Customer experience (CX) means everything in business. Failing to live up to customer expectations can massively impact your bottom line. It’s not surprising that owners and managers are looking for ways to elevate the customer experience. Here are six foundational strategies for giving your target audience the very best.

  1. Make Use of Automated Marketing Tools

The human touch is critical for CX. Paradoxically, the same is true of automation. Tools like customer relationship management software and sales force automation systems may seem impersonal, but they play an invaluable role in keeping relationships intact. Costs and capabilities vary, so keep your goals in mind when asking questions like “What is customer data platform?” Ultimately, automated tools are only as effective as those designing and deploying them. Learn what each system can accomplish for your company’s unique requirements.

  1. Understand Your Target Audience

A perennial stumbling block to good CX is a lack of consumer data. Customer relationships are built on a foundation of comprehensive statistics. While researching demographics is always a good idea, one of the most effective market research methods is giving surveys. Surveys can be sent by email or included on your professional website. If you send them directly, it’s beneficial to individualize them according to that customer’s journey with your company. Focus groups, either in-person or online, can help you gain a particularly nuanced appraisal of consumer opinions. The more data points you have, the easier it is to plan marketing campaigns.

  1. Keep Quality Standards High

Research by Statista found that a plurality of consumers (28%) listed faulty products as the reason they lost confidence in a brand. It can be tempting to cut corners during a market downturn, but this can be a costly mistake in the long run. Customers are price-sensitive, but reducing the cost of offerings shouldn’t be done at the expense of perceived value. This task can be simpler than one might think since objective measurements of quality don’t always align with perceived value. Learn what your particular niche values and cater to that desire.

  1. Offer Omnichannel Touchpoints

In many ways, customer service is the core of CX. A well-known study by Zendesk discovered that 42% of consumers engaged in higher purchasing from a company that gave good customer service. 52% walked away from that brand entirely. The best customer service takes an omnichannel approach. Surveys have found that live phone operators, email, and live chat with an online representative are the top three preferences of consumers. Give them all of these modalities as options. Social media also makes a convenient touchpoint since these channels are where they go for brand information. Meeting customers on their preferred channels is crucial to effective CX.

  1. Personalize the Customer’s Journey

Customers overwhelmingly prefer to have personalized contact with a brand. That starts with customer service, but it doesn’t end there. Giving customers tangible rewards for repeat buying is an excellent place to start. A good practice is to do this in concert with a multichannel digital marketing campaign. Send special VIP offers via text and email. Offer personalized recommendations for future purchases based on past choices. Always follow up with customers after a survey or focus group event. Starting an affiliate program might also be worthwhile if it works with your business model. These positive experiences turn loyal customers into active brand advocates.

  1. Empower Your Workforce

The customer experience starts and ends with the treatment of customers by your representatives. Recent research found a statistically significant correlation between employee attitude and customer satisfaction. The best way to engender this attitude is to create a positive work environment. Solve conflicts between employees as soon as they arise. Prioritize the physical and mental well-being of all team members. Incentivize their efforts in ways that go beyond the stereotypical pizza parties and company awards. If they know they’re part of the company vision, that attitude will trickle down to customers.

Good customer experience is a consequence of the culture of your business. Customers are the reason your company exists, so make them the center of how you do business.