Customer Experience (CX) is a fundamental part of every business. Without people choosing your products, there's no way to make a profit and transcend as a business. Thus, having a good relationship with your clients is a meaningful way to succeed. This article will explore Customer Experience and review questions and resources. We'll be talking about the crucial role of Customer Experience in businesses. Further, we'll see CX differences with User Experience (UX) and other services. Also, we will check a few tools to keep in mind for building your Customer Experience. Let's start!
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience joints all interactions customers have with your business. Also known as CX, it follows the entire customer journey. This journey goes from the first contact to loyal customers. Customers with positive experiences are more likely to come back.
Over 70% of executives believe that CX impacts the willingness of a customer to advocate for a brand. This number is the result of an Oracle global study. Also, CX is an integral part of Customer Relationship Management. If you want loyalty, you must invest in the experience.
The quality of customer care is the primary key to ensuring a great Customer Experience. Also, there are advertising, packaging, and product and service features. Usability and reliability are essential too. Bringing an excellent CX to your customers and gaining their trust is a team effort. Everyone has to focus on the lead role that customers have.
User Experience vs. Customer Experience
The terms CX and UX are often confused or used as synonyms. Here, we'll define each of these and explain its differences.
User Experience (UX) refers to the impressions when going through a specific interaction. Often, it refers to self-contained, stand-alone tasks and environments. For example, submitting a form, buying an item, or setting up an electronic device. Moreover, you might need to apply UX as part of a CX plan. This application could be something as simple as designing a survey. In this case, UX is a focused and specific part of a CX strategy.
Yet, UX can also go beyond CX. Further, it extends to a much wider range than a business-customer relationship. Lots of organizations use UX, such as schools and government agencies. In all cases, its main goal is to improve the quality of the experience.
As the name implies, CX is all about the interaction between a customer and a business. Its purpose is to make customers return because their needs are being fulfilled. The customer benefits from good service and a feeling of trust. Meanwhile, businesses take benefit from repeated sales and brand improvement. Instead, UX focuses only on the end user. This focus comes despite whether the experience translates into business benefits. In both cases, there is a need to balance users’ and organizations’ needs.
UX and CX share the goal of improving experiences. Whether by strategy, changing culture, or adopting user-focused design methods. The job of a UX or CX professional is to identify which parts of an experience are causing user problems. These problems can be stopping the achievement of goals or negative feedback. After defining the issues, both work on designing solutions. These solutions can be at a CX level, like training, development, and staff. Or, instead, at a UX level, such as restructuring a website's workflow to reduce drop-offs. But, UX and CX focus on different sets of goals.
User Experience goals include helping users to complete tasks. Moreover, to achieve a sense of satisfaction when meeting them. Also, its mission is to make interactions as easy as possible for all users. All this while ensuring accessibility and usability. Contrariwise, CX's goals are about helping customers to have good experiences. These experiences apply at any stage of the customer journey. Since customers will pay more for a good experience, it is a must to offer an outstanding experience. It's also essential to provide a differentiation point from other companies. In this context, nurturing customer loyalty and brand advocacy are also relevant.
Customer Relations vs. Customer Service
Customer Relations refer to how a company engages with its customers. It includes providing answers to short-term obstacles as well as creating long-term solutions. With customer success, there's also an improvement in customer experience.
Businesses' relationship with customers relates to both parties' financial well-being. Thus, building solid relations will develop valuable and long-term clients. Also, companies will see revenue increase. So, to boost CX, it helps to understand what successful Customer Relations are.
Yet, what’s the difference between Customer Service and Customer Relations? Both concepts are pretty similar, but they have one distinct difference. CX is what companies provide to ensure customer success. It's a now-expected inbound function at the first point of interaction. Companies can provide proactive customer service features. Yet, most service functions come in response to customers' actions.
Meanwhile, Customer Relations consist of both inbound and outbound taken measures. It considers your organization's ability to react to present issues. As well it takes notice of your approach to bettering future experiences. Further, Customer Relations focuses on the proactive steps you take to engage customers. In sum, Customer Relations consider all your customer interactions. There are lots of factors that can influence better customer relationships. Some of these include a customer-first culture and online communities for customers.
