A great customer experience can give an immense competitive advantage to businesses. What is exactly CX and why is it so important? In this article we want to guide you through customer experience knows and hows.
Definition: What is customer experience (CX)?
Gartner’s 2017 customer experience research shows that 81% of firms expect to compete mostly on customer experience. Not price, not products quality, but customer experience. Often shortened as “CX”, customer experience is defined as the sum of all the interactions happening between a customer and an organization during their relationship.
Why is customer experience important?
In order for customers to be satisfied and loyal, brands need to ensure all interactions and touchpoints are flawless. We are not talking just about the purchasing phase or the post-purchase client service. Customers evaluate brands on their overall CX, not just on minor interactions. Making customer experience perfect for the target has become brands’ main goal.
In a research by Bain and Co, 80% of the companies surveyed judged the CX they were offering awesome. While only 8% of their customers believed their CX was superior. The gap between businesses’ and customers’ perception is huge. This is a big problem but also a great opportunity: all more reason to focus on CX and improve yours!
What is a customer experience strategy?
How to achieve this goal? With a strategy. In a CX strategy, an organization plans how to deliver a positive experience through all interactions to the customers.
What are the factors a firm needs to take into consideration while planning such a strategy?
Customer research: who are your customers? Their demographics? Their characteristics? Who are your buyer personas?
Competition: what are the competition’s visible strategy?
Industry standard: what is everyone doing, what are the trends?
Company values: what are the mission and vision of the firm.
How do you define customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is a marketing measure developed during the 90s that allows businesses to easily evaluate whether or not their customers are happy with them. Satisfaction is clearly closely linked to the customer experience. Customers build in fact their final judgment on the overall encounter with the firm. This means that they may remember how easy it was to find a product information online or how difficult was to talk with the employees in the store but also how helpful was the lady from customer service when they needed help.
Examples: What is great a customer experience?
We’ve selected here three examples of brands with particularly good customer experiences.
1 Asos, the famous online retailer, has a great CX. Signing up, information availability, payments, returns and customer service are all on point. The journey clients go through is a smooth and hustle-free experience. Deliveries and returns are often painful operations for most companies but Asos ace them by making the experience great.
2 Nike is also a good example. Sure, finding information and buying products is extremely easy, both online and in store. You would think that the experience of buying shoes ends with buying. Well, thanks to its app Nike+ app, Nike makes post-purchase also a cool amazing experience. While wearing Nike shoes you can track all your activity on the app and if you enjoy running you can join a whole community of people in most capital cities around the world. This way Nike renders CX memorable, from beginning to…the next pair of shoes!
3 Headspace is a meditation mobile app. Less known than the other two brands, it still works as an example of a great customer experience. All the touchpoints between the brand and the customers take place online. Both website and app have usable and very well designed user interfaces, and this makes for a very good customer experience. The product itself (app with meditation lessons) are very well structured and effective and finally, customers are constantly guided and motivated after they subscribe to the service.
10 steps that will improve your digital customer experience
Nowadays a large portion of customer experience takes place on mobiles, desktops, and tablets. All the consumers’ encounters with a company that take place through a digital interface make up what is called a “digital customer experience”.
Let’s go through 10 steps that will help you improve your customer experience.
Define your objectives and goals on the digital level.
Provide human support to your digital platforms.
Be transparent with your customers: provide info about privacy, data, and transactions.
Understand your customers’ behaviors and familiarity with digital interfaces.
Ensure consistency across all channels to provide a seamless experience
Put usability first
Render your channels secure and trustworthy, especially if you’re selling something online.
Keep track of industry trends and keep innovating your interface(s).
Test your channels and use customer feedback to constantly improve.
Digital experience is part of entirely a customer experience, remember this.
Here is a brief clarification of some terms too often confused, we decided to include in this article to better help you understand customer experience.
What is the difference between customer experience and user experience?
There is often confusion about the two terms customer experience and user experience. Let’s solve this doubt once for all.
While customer experience includes ALL touch points between firms and customers (customer service, advertising, purchase, product delivery etc.), user experience is instead more specific. It refers to the specific interaction the customer has with a product, website or app. While customer experience is more general, user experience is much more about design, usability, and functionality. We could say that user experience is a small part of customer experience.
What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?
This is another common dilemma. Customer experience, let’s repeat this once more, consists in all interactions where the customer meets the brand. Customer service, on the other hand, is the assistance, the help a company gives its customers. Also in this case, customer service is a part of customer experience.