Truly understanding what the customer wants is the key to becoming a CX leader. A customer-centric approach is a critical differentiator that separates a business from a crowd that already knows how to deliver excellent customer experience. Everyone is doing CX well today, but what makes it exemplary? Learn from three CX leaders who are raising the bar high.
Three Companies That Provide Exceptional CX
1. Amazon – E-commerce and Technology
Amazon is often cited for its exemplary customer service, so it’s no wonder they are considered a CX leader. Its success can be attributed to its relentless commitment to customer satisfaction, investing continuously in cutting-edge technology and processes.
From tailored product recommendations that fuel the customers’ shopping needs to streamlined one-click purchase options, Amazon underscores the significance of understanding and anticipating customer needs for delivering outstanding customer experiences, making it the most appealing element of its CX strategy.
Some of the other features that directly influence Amazon’s customer service are:
- Price guarantees
- Fast worldwide delivery
- Free shipping above a certain amount
- Advanced package tracking system
- Easy return policy
- Automatic refunds
- 24/7 customer service
Amazon also innovated a chain of convenience stores, which requires no checkout. Customers can simply walk into the store, check in with their app, take the items from the shelves, and pay through the app linked to their Amazon account.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon made the experience as easy as possible for customers who had additional shipping and delivery queries due to the uncertain times. There was a new FAQ page that included all the relevant information and their policies during the pandemic.
Lesson: Focus on innovation and personalization in your business to create a sense of understanding and value for your customers. Ensure a simple product that fulfills the customer and market needs. While constantly adapting to their customers’ needs, Amazon delivers a straightforward and simplified CX.
2. Hubspot – B2B Software
Hubspot is a sales, services, and inbound marketing software provider, and now, we consider them a top CX leader. Understanding the fierce and competitive market everywhere, the company came up with the perfect solution that would appeal to any party that wanted more insights into the playing field.
Hubspot has established credibility by providing useful reports and information from the industry to its users. Content marketing is one of their biggest strategies that drives traffic to their website and keeps the users’ interest by answering the most frequently asked questions from their field.
Hubspot actively publishes fresh content and repurposes the old ones to adapt to the ever-changing realities within their field. Another way they repurpose their content is by transforming the content into downloadable all-in-one guides. By doing so, they educate their audience, who are looking to make well-informed decisions.
Additionally, Hubspot finds opportunities to create exceptional CX in the following ways:
- A chatbot that helps people find what they are looking for
- Free certification courses for marketing professionals
- A huge Facebook community where users can get their questions answered by professionals in the same field
Lesson: Providing content that aligns with customers’ preferences can shape positive experiences. Offering current, relevant information to users through channels that match their content consumption habits contributes to long-term business benefits and enhances the overall CX with the brand.
3. Starbucks – Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry
Starbucks has established itself as a global brand/CX leader by thinking beyond coffee and crafting a distinctive customer experience that fosters customer loyalty. Their inviting store ambiance, personalized beverages, and loyalty program collectively contribute to a customer-centric approach, setting them apart.
A critical factor in Starbucks‘ success lies in their ability to forge almost personalized connections with its customers, with its rewards program shining through as the superstar. Everyone appreciates a complimentary drink or redeeming points for free items.
Starbucks’ approach extends beyond transactions, making customers feel valued in every interaction. Engaging in philanthropy with initiatives like gift cards and complimentary visits, Starbucks succeeds in creating a sense of belonging for customers.
Lesson: Starbucks serves as an excellent example of the effectiveness of customer reward programs and incentives. With over ten million followers across its social media platforms, Starbucks exemplifies how keeping customers informed and engaged is crucial, as evidenced by the strong desire of its customer base to stay updated on anything new.
Recognize the uniqueness of your brand and develop a customer experience that mirrors your company’s values and personality.
Delivering Exceptional Customer Experience
Providing excellent customer service all day everyday doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all formula as it hinges on factors like the size of the business, industrial sector, and the nature of the product or service. However, certain fundamental elements are always at play even when the processes undergo changes and evolve, improving over time.
Here are four constants in any exemplary customer service that form a robust foundation when integrated into the CX team’s priorities.
- Establish policies prioritizing customers consistently
Consider a scenario where a customer calls to complain about a disparity between the online and in-store price for a product that they purchased. If company policies prevent match the online rate, the support team will be left with limited options and will have to resort to merely offering apologies.
Exceptional CX is hindered by unfavorable company policies. To enhance support quality, advocate for support leaders to have a say in decision-making, ensuring alignment with the daily feedback from their team and customers. This approach reduces the likelihood of a disconnect between customer needs and company policies.
Ensure a balanced approach when evaluating the performance of both CX agents and the overall company. Incorporate a Net Promoter Score (NPS) into your performance assessment, allowing customers to rate their experience as Great, Okay, or Not Good buttons in each email— a straightforward way to gauge daily customer satisfaction.
- Recruit empathetic problem-solvers
Dispelling the myth that anyone can excel in CX, the truth is that exceptional team members share key similarities from day one. These include empathy, heightened emotional intelligence, and proficiency in problem-solving.
Agents who have the ability to understand and reflect on others’ feelings can make customers feel heard and supported, particularly in challenging situations. Combining empathy with strong problem-solving skills proves invaluable, as these team members adeptly address issues and work towards resolutions when faced with complex problems.
Hiring professionals inclined towards helping others not only fosters a passion for delivering exceptional CX but also cultivates a team that is eager to learn and improve continuously.
- Empower employees with training and tools
Even the most qualified CX professionals need training and the right resources to excel in their roles. A comprehensive onboarding plan, product-specific knowledge, and a powerful contact center solution to manage customer interactions establish a strong foundation for delivering outstanding support consistently.
Begin by immersing individuals in the customer culture before delving into training on the product or service. Interactive onboarding and simulations of real-life customer interaction scenarios can help agents train in authentic settings. Job shadowing allows for one-on-one training opportunities as well as building relationships between the recruits and existing team members.
Most importantly, focus on adopting a support stack that is user-friendly and equipped with extensive built-in resources, spanning documentation to video tutorials. Ensure that any tool used by the team not only streamlines their tasks but also plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall customer experience right from the outset.
Learn how knowledge base tools boost contact center agent training.
In an industry often driven by profit margins rather than people, businesses should look for opportunities to establish a new normal. Hire skilled CX team members and compassionate managers, prioritize comprehensive training and mentorship, and provide a support stack that simplifies the process for new hires.
The companies listed in this article proudly showcase a history of fulfilling commitments to their customers and perpetually strive to elevate their performance to achieve their goal of being outstanding CX leaders.
Companies, such as Apple, IKEA, Walt Disney, and others, are known for consistently excelling in delivering exceptional customer service by placing customers as the cornerstone of their brand. A common trait among these companies across various sectors is a profound understanding of their customer needs and recognizing the need for technology to ensure a seamless CX.