Customer Experience Strategy Guide That Actually Works
CX design starts by analyzing your customers’ expectations, collecting customer feedback and setting up a customer-focused and company-wide plan that maps to the customer journey. It’s an ongoing process that doesn’t work on the principle of “set it and forget it”. So, you’ll need to set up measurable goals based on your current CX metrics to improve the overall customer experience strategy.
Keep in mind that 95% of consumers that receive a good customer experience are likely to recommend the brand to others. That’s why we have compiled this guide that discusses how to develop a customer experience strategy and what benefits it brings to the table.
What is a customer experience strategy?
Some may get confused by customer success and customer experience but in a nutshell, a customer experience (CX) is the evaluation of each interaction that an end-user has with your business. So, the approach you take to satisfy your customers in the best possible way is your customer experience strategy.
In order to achieve improved customer satisfaction in this digital age, you must take a multi-channel approach to serve customers. According to the 2020 report by PWC, more than 80% of companies are now investing in customer experience omnichannel strategy.
Customer experience includes every interaction from seeing your ads to buying your products or services. Here are the most significant pointers that your customer experience strategy must include.
- Keeping customers happy should be the main goal of your customer experience strategy.
- Customer journey maps are a key element of it
- It includes qualitative research and culture change
What are the benefits of a customer experience strategy?
Before getting into the details of the customer experience brand strategy that works, let’s first discuss its most important advantages.
Improve customer acquisitions
You’d already know that the word-of-mouth form for marketing isn’t a brand-new concept. The boom in social and digital media has, however, taken this marketing technique to the next level. A Nielsen Study suggests that around 92% of customers are likely to buy products or services from a business based on the recommendations of their family members and friends. This figure only explains that you must harness the power of social media to improve your customer trust.
Ensure better customer satisfaction and engagement
Most customers choose brands that they already know to make purchases. A great customer experience management strategy improves customer satisfaction and engagement to create a mutually beneficial relationship. You can contact your existing customers to offer value-added services through digital media and get more feedback regarding your current digital customer experience strategy.
Increase customer loyalty and retention
At any given time, people want high-quality services and products at cost-effective prices. Building a customer experience strategy enables you to offer extra value by exceptional customer experience. It’s important to note that 86 percent of customers are likely to spend more on the same services and products if they receive better CX. Not only does it enhance loyalty but it also ensures customer retention.
Increase conversion rate
The fact that 92% of B2B purchases are made after reading reviews from trusted sources should be a big clue that customers want to see other people’s experiences before buying. When you combine a great user experience with a way to give feedback (such as a review), you unlock the potential for exponential conversion rate growth that will affect your overall strategy.
Reduce marketing and service cost
Developing a CX strategy enables you to understand your existing customers better. An unexpected benefit will be to your marketing strategy where you can reduce or remove any marketing costs that don’t directly produce a great experience for potential future customers. Additionally, you can streamline your customer service costs and efforts based on the observations and feedback collected as you do your strategy research.
Customer Experience strategies that work
Whether you own a B2C business or looking for the best B2B customer experience strategy, consider following the actionable steps mentioned below. These key elements will enable you to create a well-rounded plan of action and keep a customer-centric culture for your business.
Review your current strategy if you have one
Reviewing the current approach that you use to deal with your customers is the first step. If you don’t really have any plan in place right now, don’t worry, just start documenting what you are currently doing so that you can create a baseline to work from. The primary goal is to find out the weaknesses and strengths to create a unique plan to improve on.
Tip – If you need a place to begin, a great way to start the review process is to look at your call center, help desk, or customer support data. They can be a great starting point to measure customer experience with some key metrics like:
- Customer churn rate
- Customer satisfaction score
- And Net promoter score
You can find multiple tools such as SurveyMonkey to find valuable insights regarding the metrics mentioned above.
Map the customer journey to each touchpoint
The customer journey map is yet another critical element of your business’s CX strategy. It basically is a map of all the touchpoints in the buyer’s journey from the very first interaction all the way to the purchase and beyond. You can use these touchpoints to find new ways to improve CX or even eliminate some of the friction points to create a better-streamlined experience. UXPressia is a great tool that you can use for this purpose.
Identify your customers’ expectations
Meeting customer expectations can be like through darts at a board sometimes and is hard to get right. Generally, they expect a positive attitude from your staff, reliability, and most importantly, protection of their personal data. On the other hand, many customers also have unique expectations that vary from scenario to scenario. For example, sometimes professionalism and quality of communication is the most important factor, and in some cases what customers need most is a speedy response.
You must have enough data about your targeted audience to create a general list of expectations that your customer representatives can understand and adapt.
