As people across the board become more careful about their spending due to rising inflation and other factors, it is more important than ever for businesses to stand out among the crowd.

Indeed, Dhalia CEO Alan Grima insists that now more than ever, businesses need to pay extra attention to giving consumers an enhanced customer journey, which has been identified as a business trend for 2023.

But what is meant by customer experience? This does not just have to do with price points and and quality. The (hopefully) joy customers reap from choosing, purchasing and consuming a product or service is the essence behind customer experience, with commentators believing that companies offering an ‘immersive’ experience will win big next year.

Some businesses are so confident in this trend, they have appointed their own Chief Experience Officers, such as Adobe and Adweek.

“It’s so easy for companies to cut corners these days, and simply provide the bare minimum amount of customer service or interaction,” Mr Grima states, adding that “this can lead to customers feeling like they’re just another number on a list, which ultimately means that their needs aren’t being met.”

Mr Grima believes “the key is to go above and beyond what’s expected and make sure that your company really stands out as being different than everyone else out there.”

When it comes to customer care, we often hear the term ‘providing A+ customer care’. But what does this mean in reality? Very simply, surpassing client expectations is what leads to an enhanced customer journey. It is what makes them feel special and important, and Mr Grima believes that this “is crucial since many customers are looking for ways to save money now more than ever before.”

Building customer loyalty is vital for businesses at present and, according to the CEO, they need to find ways “to create a unique customer experience” as, ultimately, this is what “helps them build loyalty.”

“This can be done by providing personalised attention based on what the customer needs at that moment in time, giving them access to products or services they wouldn’t normally have access to, and offering additional benefits to repeat clients,” he suggests.

Speaking of customer service given in local companies, Mr Grima uses the example of “the Maltese tourism industry, which has made great strides in recent years to improve its service standards.” He went on to say that “the country has earned high marks for its efforts to improve its services as well as its overall infrastructure.”

When it comes to the real estate industry the CEO feels that “licensing is one of the most important steps in ensuring a positive customer experience” as it provides a level of standard across the board.

He adds that digitalisation is another step that companies need to undertake in order to enhance their customers’ journeys. “In recent years, Malta has also been making a push toward becoming more digitally focused” giving it a more competitive edge, Mr Grima concludes.

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