Let’s begin by getting the burning question out of the way: what is customer experience?
Customer experience, or CX, represents the emotional outcomes of all interactions customers have with your company. It encompasses how they feel during their journey with your business, including pre- and post-sales interactions.
This can include everything from navigating your website to talking to your customer service representatives to receiving the product or service they acquired from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception of your business – and their decision to keep coming back.
For example, suppose you have a commercial app, and a specific user can’t understand how to use your app’s latest feature. The user contacts your customer service. An agent walks the person through the segment, successfully solving their problem. So, was this a satisfying customer experience? Perhaps… Maybe not. The truth is, you don’t have sufficient information to know.
Maybe the client was on hold for 45 minutes before speaking to a customer service representative. Was the customer service representative patient and pleasant during the call, or were they impatient and rude? Was your client satisfied with the service, and will they draft a positive Google review?
In business, we often can’t get definite answers to these questions because we don’t establish customer experience objectives. We don’t have the arrangements in place to gather, record, and interpret CX data. And without such information, it’s difficult to evaluate the experiences customers have with your company.
Today’s businesses must prioritize a powerful digital customer experience strategy because it’s a critical differentiator. Once you understand this, you’re ready to develop your strategy.
Customer Experience Strategy
As noted earlier, customer experience refers to each customer’s interaction with every aspect with your business. Consequently, related strategies define the plans for providing a positive customer experience.
When you incorporate an adequate strategy, not only will you see your company’s metrics improve, you also increase your brand’s value.
Your prospective customer experience strategy should be a step-by-step plan that outlines:
- Objectives for customer experience, including precise metrics
- Expectations for all customer interactions and service across the business
- Processes and tools needed to gather customer experience-related data
- A timeframe for when all operations and data will be reviewed and revised
Properly executed customer experience strategies deliver vital insights into how your clients feel about your products, services, and interactions with your company. It also empowers you to provide an experience that leads to more Google reviews and word-of-mouth publicity.
Developing a Customer Experience Strategy for Your Business
According to a recent Forbes article, 86% of customers don’t mind paying more for a better customer experience, which is reason enough to implement CX strategies into your work scope.
Below, we discuss some customer experience best practices and showcase innovative ideas for increasing your CX management strategy.
Establish a Clear CX Vision
The initial step toward your customer experience strategy is to establish a clear, client-focused vision that you can communicate to your organization. The simplest way to define such a concept is through a set of statements that act as primary guiding principles.
For example, BigCommerce’s vision is to help existing merchants sell more by using their customers’ first values. These values are embedded into their culture, which includes delivering world-class service, demonstrating unrivaled vision, and embracing innovation.
Once you have these principles in place, they drive behavior in your company. Each team member should know your company’s principles, and you should incorporate them into all spheres of training and development.
Know Your Customers
The next step is understanding the different types of customers who deal with your business, especially for your customer support representatives. If you really want to understand your customers’ needs and desires, you have to connect and empathize with the situations they face.
The best way to achieve this is to segment your customers and create customer profiles or personas. Feel free to give each persona a name and personality. For instance, Aaron is 28 years old, likes innovative technology, and has enough tech smarts to follow a video tutorial. On the other hand, Sue is 45 years old and needs to follow precise instructions on a web page to use your service. Use this same process if you operate a B2B business: segment the companies in your portfolio and create B2B buyer personas.
By segmenting your customers and creating profiles, your organization’s departments can better understand who they’re serving. Creating customer personas is an essential step to becoming a truly customer-centric company and delivering a top-notch customer experience.
Nurture Emotional Relationships
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
This is a phrase we hear time and again. It’s well used for one reason: it’s true.
The most exceptional customer experiences are achieved when your company’s staff develops an emotional connection with the people they serve. More than half of each customer experience is built on emotion, and those emotions shape the behaviors that drive decisions.
According to a study titled “The New Science Of Customer Emotions” by Harvard Business Review, emotionally engaged customers are:
- Three times more likely to re-purchase
- At least three times more likely to recommend your business
- Less likely to shop around
- Much less price-sensitive
Assemble a Strong Team to Improve Customer Experience
Another way to improve your organization’s CX is all about employing the right people. The HR departments of the companies that excel at customer experience focus on assembling the best team available by combining knowledge, skills, and influence.
You can deliver a superior customer experience by empowering your support team with the right skills. Share practical knowledge about your offerings with your teams, and make sure to train your sales and support units when there’s a new product or upgraded service. Also, provide some interpersonal training to your workforce on being empathetic and patient, while using positive sentences to make customers feel special.
A strong team is what makes a fantastic customer experience. Multiple groups and departments inside the company must work as one to establish the desired CX vision.
Invest in the Right System and Tools to Level Up Your CX Strategy
Using the right tools (e.g., proactive communication channels) and systems is one of the best practices for enhancing your customer experience. They can help you respond in a timely manner, monitor behaviors, and take dynamic actions. They can also help your business handle customer complaints faster and provide more effective solutions.
For instance, real-time customer engagement via video chat can help you guide customers through complex processes. On the other hand, live chat and chatbots can help you provide immediate answers to support and sales queries.
Nowadays, when customer expectations are so high – and when word of mouth (or should we say word of keyboard) travels ultra-fast – your customer experience strategies require constant nurturing. Doing so results in improved customer loyalty, retention rates, and revenue growth.
In the words of Michael LeBoeuf, the famous American business author and former management professor at the University of New Orleans, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”