Why the Customer Experience Matters More than Ever
Consumers are paying more and more attention to the customer experience (CX). By 2020, a majority of purchase decisions will be made based on the customer experience, putting pressure on brands to deliver more intuitive experiences. To be competitive, your brand will have to deliver positive interactions that leave people wanting more.
Let’s review what ‘customer experience’ entails, who’s in charge of this and ways to improve your CX strategy.
Breaking Down Customer Experience
Customer experience refers to the combined interactions a customer has with your brand. Let’s say a customer visits your website, browses your products and places an order. They receive shipping updates through email, and the product is delivered a few days later. Each interaction is part of the total experience. If one thing goes wrong (e.g., delayed shipping), it can ruin the entire encounter.
Unless you ask your customers about their experiences, it’s hard to know where your brand falls. This is why it’s important to know how people feel about you and why. Here are some ideas for gathering feedback on the customer journey.
- Send out customer satisfaction surveys
- Use NPS (Net Promoter Score) to measure how likely customers are to promote you to others
- Identify churn rate and why customers churned
- Create forums where customers can request new products or features
- Evaluate customer service issues your team tackles everyday
Why Customer Experience Matters
Providing great customer service has always been a priority, but why is there such a focus on it now? There are a number of reasons for this, including increased competition from other brands and more accessibility to customers.
However, the biggest change is that customers are now self-empowered. They take the initiative to research products and educate themselves on their options before making a purchase. It’s not just price and features that play a role in their decision. It’s the experience you provide.
Who’s Behind Good Brand Experiences
Generally speaking, customer experience is split between several departments, such as customer service and product support. The reason why it’s divvied up is so that support is not spread too thin. If there isn’t adequate support at one stage in the funnel, it can cause customers to drop off.
As competition increases and customer expectations tighten, brands will have to incorporate CS into the entire lifecycle: awareness, engagement, evaluation, purchase, product support and advocacy. This ensures that prospects and customers have adequate assistance and encouragement throughout their journeys.
Tips for Improving Your CX Strategy
Even if your products are priced lower than a competitor’s, you can still lose customers if they provide a better experience. It’s imperative that you’re able to deliver on your promise. Below are a few tips to help you improve your CX strategy.
- Deliver personalized interactions. Not every touchpoint needs to be personalized, but some do. For top-of-the-funnel customers, make it easy for them to find the information they need. Once they become paying customers, you’ll want to provide relevant experiences based on their geographic location and past purchases.
- Focus on a user-centered design. Your website should meet the needs of your customers. It should provide an intuitive and seamless experience so that prospects can learn about your products and services while being led through the funnel. Always split test your elements to see what works best.
- Offer seamless customer support. Not every customer interaction will be straightforward. Some prospects will have questions that can’t be answered by chatbots. This is where a human touch will be necessary. Prospects should be directed immediately to a customer support person, allowing them to find resolution and stay in the funnel.
- Anticipate customer needs. If a customer is reaching out because of a problem, question or faulty product, they’re probably not in the best mood. Don’t force them to revisit the problem again and again. Know what your customers want before they ask, and avoid sending them from one department to the next.
- Provide support on social. More and more customers are turning to social media when seeking resolution. It’s fast, easy and transparent. Make sure you are available on these channels so that you can address problems and protect your reputation. To help keep track of these conversations, rely on your CRM or another social customer service platform.
Start Improving Your Customer Service Strategy
No matter how many loyal fans you have, there are always ways to improve the customer experience. After all, purchase decisions are being increasingly made based on these experiences and how they make people feel. We see time and time again that customers are willing to pay more when they are given an optimized website, fast shipping and attentive customer service.
If you’re ready to start improving your CX strategy, identify the areas that have the biggest impression on your customers. You won’t know what these are until you gather feedback from your customers, employees and customer support teams. Once you know what areas to focus on, you can begin improving them with intuitive, personalized experiences that give customers what they want.
Are you ready to bring your customer experience to the next level? Contact WSI Net Advantage today at 510-687-9737 and let’s talk about your options for implementing chatbot software, sending out customer research surveys, analyzing marketing data and more.
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
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