Business Improvement PlanEvery successful business values customers and strives to fulfill them. Why? Because happy customers are repeat marketplace offenders who show their appreciation with product loyalty. This is why every good business improvement plan should take into consideration the importance of customer experiences.

So how does your business interact with customers? The answers may surprise you and can be the difference between having a thriving or floundering business.

Good Customer Experiences: A Winning Formula

Some business owners think that only the actual point of sale consists of the entire customer experience. But a customer’s interaction with your business is far more extensive. This includes everything from how people interact with your website, your advertisements and your social media, to any support you provide after the sale.

Amazon.com, Apple, Trader Joe’s, and UPS are some of the top businesses with excellent customer experiences, according to a report by Zogby Analytics, which polled more than 1,500 people on the quality of customer service at America’s most popular companies. Positive costumer experiences have catapulted these organizations to success.

The Common Denominator

So what do all these successful companies have in common? The answer: Excellent customer experiences. Amazon, for example, is always striving to improve its customer experiences. They offer Prime Membership, rewards points, free returns and various shipping options that cater to different lifestyles. Their customer’s needs are at the forefront of all their marketing efforts. It is no wonder that Amazon’s stock value continues to rise.

The same applies with Apple, which constantly strives to create new and innovative products that are user-friendly. And when you do encounter any technical difficulties, Apple representatives are always courteous and helpful, either over the phone or in person.

3 Steps to Improve Customer Experiences

Customer experiences should be at the heart of every business improvement plan. Keep these three important steps in mind when developing your business plan for the upcoming year.

  1. Evaluate Current Performance. You can get a better understanding of your customers by delving deeper into their experiences. Conduct focus groups and surveys to glean a unique perspective on customer experiences. You can also use secret shoppers and call monitoring to see how your employees interact with customers.
  1. Identify Improvement Areas. After you collect your initial data, start identifying areas to improve customer experiences. Get feedback from your best employees who are on the front-lines and see where are you are lacking. Brainstorm strategies that will target any gaps to enhance customer loyalty.
  2. Quantify Results. Once you have developed these strategies, establish a set of metrics that will help you measure their effectiveness. Does giving your customers rewards increase sales? Does having interactive social media on your website drive more customer traffic? Knowing these numbers will help you identify what’s working.

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. And in today’s competitive marketplace, having an edge over your competitors is critical. So develop an effective strategy in your business improvement plan that heightens customer experiences. By putting people first, you will have a winning formula for customer loyalty and a booming business.