Customer experience: how important is it?
Customer experience (CX) is super important to the success of your business. A positive experience stays with you. Equally, so does a bad one. To start delivering exceptional experiences, it’s import we understand what makes one.
What is customer experience?
CX is the customer’s perception of your brand, based on their interactions with your business.
That means, every single interaction with your brand, from email marketing and website visits, to the purchase process, a tweet on social media – all of these interactions will contribute to their impression of your brand.
Everything you do impacts your customers’ perceptions – so every touchpoint matters. A good experience will leave them wanting more. A bad experience can drive them away forever.
The perception of your brand that customers take away from their experience with you will ultimately impact your bottom line. So getting it right is essential.
What’s the difference between customer experience and customer service?
As brands recognize the importance of customer experience, there can be some confusion about where it belongs in your business. Most brands have a customer service department responsible for interacting with customers. As a result, customer experience should sit with them, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Customer service relates only to specific touchpoints where customers receive or request assistance. For example, when a customer calls an operator to cancel an order or emails a service provider. As customer experience is based on all interactions with your brand, customer service is effectively a part of it.
If you’re planning on adding a specialist CX team to your business, it’s important to remember that they are involved with far more than just the customer service team.
Why is customer experience important?
We’ve already mentioned that customer experience can affect your business’s bottom line. Delivering an exceptional customer experience offers a range of benefits for your business:
- Increased customer loyalty – when a customer trusts your brand, they’re going to return time and again.
- Better customer advocacy – loyal customers are more likely to become brand advocates, sharing their experience with friends, family, and colleagues.
- Longer customer retention – whether your buying cycle is long or short, a good experience will keep your brand at the top of customers’ minds when buying decisions need to be made.
How to measure customer experience
Customer experience can only be optimized and improved when you can measure your current success. As CX is based on customer perception, you need to gather insight from your customers.
- Reviews and ratings
Requesting reviews and ratings of products and services is essential. Not only does it help product development, but it also helps you identify products or services that are failing to meet customer expectations.
- Unsubscribe survey
Surveying customers when they unsubscribe from your email marketing will help you pinpoint reasons for customer churn. Churn is inevitable, but if you understand the reasons behind it, you can begin to optimize the customer experience to lower the churn rate.
- Customer satisfaction surveys
You should regularly be sending customer satisfaction surveys to your database. You’ll increase your chances of getting responses if you incentivize your surveys with gift vouchers, but they’re a great tool to understand your customers. In these surveys, you can ask shoppers about anything ranging from website experience and opinions on new product launches using intelligent survey branching to create unique customer pathways.
- Customer service feedback
Analyzing the feedback you receive from your customer service operations is also very helpful. If you use a support ticket system or ask qualifying questions you can reveal recurring issue among your customers. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of tickets, calls, or live chats that are logged with your customer service teams.
4 tips to improve your customer experience
There are many places to focus your efforts when you aim to improve customer experience. Websites, automation, and social channels are often marketers’ main focus, but four often overlooked quick-wins can significantly improve CX.
- Have a clear vision, goal, and message
When you have a clear vision for your brand and a single goal, your message will be consistent. A consistent message across all your customer touchpoints helps build confidence and trust in your brand.
- Understand your customers
Ensure your customer not only tell you what they want, but have the means to customize their experience with the help of a preference center. Understanding your customers’ needs will enable you to create personalized experiences guaranteed to engage and convert.
- Connect emotionally
Establishing an emotional connection with your customers is essential. While your customer needs to enjoy a seamless omnichannel experience with your brand, reminding them of the humans behind the scenes will help create a stronger connection. Likewise, you must recognize customers and their unique needs and situations.
- Capture real-time feedback
Capturing real-time feedback with pop-overs and live chat prompts will give you the means to engage customers and resolve any blockers on the path to purchase.
Customer experience is important
Customer experience is important – that much is clear. Creating remarkable experiences will keep customers coming back, and if you’re really smashing it, advocating for your brand too. The more trust and loyalty you can develop with every interaction, the more the customer will spend with you, as you continue to meet their needs and expectations.
Jenna Paton, Content Marketing Manager
Jenna expertly writes thought-leadership content about cross-channel marketing and customer engagement and manages the creation and execution of Dotdigital's content marketing strategy.
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