If you are starting from ground zero, why not just ask them what they expect in the form of an email survey or a follow-up call to a customer service request. An easy way to get started would be to use Google Forms, or HubSpot free Chatbot tool for such purposes.
Monitor your team’s performance
Tracking the performance of each customer interaction with your team can be very insightful. Your team has the ability to create a superior customer experience compared to your competition with each interaction and all it takes is a little training, guidance, and the right mindset. Some things to think about:
- Is your team friendly, approachable and will to help?
- How many times does a client need to interact with your team to get what they are looking for?
- How fast is your team at solving a clients problem?
- What does your team do when a customer has a bad experience?
These are just a few things you want to consider when looking at how your team is performing. Take a look at Nutshell, it is a great tool that allows you to monitor your team’s activity in real-time.
Train your staff
Once you have found all the areas that need improvement, the next step is to bring that info to your staff to educate and improve. Not only will it help them to understand their current weaknesses but it’ll also enable them to understand why your business needs a new customer experience communication strategy. When your team gets this right, it can become a competitive advantage that is hard to match. BranchTrack is a great online platform that can be used for training by creating your own sims.
Gather feedback regularly
There is no better way than listening to your customers to find out what they actually want from your business. Never hesitate to ask your customers to leave a review at the right time and incorporate their thoughts into your customer experience strategy. Showing that their voice matters goes a long way to building loyal customers.
Keep in mind that the needs and expectations of your customers can change with time. Therefore, make a habit to continuously gather feedback from all your customers. It’ll keep you updated about how your targeted audience perceives your brands, and what’s being said about your business. Consider adding an automated feedback tool to your website that’ll ask each customer to leave their thoughts after every customer experience.
Offer self-service solutions
Self-service support is becoming increasingly popular because of readily available omnichannel services. It means you should provide enough content and tools that allow the customers to solve problems quickly on their own. Not only does it improve customer satisfaction, but it also helps your representatives free up time for support tickets that require a human touch.
You can use chatbots with AI capabilities to offer self-service solutions and one such example is Zendesk Support Suite.
The impact of bad customer experience
A bad experience can bring devastating consequences that can be irrecoverable. A lot of times, people turn to social media and other online platforms to vent out their frustrations. Bad online reviews can affect your business greatly and here are some disturbing stats that you must know.
- According to Zendesk, 39% of customers will avoid doing business with your company for at least 2 years after a bad experience.
- HuffPost states that 91% of customers that are unhappy with you service will leave without even complaining.
- The CloudFront stats show that 80% of customers say that they would like to switch to another company if they have a bad interaction.
- According to Glance, 78% of customers, after making the buying decision, back out of a purchase because of poor customer service.
Here are some of the ways how it can negatively affect your business.
Warren Buffett says that building a reputation can take 20 years and it only takes 5 minutes to ruin it entirely. A recent Zendesk study states that 95% of people will share the negative interaction with your brand with at least one person and 54% will share with at least 5 people. Keep in mind that it only takes a couple of minutes to write a bad review, and statistically, 87% of your customers will read.
Keeps the leads from converting
Bad CX can entirely break your conversions.
- Your website takes too long to load
- There is no form on your Contact Us page
- Your sales team takes a weak to call them back
Efficient and speedy customer service not only puts a great first impression but also increases the chances of conversion.
Drops the Value of Average Customer Lifetime
If you have been running a business for quite some time now, then you’d already know that acquisition of new customers is far more expensive than the maintenance of existing ones. Up to 70 percent of the customers are more likely to do business with your company again if you successfully resolve a complaint.
Not only does a bad customer experience drop the value of your average customer lifetime, but it also costs you a lot of money to attract new customers.
What does a successful CX strategy look like?
A great customer experience strategy can bring exceptional results to your business. The following real-life example explains it the best.
Gamified Loyalty Program by Starbucks
Starbucks is a world-famous company that came up with a unique idea to take its customer experience design strategy to another level. It offers a gamified loyalty system that allows the customers to collect stars on each purchase. The company has included this feature in its app and it works as a self-serving solution.
Customers after collecting start can get additional rewards. It’s an excellent gamification approach that not only keeps the customers satisfied but also improves brand visibility and drives more sales. In fact, the reward loyalty program of Starbucks drives 40 percent of the company’s total sales.
Starbucks also gives its customers the opportunity to earn stars faster by making a big order or buying something on a “Double Star Day”. It’s one of the best customer experience strategy examples that:
- Generates customer engagement
- Encourage customers for returning visits
- Increase the number of total sales
Creating a CX strategy is just the beginning
Customer experience strategy design & implementation isn’t only about offering services and products that match customer needs. It’s critical to ensure that your customers are satisfied and happy at any given time. That’s why you must keep all the elements of a customer experience strategy mentioned above in mind.