When you’re standing on the inside of a business looking outwards, you can see the various cogs and functions that it needs to keep it moving like a well-oiled machine. When you’re on the outside looking in, as your customers are, it becomes less about the cogs and more about the machine as a whole.
As wonderful as your internal strategies and processes may be, it is their overall experience with you that matters. Customer experience has become one of the key differentiators for consumers when choosing which businesses or brands they want to align themselves with.
With the profits of businesses that focus on customer experience (CX) being 60% higher than those that fail to, your customers’ experience is directly connected to your bottom line.
Let’s closely examine customer experience to understand what it is and how you can improve yours.
What Is The Customer Experience?
Wikipedia defines customer experience as ‘’the totality of cognitive, affective, sensory, and behavioral customer responses during all stages of the consumption process including pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase stages.’’
In more bite-sized terms, customer experience is the culmination of every interaction a customer has with you throughout their entire customer journey. Each interaction plays a role in their overall experience, from inbound marketing to feedback loops.
Why Is The Customer Experience So Important?
Gone are the days when just providing high-quality products to your customers was enough. Consumers want to feel aligned with, valued and respected by the brands they spend their money on. With most markets being extraordinarily competitive and over-saturated, they have the choice to move on as they please.
The focal point of it all is how we make consumers feel. Have you ever spoken to a sales representative who took their time, listened to you and gave you the best solution – How did you feel afterwards?
Were you more inclined to interact with that business or spend your money there again? And, when you have a bad experience, do you begin to hunt for other companies that can better suit your needs?
The effort you put into creating high-quality products has to match the quality of the experience you provide. Your ROI, CLV, engagement and retention metrics will thank you in the long run.
How To Elevate Customer Experience
Now that you’re up to speed with what the customer experience is and why it’s so important, let’s look at some different ways to elevate the experience that your consumers currently receive.
Customer Journey Planning
How you set up your customer journey will play one of the most significant roles in the result of the experience that your customers receive. If your customer journey solely consists of one sign-up email, sales emails and no contact after purchase, you can assume your customers won’t be the happiest.
When planning your customer journey to aid the improvement of your customer experience, you should be looking for these things:
Customer needs – What do they need from you? Are they looking to learn, for insight, for inspiration? By understanding their needs, you can build a customer journey that fulfils them and keeps them locked in with you for the long haul.
Consistency – There are lots of moving parts within a customer journey – from different campaigns, email series and customer interactions. You must be consistent throughout to build trust and confidence in your brand.
Did you position yourself as someone who stays in touch and cares about their problems? Show them that at the beginning of their journey and be sure to carry it through.
Pain points – Customer journey mapping allows you to identify potential pain points or areas of friction that customers may encounter along the way.
By addressing these pain points, whether it’s streamlining a checkout process or improving response times for customer inquiries, you can remove barriers to a seamless experience and increase customer satisfaction.
Personalisation – The communications that you send are by no means one-size-fits-all. The information you hold about who they are and where they are within their customer journey tells you what kind of communication you should send and when.
This could involve recommending relevant products or services based on past purchase history, providing targeted content based on interests and preferences, or offering proactive support when a customer appears to be experiencing an issue.
Many of the answers that you’re looking for in response to your question to improve customer experience can be found internally. Look at each part of your business and hold an audit.
What can your salespeople tell you about the customer experience at present? Do they often receive the same complaints? How about the team that runs your social media? Are there any improvements have customers been asking them to make?
By running an audit internally, you’re able to:
Identify operational inefficiencies
Enhance product & service quality
Improve customer service processes
Optimise communication channels
And, continually improve
With the information that you receive internally (employees) and externally (customers), you need to create an action plan. What does the experience you would like to provide your customers look like in your mind?
How long is the maximum that you would be happy with your customers waiting for a response? What is the plan of action if the delivery never reaches your customer? How easily can they find contact information or solve a commonly experienced problem?
Get crystal clear on the experience and ensure that all parts of the business follow the same direction for an improved and coherent customer experience strategy.
Ask For Feedback!
The saying ‘the customer is always right’ rings true when considering customer experience. It doesn’t matter how good of a job you may think you’re doing; your customers’ experiences will always come out on top.
Use this information to benefit you and ask them directly for feedback! Ask questions on your social media channels or send out an email with a survey that has something in it for them if they complete it. We’re all partial to a cheeky discount code or some free shipping!
Get the information straight from the horse’s mouth and use it to elevate your customer experience.
We’ve briefly touched up personalisation and the positive impact that it can have on your customer experience. With 71% of consumers expecting personalisation within their brand interactions, opting to increase the level of personalisation within communications can only help you bring home the gold.
Here are a few ways to do it:
Collect & Analyse – Gather data from various sources such as purchase history, browsing behaviour, demographic information, and feedback. Analyse this data to gain insights into individual customer preferences, behaviours, and needs.
Progressive profiling – Divide your customer base into segments based on shared characteristics or behaviours. This allows you to create targeted messaging and offers that resonate with each segment’s unique needs and preferences.
Customised product recommendations – Use data analytics to provide personalised product recommendations based on past purchases, browsing history, or similar customers’ preferences. This can help customers discover products or services relevant to their interests.
Tailored customer service – Equip your customer service representatives with access to customer data and insights to provide personalised assistance and support. This could include referencing previous interactions, anticipating needs, and offering relevant solutions or recommendations.
Loyalty programmes & rewards – Develop loyalty programs that offer personalised rewards, incentives, and benefits based on individual customer preferences, purchase history, or engagement levels. This encourages repeat purchases and fosters loyalty among customers.
Customer Experience Elevated!
With this blog, you’ve been brought up to speed and can begin to implement new processes into your strategy that can elevate your customer experience.
Gone are the days of not knowing, all you have to do now is put in the work.
If you’re still a little unsure about how you can put some of the strategies in place, whether that be progressive profiling, an internal audit or changing up your communications, click the button below to get in touch and book a call with a Ninja to see what we can do for you.
As experts in marketing automation and buyer psychology, we’ve got your back!
Enough from me, go and keep those customers happy!