The rise of digital transformation has brought a much more informed customer base with higher expectations. Modern-day businesses must prioritize having a strong digital customer experience (CX) strategy as the key differentiator to woo their customers.
As per the Walker study, “By 2021, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.”
A great CX strategy requires a customer-centric mindset and intensive planning. Having a sound digital experience strategy requires working across all business functions with an omni channel approach in mind. Let us start with what it means, why is it important, and best practices of how to improve customer experience.
What is customer experience (CX) strategy?
Customer experience (CX) strategy refers to the holistic perception of the experience of customers with your brand. The great customer experience is the end result of every touchpoint a customer has with your business starting from both awareness, evaluation, and post-purchase scenarios.
Each and every brand action impacts customer perception and their decision to retain your business or not. Thus, having great customer experience management is your key to success.
Why customer experience (CX) management is important?
Having a well-designed customer experience management framework can have a significant impact on any business. The better experience your customers have, they are highly likely to give positive reviews and share with their circle of friends, while simultaneously reducing the friction of customer complaints.
The key benefits of increased customer experience are as follows:
- Reduce customer churn – A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%. The businesses that focus on solving customer queries proactively through personalized conversations reduce churn and increase retention.
- Increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) – Businesses that focus on reducing churn and delight the existing customers increase the lifetime value of customers. The longer you can keep customers, the greater is the provided value during their lifetime relationship with your brand.
- Boost client satisfaction rate – When customers have a positive experience with your brand, their satisfaction level increases. They share their experiences online as well as with friends and relatives with good word of mouth.
What makes a great customer experience?
A great customer experience happens when you create an organization that is aligned around the singular mission of delighting the customers. Excellent CX happens across all the customer touchpoints when they were “wowed” by an interaction with a business.
We need to train our employees on how to execute their tasks, and how to adhere to the company’s culture. Equally, it is vital to train them to ensure that they know what is expected of them when it comes to how their role impacts the customer experience.
The key elements that contribute towards an amazing customer experience are:
- A timely response is crucial: Prompting acknowledging customer concerns with effective solutions has a great impact in delivering an excellent customer experience.
- Effective communication: Making good communication skills part of the customer experience strategy delivers an effective customer service experience.
- Omnichannel matters: Businesses must provide easily accessible information via multiple channels like websites, social media in order to deliver an omnichannel customer experience.
- Maintain the human touch: Your service agents are critical to your customer’s experience. They represent your brand, and in order to delight customers, it is imperative to train your reps to have meaningful engagement with your customers and to equip them with the information they need to create seamless transitions between the online and in-person experience.
- Go above and beyond: Seize opportunities to do more than you have to by turning bad experiences into positive ones by quickly fixing their issues.
Key differences: Customer experience v/s Customer service
The customer experience (CX) is a broader concept as compared to customer service. It applies across marketing, sales, support, and also operations functions. While customer service is all about delivering good service, it is just one part of the entire customer experience model. There are specific touchpoints in the whole experience, where a customer reports an issue and seeks assistance.
Whereas, customer experience is the overall perception of your customers based on the touchpoints throughout their journey. It includes each and every interaction customers have with your brand, whether it’s the moment they first hear about you or reach out to your support team for any query.
How to build a solid customer experience strategy (Best Practices)
Keeping your customers happy should be one of the main goals of your customer experience strategy if you want to retain them. An Oracle survey showed that “60% of the participants didn’t mind paying more for better customer experience.” When you deliver great CX, you can turn them into your best brand advocates.
- Understand your audience & create buyer personas
- Define a clear customer experience vision
- Build a strong team to increase customer experience
- Invest in the right system and tools to level up customer experience
- Use artificial intelligence (AI) for a better customer experience
- Measure your customer experience metrics
- Incorporate customer feedback for continuous improvement
Let us discuss customer experience best practices and also learn innovative ideas to increase the CX management strategy.
1. Understand your audience & create buyer personas
The key to making your brand stand out is to be indispensable to your consumers by understanding your consumers. If you have a deep understanding of what your consumer is looking for, what satisfies them, and what they value, you have a chance of turning their interest into true brand loyalty.
71% of companies that exceed their revenue and lead goals use buyer personas.
Gathering and segmenting data are great starting points in understanding the target audience. With the right efforts, you can apply a filter to ask overarching questions.
- Exactly who are my customers as individuals?
- What motivates them?
- What do they want to achieve?
- What are the fundamental causes of satisfaction?
Handling these questions requires a concerted analytical effort, which helps businesses to design and implement an advanced customer experience strategy to achieve its goals.
Source: Red fern
It also helps to craft buyer persona in order to personalize your marketing on a large scale by humanizing core target groups of your customer base. Emarketer survey found that more than half of consumers expect companies’ offers to always be personalized.
