Increasing Customer Engagement
For hospitality businesses like hotels and sit-down restaurants, it's easier to craft a lasting user experience because your guests spend more time in your establishment. For people who own retail stores and quick-service restaurants, however, it's a little more complicated.
Your customers only spend a little time interacting with your business, no more or less than they do with your competitors, so customer engagement turns into a war for the attention of patrons whose time in your location is fleeting at best. It's one thing to make a purchase that you're satisfied with — it's a whole other ballpark when trying to create a lasting impression.
That's why customer experience matters so much. And for businesses that don't have the advantage of having their customers' full attention, creativity is key to creating a lasting experience without actually getting to spend significant time with the customer in question.
How Much Does User Experience Matter?
This theory is far from unfounded. According to a study from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 80% of consumers said they would pay more for a better experience. This means engaging with customers in and outside of your brick & mortar establishment, creating a friendly interaction between your brand and your customers.
Take Chik-fil-A, for example. When the chicken chain first opened, the founder had a firm idea of what he wanted the experience of the restaurant's guests to be. Every cashier says something like "my pleasure" or "have a nice day". People crave this type of friendly encounter with customer service pros and will go out of their way to get it.
But what about when customers aren't in the physical confines of your store? Then it pays to use digital marketing tactics that give your brand a personality. Make sure your company twitter account is interacting with people in a positive way, whether you're responding to requests or complaints or simply about promotions your business is running. Personalize your emails with a survey that shows that your brand truly wants to get to know the customer and their tastes.
The Bottom Line
When you become more than just a faceless brand, and something like a helpful companion, dare we say even a friend, to your customers, that's when they'll be inclined to recommend you to their peers, friends, and family. That's the process of turning a customer into a loyal promoter.