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Every business wants to increase sales, revenue, and profits. Companies also want to provide an exceptional customer experience. What you may not realize, however, is how interconnected these two goals are. For a long time, business owners knew that customer experience was important, but they didn’t know how to quantify it. It made sense intuitively that providing great experiences added value to a company. The question was how to prove it.

The Hard Value of a Great Customer Experience

A Harvard Business Review study tackled that very conundrum. The study, led by Peter Kriss (not the drummer from KISS), laid bare just how crucial customer experience is to your bottom line. “Not only is it possible to quantify the impact of customer experience,” Kriss writes, “but the effects are huge.” The study found that companies that scored 10 on a customer experience survey could expect 2.4 times the revenue per customer than companies that scored a 1.

The results were equally stark for subscription-based businesses. Companies scoring on the high end of customer experience (8–10) could expect members to stay with them for at least five years. The companies with low scores? They couldn’t even guarantee their members would stick around for another subscription cycle. Kriss sums up the results emphatically: “It’s time to stop the philosophical debate about whether investing in the experience of your customers is the right business decision.”

Now that there’s no doubting just how valuable an exceptional customer experience is for your company, you need to figure out how to go about delivering one.

3 Ways to Deliver a Stellar Customer Experience

1. Resolve Issues in a Timely Manner

We live in an on-demand world. Streaming services are replacing traditional TV. Ride-sharing has taken a huge bite out of the taxi industry. The list goes on. With customers prioritizing convenience and instantaneous feedback, being prompt with resolutions will benefit you tremendously. No company knocks it out of the park on 100 percent of their transactions. Mistakes happen, but how you handle those mistakes will go a long way toward defining how customers feel about you.

Don’t make your customers jump through a million hoops to have an issue settled. Empower your problem-solvers to deal with customers without approval from supervisors. Another way to cut down on resolution time is to give customers multiple avenues for support. If a confused customer can get an answer via text message, they won’t have to spend a second on hold.

2. Personalize the Experience

Every customer wants to feel special. The surest way to ensure unhappy customers is to treat them like nameless dollar signs. You should take every step you can to personalize your customer experience. Even small details like addressing people by name can make a big difference.

Proactive contact is another great tool in this regard. If you reach out to customers, they’ll feel recognized. Even better, provide recommendations based on previous purchases and experiences. Not only will this make customers feel like you know them, but it will encourage them to purchase more.

You can achieve the same goal by creating a loyalty program that rewards consistent customers with perks. Amazon Prime is a great example of how this can work. Customers who sign up for Prime get free shipping, streaming services, and digital photo storage. They also spend more money than non-Prime customers. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Take Feedback Seriously

Getting feedback from customers is a foolproof way to improve their experience with your company. That is, if you actually receive their feedback with an open mind and act on it. Too many companies offer surveys without any intention of using them. Unless feedback actually changes the way you do business, it’s just lip service.

As Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Imagine a customer points out an area where you could do better. The next time that customer comes around, they’re going to be mindful of their request. If you deliver, they’ll walk away impressed. If you don’t, they’ll probably just walk away.

A Great Experience Creates Fans for Life

Keeping your eye on customer experience will reap rewards for your business. After all, a business that makes customers happy is a business built to last. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a man who knows a thing or two about customer experience, puts it best: “If you do build a great customer experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”