Customer Experience for Business Growth
Nowadays, customer experience is relevant for companies growth and success. So, the main focus must be investing time and effort into the customer experience. You might think CX isn't a top priority as a business owner. Yet, it's a big deal to pay attention to Customer Experiences.
In the CX journey, creating positive experiences impress new customers. Also, it ensures that they will keep doing business with you in the future. Because of this, guaranteeing superior experiences become a valued and unique asset. In fact, acquiring new customers costs seven times more than maintaining them. So, investing in existing customers pays off.
Dealing with Unhappy Customers
Having only positive feedback is a pretty unrealistic goal. So, the fundamental goal is to figure out how to handle negative feedback. One crucial aspect is to answer respectfully and ensure the company is trying its best to find solutions. Also, reaching out to customers is essential to give real solutions. Or, at least, compensation for inconveniences.
Yet, there's another aspect to keep in mind. Most customers with bad first experiences will leave a brand without complaining. Thus, this can cause significant business losses. Some of the most common causes of bad CXs involve ignoring customer feedback, diffucult purchase processes, negative experiences with customer support, and compromising customers' personal security.
The Power of Users' Communities
A community of customer advocates is a powerful tool. In this context, creating high-quality CXs and embodying users' desires is relevant. As a result, businesses can create advocates for every consumer. And further, advocates create user-generated content. Not only is this content more legit than the brand's official content. Moreover, it engages new customers and reinforces brand loyalty.
Even though it's a high priority, most companies fail to deliver good CXs. It's no secret that customer expectations are rising. In fact, these are faster than companies' ability to improve customer experiences. Today, customers expect every interaction, end-to-end, to be the best. They want to feel special and unique to your brand. And bringing quality interactions is a business' responsibility. Ensuring easy and seamless interactions is key to achieving good experiences. But the question remains. How can your organization create a great customer experience strategy?
What is a Customer Experience Strategy?
In Customer Experience, the strategy refers to distinctive values and experiences. These are the aim of your organization to its customers for over three to five years. Along with it, the strategy includes offers, channels, models, and capabilities. Significant trends are driving the need for well-designed customer strategies. These trends are tech innovations, sophisticated customers, and disruptive competition.
Nowadays, customer strategy is critical for every business' success. Since the market evolves fast, businesses can no longer follow traditional approaches. Companies need to pull all resources together to reflect capabilities. Most importantly, these capabilities need to face customers' needs. Because of this, strategies must integrate across the entire organization. This path matches different functions, skills, and practices.
Furthermore, there are some core elements to customer strategy. These include adapting to expectations, preparing for needs, and staying ahead of competitors. Yet, defining who you are as a business is also relevant. As you craft a successful strategy, you'll be able to build a thriving business.
How To Improve Business' Customer Experiences
Let’s look at seven ways to create a great customer experience strategy. These steps will help you increase both satisfaction and revenues.
1. Customer Experience Vision
This is the first step in every Customer Experience strategy. You need a clear customer-focused vision. A common way to achieve this is to create a set of statements that act as guiding principles. Once these principles are in place, they will drive your organization's behavior. Further, the whole organization must acknowledge this vision. Every member of your team should know them by heart. Also, these guidelines should be in all areas of training and development.
2. Understanding Customers
The next step is to understand the different types of customers who deal with your support teams. Who are they? What do they like? Why do they choose you? To understand users' needs, you need to empathize with the situations they face. One way of doing this is to segment your customers and create buyer personas or profiles.
For example, let's imagine Sophie. She is 25 years old, loves technology, and can follow a video tutorial on her own. In contrast, Josh (39 years old) needs clear instructions to make decisions on a website. It's essential to give each persona a name and personality. By creating personas, your team can recognize who they are and understand them better.
3. Emotional Connections
You've heard the phrase, "it's not what you say; it's how you say it"? The best CX comes when your team creates an emotional connection with users. By defining a "voice tone" (spoken or written), you can achieve a more relatable approach. Thus, this translates into more customers' trust in dialogue with your brand.