Thus, understanding your target audience and mapping customer journeys to identify all touchpoints, channels, and moments in which a customer interacts with the brand helps to deliver great customer experiences.
2. Define a clear customer experience vision
Your customer experience strategy indicates your business goals and values! It is about how you want your customers to think about your brand. They must be clear on the fact how your brand handles the vital components that constitute your CX vision.
- Customer support – Convey what are the strategies or approaches followed by your business to deliver a superior customer service experience.
- Mapping customer journey – How you consider all the touchpoints across the customer journey to gain insights on their behavior to deliver personalized assistance.
- Interactions – When customers interact with your business, how they feel about it as a brand.
So, customer experience should be an integral part of your vision. It helps to bring out the best CX value. Customer experience value allows brands to recognize customers’ value at the point of contact and decide how to maximize that value through dynamic, personalized treatment to deliver the best experience possible and generate the maximum return on their efforts.
In the above context, developing a customer experience vision is a vital step to transform the ways your business provides services to its customers. The vision outlines the principles to guide and inform the experience they deliver.
Creating a clear roadmap helps to serve as good ideas to enhance the customer experience across all the channels. It drives user engagement and delivers results for your business.
3. Build a strong team to increase customer experience
Building a strong team is all about people. The brands that deliver great customer experiences do so with purpose. They focus on building the best team by combining skills, influence, and knowledge. It proves to be an innovative idea to enhance CX.
Tips to boost your customer experience strategy:
- Equip your team with the right skills – Having a dedicated technical support team helps to address customer queries and complaints effectively. Empowering your team with the right skills helps to deliver better customer experience.
- Adequate knowledge training – Share knowledge effectively about your products & services with your teams. Make sure to acknowledge and advise your support team when there is a product or service upgrade. Along with that, you have to upgrade the knowledge base to deliver a great customer experience.
- Effective communication – Provide interpersonal training to your team like to be patient, empathetic, or using positive sentences to make the customers feel special and trust that their problem will be resolved. Following effective communication guidelines, while interacting with customers ends up with positive results.
A strong team is what makes a great customer experience. The teams need to work together to establish a great CX vision along with experience goals that align with business goals and are feasible within the existing technology platform.
4. Invest in the right system and tools to level up customer experience
Deploying the right systems and tools is one of the best practices on how to increase customer experience. By investing in proactive communication channels you can enhance customer communication and experience.
Choosing and implementing the right tools is important to encourage customers to have greater interaction with your brand. However, the end goal is to fulfill customer expectations and make them feel happy.
Brands focusing to increase customer experience should add on digital tools along with the traditional ones to engage customers. Using specific tools also helps to respond timely, monitor customer behavior, and take proactive actions. They also help to handle customer complaints faster and provide effective solutions.
The tools that can play a lead role in your CX strategy are as follows:
- Live chat – Investing in live chat helps to provide immediate answers to sales and support queries and boost customer satisfaction. It provides valuable insights on the customer journey that helps you to provide personalized engagement leaving customers satisfied.
- Real time customer engagement – Collaborate with your customers’ browser with co-browsing and guide them through the complex process. Have direct interaction with video chat to identify issues faster and deliver effective solutions, thus reducing touchpoints and creating great customer engagement examples.
5. Use artificial intelligence (AI) for a better customer experience
The customer experience landscape redefined by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Chatbots can help businesses dramatically enhance their customer experience and achieve faster growth. Invespro says, “Chatbots can save up to 30% in customer support costs and can help businesses by speeding up response time and answering up to 80% FAQs”.
A chatbot is the best solution to handle simple customer queries on the first go. But when it comes to complex queries bots fail to answer, and it directs the conversation to the right human agent.
You can provide customers the best experience of both worlds, with the chatbot managing the simple queries and human agents handling complex conversations.
How AI chatbots can boost customer experience?
- 24×7 support – Automating customer support with bots helps you to engage customers round the clock to answer their simple queries. Chatbots are the best option to manage FAQs when your support team is not available.
- Lesser support tickets – Bots are capable of answering information-based queries in real time, which reduces the number of support requests raised.
- Auto collect customer information – Using chatbot as the first contact for customer support can also help to collect basic customer details such as name, email, etc. that are further analyzed and processed as per requirements.
- Highly scalable – Bots can be easily scaled during peak time or when your support team is busy to provide good quality support in real time without additional costs of hiring agents or infrastructure.
- Human handover for complex queries – When chatbots are not able to answer any query due to its complex nature, it is transferred to the right support agent for effective resolution.
Example to boost customer experience
FundsTiger ChatBOT launched a conversational BOT that can help customers to know more about Business Loans, Personal Loans as well as help a user file a Business/Personal Loan application in the course of these conversations.
