Is the actual experience you deliver your customers in-line with the experience you’re actually trying to deliver? There’s only one sure way to know and that’s to talk to your customers and this means conducting research. You need real, factual, objective data from your customers on which to base your decisions. Your own assumptions aren’t enough as your biased and just too close to your business, let look at a few ways you can gather the information you need.

 

Scour Social Media

Search your name as a keyword on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Look for positive and negative comments about your brand. These comments will tell you whether or not you’re living up to customer expectations or not.

Read Reviews and Ratings

Locate your listing on review and rating sites, you can search for your business name on Google and often find review websites. Read the reviews you find and see what feedback customers wrote about their experience with your company. For negative reviews, reply and ask for clarity or ways you can further help them. Always remember never react to a bad review, instead think of it as an opportunity to learn how you can improve your business.

Ask Customers Directly

Come right out and ask you customers, offer a comment card or hand out a survey. Offer an incentive such as a discount or freebie as enticement to complete and hand in. The best time to ask for feedback is after the customer has bought and used the product. Make seeking feedback part of your follow-up process.

Carry out Focus Groups

While it requires a bit more investment of time and resources, focus groups are a great way to learn about the experience directly from customers. Invite select customers to attend and lead a discussion about their experience dealing with your company.

Website Analytics

Website analytics offer an indirect way of evaluating the customer experience. If a large number of visitors come to your site but disappear without signing up, buying, or otherwise engaging, this could mean that there’s a disconnect in the experience there. This is why bounce rates are monitored and why they are so important.

Communications Monitoring

Monitor communications between employees and customers to see where there might be problems. This can also help you identify areas where employee training is lacking or where ongoing training is necessary.

Employee Focus Groups

It may also be useful to hold employee focus groups. In these groups, you can talk about your experiences with customers. Employees can talk about what they feel were successes or failures in the customer experience based on customer feedback or behavior.

Encourage Interaction

Always look for opportunities to interact naturally with your customers. The more interactions you have with them, the more likely you are to glean insights on how they view the experience with your business.

This research should be ongoing and something that is naturally done. No customer experience is perfect and every business can use some fine-tuning. Through the objective data you obtain through research, you can identify areas of weakness and seek to make improvements.

 

Ways to Research Your Current Customer Experience
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About Me

I've been designing and marketing websites and businesses for over 24 years and prior to this I worked in sales, marketing and big business for almost 18 years... which makes me not only old, but also highly experienced at this marketing and Internet stuff.  I've won lots of awards and helped thousands of people, and this website is a testament to the information I share freely to help others succeed online.

When I'm not designing websites, doing this online marketing stuff or writing. I love nothing more than getting out on a weekend and scuba diving. I'm a qualified rescue diver and love getting wet in the waters around Perth and Rottenest Island. I also cycle, which must be a sight as I'm not the thinnest of people (lol)... and a paddle on a kayak or a swim helps makes most weeks, perfect. At home I have a marine reef tank, which I just love and on top of that I've an awesome dog, called Ziggy.

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Solutions are tailored to meet your budget and success goals as much as possible, and websites have been delivered costing just a few hundreds dollars a month or for one of payments of a few thousand... it all comes down to our discussions, if you want a website that generates millions of dollars in sales your budget will obviously be bigger, if you're a small business then your goals and costs will be more realistic, at least to start with.

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