What do Amazon and Walt Disney have in common? These are both businesses that have flourished owing to their distinguished commitment to customer experience (or CX). Truth be told, every business in the world is a CX business. However, not all businesses succeed in hitting that sweet spot when it comes to customer experience.
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Why is customer experience important for your business?
Let’s look at the alternate scenario. What happens to companies that are not attuned to a customer-driven marketplace? Consider the traditional US taxi industry, which is now facing significant competition from Uber, primarily due to the elevated customer experience provided by it. This includes lower prices, faster and more quality service, as well as a higher degree of transparency in terms of choosing drivers and determining fares. According to ResearchGate, media outlets all around the United States began reporting in late 2017 that Uber is taking over taxi transportation in major US cities, i.e. it getting more rides than taxi companies. This information could be regarded as bad for taxi drivers, but it could also be seen as the beginning of a transitional period which is beneficial for the unemployment rate and the economy in the long term. In the short term, we might expect a reduction in traditional taxi companies’ profits, a rise in unemployment of taxi drivers and a speeding momentum in Uber’s market share growth. In the long term, the expansion of services such as Uber could mean that former taxi drivers can easily switch to working for Uber – thereby contributing to a better riding experience for customers across the country.
How impactful is customer experience?
Research by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. While recently, the Temkin Group published a study and found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. That's a 70% increase in revenue within 36 months!
We live in the digital age which, similar to the industrial age, brings innovation, paradigm shifts, as well as new technologies, services and products. Therefore, if you don’t already have a CX strategy in place, this is the time to start on it. Even if you already have a CX strategy in place, let this blog be an inspiration for you to revaluate it. Let’s get started.
5 shortcuts to a successful customer experience strategy
1. Understand your target market
Profile the types of customers your customer service team deals with every day. Once you have enough data to work with, create buyer personas. This maximises the effectiveness of your efforts by representing real people. Human beings mean emotions- that are vital to a flawless customer experience.
2. Evaluate your current processes and create a CX vision for the future
Now, onto the next step. Start by listing the customer experience stages your brand offers- meaning the sum total of all touchpoints between you and your customers. Find the opportunities within these to make an impression. The end goal is to highlight your USP and leave them wowed. Once you have your CX vision solidified in your mind, create a set of statements that act as guiding principles for every stakeholder of the brand.
3. Build a customer-centric approach and reward quick and effective resolutions
Customers love to be in control. While I don’t recommend that you force your support on them, you can find ways to show them it is there and how to access it. Live chat platforms like Intercom are great tools to connect with your customers – both through auto-responses to routine queries and customised personal interactions with agents on more complex issues. This requires minimal resources and frees up agents to address customers concerns and complaints on social media in real time.
4. Collect customer feedback in real time and understand your metrics
This feedback shouldn’t be restricted to the quality of your services, but also cleverly incite responses on brand experience, design, product usage and so on. Once you have feedback in place, invest in decoding this into meaningful data. This is how you know if all the investment in your teams, processes and technology are paying off. A few ways to track quantitative insights are:
NPS - Net Promoter Score shows the percentage of your customers who would/wouldn’t recommend your company to their friends, family, or colleagues.
CSAT - Customer Satisfaction Score is a transactional metric showing how satisfied customers are with a recent interaction. This is often a purchase or a customer service call. It’s flexible and highly customizable.
CES - Customer Effort Score shows the effort expended by customers in accomplishing a task. Could be getting a support request handled or finding the product they were looking for.
5. Take employee feedback seriously
A happy customer journey starts from within the company. Most companies have an annual employee feedback survey, but in a constantly evolving organisation, this is simply not enough. In order to reduce employee turnover and promote customer satisfaction, you can use project management software to collect continuous employee feedback.