In the world of benefits, employees become customers, and customer service is key. Customer experience is one of those things that seems self-explanatory. As a concept, it’s simple enough to understand — but it’s not always easy to implement. In fact, it can be difficult to build and realize value from a positive employee experience.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the idea that you can affect how people feel about you and your service after your transaction with them. Essentially, it’s the step after branding. Branding creates an expectation in the mind of the customer. This expectation creates ideas or feelings for a particular product or company before customers even engage with them.
Instead of relying on what happens before a transaction, customer experience recognizes the need to engage during and after the transaction as well. Setting expectations before customers engage with your product is not sufficient.
In fact, the people who have the most power to help you grow your business are the people who have engaged with your product or service. You have made a brand promise to these people and then delivered. That’s the key of a great customer experience. Good customer service is making sure that you deliver on your brand promise every time.
Why does customer experience matter?
The reason managing your brand experience is such a good investment is because it has a great return. Every person who has a positive experience with you is more likely to return for more business and recommend you to others. The idea behind customer experience is that you have figured out how to reliably meet your customers’ needs and leave them feeling better about you than when they first met you.
Think of it like this: someone watches a commercial for a product or service they’ve never tried and likes the commercial. They might be more likely to try that product, but they’re not going to evangelize it. Without experiencing a service, people are not likely to tell anybody else about it. Though they may reference the commercial, they don’t have the social equity to recommend the service.
However, someone who has experienced your service offering first hand is inclined to talk about it. If you’ve delivered on your brand promise, they are more likely to trumpet your message. Creating this goodwill has several benefits. Not only does it help you secure repeat or additional business, but it likely garners new business as well. When you not only meet but exceed expectations, it makes customers much more likely to refer new clients to you.
This creates is the absolute cheapest acquisition strategy you could possibly have. People like to do business with people they like, and they trust recommendations from others.
How to implement it
Creating a great customer experience really just comes down to delivering on that brand promise. It’s setting expectations and then exceeding those expectations. Start by getting a good idea of what the client expects. You can do this by asking questions about previous experiences or talking generally about service standards. It’s also important to set service standards for things like:
- response time to questions or requests
- frequency of updates on the process
- quality of the products or services delivered
- satisfaction level of customers after products or services are delivered.
Once you establish these types of standards, be sure to review them often. Make sure they are not only being met but also that they seem impactful. If customers aren’t satisfied with the level of service, adjust the standards.
You can also use your Benefits Zone solution to create a great engagement experience for clients. Include all of the tools and resources clients need during the Open Enrollment process and beyond in one place, and monitor engagement.