There’s a new race in town. It goes by the name of Customer Experience.
It’s pretty cool too, entrepreneurs in the know often refer to it as CX.
Most of them are looking to leverage the power of having a customer experience strategy in order to reap many happy returns.
CX is also the wave of the future. A Walker study recently highlighted that by the year 2020, customer experience is set to overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator.
Join us as we discuss this and other reasons why you need a customer experience strategy. Who knows? You might just find out that’s what’s been holding your business back.
So, let’s dive in!
What is customer experience?
Customer experience (CX) refers to how your customers holistically perceive your brand.
CX is the sum of all the interactions customers have with your business. This may involve their conversations with customer care representatives, navigations to your website, and straight down to receiving the product/service from you.
Since every action by your brand influences customers’ perception of your business, you need to have a solid customer experience strategy in place.
The importance of a customer experience strategy
Every business wants to meet the needs of their clients.
Having a great customer experience strategy ensures that you’re able to ensure they get the best services.
The better the experience customers have, the more likely they’ll become repeat buyers, leave positive reviews and refer their friends and family to check out your enterprise.
Understandably, delivering fantastic customer experience ensures that there’s less probability of customers lodging complaints against the business.
The advantages of having a fantastic customer experience strategy include:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Increased customer loyalty
- Better word-of-mouth marketing, rave reviews, and more recommendations
Unbeknownst to many people is the fact that all businesses can benefit from embracing a customer experience strategy. The size of your brand doesn’t really matter.
If you’re running an e-commerce center, enhancing the customer experience could see you register more repeat customers and lower the number of returns. If you’re in the subscription industry, you may notice a considerable increment in retention levels and a reduction in churn.
There’s really no roof of limitations on what’s truly possible once you embrace bulletproof customer experience strategy.
We’re so confident about this assertion that we dare you to dream up a business situation that would not benefit from this. Our confidence emanates from years in the field studying what customers really want.
The difference between customer service and customer experience
Customer service is just one of the core ingredients of the customer experience.
As alluded earlier, customer experience refers to the customers’ overall perception of your brand. This usually happens after a couple of interactions with your company.
On the flip side, customer service references specific touchpoints within the experience. It usually happens when customers are being guided on how to enjoy a product and/or service.
Basically, CX represents the bigger picture.
It’s all-inclusive in that it covers all the touchpoints customers have with a company. This means that right from the moment they found your website on SERPs, to the time they call your customer service team with a couple of queries, they were enjoying your customer experience.
If you’re looking to be in good books with your customers, it’s best to respond to all the questions they may have in a timely manner.
What makes a great customer experience?
There’s no universally accepted standard on what great customer experience is. In the same manner that your business is unique in the market, so are your clientele.
Having pointed this out, we’ve been able to discern a couple of common principles in various industries. Usually, good customer experience becomes possible once you’re able to:
- Make listening to customers your number one priority
- Make use of customer feedback to comprehend what they want
- Come up with a comprehensive system that is able to collect feedback, conduct analysis, and take action on the regular
- Lower friction and resolve issues raised by your customers
If you’re looking to avoid being rated negatively in terms of customer experience, you need to work towards extinguishing:
- Long wait times
- Lack of personalized services
- Unresolved issues
- Excessive automation of tasks. A human touch tends to work wonders at times
- Insolent employees
It’s not rocket science really.
If you’re really looking to score some cool points with your customers, put yourself in the shoes. Think about the last time you encountered poor customer experience. With that kind of thinking, you’ll start being more receptive to customer feedback.
The suggestions you receive could go a long way towards reducing all the elements which caused discomfort.
Ways to improve customer experience
It’s now time to review a couple of ways to create a fantastic customer experience strategy.
If you follow the methods listed below, you’re certain to see an upturn in revenue collection and customer satisfaction.
1. Come up with a clear vision
Having a clear map of how you want to handle customers is quite important in informing your customer experience strategy.
Such an outline will allow you to formulate a plan on how to communicate such plans with the rest of the staff.
If you’re unsure on how to come up with a clear vision, start with the basics.
Even simple statements can have so much weight behind them.
An institution which has successfully managed to formulate a great vision is Zappos. They use a set of core family values that have become part of their way of doing things. This means they’re able to deliver great results by combining humility, service and always being open to the tides of change.
Once you have the basics on lock, you’ll be able to steer your organization in the right path.
To ensure that you’re singing in harmony, it’s essential that all members of your team know the principles by heart. For this to happen, you need to ensure that the principles are incorporated in all areas of the organization.