The chatbot was a part of their customer experience design strategy. The simple messaging transforms into a rich personalized experience, enhancing ‘Natural Interface’ conversations for borrowers delivering real-time responses, timely and relevant information for their credit financing needs. Thus making customer experience management successful.
6. Measure your customer experience metrics
Forrester says, “Companies are increasingly using customer analytics techniques like customer satisfaction analysis, customer engagement analysis, and customer journey analytics to understand and enhance the client experience.”
Measuring customer experience is vital for every business. It helps to understand how well your business is performing and customers’ perception of your products & services. 21% of companies have developed their own KPIs to track customer experience.
It is critical to measure CX systematically, comprehensively, and efficiently by using the right metrics in the customer journey.
The key customer experience (CX) metrics are as follows:
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) – Measuring satisfaction helps to gain customer insights and what customers think about you. CSAT metric involves the explicit capture of survey questions asking about their satisfaction of using the product or service.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) – NPS metric measures customer experience and finds out how likely your customers are to recommend you to their friends and relatives.
- Customer effort score (CES) – CES metric evaluates customer experience with your products or services. You can measure ease of experience with your company by asking customers, on a 5 point scale of “Very Difficult” to “Very Easy”.
Best practices of how to grow your customer experience:
- You can segment your customer based on their loyalty to send them customer satisfaction surveys to understand how they feel about your brand as a whole.
- Based on survey results, you can reach out to your passive customers to solve their issues before they leave you.
- You can escalate the feedbacks provided by the passive customers to the right team so that those issues can be taken care of quickly.
7. Incorporate customer feedback for continuous improvement
The key objective of every business is to please customers, satisfy their needs, and eventually to keep them loyal to your brand. But how can you be sure that your efforts bring desired results?
If you do not figure out what your customers perceive about your brand, you will not be able to give them the best customer experience. Their feedback & opinions about the experience they have with your brand are helpful information that you can use to adjust your business to match their needs more accurately.
Incorporating feedback should be a vital part of customer experience strategy as they provide information about their experience with your brand. They also act as the best resources for improving customer experience and adjusting your actions to their needs.
How does valuing customer feedback help to increase customer experience (CX)?
- Customer feedback is an insight into what is working well about your product or service and what should be done to make the experience better.
- The clients’ opinion help to ensure if the end product will actually meet their expectations, solve their problems and fulfill their needs.
- Asking feedback communicates to customers that their opinion is important and they are involved in shaping your business so they feel more attached to your company.
- Listening to their voice helps you create stronger relations with them. It is the best way to gain valuable brand advocates who will spread positive word-of-mouth for you.
- Feedbacks are reliable sources for tangible data that further can be used in taking business decisions. Customer insights will help you understand clients and their needs more profoundly.
Customer experience (CX) management examples
Delivering great customer experience is all about perfectly balancing your strategy with the right tools. Additionally, brands have to create and measure satisfaction across every channel to help build relationships and stand out from the competition and set a perfect example of customer experience (CX) strategy.
Customer experience management example #1
Vodafone UK developed a graphical and interactive representation of its network performance to simplify the technical subject for customers.
What did they do?
- The objective was to minimize network related queries into the call center and create a system for communicating planned outages to those customers affected.
- The tool should be easy to maintain and hold the ability to update in real time, 24×7. It should also improve network-specific T-NPS scores.
The users can now register their email address with the system that sends an email to those registered after the issue is reported.
- 40% increase in visitor traffic since launch
- 9% reduction in network-related complaints
- 54% reduction in escalated queries requiring a customer call back
Customer experience management example #2
After facing its first billion-dollar loss, Australian Airline Qantas streamlined its operations to turn things around and invested in new technology as a part of the customer experience strategy.
What did Qantas do?
- They started offering free Wi-Fi on flights, a rare privilege in the airline industry
- Enabled a faster, streamlined baggage check-in process.
Starting from flight booking to checking a bag, every aspect of a customer’s journey with Qantas has enhanced. Its loyal customers advocate Qantas as the most trusted airline company in Australia and the best business airlines for domestic travel.
Customer experience management example #3
Airbnb conducts a survey for its customers to map their overall customer experience.
It politely asks for customers’ opinions after their stay, giving them the space to decide whether they want to share their feedback or not.
The survey conducted by Airbnb had a significant increase in the number of bookings by 25%, just with their referral program alone.
Having a great customer experience (CX) strategy is the first step
Planning an effective customer experience strategy is about more than just ensuring your customers receive the products and services they desire in an efficient manner. Every business should realize the importance of keeping their customers happy and satisfied.
When you deliver effective customer experience, it creates great value for both customers and businesses. The experience value created allows businesses to identify the customer value when they make a contact to decide how to maximize that value through personalized service to ensure maximum customer experience RoI.