“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. This Maya Angelo quote sums up why delivering an exceptional customer experience is crucial to business growth. Think about all the brands you’re fanatic about. What do they all have in common? Do you have a great product? Do they make your life easier? Chances are, it’s a combination of both. Since there is little to no product differentiation in the current market, customer experience is what sets you apart in the minds of your customers. In fact, 80% companies now compete mainly based on CX.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company during the life cycle of his relationship with the company. Blake Morgan defines it as,
“Customer experience (CX) considers everything the customer goes through—it’s everything the customer touches, tastes, smells, hears, sees throughout the experience with the brand. It’s being almost obsessive about the experience the customer has with the brand.”
Numr broadly divides customer experience into 4 sub-categories to make managing it easier-
- Touchpoint Experience
- Brand Experience
- Social Experience, and
- Digital Experience
Touchpoint Experience is the experience your customers have at different points interaction. These include purchase, post-sale, support, and service touchpoints. It’s usually measured using Transactional NPS, Customer Effort Score (CES), and C-Sat score.
Brand Experience refers to the space you occupy in the minds of the consumers. It is the sum of all interactions (social, ads, product, support) that a consumer has with your brand.
Brand Experience Management includes strategies that will drive brand value. For example-
- listening to consumers using feedback and research platforms,
- monitoring your market space,
- competition analysis
Social Experience is how your consumers perceive your brand on social media. This includes direct mentions of your brand, customer reviews, conversations around relevant keywords, and more.
And lastly, Digital Experience is the sum of all interactions that your customers have with your digital assets, that is, your app and website.
All four of these sub-categories together form your overall customer experience.
Why is customer experience important for business growth?
Customer experience is almost a buzzword now. Everyone is business in talking about it and rightly so. Give customers a great experience and they’ll be more loyal, buy more, and tell your friends about it. The numbers back this up-
- Across the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Source: Microsoft)
- Happy and satisfied customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and new services. (Source: Involve.ai)
- How a brand makes people FEEL is 5 times more important than any other factor for buying decision. (Source- Forrester Research)
Delivering an outstanding customer experience-
- Increases revenue
- Boosts customer loyalty
- Lowers customer churn
- Creates brand advocates
- Improves retention and customer lifetime value
- Gives you a competitive edge
- Reduces cost-to-serve, and
- Increases brand equity
It’s hardly surprising that Forbes has claimed that,
Customer Experience is the New Brand
Is customer experience the same as customer service?
No. Customer service is the support or assistance a company provides its customer at specific touchpoints. For instance- messaging support to track refund status or calling the operator to request servicing. On the other hand, customer experience is what your customers think (consciously and subconsciously) about your company.
In short, customer service is a small part of the overall customer experience.
Customer experience strategy and management
What makes a customer experience good? Convenience. Empathy. Speed. Friendliness. All of these make customers feel heard and valuable. A great customer experience doesn’t just happen- it’s planned. A lot of careful work goes into creating and deploying a solid customer experience strategy. This is called ‘customer experience management’.
The goal of customer experience management is to improve customer experience along all touchpoints of the customer journey.
There is no one-size-fits-all customer experience strategy. It depends on your customer base, industry, goals, resources available, and much more. However, a good customer experience strategy must have these three steps.
- Collection of customer feedback
If you want in-depth information on this, you can read it in our guide to VOC Program.
Customer experience metrics
When it comes to customer experience metrics, you’re spoilt for choices. There are a overwhelming number of metrics to choose from. (one blog on google talks about 20! essential metric to track). To simplify things, here are the metrics you need to track for a mega successful customer experience strategy-
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score measures how likely a customer is to recommend your product/service to others. It is an indicator of customer loyalty.
Net Promoter Score is a versatile metric. There are 2 kinds of NPS- Transactional and Relationship.
Transactional NPS measures satisfaction and loyalty after a particular interaction-such as- support call, purchase, subscription renewal.
Relationship NPS measures overall satisfaction. It is primarily used for benchmarking and calculating year-on-year improvement.
2. Customer Effort Score (CES)
Customer Effort Score or CES measures how easy it was for a customer to transact with you. These transactions can be anything- from service interactions, looking up information, making a purchase, signing up for free trial, after-sale service, or more.
3. Churn Rate
Churn Rate is the rate at which your customers stop doing business with you over a given time period. It is a good indicator of the health of your company. For steady business growth, aim to keep this number low.
Setting up these metrics is a great first step for your customer experience strategy. What’s more important is how you use the insights gained from them to improve processes.
Customer experience strategy - what to look for
What makes a customer experience strategy good? There is no universal checklist since every business is unique. But there are some common elements that most customer experience strategies should have. These are-
- Omnichannel listening and feedback collection
- An automated close-looping system for bad feedback
- Centralized, easy to use dashboards for everyone in the organisation
- Real-time, advanced analytics
- Deploying action-plans based on advanced insights
- Mapping the impact of customer feedback on revenue
Remember, collecting customer feedback is one thing. Using it to improve experience and increase revenue is quite another. As we’ve said before, revenue is the most important CX metric.
One of the most common myth about customer experience is that its a cost-center. With the right strategy and vendor, CX can be a solid revenue driver.
Want to deliver exceptional CX and boost revenue? Contact us and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.