Companies that successfully implement a customer experience strategy achieve higher user satisfaction rates, lower customer turnover and higher revenues.
What Is The Customer Experience?
Customer experience (CX) is defined by the interactions between a user and an organization throughout their business relationship. It is an integral part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the reason for its importance is because a user who has a positive experience with a company is more likely to become a loyal customer.
In fact, according to a study by Oracle, 74% of managers believe that customer experience affects user loyalty. Therefore, it is important to invest in it to maintain and increase its loyalty to companies.
The happier a user with a brand is, the longer he will stay with it. This is why organizations that offer a superior omnichannel customer service experience outperform their competitors.
How Is The Customer Experience Different From The Customer Service?
In most cases, the first point of contact of a user with a company is through interaction with an employee. This gives organizations the opportunity to offer excellent customer service.
However, customer service is only part of the entire customer experience. For example, if a user reserves a vacation by phone and the person he is talking to is friendly and helpful, it is a good customer service. However, if the hotel improves the room, that is an excellent customer experience.
Like most things in today’s market, the customer experience has changed: it is more than a person-to-person service and, thanks to technology, companies can connect with their users in new ways.
For example, using CRM software, companies can view user history and predict their future needs even before the customer knows they need it. Having the ability to predict a future need allows you to be proactive and attentive, which means that the organization can do things like:
- Provide related products based on purchase history.
- Create “personalized” email marketing campaigns.
- Understand the user’s 360-degree view.
- Customer service remains as important as ever, but it is no longer the sole objective of the customer experience. Now, it offers new ways to strengthen relationships with users through technological advances.
How Important Is The Customer Experience?
A company cannot exist without its customers, and this is the reason why organizations are focusing on retaining existing users.
According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek, offering excellent customer experience has become a major strategic objective. And a recent IQ survey on user management found that 75% of executives and customer experience management leaders rated it with a “5” on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the most important).
The challenge here is that, although it is a high priority, many companies are failing. When Bain & Company asked organizations to rate the quality of the customer experience, 80% believe they are offering a superior experience. While only 8% of users think they are receiving an excellent customer experience.
User expectations are rising and are faster than the speed with which companies can improve their experience as customers. So how can organizations create an excellent customer experience?
7 Ways To Create A Great Customer Experience Strategy
1) Create A Clear View Of The Customer Experience
The first step in a customer experience strategy is to have a clear and user-centered vision that can communicate with your organization. The easiest way to define this vision is to create a set of guiding principles.
Once these principles are in effect, they will boost the behavior of the organization. All team members should know them by heart and should be integrated into all areas of training and development.
2) Understand Who The Customers Are
If the organization is going to understand the needs and wishes of the customers, the customer service teams must be able to connect and empathize with the situations they face.
One way to do this is to segment users and create a buyer person profile. By creating these profiles, agents can recognize who they are and understand them better.
3) Generate An Emotional Connection With Users
The best customer experiences are achieved when an agent creates an emotional connection with a user. According to research conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research, more than 50% of an experience is based on an emotion, as emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions.
Users become loyal because they are emotionally attached and remember how they feel when they use a product or service. A company that optimizes for an emotional connection surpasses competitors by 85% in sales growth.
4) Capture User Comments In Real Time
How to know if a good customer experience is being offered? By asking or capturing comments in real time. For example, it is very important to use live chat tools to have real-time conversations with users and, at the end, send a follow-up email to each client and include post-interaction surveys.
It is also possible to make outgoing calls to users for more accurate comments. It is also important to link customer comments with a specific customer service agent, to show each team member the difference they are making in the business.
5) Use A Quality Framework For Team Development
Following the steps above, companies can know what users think about the quality of service compared to the defined customer experience principles. After this, it is necessary to identify the training needs for each individual member of the customer service team.
Many organizations evaluate the quality of telephone communication and via email. However, a quality framework takes this evaluation one step further, by programming and tracking the development of the teams through training, online learning and group training.
6) Act On Agent Comments
Most organizations have an annual survey process where they capture the general comments of the team: what is their level of commitment, what is the company’s ability to offer exceptional customer service … But what happens in the 11 months between these survey periods?
Usually nothing happens. And this is where the agents’ feedback can play a key role using tools that allow them to share ideas on how to improve the customer experience; and that supervisors and managers see how the staff feels towards the organization. For example, using project management software or social media tools, you can create a closed environment where the company can leave comments.
7) Measure The ROI By Offering An Excellent Customer Experience
And finally, how do you know if all this investment in equipment, processes and technology is working and paying off? The answer is in the results of the company. Measuring customer experience is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations, which is why many organizations use the “Net Promoter Score” or NPS, which collects valuable information by asking a single direct question: “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?”
The NPS is a very suitable benchmark for a customer experience metric because many companies use it as the standard measure, since it is simple to implement and measure.
In conclusion, as the user becomes even more empowered, the importance of the customer service experience increases.
Customer experience is an area that needs constant care and, with a greater focus on their strategy, companies will have a positive impact on user loyalty, greater retention and greater revenue growth.