2. An understanding of who your customers are
Knowing your target audience allows you to prime them for your services.
You’ll also have a great foundation to train your customer support team.
With the organization fully aware of what clients want, it becomes easier to connect and empathize with them.
You can approach the whole situation by devising customer personas and giving each of them a name. Naming the various personas makes training easier and relatable.
For a more in-depth understanding, try to come up with as many personas as possible. Doing so allows your customer support team to be fully capable of handling an array of customers.
3. Emotional connection
Saying all the right words is all well and good, but, more than that, you need to really mean them.
This is what sets brands apart.
Forming an emotional connection with customers makes for great customer experience. This is because they’re able to resonate with what you’re really saying.
If you happen to treat your customers like just another number, they’ll notice. No one wants to be treated like an expendable item.
You need to avoid this strategy unless you really want to go out of business.
As customers go further down the sales funnel, you need to ensure that they always feel special. A little communication and delivering go a long way in ensuring that they feel their needs come first.
Research by Salesforce has demonstrated that some 84% of customers believe that being treated like a person –not just another statistic- really informed their purchasing decision.
Consumers in the digital age know that if one business doesn’t appreciate them enough, another will.
Thanks to the endless options available to them, it’s important that you give them all the motivation they need to buy from you.
In your pitch, seek to clearly define what services you can provide that others are not capable of. Then, work towards delivering a customer experience that makes them feel understood.
These are the key emotional motivators you need to take into account when formulating your customer experience strategy:
- Customers want to feel a sense of confidence in their future
- Clients want to enjoy a sense of well being
- Buyers want to feel a sense of thrill
- Customer want to stand out from the crowd
- Clients need to feel a sense of freedom
4. All about convenience
In contemporary times, customers are more empowered than ever before.
They have several avenues to discover solutions and access information all on their own. Social media platforms and the internet have become quite beloved in this age because of this.
Businesses looking to be in good standing with the general public have been forced to provide excellent online support.
Think about it, just because a customer asks a question over the weekend, do they have to wait until Monday for a response? Not at all. They may as well seek other sellers.
If you’re likely not to be in the office over the weekend, you need to at least enable a 24/7 live chat feature.
This keeps the conversation going.
In addition to this, it wouldn’t hurt to have a comprehensive knowledge base on your website. This is a great idea because it provides customers with plenty of actionable info about your services. Instead of pushing them away, they’ll be more intrigued by your business.
Collecting data is important in improving the overall customer experience. The information contained therein will be helpful in guiding your business operations.
Not only will you be able to provide relevant suggestions to clients, but you’ll also have better-informed support.
Customers love personalization.
This is because it indicates that you’re respectful of their loyalty. It also shows that your business is committed to strengthening the working relationship. It motivates them to share correspondence and share suggestions.
A shared inbox is one of the best avenues for collecting and leveraging consumers’ data. As such, you need to focus on creating a transparent, universal space where your sales team can view conversations. Categorizing the conversations allows for more personalized responses. It also provides grounds for more contextual communication and outreach.
6. Ease of use
As mobile usage grows, it’s important to smartly position yourself in the market.
Through mobile optimization, you’ll be able to benefit from all the people looking for solutions from their devices.
Ideally, you want to structure your page to provide a simple and seamless experience. One great way of doing this is by simplifying website navigation irrespective of the browsing type.
A good example of a company which has been able to do this is Amazon. Other than the heroics of their founder, Jeff Bezos, Amazon sticks to a code of simplicity. This makes their platform easy to use and customers have little to no problem proceeding to checkout. Fascinatingly, Amazon Prime members are even capable of purchasing items with the click of a single button!
Amazon also smartly offers a fast way for customers to check out product info and FAQs. The fact that they are able to do all this from the same screen goes to show their commitment to greatness.
7. Channel flexibility
You need to be well versed with the omni-channel approach.
This tactic works great because it provides customers with an integrated, seamless experience. In essence, it allows them to freely access live support even when they are changing from desktop to mobile.
As you devise your omni-channel, you need to ensure that the customer experience is uniform across various platforms. At the same time, you also need to ensure that it has the right context whenever applicable.
In a bid to streamline your channel flexibility efforts, you need to gather your team together. Then, have a conversation about how the customer experience should look, and feel like. Once you’re able to establish common ground, you’ll find it easier coming up with a fluid system.
As the adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” You need to take time devising your customer experience strategy.
We’re certain the pointers we’ve highlighted will go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals.
Is there a strategy which inspired you to take action?