Customer Experience (CX) is essentially the feeling that your customers get when interacting with your brand. Now, a majority of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience over price, and with consumer expectations evolving, this is set to increase further in the coming years.
Good CX makes customers feel good and makes all interactions with your brand easy and enjoyable, leading to increase customer loyalty, improved customer satisfaction and ultimately, a boost to your bottom line.
Below, we look at 7 tips to improve CX in your business.
- Understand your customer journey
The first step when starting to improve your customer experience is to understand the customer journey. By creating a map that outlines all of your touchpoints from pre-purchase to the brand advocacy, churn or renewal stages, you can
- Empathise with your customers
One of the most important things to consider is empathy with your customers. This goes beyond being kind and helpful, this means a company-wide commitment to making things simple, solving problems and truly understanding your customers.
Empathy is important, because according to PwC, only 38% of customers say that the customer service employees they interact with understand their needs. One of the global leaders in CX, team messaging app Slack drives customer empathy by encouraging them to research the people they’re helping with their queries to create ‘mini personas’. This helps Slack to understand its customers and their needs, and not to think of them as another number or just a ‘support ticket’.
Slack also encourages its teams to create unique responses for each customer, delivering a personalised experience without using copy-and-paste responses.
- Think beyond customer service
Often, businesses think of CX as the customer service experience, but it goes beyond that. CX covers all stages of the funnel from consideration and awareness to purchase and renewal, which means the buck doesn’t stop once your customers have successfully purchased from you.
Some additional CX touchpoints to consider include:
- The buying process (online, in-store, over the phone)
- The stage between purchase and receiving the goods or services
- Post-purchase engagement
- Additional/future purchases
These are all opportunities that may not always have a customer service executive on the other side of them, so it’s important that while your customers are interacting with your brand without being hand-held by a member of your team, that they receive the same high level of ease and experience.
- Listen to feedback
An accurate way of gathering customer insights on their CX is to gather and listen to feedback. Send short email surveys, ask for a quick rating after customer contacts and, where possible, try to gather feedback on the purchasing process itself – live-chat pop-ups can help with this, as well as looking at the behaviour of new and returning users on your analytics.
- Create an omnichannel approach
Omnichannel is an approach that creates a seamless browsing and shopping experience across multiple channels such as in-store, by phone, on a mobile app, via social media or on a website.
For customers, this means that their experience across all channels doesn’t differ –you don’t get a different experience via Facebook than you do if you’re on the company’s website. It also means that you can start your journey browsing on mobile, add to cart, and then complete your purchase later on a laptop, seamlessly. Or, perhaps you could browse for an item on your phone and order for instant pick-up in a store near you.
For businesses, this approach means that all channels are in constant communication with each other, and they all have the same level of customer information, allowing them to give personalised and customised service and recommendations, based on a customer’s preferences and data.
- Drive a customer-centric company culture
While implementing CX measures is important, the only way to make it successful long-term is to have buy-in from your company. Coming from the top-down consistently, a customer-centric attitude needs to form your culture, and you can implement this in your business by hiring empathetic employees, giving company-wide access to customer insights and by setting customer-centric goals and KPIs.
- Benchmark, measure and optimise
The key to any new business initiative or change in priority is to benchmark your current data, and measure the effect of any new efforts against this, to monitor improvements. A good place to start with CX will include:
- Customer churn rate
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer Lifetime Value
- New vs returning customers
To conclude, improving your CX is a big task, but is one that pays dividends both initially and in the years to come. Customer expectations are evolving, and any businesses that don’t prioritise CX now risk falling behind.