How to create a great customer experience on a budget

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customer experienceProviding a great customer experience is crucial because people will talk to their friends, family and colleagues (or maybe even write an article) about it.

Let’s discuss how you can create a great customer experience on a tight budget.

  1. Think about your goals

Why do you want to start a customer experience program? What do you hope to achieve? If you don’t know, then it will be hard to track and measure the success of your program.

Before you get started, think about your goals. Perhaps it’s to reduce churn rate, standardize your processes or scale your customer support efforts. Whatever it is, once you decide on your goal, you can begin brainstorming ways to improve the customer journey at every touchpoint. Think about who your customers are and what they value.

Pro tip: Create a customer journey map so you can visualize the process your customers go through. Then, you can begin to brainstorm areas where you could improve the customer experience.

  1. Plan your budget according to your priorities

Now that you have a good idea of what your goals are and you’ve brainstormed some ways to improve the customer experience, it’s time to prioritize. The best way to create a great customer experience on a budget is to prioritize what you want to get done with your budget in each quarter or year.

To get started, think of the ideas you came up with during your brainstorming session. Now, figure out what you’ll need to spend money on to make it happen:

  • Technology
  • Resources (personnel)
  • Tools

Pro tip: To properly plan for your budget, you need to know how much each task is going to cost and prioritize it in case you can’t get everything done right away.

  1. Focus on onboarding

A great customer experience starts with the onboarding process. Right when someone becomes a customer, you’ll want to start delighting them right away. If customers aren’t onboarded properly, they likely won’t find success using your product or service. And that can quickly lead to churn.

Pro tip: Does your current onboarding process leave customers confident or confused? To find out, send surveys when customers finish onboarding to get feedback immediately.

  1. Invest in the right tools

You’re going to need great tools on your side to enhance your customer experience. It’s hard to provide a memorable customer experience without them.

Customer service tools will like a CRM can help your support team get complaints down, respond faster and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. Engage with your customers

A budget-friendly way to create a great customer experience is to engage with your customers on a personalized level. Personalized customer outreach will make your customers feel heard and valued. If they feel that way, they’ll be more likely to stay with you and be loyal to your company.

You can add a personal touch by:

  • Implementing customer sentiment surveys and track customer satisfaction so you can learn where you can improve.
  • Leveraging customer success managers (CSMs) to give customers individualized attention based on their needs.

Pro tip: Remember that customer engagement is a two-way street. Make sure it’s easy for customers to get in touch with you and engage with you when they want.

  1. Don’t cut corners

Yes, we all want to look out for the bottom line, but there’s no point in cutting corners with your customer experience. You can’t buy bad software and then be surprised when it doesn’t improve the customer experience. You have to invest in the right tools, even if it’s a little more money.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to find a good deal. Just make sure you aren’t saving a quick buck at the expense of your customers.

Pro tip: To save money, you can try renegotiating with your vendors (perhaps a cost reduction in return for a longer contract) or outsource some services.

  1. Hire a great team

To truly implement changes and improve your customer experience, you need to have the right team in place. Whoever is leading the charge should be responsible for identifying challenges in the customer experience, determining the best solutions and tracking the success of those initiatives.

Pro tip: Make sure your CSMs are well equipped to do their job. They should have up-to-date product knowledge and be able to communicate any changes with your customers.

  1. Track your success

Of course, if you implement a new customer experience program, you need to track your success. You should have reporting in place so you can see how well a project is doing. You can track metrics such as churn rate, customer retention, customer satisfaction scores and Net Promoter Score.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to continuously iterate on your customer experience. This is what helps you retain customers and attract new customers through a customer-first reputation.

(This article was originally published by Hubspot. It has been edited for style and content.)

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