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Thinking about customer experience, also known as CX, is essential in any business. Nowadays, customers are an essential part of businesses and demand not just a qualified customer service as well as whole shopping experience.
Customer Experience, is the perception customers have when in contact with your business or brand, based on the result of every interaction customers have with it. Everything you do impacts the perception customers have of you and their decision to keep buying from you or not. A great CX is crucial to every business and a key to success. There are several benefits that come from implementing a good CX, such as:
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Positive reviews and recommendations
Read along to find out why customer experience is so important and 9 ways on how to improve it.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the impression customers have of your organization when in any direct contact with it. This contact generally occurs in the course of purchase or use of your product or service. This results in their perception of your brand and impacts several factors such as if they will return to buy from you or or not.
It is an integral part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It represents an important aspect of any business because a customer who has a positive experience with a business is more likely to return.
According to a survey conducted by SuperOffice, 45,9% of business professionals said customer experience is a top priority for the next 5 years. This is simply because companies that invest in CX present higher profits.
It is also known that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, so it’s okay if you increase your prices if that means offering a great customer experience. Implementing a good CX and proper customer service can be a differentiation factor that makes you outperform your competitors.
Importance of customer experience
A business can not operate without its customers, and unhappy customers don’t come back to buy from you. This is why companies are focusing on winning business investing in customer experience. As mentioned above, this can be a differentiation factor and means to outperform competitors. A positive customer experience also increases brand loyalty and helps you retain satisfied customers.
In this digital age we live in, consumers have the opportunity to shop from a different brand every day, with just one click through their mobile phones. Retaining these clients and avoiding them to opt for your competitors is crucial for your business’s success.
Brand loyalty is a direct outcome of good customer experience and the success of a company depends on its continued relationship with the customer. Because of that, it is really important to keep investing in positive shopping experiences.
What customers value in their shopping experience
There are certain areas where customers appreciate more thought from companies. These areas can even vary depending on the retail category. According to a study by Synchrony Financial, Apparel Stores are where customers feel CX has the most impact, with 73% saying that they will shop more often as a result of good CX. This category is followed by Department Stores and Mass Merchants where 62% and 57%, respectively, customers say that they will buy more often as a result of a good shopping experience.
In a massified shopping world, consumers are looking for ways to feel valued and make their lives easier. The same study mentioned above, discovered that there are four main benefits in customer experience valued by consumers:
- 42% state that picking their own sale items is the most important benefit;
- 41% value hassle free returns;
- 40% say that no coupons should be needed to always get sale price;
- 33% find it important to earn points to redeem for extra savings.
Apart from thinking about what customers value, think about what they least value. This way you avoid investing in actions that customers won’t really appreciate.
Impact of bad customer experience
Now that we have covered all the positive aspects of a good customer experience, let’s talk about the impact of a bad one.
Bad CX leads to unhappy customers, 91% of which state that they will leave from a brand without complaining. This obviously has direct repercussions on a company’s revenue and as you can see, customer experience has a great impact on customer loyalty.
Another interesting statistic about poor customer experience is that ⅓ of customers would consider switching companies with just one bad customer service occurrence. This reinforces the message that your company must offer great customer experience at every touchpoint in the customer’s buying journey.
One more aspect you should consider in customer experience is word-of-mouth. If a customer has a great shopping experience in a given brand they will for sure recommend it to their friends and family. The same happens when the opposite occurs. 4/10 consumers recommend others not to frequent a business if they have experienced poor CX.
When thinking about investing in customer experience consider what impact a negative CX can have in your business. Before investing in new actions to add to your customer experience, see what major barriers or pain points your consumers may be encountering when shopping from you.
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9 ways to improve customer experience
1. Find out who your customers are
A great customer experience starts when a company knows exactly who their audience is and what type of experience they value. If the shopping experience is adapted to the consumer, customer satisfaction rates will definitely increase.
In order to offer the best CX possible, find out who your audience is and what they value in their buying journey.
