The way people treat you is a pretty good indication of how they feel about you. For that reason, it’s essential for SMBs to humanize the customer experience as much as possible. Today’s consumers are less trusting and more skeptical. That’s why acquiring new customers takes longer and costs more. Personalizing and humanizing the customer experience are the ways to win customers over.
What would your customers say if you asked them if they received personalized customer experience from your various team members? If you have to think about it too much, you probably need to change your approach on how you deliver the customer experience. As you work toward this goal, you’ll find that you’ll more easily acquire customers and retain them when your teams add a human touch to the equation. And the task of humanizing the customer experience will be far easier when you use a cloud-based phone system and the right software integrations to meet your goals.
How to Ensure a Smooth Customer Acquisition
Simply put, customer acquisition is a systematic strategy that brings new customers to your business. Essentially, humanizing the customer experience means highly personalizing it. That’s the way to pave the path from lead generation to acquisition. According to CX industry veteran Clare Muscutt, who is also the Founder and Director of the CMXperience, “Building a great customer experience doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by design.”
And your customer support and customer success teams play the most significant roles in ensuring a smooth customer acquisition. Both teams have a direct line to your customers, and because of this, they’re inadvertently some of your best marketers.
In the interest of avoiding confusion, lead generation is different from customer acquisition. For one thing, lead generation lies at the top of your sales funnel. On the other hand, customer acquisition sits in the middle and conversions are at the bottom. Customer acquisition is also sometimes referred to as the whole sales funnel.
SMBs tend to focus pretty heavily on the top and bottom ends of the sales funnel. What this means is sometimes customer acquisition is overlooked. When you don’t focus enough on the customer acquisition aspect of the sales funnel, you’re missing valuable opportunities to humanize the customer experience at a crucial step of the customer journey.
The Importance of Customer Onboarding
We all enjoy spending time with people who make us feel good. Just as important is when they care about you with their words and their actions? It works exactly the same way with customer acquisition. When you get to know customers it humanizes the sales experience, setting your business up for a strong customer experience.
Onboarding is a crucial stage in your customer’s overall experience. It’s an important stage in which you have a chance to get customers “on board” with your product or service. It’s a time to nurture new customers and to allow customers to get comfortable with your relationship.
A good customer experience sets the tone for the customer relationship from the very first interaction. The feeling lasts, and they’ll look forward to having another experience just like it. What’s more, they’ll be excited to tell others so they can have that experience too. That’s an important concept because 80% of future profits come from 20% of existing customers.
Investors and other stakeholders also know that it costs more to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers, and that could influence their decisions about whether they want to partner with you.
Ways to Improve Your Customer Onboarding
- Leverage the information that you gathered about customers during the marketing and sales processes.
- Train your customer support representatives to truly understand customers, including their demographics, pain points, preferences, and dislikes.
- Place an emphasis on value. Be specific on how your product solves their problems or makes their lives easier.
- Use various communication tools and channels to keep them engaged. Think about the types of things they’ll need to know once they start using your product or service.
- Create customer-centric goals and let the customers define success. Be aware that every customer is unique. They’re bound to define the value of your products and services differently than other customers.
- Measure your success. Gather customer feedback, either on the phone or using automated surveys. Track key metrics and make improvements accordingly.
The Role of Customer Support in the Customer Experience
When your customer support call center uses a cloud-based phone system and various other software solutions, you gain the opportunity to gather lots of customer information. The role of customer support in the customer experience begins with knowing what your customers want. The customer acquisition stage is the perfect time to learn about the customer’s preferred communication channels and the factors that influence their buying decisions.
We’ve learned much about what consumers expect from their customer experience. Regardless of their age or gender, customers primarily prefer the phone over other communication channels. Most customers don’t mind giving you information about themselves if it leads to a better customer experience. We also know that while customers like to be served quickly, they’re usually willing to wait a little longer if it results in a better outcome. A positive customer experience generally keeps customers coming back. On the flip side, customers are likely to churn after having a poor customer experience.
Customers don’t expect every experience to be perfect, but they do appreciate the effort that your customer support representatives put in.
Ways to Improve Your Customer Support Experience
- Set up an on-site or virtual call center using a cloud-based phone system and software integrations, so that customer support representatives have access to a single source of customer information.
- Use automated email campaigns to set up communication workflows to increase engagement.
- Segment your audiences specifically so you can meet them at their exact level of engagement.
- Capture as much customer data as possible to help you qualify leads and identify the most profitable customers.
- Train customer support representatives on how to identify ways that your product or service provides value, and how they can use that information to emphasize that value to customers.
- Analyze customer support ticket trends. Be on the lookout for common problems and appropriate solutions.
- Analyze customer satisfaction surveys.
- Establish a customer success team to ensure customer satisfaction beyond what other teams provide.
The Role of the Customer Success Team in the Customer Experience
You could think of the role of the customer success team as an extension of the marketing, sales, and customer support teams. For many customers, a high-quality customer experience is nothing less than a fair bit of hand-holding and a white-glove experience. Customer success depends on being able to deliver on the promise of high-quality customer service, which is often more than other teams have the time or experience to give. A dedicated customer success team is ready to spring into action to assist on calls, to work on complex problems, and to take the initial customer experience to the next level.
Specifically, the role of a customer success team can include helping onboard customers, conduct account reviews, train other teams on product knowledge, and identify long-term strategies for customer success.
Unlike sales teams, a customer success team doesn’t define success by numbers or quotas. Customer success goes beyond closing a sale or asking what a customer needs. Members of customer success teams always start conversations from a place of “yes,” which means taking a prescriptive approach when communicating with customers. Their main objective is to come up with potential solutions to problems and allow the customer to decide what makes them the happiest.
The Role of Customer Success & Support in Humanizing the Customer Experience
In today’s market, the reality is that personalization counts at every step of the sales funnel. A cheery greeting in and of itself only goes so far. One study showed that nearly a third of customers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service. It also showed that 76% of customers believe that the quality of your customer service represents how much you value them as customers. In fact, 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a product when they know they can expect a good customer experience before and after making a purchase.
The internet was a game-changer for consumers. It’s given them a larger number of products and services to choose from. Personalized service sets your company apart from the competition.
To make a good first impression on customers, you need to use the customers’ names and speak to them personally. That first impression is crucial. Get it wrong, and you may not get another chance. The first impression that your customer success and support teams give typically sets the standard of care that your customers will come to expect in the future.
It’s essential for customer success and support teams to be consistent with the standard of care they provide to your customers because it will most certainly have an effect on your bottom line.
There’s no question that smoothing out the customer acquisition process is important for every business, regardless of age or size. Humanizing the customer experience is a major part of that. There’s no better way to gather the appropriate data to assist your customer support and customer success teams than with a cloud-based phone system by Aircall. Aircall’s modern phone system offers a robust set of voice calling features and it works seamlessly with software integrations to provide a single source of data. Aircall’s App Marketplace offers dozens of listings of software integrations for sales and support teams, and the list is growing all the time. At Aircall, we know the value of humanizing the customer experience. Furthermore, our tool will help you reach that all-important goal.