What is Customer Experience?
Brands are shaped by their customer experience.
At a glance, this seems like an obvious statement. But it’s more difficult for brands to create if they don’t know what it means.
Customer Experience (let’s call it ‘CX’) is any time a consumer is engaging with your brand across their consumer journey. The customer experience is made of touchpoints, interactions and engagements across different mediums.
CX encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering. Quality of customer care, advertising, packaging, product and service features, reliability – the list goes on.
In determine each of these factors for your brand, a customer’s perspective has to be considered. Otherwise, you’re pleasing your self, your brand and your employees, instead of meeting the needs of your consumers.
Why does Customer Experience matter?
People remember the highs and the lows of their experience.
Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel Kahneman proved this in his study in the early 1990’s around “peak-end rule.” This psychological concept states that humans tend to remember the “peak,” or the most emotional part of an experience and the “end” of an experience more vividly than all other parts of the experience.
With this rule in mind, it is vitally important that negative “peak” experiences are minimized in your CX strategy. This can be achieved by referencing a few tips below:
Tips to Improve your Current Customer Experience
Map Out your Current CX.
Seeing what CX items already exists in your strategy will help identify gaps within your organization. Making a list of all the times a customer comes into contact with your brand is a great place to start.
Gather Internal Feedback from Employees.
Your employees are your greatest brand ambassadors. Their feedback is invaluable to determine the best way to support your customers. Hearing from people on the front lines will make them better ambassadors and more confident in supporting your brand goals.
Understand your Audience.
Who are they? What are their motivations? Why do they need you? When you start to understand the needs and wants of your audience, you can start speaking their language and better tailor your services and/or products to their needs.
Some ways to collect this information are through customer surveys, social listening and focus groups.
Audit your Current Materials
This could include everything from your logo to your storefront, or maybe even your product packaging. You want to ensure any materials or content you are putting out to your current or potential consumers are in line with your business goals.
When auditing these materials, it is important to keep audience insights, or what you discovered when you understood your audience, top of mind.
Perhaps your consumers are eco-friendly and would appreciate a recyclable package. Or maybe your audience is young children that are drawn to bright colors. All these insights matter and should be consistent across all platforms.
Create Goals and Objectives
Once you have all your insights, it’s important to have measurable goals and objectives within your organization.
If your goal is to have 100% customer satisfaction, make sure you are rewarding and challenging those within the customer service department that are striving to meet that goal. This builds a culture of brand advocates that live and breathe your mission.
Don’t Forget: The Little Things Matter.
Keep it human! A follow up call, a hand-written thank you note or even addressing someone by their first name are examples of simple interactions that are incredibly significant to the customer. Small details to make the customer’s experience with your brand special are what people remember.
Always strive to be better
As technology and trends change, so should your CX. It’s essential to create feedback loops so you are always hearing from your customers. If you listen closely, your customers are telling you what they need. This could be via social media reviews or customer surveys. If you can anticipate these changes and identify gaps within your CX strategy before they do, you’ll be in a great place.
Tips for Creating a CX Strategy
Creating a CX process can be confusing. As long as you have a solid idea of the type of customer experience you're trying to build and how you're going to build it, the process becomes a lot easier.
When just starting to create a strategy, it’s easier to focus on a few things you know aren’t working, like your website or call center. Once you have the basics covered you can move on to more complex issues with your CX. Below are some tips on creating a CX Strategy.
Create a Vision
Is there a company you aspire to be like? Do you enjoy being their customer? Map out why it works for you.
When you start to piece together what is working for someone else you may find that those can turn into achievable goals.
Be where your customers are
When creating a CX strategy, it’s important to be everywhere your customers are. When gathering consumer insights find out where they are spending their time.
An obvious place might be social media, so make sure you have a pretense and that you are speaking to your customers.
Make it easy to be your customer
Put yourself in your customer's shoes – what would frustrate you? Would you want to use your business? Find out the downfalls in your current CX by imagining you are the customer. When you find those gaps of frustration or unease fix them! It should be easy for someone to be your customer, that is what is going to build brand loyalty and make them a returning user.
This means a few things: answering the phones, responding to emails and even responding to social media comments when it’s needed. A lot of the CX strategy battle is just being human and responding. Make sure you are creating avenues for your client to reach you even when they can’t speak to someone - ways this can be accomplished is with Chat Bots, website contact forms, readily available email addresses for after-hours use. This also falls hand in hand with making it easy to be your customer, you may find that your customers have questions so making yourself available is important.
At LEAP Group, we understand that it can be difficult to identify gaps in your own customer experience. We have a dedicated CX team that can help ensure your company is providing its customers with a seamless experience across a spectrum of mediums.
Another key in the battle to win a customer for long term business is to ensure a consistent customer experience. This strategy mixed with those little details matter more, because consistency will ensure the customer keeps coming back for repeat business and is more likely to tell their friends and family about the positive experience they had with a brand.
Positive CX in the Real World
Let’s look at an example of a brand that is known for a superior customer experience: Spotify.
Spotify makes their product readily available to their user base by curating weekly playlists for them on “New Music Mondays.” And, late in the year, holiday albums begin to appear on millions of Spotify home screens.
Spotify has perfected the analysis of musical preference to deliver their consumers a finely crafted collection of content that will be available when and where they need it. This keeps their users coming back daily and telling their friends to join the experience.