One way to do this is creating personas or customer profiles that represent your ideal customers. By creating personas you will be able to better recognize who buys from you and what they are interested in.
2. Use customer journey maps
If you want to create a better customer experience, think about all the steps your customers go through when buying from you. Knowing the customer journey helps you identify which obstacles or pain points consumers face. With this information it is easier to take action and improve what is not working that well or even implement innovative solutions.
A customer journey map visually illustrates customer’s processes throughout their interaction with your business.
Here is an example of a customer journey map when starting the process of buying a car.
3. Make good use of technology
The power of technology nowadays is immeasurable. It’s a tool that allows you to reach your customers directly, establishing a steady relationship. One of the greatest advantages of leveraging technology is that you can scale it up or down depending on your needs.
This is no different when regarding CX. Allying customer experience with technology is a great business strategy that can take your customer experience to another level.
AI and machine learning technologies are your biggest allies when implementing chatbots and personalized actions in your customer experience. It is a win-win for both companies and customers. It simplifies customer’s lives and allows you to get creative with products and customer communication.
4. Empower employees
There is a direct correlation between empowered employees and satisfied customers. Properly trained and equipped, employees are one of the most effective assets any organization has.
When employees feel valued in the company they work in, results improve massively. They will do everything to keep customers satisfied and even serve as strong brand ambassadors. Value and care for your employees and you will definitely see improvements in CX.
5. Leverage omnichannel marketing
As the online and offline worlds come together as one, adopting an omnichannel approach is crucial to keep your customer experience as seamless as possible.
An omnichannel experience covers every channel where your brand is. This way there is never a gap throughout the customer’s journey. This approach focuses on the quality of the interactions between customers and brands and not just a specific channel.
Nowadays, customers expect a personalized shopping experience. They are not just looking to buy the product but seeking added value in the shopping experience through personalized actions. An effective personalized shopping experience can help retailers meet the customers desires.
Personalization now extends to the whole customer experience, which means that every touchpoint the customer has with a brand must be personalized. These personalized actions are not targeted just for the alike customer, but for the customer as an individual. Through AI mechanisms, and data collection it is possible to provide product suggestions, offers and communications that are uniquely relevant for an individual.
7. Find out what your customers value
As mentioned above, depending on which retail category you operate in, what customers value in their CX may vary. To find out what your customers value most while shopping, why not ask them directly? This way you will figure out exactly what your customers want while shopping from you.
Fortunately, technology has provided the means to do this easily. This can be done through surveys sent directly to your customers. Another way to capture customer feedback is by implementing live chat tools or simply sending a follow up email, after the purchase is completed.
8. Measure customer experience
Measuring CX is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations. Measuring customer experience is essential in order to understand the levels of satisfaction of your customers.
After you make this analysis you can adapt your strategy and improve it in order to get better results. The ultimate outcome – increased revenue. We will explain how you can measure customer experience later on this post.
9. Offer good customer service
This is one of the pillars of customer experience. Customer service is when the customer establishes direct contact with your company whether it is to clear doubts, make changes on their service or buy the product directly through customer service.
Customer service can also set you apart and differentiate yourself from your competitors. A good customer service makes your customers feel supported when needed. It communicates experience, care and trust. Data shows that customers who experience good customer service buy more and remain loyal to brands.
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How to measure customer experience
Earlier in this post it was explained how important it is to measure your customer experience in order to improve it. But how can you actually measure CX?
After sending out customer satisfaction surveys you must analyse them and see what useful insights you can take out of them. A great way to measure CX is Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a customer satisfaction benchmark that measures how likely your customers are to recommend your business to a friend. A lot of companies use it as the standard customer experience measurement which makes it a good metric to adopt. Another benefit is that it is easy to implement and measure.
Analyzing NPS from multiple touch points throughout the customer journey will tell you what you need to improve and where you are doing a good job in keeping your customers satisfied.
Stay on top of the latest customer experience trends for 2022!