The Journal of Consumer Research shows that over 50% of an experience relies on emotions. This conclusion makes sense as emotions shape the attitudes that drive decision-making. Often, customers become loyal because of how they feel when using a product or service. Further, there's the need for a good experience beyond the acquired product. Consequently, users want to feel they make the right choice, partly because of the overall CX. How you handle your customers and make them feel at every step of their journey has a huge impact. Not only if they buy, but how long they stay, and even if they will buy again soon.
4. WOW Customer Experiences
The Oxford Dictionary defines "wow" as an exclamation to show surprise or impression. When applied to CX, this often applies to acknowledging users' needs in real-time. For instance, by using live chat tools, you achieve real-time conversations. Furthermore, you can present solutions as any problem arise. There are also some follow-up steps you can take. These methods include emails with post-purchase surveys. Also, it's vital to tie customers to specific customer support agents. As a result, users will feel valued and remembered. Further, they won't be starting contact from scratch with every buying intent.
5. Quality Team Framework
Following the steps above lets you know what customers think about your service. Also, you'll be able to compare this to the principles you have defined. Next, you need to identify the training needs of each customer support team member. This step will include the development of a quality team framework. Many organizations assess the quality of phone and email communications. Yet, a quality framework takes this assessment one step further. This strategy includes coaching, eLearning, and group training.
6. Continuous Team Feedback
Most organizations have an annual survey process. In these instances, they capture the overall team feedback. These tests check the engagement and businesses' ability to deliver good experiences. But what happens in the 11 months between these survey periods?
Usually, nothing happens. Here is where continuous employee feedback plays a role. Some tools allow staff to share ideas on how to improve Customer Experience. Further, these platforms let managers see how the team feels about the business. With Project Management software, you can create a closed environment. In there, members will be able to leave continuous feedback. There are some tools worth taking into account:
— Teamwork. This management platform has an intuitive UI. Teamwork's primary use is for managing projects in one centralized location. It allows for managing tasks, team members, milestones, deadlines, workloads, and more.
— nTask. nTask is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool. The platform helps teams to collaborate, plan, analyze, track and manage everyday tasks. It is an easy-to-use tool that allows users to move around tasks. Further, nTask supports integrations with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Calendar. As a result, it's easier to exchange information and feedback between teammates.
— Markup Hero. This tool helps to capture feedback, explain tasks, and collaborate with team members. Markup Hero includes screenshots, annotations, and embedded project tickets.
7. Return on Investment (ROI) Measurement
In the end, there's only one way to know if your team, processes, and tech investments are paying off. Indeed, it's through business results. Yet, measuring customer experience is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations. This is why many companies use the Net Promoter Score. This platform collects valuable information by asking straightforward questions. For instance, you may be familiar with websites asking, "How likely are you to recommend us?"
It's essential to consider the entire customer journey to create a great CX. These journeys are more correlated with business outcomes than with touchpoints. Thus, it would help if you clearly understand end-to-end customer experiences. Also, you need to ensure how they receive information at each stage. Focusing on the customer journey offers new opportunities. Besides, it enables your teams to brainstorm ideas to increase growth.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Some companies don't understand why they should worry about CX. In fact, the extent of this problem is on Bain & Company's recent survey. This survey reunited the perspective of 362 companies' customers. Only 8% of them described their experience as superior. Yet, 80% of surveyed companies believe their own experience is, indeed, superior.
With such a disparity, prospects for improvement are minor. But, with rising choices, the need to upgrade experiences becomes urgent. There are ongoing complex experiences and more channels to pursue these. In this environment, there's a need for simple and integrated solutions. In fact, some companies collect and quantify customers' experience data. But, they fail to analyze the findings to correct future outcomes. Also, companies have problems with putting the information to use after measuring. As a result, it's more challenging to make the improvements that data demands.
Building good CX must always acknowledge the company or project in mind. How close and caring do you want your customer to feel to your company? We hope this article gives you a more profound understanding of Customer Experience. Moreover, we expect to have helped show its correlation with Business Strategy.