There has never been a more crucial time for businesses to focus on delivering the best possible consumer experience.
Nowadays, consumers are increasingly savvy, and how they interact with companies and make their purchase decisions is rapidly changing. For businesses, this means that the cx is no longer something that they can ignore or only pay lip service to.
To meet their consumers' needs and ensure their businesses continue to enjoy succsess, cx needs to become an important metric. As such, consumer experience should be measured and monitored like other key performance metrics. Sales, conversion rates and website traffic.
Digital transformation of business has brought many changes and has entirely changed how people and businesses interact. Companies are now more accessible than ever before. What was previously a limited cx is now far broader. Companies must consider other variables, such as the digital experience.
Consumers are discerning and more conscious where they spend their money. Delivering the best experience is more important than ever.
What is Customer Experience?
Before trying to achieve great customer experience, a company should understand what makes a good customer experience.
Everyone has their own good and bad stories to share about their experiences as a consumer. CX describes the totality of every touch point that a client has with your business. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
The way the company is marketed, i.e. advertising methods, tone of voice.
Brand values, i.e. the brand message that is communicated to the target audience.
In-person interactions with customer facing staff members
Experience contacting the company via telephone, email, online chat, etc.
Ease of use of the product or service.
Quality of the product or service.
Features of the product or service.
Social media posts by the brand.
Online reviews posted by existing clients.
The experience results from the feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that the clients have after interacting with your business. Many individual elements combine to create the great consumer journey.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Unfortunately, it is the negative experiences that tend to stick in people's minds. These experiences form a lasting association with the brand and inform customer loyalty.
Consumers are now bombarded with information everywhere they look. The constant flow of information supplied by omnichannel advertising and social media has created a lot of noise and distraction. As a business, you need to find ways to cut through this noise and ensure your business stands out.
Delivering the best customer support is important in getting your business seen and heard about the noise. This is because consumers want to be heard, noticed, and treated like humans in an increasingly automated world.
While many companies already measure customer satisfaction, they rarely delve deeper. Gaining user opinions of your brand is essential, so measuring customer satisfaction is paramount. Metrics such as net promoter score nps help profoundly.
You need to discover why people feel either positively or negatively about their interactions with your business. Crucially, you need these insights to inform you of how you can improve loyalty. This understanding provides the only meaningful way to make significant improvements and provide a positive journey for every user.
Ensuring everyone has a positive customer experience with your business can deliver significant benefits:
Increased conversion rates.
Higher levels of customer engagement.
More positive customer feedback.
Lower rates of complaints from your clients.
Improved brand loyalty.
Higher page views.
Lower website bounce rate.
Increased purchase value.
Word of mouth
Increased social media following and engagement across social media channels.
How to Manage Customers' Expectations?
Managing customer expectations requires a joint-up and customer centric approach. Companies often divide the various aspects of their business into departments, and there is very little cohesion between these areas. While this may be efficient for the company, it is often to the detriment of the end client.
Marketing department may be planning their next campaign, the finance department may be looking at ways to cut production costs. The design team may be searching for significant changes they can make to the product. All of this planning and strategizing has an impact on the consumer journey.
Perfecting a positive consumer experience for everyone requires a complete rethink of the way that many businesses operate. Instead of getting a snapshot of what each department offers, they need to explore the CX in its entirety.
Analysing the customer experience in this way is vital to perfect the process. Charting each of the touch points is precisely what mapping the customer journey aims to achieve.
Mapping the Customer Journey
Ensuring a cohesive approach to delivering a positive consumer experience for every user is vital. This can be achieved with the help of customer journey mapping or user journey mapping, as it is sometimes known.
Mapping the journey enables you to visually represent every stage so that no touch point is forgotten. Mapping out your customer journey step-by-step will ensure that no aspect of the cx is overlooked.
To achieve even more meaningful insights from your customer journey mapping, you can drill down into further detail. Breaking down the customer journey by customer persona provides a valuable source of information.
Understanding how each customer interacts with your brand will enable you to develop a tailored response. Recognising the different touch points that users have on their customer journey will help you deliver the best experience every time.
Develop a Customer Experience Plan
Once you have started mapping journeys, it is time to begin putting this information to good use. Transforming all of the data that you have collected into meaningful, actionable insights is not always easy. But, it is crucial not to let this valuable data go to waste. To ensure that this does not happen, you need to develop a customer experience (CX) strategy.
Developing a strategy or plan will significantly improve to cx. This is about following the customer insights you have gained and responding to them.
Introducing a cx plan is all about taking a proactive approach to your service delivery. As such, much of the work involved in your customer experience strategy will involve dealing with potential problems before they arise. Anticipate and deal with possible customer pain points, before they come into existence.
Here are the steps you can take when designing your customer experience plan:
1. Set a Goal for Your Plan
Start with considering what you want to achieve. For example, maybe you want your existing customers to have an easier online experience. You hope this will help them to spend more and shop with your company more frequently.
2. Create Your Customer Journey Map
Mapping the customer journey enables you to identify pain points that prevent your goal from being achieved. Mapping processes can help you flag missed opportunities and reduce customer pain points.
3. Develop Your Ideas
Once you have built up your understanding of your company's customer experience, you will be in a position to create solutions. Developing a methodology that will improve customer experience will provide you with a focused way to move forward.
4. Communicate With Your Team
Your employees play a crucial role in ensuring positive experiences for every customer. You will need to ensure that your customer facing employees fully understand their role.
While establishing a plan for improving customer experience may be your goal, this is actually just the beginning of the journey. What happens from this point on is critical and needs to be managed and monitored closely.
Utilising the insights that can be gained from cx platforms is a helpful way to monitor progress.
Platforms that provide cx data in real time enable organisations to monitor the results of their efforts right away.
Enhance Your Customer Experience With Help From the Experts
Developing your employee's understanding of cx and why it is so crucial to the success of your business is essential. But, getting your team excited and passionate about delivering the best customer journey is not always an easy task. The good news; Speaker Agency can help.
Booking one of our expert speakers is an excellent way to get your team fired up and motivated. Hearing CX experts talk about consumer journey and its impact on business success will have a profound effect on your team.
At Speaker Agency, we have expert speakers who are leading authorities on the subject of customer experience. They are ready and waiting to share their passion and knowledge with your organisation.
Daphne Costa Lopes,is one of our top customer experience speakers. Daphne is Head of Customer Success for the UK at Hubspot and is a CS advisor for tech start-ups.
Will Higham, a renowned futurist, speaker and advisor to a number of technology, media, beverage and finance organisations.
Dr Behice Ece Ilhan is a director of strategy at Deloitte Digital. She is a passionate consumer strategist and storyteller.