Understanding the Customer Experience During Periods of Change

April 5, 2017
Blog

There are many different types of change that impact the experience customers have with your organization. Whether your organization is rebranding, transitioning through a merger or acquisition, or simply adopting new technology, there is significant impact on customers. Mishandling the transition alienates good customers, confuses employees, and leaves everyone feeling let down. So, it’s important that you take steps to provide a smooth customer experience despite organizational change.

The following tips come from our experience helping organizations successfully navigate change while keeping their customers feeling positive and engaged.

1. Start with your employees.

Your employees are the face of your business. It’s crucial they feel supported during periods of transition so that they can share their confidence with customers. Communication is essential in order to build and maintain a confident employee base during organizational changes. Set your employees up for success by being:

  • Transparent about why the change is necessary and expectations for everyone involved
  • Sympathetic about any set-backs or concerns the change may cause
  • Receptive to input and feedback about the transition, allowing employees to have a say in the changes being made

2. Be as transparent as possible with your customers.

No one likes to be left in the dark, especially when money is involved. If you neglect to tell your customers what’s happening and how it might impact the service they receive, it’s likely they will feel confused or alienated.

No matter what sort of transition you’re going through, discuss and clarify its impact on your customers. Organizational leaders should be on hand to help frame the conversation in a way that makes sense to the customer and make sure that the organization’s position is transparent.

3. Emphasize the benefits of the transition.

Clarify the value of the transition to your customers, whether your big merger is going to give customers better access to your organization or your new software is going to speed up order processing and shipment times.

A customer-centric organization keeps its customers in mind throughout any transition. Why make a change if it won’t offer them a better experience? Make sure your customers know how the change will benefit them. They will be much more likely to face any temporary challenges with patience and acceptance.

4. Implement opportunities for customers to provide feedback.

Depending on the duration and scale of your transition, it may be beneficial to invest in survey tools to keep track of how your customers are coping with a big change. Be prepared for both negative and positive feedback; the point is to let your customers know that you hear them and want to provide them with the best possible experience. If you notice patterns or reoccurring comments about certain aspects of the customer experience, you might have a problem that warrants attention to prevent further issues.

It’s important to give your customers a chance to voice their opinions, even if it’s a minor transition. Online surveys and in-person feedback cards are a valuable way to determine how receptive your customers are to your organization’s changes. Be prepared to respond promptly to feedback and create an action plan to address any concerns. A customer-centric organization won’t just collect feedback, it will take actionable steps to improve the customer experienced based on that feedback.

Do you need more tips to thrive during a period of transition or improve your customer experience? Subscribe to our newsletter or contact us to learn more ways to engage your customers and navigate change with grace and success.

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