Businesses fight with each other and their main weapon isn’t the price anymore. It’s customer experience. This phrase has evolved so much in recent years, that it developed an actual journey. In order to succeed, you must fully understand how to “wow” your customers. Why is that? Because a lousy experience can be remembered for a lifetime, as well as the fantastic one.
Table of contents
- What is the customer experience?
- Why is customer experience important?
- How to measure customer experience?
- Customer experience vs. customer service
- What are the advantages of well-designed customer experience?
A happy customer means a loyal customer. And it is easy to lose trust and sympathy with just one negative situation – that’s why so many companies invest in customer experience management. Also, having fantastic relations with your clients is not the only benefit here. You can grow your sales and gain free promotion in the process. We will discuss these advantages in more detail in this article.
What is the customer experience?
“Customer experience (CX) is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.” – HubSpot.
CX evolves during the whole customer journey and the key moments that influence this process are called touchpoints – the interactions between the company and the customer.
A touchpoint is any type of interaction, physical or not, that might impact your customer’s opinion about your brand, product, or service. People and the product are claimed to be the most critical touchpoints for almost any business. If the product works swimmingly without any disruptions, it will definitely create a positive customer experience. Same goes for helpful and effective customer support.
Feedback from all touchpoints is collected via multiple channels like mail or email, traditional media, websites, social media and on-premises. The company cannot control all the touchpoints – for example, online reviews and word-of-mouth opinions are formed without the presence of business representatives, but they can be critical factors when potential customers are looking for vendors.
Why is customer experience important?
Taking care of customer satisfaction should be one of the priorities for every business owner. It promotes growth by gaining customer loyalty, which results in positive reviews and referrals, enabling the brand to find even more new clients and boost revenue.
In the world where information is only one click away and finding products or services was never easier, customer experience became a significant part of every expansion strategy.
Customers can easily find a competitive business when our services are not what they expected. They can freely speak about the companies they stumbled upon on social media and other websites. Finding free options and alternatives to products we sell is a piece of cake. You can lose a client quickly, but this trend is also a chance for companies that know how to use it to their advantage.
Taking care of customer experiences might is equally important as a marketing plan or sales process. Recommendations passed to family, friends and online users (e.g., using social platforms) can be powerful and get you loyal customers for years. That’s because almost every person likes to share their good or bad experience with others – to show their gratitude or to vent about their frustration. And believe us – people are listening and remembering what they heard about a particular company. That knowledge will influence their choices when it comes to purchasing products or services.
How to measure customer experience?
There’s a couple of methods you can use to measure customer experience and draw conclusions that will help you to make the right strategic decisions and improve the CX in the future. Let’s see what you should do to analyze the results of your current activities and determine what can be improved in the future.
Collect customer feedback
The best way to do that are the satisfaction surveys. You should provide them to your clients regularly – at least at the most significant touchpoints of the customer journey. This way, you will get a full perspective on customers’ opinions about your brand.
In the digital environment, asking for filling out the survey is not a problem. If you have your client’s email address and proper permissions (GDPR, marketing) – you can send them a questionnaire in a message, asking about their experience with a product or service.
After receiving a significant amount of feedback, you need to analyze it. If there are negative insights, you need to take it seriously and apply fixes whenever it’s needed. But if your rating is high, don’t leave it without any action. It’s an opportunity to find out what is done well so you can create company standards and improve areas that don’t fit in them yet.
Listen to customer expectations
Allow your customers to send requests for new services, products, or features by providing them with space where they can freely do so. What you’ll receive might be a hint – what can you give your clients to make them like your company even more? Pick the form that will be more suitable for your target group – social media, in-app module, email, or a forum for a community associated with your brand.
Customer insight into trends and preferences of real users is particularly valuable. You don’t have to implement everything at once, but give it a thought, do research and add some points to your development strategy. Especially if some suggestions are recurring, then maybe there’s something in it.
Find out why customers complain
And also why they leave your brand behind. The analysis of each case when a customer decided to look for another provider will help you determine how not to lose similar customers in the future. Also, take a closer look at your rates – does the number of customers that walk away increase or decrease? If it grows, why might that be? Awareness and quick response are the key here.
You should regularly look over customer service complaints – support tickets, helpline phone calls and emails. Are there any problems that reoccur? Maybe you need to provide some tweaks to your products or service. You can also try to explain better how to use them – with modules installed in the app, video instructions, or blog articles.
Customer experience vs. customer service
You’ve probably heard of customer service, but customer experience is less familiar. Customer service is a part of the journey that results in customer experience with a particular brand.
Simply put, customer service is what customers seek when they need advice on using products or services or assistance because of issues or technical malfunctions. Customer experience is the whole process of building a positive image of your brand in the customer’s head – and customer service is an integral part of that. It’s the big picture and you should always pay attention to all the elements that influence it.
What are the advantages of well-designed customer experience?
Many companies underestimate the power of customer experience. They don’t know what exactly it is and how to invest in it to grow the overall customer satisfaction. But there are many benefits of well-thought-through customer experience activities. Here are the most significant ones.
Gaining customer loyalty should always be based on trust. The company should be transparent and provide business value on every touchpoint that influences the customer experience. Treating customers equally and fairly are the great ways to build trust, so remember to listen to every complaint or remark with undivided attention. If possible, provide instant solutions or at least reply and explain when you can address the issues.
If there’s a problem or, even worse, a crisis – don’t bury your head in the sand. Apologize, honestly explain what happened and propose resolutions that will help you gain the trust back.
Maintaining a relationship
Customers don’t like change. If they don’t have a strong reason to do so, they won’t look for similar products or services offered by the competition. So if you make sure you provide them with an excellent experience, they won’t leave you for a long time. Maintaining these relationships is particularly important – even scientific studies show that people don’t switch companies that often if they are satisfied with their current provider.
Besides long-term clients, you want to build a new customer base that will probably evolve into more devoted brand fans. Research shows that businesses that invest in CX had better results when it comes to growth, customer value and revenue. If you ignore this area of your strategy, you might risk a lot.
With growth comes innovation and improvements. That’s because the experience you provide attracts more clients, so you need to think how to expand your product or service and make it even better. You can listen to your clients’ suggestions, which is a great way to find new areas to better your company.
Getting word-of-mouth opinions
It’s quite simple – if your customers have had a positive experience with your business, they will recommend it to their friends, family, social media followers and other people.
Increasing staff morale
The behavior of your employees is one of the main factors that influence overall customer experience – because interacting with them is usually included in the most critical touchpoints of the customer journey. Good or bad service will have a great impact on CX. Your staffs’ work might be reviewed in satisfaction surveys or online questionnaires. If they provide a great experience, the morale will grow and you will all have even more motivation to work better and improve the CX even more.
As you can see, customer experience is essential and needed to make your business stand out and grow. You should pay attention to it and continuously work on improving it. We hope this short guide helped you to understand why and how to do it.
In software development, the first step to providing an extraordinary experience to your customers is giving them a perfect web or mobile product. We always put users first to make sure they receive an app that will meet their expectations and give them a seamless journey in the world of your brand. If you want to create software with the highest quality and according to your CX standards – contact us so we can work together on achieving your goals!