A slowing economy is an ideal time to be focusing on making it easy for your customers and prospects to do business with you and on making it easy for your customers to reach their goals. Yet most organizations are so busy trying to cut costs and to convince cash-strapped customers to buy that they neglect investing in the most customer-critical things. Some of the things your customers need to make their lives easier may be low-hanging fruit that has been ignored.
I remember talking to a client in the customer support group at Cisco during the last big tech downturn. She was happy to report that as times got tough, the company had stopped throwing more people into customer support, and turned its attention, instead, to empowering customers and customer-service agents with better information and better tools—the things that she had been advocating. Cisco also changed the compensation structure for customer service agents at the time, to reward them for solving tough problems and turning those solutions into self-service wizards, rather than rewarding customer service personnel on the number of cases they resolved per day. Downturns bring opportunities. Make sure you’re taking advantage of yours!
So here’s my top 5 list of customer experience tactics you should be doing right now. The first three are Web-related because, for most of us, the Web is our customers’ first port of call:
1. Improve the Findability and Quality of Information on Your Web Site(s). This is a continuous improvement project. It starts with analytics. What search terms are people using? What navigation paths are they taking? What results are they getting? How accurate and up-to-date are those results?
Are customers seeing what they need to see in order to buy something and/or to solve a problem? If you don’t have a fancy tool to analyze what people are doing on your Web site, use the free tools from Google Analytics.