Five ethical rules to embody for improving the customer journey

The competition for customers has become stiffer, and no business can afford to leave anything to chance. And being able to predict your customer’s behavior and identify their preferences will go a long way in offering excellent customer service. 

The customer journey is a consumer’s pathway to interact with a brand through touchpoints like social media and websites before purchasing.

However, customers’ preferences change as new technology and buying trends emerge. This is why businesses should map a customer’s journey using available data. A customer journey map vividly illustrates your customer’s experience with your brand. 

Understanding your customer journey helps you analyze behaviors influencing their actions or inactions. It helps you know their concerns, which improves customer experience and retention in the long run. Positive customer experience improves sales, brand loyalty, and advocacy. Clients who are satisfied with their experience purchasing your products or resolving complaints easily refer friends. 

Research shows that 66% of customers expect businesses to understand their needs and expectations. Customers are willing to spend 10 percent more if they’re guaranteed excellent customer service. Businesses that focus on customer needs and expectations are 60% more profitable than those that aren’t.

Given the importance of customers’ experience to businesses, here are five ways you can improve your customer journey.

1) Respect your customers and their time  

Time is the most important asset anyone has, and your ability to respect it will improve customer retention. Businesses need to determine if they can resolve customer complaints immediately. No one wants to wait hours to realize they have to return in three business days.

If your business runs a customer support unit, you want to make sure that they have access to subject matter experts that can solve technical issues. 

These agents need to have access to their schedules, specialization, and the best platform to reach them to expedite customer needs. There’d be moments when customers might have to wait for service delivery. What makes the difference is being empathetic and having excellent communication skills. If delivery is coming late, acknowledge the customer by reaching out and informing them. 

As your business grows, to deliver a quality customer experience, you would need to outsource tech support. Outsourced tech support helps keep you focused on your core business and manage resources efficiently.

You get access to state-of-the-art facilities that have the capacity to even engage a younger customer base like Gen Z or millenials, who are experts at handling technology and have high expectations when calling into a business. You also get access to round-the-clock customer support to prioritize customer time. 

2) Be transparent about your business practices

Transparency is the foundation upon which trust and loyalty are built. Transparency is the ability to run an honest line of communication with your clients.

Notifying your customers of disappointments in delivery or when out of products. Businesses need to be transparent in a digital world where customer allegiance is more fragile than ever. 

When customers know your brand is honest, they easily recommend it. This increases sales and enhances the brand. For transparency to work, it needs to start from the company management to the staff. Ways to improve transparency include communicating brand values, being honest about data collection, and consistent pricing.  

3) Don’t oversell or misrepresent 

There’s a thin line between blowing your horn and exaggerating your deliverables. Overselling your brand can damage your hard-earned reputation. Misrepresenting your brand forces you to work under immense pressure and affects work quality. In the long run, it can lead to the loss of clients.

Instead, you want to under-promise and over-deliver. This honest assessment of your capabilities gives you enough room to maneuver and deliver excellent quality. Especially seeing how you cannot determine if the client follows your service recommendations. Under-promising and over-delivering help you provide value for money, exceed customer expectations and improve satisfaction. 

4) Honor customer privacy

One ethical rule to live by is protecting your customers’ data. A data breach is one of the fastest ways a company can lose its brand reputation. Beyond the loss of revenue, there are non-business costs to data breaches. Companies also risk losing customers it took years to acquire.  

There’s also downtime and new business acquisition costs. Not to mention the expenses that would go into the investigation, detection, and escalation. Then, the organization would have to consider how to contain and eliminate the threat. 

5) Provide feedback promptly and politely  

One way to improve customer experience is prompt feedback to inquiries. At different stages of a customer’s journey, they might need clarification. Whether it’s the consideration or purchase phase, your ability to address complaints fairly and politely will go a long way in determining who becomes your brand’s advocate. 

To do this effectively, ‌consider having outsourced technical support. The expertise of IT support will drastically increase your response time and positive customer experience. This will increase the probability of repeat business and improve your competitive advantage. 

Maximize your customer journey map

The first step to improving the customer journey is developing the map as a guide. This visual representation becomes a guide for your employees to understand your unique customer experiences. You can then fine-tune your touchpoints to resonate with your customer needs.