company, a computer offers responses. If you go to a grocery store, a machine checks you out. However, even though more and more things are automated, people want a personalized experience that applies specifically to their needs.

Your first step toward a more personalized experience is understanding your target audience and their pain points. However, you should also target language, offers and customer service based on each customer. Search engines offer information such as the customer's regional location, and social media informs you of their interests.

Coca-Cola has a Share-a-Coke campaign that offers personalized coke bottles with a variety of names. Name Cokes are in stores, but you can also order a Coke with a specific name or saying through their website. Offering a product with your name on it is the height of personalization. Your site might provide ideas for services in the location of the site visitor or something more straightforward, but the more customization you give the better.

2. Respect Customer's Time

Most families today have two people working outside the home and children involved in activities after school. They don't have a lot of extra time, and their time is valuable. Anything that saves a customer time endears your company to them.

Speed up your website. Most people won't wait around longer than a few seconds for your site to load.

Offer conveniences and keep checkout pages and forms as short as possible. If you offer customer service or ordering via telephone, reduce hold times as low as possible.

3. Collect Detailed Information

Don't make customers repeat the same information over and over again. Collect the necessary details to serve them effectively and make sure key people in your organization have access to that data. If a customer calls and complains about a product issue, they shouldn't have to repeat their entire problem when they call back the second time. Instead, the customer service rep should pull up the data and instantly know the issue they're having.

DY Concrete Pumps offers a custom quote that allows them to gather contact information and provide a chance for the user to include a personalized message. The custom quote offer is located at the bottom of the landing page with a bright yellow call to action (CTA) button that grabs the users attention.

4. Embrace Augmented Reality

Experts predict smart augmented reality glasses with reach 5.4 million people by 2020. Already, augmented reality permeates everyday life. Cinemark theaters offer games on the big screen leading up to movies that work with a Smartphone or mobile device and allow movie-goers to play games through augmented reality. The phone works with the image on the screen.

Advertisers place ads in magazines that work with an app on your phone and come to life. Pokémon Go became all the rage a few years ago, as players used their surroundings to view Pokémon you can only see in the app. As AR becomes more popular, expect to see it utilized more and more.

One way of utilizing AR on your website is through images that, when hovered over or clicked on, become a 360-degree video the user interacts with. You could also consider developing apps for smartphones that allow a user to place the item in their home and see how it looks.

5. Offer Better Communication

Customers want communication with you to be easy and accessible. Around 51 percent of consumers state businesses should be available 24/7. Smaller companies and startups have a smaller budget that doesn't allow for 24/7 customer service. Fortunately, you can automate email and chatbot responses, answering some questions automatically and letting customers know you'll get back as quickly as possible on others.

Look at the different forms of communication offered on your website. If you only provide your email, add a live chat option and a toll-free number. Make communicating with your brand simple and painless as possible.

Razer offers high-tech products such as laptops, headphones and keyboards. Note how their support page provides several options to get in touch with them, including a searchable knowledgebase, live chat, a toll-free number, email and community help.

6. Exceed Expectations

Customers come into a transaction with your brand with certain expectations. Once you understand what expectations your typical customer has, you can not only meet but exceed them.

For example, if your typical customer expects 24/7 customer support, work not only to offer 24/7 customer support but to also shorten your response times.

When you receive a complaint, solve it beyond what the person asks. If they want a replacement for a product damaged in shipping, include a small free item and thank them for the chance to make things right and overnight the package. Create goodwill with your customers, and they'll tell others about your brand.

Talk to Your Customers

If you're not sure what your customers want, ask them. Send out a poll and ask what areas need improvement. Pay attention to customer complaints, as well, and see if there are any patterns. No matter what type of business you're in, your success boils down to the relationship between you and your customers. Find the right mix, and you'll keep the customers you have while also attracting new ones.

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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