Companies with a customer-centric mindset often find themselves leading the industry and gaining massive market share. However, creating a great CX isn’t easy. It needs research, effort and patience to create a great customer experience!
Still, it is a worthy challenge as it helps you focus on one of the most crucial parts of your business — customers.
Therefore, we decided to write a complete guide that provides an easy understanding of customer experience, its importance, different ways to measure it, and some of the best tips to improve customer experience across the board.
So gear up as we dive right into the content!
What is customer experience?
Customer experience, as the term suggests, is essentially the holistic perception customers hold regarding their experience with a brand or business.
CX is precisely the result of the overall interaction a customer has with the company.
This includes everything from from coming across the company for the first time, to browsing through the products or services, to navigating the website, to speaking to the customer service, to making purchases, and finally, to receiving the product.
Remember, as a company, everything you do matters and can potentially impact your customers’ perception — most importantly their decision to make repeated purchases.
In other words, a great customer experience can effectively be your key to long-term business success.
Why is customer experience management important?
Customer experience is essential to running a successful business. And that’s only becoming more and more obvious with changing customer behaviors.
A recent trend report shows that 63 percent of CX managers say their companies prioritize CX more than a year ago.
Not just that, half of the customers surveyed say that customer experience is a factor important to them while making purchasing decisions.
Companies should realize that the customer experience they offer is eventually going to impact customer retention, lifetime value, and brand loyalty.
This is true as 52 percent of the customers will go out of their way to make repeated purchases from brands they are loyal to. Is accomplishing this feat easy in such an ultra-competitive business environment?
Ask any CX manager and they will tell you how challenging it is to attract and retain customers, especially if the company is stricken with poor customer experience.
Even a single bad customer experience can malign the company’s reputation, and given how easy it is to make a switch in the web 2.0 era, potential customers won’t think twice before finding an alternative.
In other words, a remarkable customer experience drives competitive advantage and is critical to the sustained growth of any business. To sum things up, here are the main reasons you should prioritize extending a solid customer experience —
- A great customer experience can boost customer retention.
- Delivering exceptional services can improve customer lifetime value.
- CX, when prioritized, can go a long way in building customer loyalty.
- Customer experience directly impacts brand reputability.
- A remarkable CX can be an invaluable competitive advantage.
Remember, the market, regardless of the industry, is developing only towards saturation. After all, you can only make so many great products.
Therefore, companies should drop everything and realize the importance of customer experience as their last line of defense against cut-throat competition.
An effective and personalized customer experience will become a massive differentiator in the coming years.
What makes a good customer experience?
Can brands take actions that guarantee a good customer experience? If you ask us, a good customer experience is all about knowing your customers well and experimenting with tactics that can deliver to their needs, wants, and expectations.
Frankly, no customer experience CX expert can provide a universal checklist that companies can start following blindly and guarantee a good customer experience. In other words, achieving a great CX isn’t an overnight thing.
You will have to keep at it by implementing a number of common principles related to customer experience. Let’s discuss them, shall we?
1. Interaction is effortless
Companies that have a customer journey designed for the effortless accomplishment of customers’ goals can provide a good customer experience. Let the customers do what they want with your products and services. The idea here is to make things easy for customers.
2. Marketing sets realistic customer expectations
We often see ads online where brands make heavy promises, and when we click on them, the landing page doesn’t match our expectations. Customers don’t want anything out of the ordinary.
They just want their problems solved. And if you can do that by setting realistic expectations about your products and services, why not do it?
3. Product design is intuitive
Customers should have the time of their lives while using your products or services. This is only possible if the product solves their problems, and it does that intuitively. In other words, the product should have a customer-centric design.
4. Self-help resources are easy to access
Does your brand offer easy-to-access self-help resources that help customers solve their problems quickly and effectively? Make sure you publish blogs, articles, updates, FAQs, product manuals, and more online. Most importantly, make them highly accessible.
5. Common CX Customer Experience related issues are handled promptly
Most companies know what bugs their customers. CX managers can list several CX-related issues from the top of their heads. If you know the issues, it’s better to create a system where they are handled promptly.
6. Transparent pricing
Confuse the customers and you will never see them again. Positive customer experiences allow customers to make highly informed purchasing decisions and making sure the purchase-related details are transparent is one way of doing it.
7. Live customer support with short wait times.
Don’t make the customers wait. Have enough resources in your customer support team that can handle a sudden surge in live customer support calls.
Indeed, this list can go on and on. But instead of focusing on one of the factors mentioned above, companies should strive to make them work together and create a seamless, consistent experience for the customers.
What makes a bad customer experience?
We often come across companies that pay no heed to customer experience. Such companies have a few issues in common that lead to bad customer experiences.
Since bad CX comes in many shapes and sizes, it is important that we discuss the commonly-reported CX issues.
Some of the most common factors behind bad customer experiences are —
- Frustratingly long wait times.
- A company culture that doesn’t care about CX.
- Relying too much on automation.
- Lack of human touch during customer interaction.
- Lack of personalized experiences.
- Employees interact with customers angrily.
- Not resolving issues promptly and effectively.
Again, we can list more and more factors endlessly and give you even better reasons to work on CX. However, one of the easiest ways to find out more ideas is to think like a customer. Just think about the last time you were treated badly as a customer.
We are certain that one or more of the factors mentioned above played a part in making your experience worse.
How to measure and analyze customer experience?
