How to Build Your Customer Experience Strategy [+Ideas You Can Steal]
You already know how important customer service is for your business. No matter how much competition is out there, nothing is more powerful than a human bond. As Dale Carnegie, one of the most well-known American writers and teachers puts it:
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
Positive experiences can make your business stronger—we’ve spoken about it quite often. The big question, however, is, how do you give each client the focus and attention that they need and deserve?
In this post, we’re sharing ideas that you can steal and apply to your business instantly!
Focus on the “why” that drives your tactics
Most likely, your client experience is the center of your business. You’re likely always thinking about the best interests of the people who visit your spa, salon, barbershop or wellness center. Even when things get busy, you probably do your best to say hello, check in with your shoppers, and get to know as many people as you can.
But these best practices won’t scale with your small business. You need an approach that can help your business grow, without you needing to sacrifice precious ZzzZzzZzzs. That means working smarter, not harder.
Working smarter means building systems and processes for your business. These systems and processes build up a strategy to inform the tactics of your day to day operations. As a result, you spend more time focusing on the big picture of keeping customers happy and less time worrying about the small details on how to achieve that goal.
The ability to focus on big-picture goals is one of the defining characteristics of a successful business and team. So how do you create a strategy?
If you’re looking for a relatable explainer, check out this article that Liz Ryan, a well-known business consultant, wrote for Forbes. In short, she explains that a strategy surfaces answers to the following questions
How are you going to win, to achieve your goals and do whatever you created the business to do?”
Tactics are the day-to-day steps that people take to answer these questions. They are the “what” and “how” that stem from the “why” of an overarching strategy. The biggest benefit of your company’s strategy is the ability to help people understand what they are doing every day. With this perspective, people can pursue their work with greater situational awareness.
Easy Ways to Build Your Customer Experience Strategy
A customer experience strategy has the potential to improve your business. But often, it can be challenging for already-busy business owners to create one from the ground-up.
Especially if you’re a solo founder, you likely can’t step away from your everyday operations. Another option might be to hire a consultant. But finding the right strategic partner can take time.
In the meantime, we’ve put together some ideas, to help you make a big difference by taking smaller steps:
Craft a vision statement
Words have power. A vision sentence of 1-3 sentences can help align your team around a set of common principles. The best vision statements are inspiring, open-ended, and relatable on a universal level. It is a living document that can help organizations strive towards higher purpose and growth.
A well-done vision statement will help people feel more passionate and excited about your company. Here are some steps to take, to help you create yours:
- Bring your team together for a small brainstorming session — make the experience fun
- Read through a few examples together — start with this roundup from Lifehack, for inspiration
- Host a discussion about the values that are important to your team
- Ask everyone to write a short vision statement
- Compare notes, blend ideas, and come together to finalize one draft
Once you’re happy with the vision statement, decide how you’d like to use it. You could publish it on your website “about” page, on your social media pages, in your employee training guides, and on your hand-outs. You could even turn it into art for your store, like the one below!
Image Source: Pinterest
Your “why” is what connects you as you navigate your “what.” The more that you, your team, and your customers think of your “why” actively, the better-positioned you’ll be to align around a shared sense of experience.
Start connecting with customers online
The time that you spend, together, with your customers is important. But it’s also limited. What if you could extend and deepen those conversations?
That’s why the Internet is such a powerful tool for businesses. You can be present when consumers are navigating decisions outside of your store.
“Customer journeys include many things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a service,” explains one study from McKinsey, one of the world’s most successful global consulting firms.
“Journeys can be long, stretching across multiple channels and touchpoints, and often lasting days or weeks.”
The most meaningful relationships are two-sided. Rather than sending people promotional messages, offer up interesting information in the form of a helpful blog post or an interesting Instagram feed. As examples, you could:
- Create how-to content
- Offer up interesting beauty, styling or wellness tips
- Share inspirational quotes
- Share answers to frequently asked questions
- Host contests or giveaways
- Share details about events or promotions
Even more simply, you can send people newsletters or reminders for appointments. No matter your online marketing strategy, it’s important to focus on being helpful.
Dr. Rachel Reyes-Bergano, owner and medical director at Contempo Aesthetics and a Genbook user, follows this tactic quite effectively. Her Instagram feed is full of insightful content around beauty, esp skincare routines, new treatments, procedures and before and after images.
One of the challenges that you’ll likely face is time. Creating an online marketing strategy takes time and effort. The time that you spend at a computer can be deceptively tiring.
Software can help. With Genbook, for instance, you can build processes that connect online and offline experiences. Our online scheduling software was created after carefully evaluating the customer experience needs of tens of thousands of small business owners.
We then created systems and processes that make it easier for small businesses to build relationships with clients online. With this infrastructure in place, business owners can focus on the fun part of online marketing — creating meaningful content.
This content forms the basis of your small business’s ability to build relationships at scale. You can reach more people with valuable information, at fewer touchpoints. There are a few simple steps to get started:
- Write for a publication
- Contribute to an industry-specific newsletter
- Start an Instagram account. Our social media starter pack can help!
- Start a YouTube video in case you’d like to create videos on your iPhone
- Start using software that can help you connect the value that you provide in all of this content, back to your core business
One of the ways to improve upon your strategy is to collect feedback. This information can help you better understand what people are thinking and feeling. When your customers take time to share their thoughts, you can make more focused improvements to your business.
A simple way to collect feedback is to run a survey. Come up with a short list of questions that are open-ended enough for people to fully express themselves. Here are some ideas:
- What did you like about your experience at our store? Why?
- What would you have changed about your experience? Why?
- Would you recommend our store to your friends? Why or why not?
- How does your experience with us measure up to other wellness companies?
- How did our store make you feel?
There are a few different ways to collect information. You can reach out to people by email, schedule phone calls, or ask people to complete a survey after checkout. Make sure that you always show gratitude for peoples’ time by offering to compensate people who answer with a gift card or discount code.
You can also use Genbook to conduct customer reviews.
A strong customer experience foundation will impact every dimension of your business. With a clear strategy in place, you’ll be able to keep leveling up over time.
The steps above can help you start executing on your program, without the overhead of starting from zero. As your clients become happier, you’ll open new doors that you may have never imagined for your business. With positive energy, the possibilities of what you can achieve are infinite.
Looking for ways to set your business apart? Download our experience report to see what clients expect from your service-led business.