Customer Experience, or CX or simply customer experience, is a term that is being talked about more and more often. There is a reason for this. The way a company is perceived by customers, including potential ones, has a large impact on its position on the market and its success. What exactly is CX and what should I know about it?
Customer Experience – what is it?
Customer Experience is all the experiences, emotions and impressions of customers that they gain by using services or purchasing products. This area includes every interaction with the company. This applies to both viewing the advertisement and visiting the website or the process leading to the sale. CX plays a very important role. It is believed that satisfied customers are one of the best forms of enterprise promotion. Many people make purchasing decisions not only on the basis of the price and the very characteristics of a specific product. The opinion of others is also important, for example on whether the transaction was carried out according to their expectations.
Customer Experience consists of experiences related to various aspects of contact with the company. They concern:
1. Marketing activities – how the marketing information reached the customer, how it was developed and what emotions aroused.
2. The sales process – it is important how all its stages have been remembered, and whether there have been any difficulties discouraging you from finalizing the transaction.
3. Product or service – a lot in this matter depends on their type. Nevertheless, customers mostly pay attention to price, easy availability, user-friendliness, efficiency and reliability.
4. Earlier experiences – every contact with a given company counts, also indirect, i.e. in the form of recommendations from others.
5. Handling – a very important factor. All interactions between customers and employees of the enterprise are important. The better, the more positive the experience is.
CX is often confused with the last point mentioned above, and therefore customer service. You should be aware that experience is a general perception of the company, created on the basis of all interactions, not only those directly with employees. Customer experience is influenced by every point of contact, even such as finding an article about a given business in a search engine.
Why should you take care of Customer Experience?
It is CX that decides whether the customer will use the company’s offer again in the future. The experiences associated with the choice of a product or service contribute to building a loyal community. Many people say that they can give up supporting their favorite brand when they are unexpectedly disappointed in, for example, customer service or even the sales process itself.
Customer Experience is an aspect that should be taken care of in every industry, not only e-commerce or general commerce. The customer experience should be taken care of by all companies that want to be successful on the market and stand out from the competition. A positively perceived business enjoys good word of mouth marketing, many favorable recommendations, an increasingly better position on the market and high profits.
There are many factors influencing the purchasing decisions made. However, it must be remembered that when the prices or usefulness of products are similar, experiences and emotions come to the fore. Even one, seemingly insignificant, negative association may decide that a potential customer will choose the competition. You don’t have to be a global brand with a large budget to sell effectively and be more and more successful. Taking care of positive impressions and focusing on this aspect sometimes guarantees much better results than a meticulously planned, extensive strategy of marketing activities (although, of course, you should not completely abandon other forms of promotion).
Customer Experience management, i.e. customer experience management
In order to effectively build positive associations and experiences related to the company, they must be properly managed. This is what Customer Experience Management (CXM) is for. It is a comprehensive approach, thanks to which you can take care of all stages of interaction with customers and measure their satisfaction level. CXM is a detailed strategy that takes into account both employee skills and all internal processes and procedures.
Customer Experience management is about recording, controlling and optimizing all points of contact between the company and customers. In order for the adopted strategy to be successful, it must be implemented and taken into account at all levels and in every department. Thanks to this, you can create a coherent image and avoid misunderstandings. The CXM strategy is comprehensive and includes various activities. Belong to them:
1. Listening to customer feedback and reacting to them – this is how you can gain valuable information about how the company is perceived. It is worth asking for opinions not only offline, but also online, through online surveys. The collected feedback should then be analyzed and conclusions drawn to allow for appropriate changes.
2. Creating a 360-degree profile – this type of profile integrates all the information about the selected client. They concern contact details, transaction systems, behaviors, types of viewed, added to the cart and rejected products, or even GDPR consents. On this basis, understanding the needs of customers and offering them a tailored offer becomes easier.
3. Understanding Employee Experience – and therefore employee experiences. People employed in the company are as important as the customers themselves, and their feelings and emotions affect the efficiency and the way of fulfilling duties. Be aware that employees are the main ambassadors of the business. If they feel good, they will ensure that customers feel equally positive.
4. Involvement of all departments of the company – this also applies to the highest levels, i.e. management. People in these positions should also be involved in the Customer Experience strategy, the more so as the company’s profits depend to a large extent on the customer experience.
5. Building a reputation – reputation should reflect the values of the company, its building is a long-term process. In this process, factors such as media coverage, the treatment of employees and the company’s social commitment should be taken into account.
10 principles of effective communication
How to take care of CX and make the customer experience positive? Achieving such a goal will be facilitated by the following rules. Here are some tips on what effective communication should look like.
1. Knowing customer needs
This is one of the basic stages of the sales process. In order to build a lasting relationship with the client, it is necessary to understand his needs and expectations. Without it, it is difficult to gain his trust and loyalty. Hence, it is important to define the target group and create a Buyer Persona.
2. Appropriate preparation of employees
People who will have contact with customers must be properly prepared for it. Make sure your employees are communicative, open-minded and cultured. Their substantive preparation is equally important – they must be ready to provide professional advice.
3. Fast and efficient contact
For many customers, especially potential customers, there is nothing worse than waiting a long time to receive a response. You should try to provide the necessary information as soon as possible and dispel any doubts. It may be helpful to automate the response or hire an additional employee to handle the available communication channels.
4 – Coherent message
What the company wants to convey to customers should be consistent at all its levels and at each stage of the purchasing process. This mainly applies to the language used. The one used in direct communication should not differ from the style of posts published in social media or entries on the company blog.
5. Individual approach to the client
You should listen to customers’ needs and adapt to them, each one should be provided with an individual approach. This may refer both to the communication channel (not all prefer, for example, telephone contact) and to the proposed offer. An individual approach is conducive to building a lasting relationship, which is an important issue, especially in very competitive industries.
6. Collection and publication of reviews
Opinions about companies play an important role and therefore should not be ignored. For the company itself, they are a source of valuable information that can be improved. In turn, customers can see on their basis whether they are making the right choice and will not be disappointed, for example, with the quality of the service provided. A large number of reviews confirm its credibility.
7. Systematic analysis of satisfaction
With the help of special tools, you can check if building Customer Experience is going in the right direction. Customer satisfaction is measured by various indicators. Particularly noteworthy are CSAT (assessment of satisfaction with a product or service) and NPS (verifies whether customers would recommend the company to other people).
8. Responding to unfavorable comments
Negative feedback should not be removed or taken lightly. They appear as a result of bad experiences, so you need to answer them and analyze what was the reason for writing them. Like customer satisfaction indicators, negative feedback is a source of information that needs to be improved.
9. Sincere customer interest
In order to gain the favor and loyalty of the customer, it is necessary to prove to him that he is important to the company. You should get involved in his problems, show empathy and meet his expectations. Customer interest must be sincere.
10. Taking care of effectiveness and keeping promises
In the event of problems, every effort should be made to resolve them quickly and efficiently. This should not be delayed, as long waiting times have a negative impact on Customer Experience. Keeping your promises is just as important. Efficient response often blurs the initial unpleasant impressions and builds loyalty.
Customer Experience is the result of all customer interactions with the company. In order for their feelings and emotions to be positive, it is necessary to pay attention to every detail. You have to remember that building CX is a long process. It requires constant analysis of the collected data and modification of the strategy, if necessary.