Do you measure and assess CX customer experience at your company? If not, it’s time you get started. We suggest you follow these tips to measure customer satisfaction.
1. Run and analyze customer satisfaction survey
Learn how to use customer satisfaction surveys on a regular basis, especially after major events in any customer journey.
This will help generate insights into the experience customers have with your brand, products, and services.
The best way to do that is by using Net Promoter Score or NPS. This customer satisfaction scoring system helps measure how likely customers are to promote your brand to their social network.
Measuring customer satisfaction and analyzing the NPS from multiple touch points will help discover areas in the customer journey that need improvement.
2. Track customer churn
Well, you cannot always help customer churn. You will always lose some customers. And that’s a part of doing business. However, it is important that you learn from churns and identify the issues that lead to it.
The only way to do that is by conducting regular analysis of churned customers. This will help determine the churn rate pattern, reasons behind the churn, and precautionary steps you may take.
3. Let customers make product and feature requests
Make sure your customers are a part of your product design process. Such inclusion helps customers feel a part of your company.
You can do that by creating a forum for the customers where they can make requests for new products and add suggestions regarding the features they expect the products to have.
Let the customers offer suggestions. This gives you a window into what customers crave and also the changing market trends.
4. Analyze customer support ticket trends
Let the customer support agents add value to your quest.
The agents work through the customer support tickets and can help identify the trends related to issues, possible reasons behind churn, and ways the company can reduce the number of hiccups in the customer journey.
This will also help reduce the total number of tickets and provide a streamlined CX.
Best tips to improve customer experience strategy
Now that we have understood everything about customer experience, it’s time we take action. We have shortlisted some of the best ways to improve your customer experience strategy. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Double down on customer feedback loops
Do you encourage customers to leave feedback? You should because these give exceptional insights into what customers expect out of your products and services and also how customer behavior changes over time.
Collect feedback as it gives brands an idea of what customers like and what is working well. However, customer feedback collection isn’t where the job ends.
The real challenge is to learn from the customer feedback and take actions that can help develop better CX, build trust, and encourage more feedback!
Moreover, you should also invest in developing an internal employee feedback loop so you know what’s making it challenging for the workforce to deliver excellent customer service.
2. Design an omnichannel customer experience
What is an omnichannel customer experience? Customer interaction doesn’t start and end at the same place. Therefore, companies have to make sure they don’t just meet customers where they are.
They should prepare to extend the conversation across different communication channels and stay consistent at it across the board, i.e., when dealing with customers from one channel to another.
You should have insights into your customers’ behavior. You should know which products they are interested in, what they have read about them, which outbound emails they have interacted with, which products are sitting in their shopping carts, and more.
3. Deliver personalized experiences
Customers expect personalized experiences. This is important to them as it ensures a seamless purchasing experience with companies knowing the preferred contact method, account type, product recommendations, and more.
Most customers agree with companies using their information. So, why not use it to deliver a personalized online shopping experience? Not just that, you can also tailor your customer support service to cater to the customer personas!
Gathering information about the customers’ preferences, personalities, purchase behavior, and more can help customer support agents offer better solutions which will lead to faster resolution. This can also go a long way in building better UX.
4. Deploy AI-driven CX
As time progresses, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will become a staple and form a large part of customer experience.
It is, therefore, imperative you build a solid foundation for your entire company so that future AI-related integrations are easy to implement.
We have already seen how AI is disrupting customer support as more and more businesses realize the effectiveness of machine learning applications, chatbots, and virtual customer assistants.
Indeed, these technologies are great to execute repetitive tasks more efficiently. But, we shouldn’t forget that more capable customer support will often be the one where a human is there to serve another human.
5. Develop content management CX strategies
No customer wants to wait for customer support to answer their calls. They don’t want to indulge in looping conversations and still end the call empty-handed. Rather, customers prefer resolving the issues themselves — the DIY way.
We highly recommend customer relationship management shorten the issue-resolution process by deploying a content management strategy. Create and publish data-driven content in the form of self-help articles and use the data to design better chatbots.
This will be highly useful for the customers as the content will point them in the right direction. The challenge, however, is to ensure data accuracy as an unhelpful article will most likely transition into a bad customer experience.
6. Data collection and analytics
Put data to use. Invest in applications that can help you collect customer-related data. Use the applications to analyze the data and present information in the form of actionable steps.
Data collection will help you improve the efficiency of your customer support department and deliver general satisfaction throughout the interactions.
It is important that you touch base with the changing behavioral trends among your target audience, which will further help refine your customer journey.
7. Develop a customer-centric company culture
You should implement all the pointers mentioned above. However, it will always come down to how much you prioritize customer experience in your company and across the departments.
Remember, the best customer experience is often rooted in one principle — you treat customers the way you want to be treated. If you want to improve CX at your organization, you will have to implement a mindset shift across leadership and executives.
The idea here is to develop a customer-first mindset that prioritizes one-to-one interactions, empathy, customer-centricity, continual training, and transparency.
Putting the customers’ interests at the forefront of all your business operations and processes is a great first step toward building an impeccable customer experience.
We highly recommend you consider a more organizational and holistic approach to building a customer experience strategy that pushes customers to achieve more satisfaction and return the favor with customer loyalty.
This extensive customer experience guide was designed to help you understand the ins and outs of customer experience and build customer-centric business strategies.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out other informative posts on the blog!