Customer experience (CX) is the result of clients’ interactions with your company throughout the customer journey. This term involves everything that impacts the person’s perception during every touchpoint.
In the article, we explain why customer experience is important, compare it with customer service, and provide ways to measure and improve customer experience.
Why is customer experience important for your business?
According to Super Office, 86% of customers are ready to pay more for a better experience. Such inspiring statistics show the importance of a positive customer experience for every company. Read more about its advantages in this section.
- Increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. When clients get a positive experience during every touchpoint, they feel satisfied and become more loyal to your brand as a whole. These people want to interact more with your company and buy more products.
- Better customer retention and lifetime value. Satisfied customers are less likely to pay attention to small mistakes and switch companies after the first lucrative offer. Such a fact positively influences your budget because it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than attract a new one.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. Customers who get a great experience are more likely to share this fact with friends and on social media. Semrush Blog states that 90% of people are much more likely to trust a recommended brand. Consequently, if you provide a positive experience to one customer, it can help you attract more potential customers and save money on paid promotions.
- Reducing clients’ complaints and returns. When people get a positive experience, they are less likely to complain about something and return your product because it has minor disadvantages.
Now you understand why customer experience is so important. Continue reading to discover its difference with customer service.
Customer Experience vs Customer Service
Customer experience includes service, but it is much wider. Below we explain what these two terms include and how to differentiate them.
Customer experience involves the client’s perception during the whole customer journey. Such touchpoints may include interacting with your website, watching content on your social media, buying process in the retail market, or communicating with your sales team.
Customer service focuses on clients’ support. Usually, it includes interactions with the customers who need advice, assistance, want to complain, or leave feedback about your products.
Customer service is more concentrated on direct communication while customer experience focuses on increasing clients’ satisfaction and providing a positive impression about the company.
According to Deloitte, 88% of companies now prioritize the customer experience. In the next section, we provide the ways to improve it and highlight the things you should concentrate on.
6 Ways to Improve Customer Experience
According to Bain & Company, while 80% of companies are sure that they provide a great customer experience, only 8% of clients believe that their experience is positive. Below are ways to make your brands’ customer experience really good and stand you out from the competitors.
- Define and understand your target audience. You should collect as much information about your clients as possible. Create portraits of your ideal clients and identify their age, gender, social status, pains, needs, interests, and preferences. Usually, there are 3-5 segments of buyer personas. Then work with each separate group and identify what product and service they would like to get. It might be a good idea to conduct market research at this step.
- Develop a customer journey map. To create it, you need to define all the key steps clients go through during their buyer journeys. Visualize how your brand can attract attention and make people interested. Think about the point of contact and potential customers’ impressions. Then define the way you can engage them after the purchase. Analyze the map to understand people’s problems at each stage and find ways to avoid them.
- Create an emotional connection. According to the research of Beyond Philosophy, more than 50% of a customer’s experience is based on emotions. Look beyond the product and think about the impression you want to provide the clients. Check the customer journey map and think about the ways to develop emotional contact with your audience. To provide a positive experience, you need to focus on your brand’s availability, the convenience of purchase, and personalized communication with every client.
- Educate your team. If you want your employees to provide excellent service, you need to train them. Make education one of the main values and provide as many opportunities to study and improve skills as possible. Develop guiding principles of your company and transmit them to the employees. Your team members should understand that providing a good customer experience is necessary and know how to do it.
- Ask clients for feedback. Your customers can show you the non-obvious drawbacks of your product. Encourage them to write reviews: place questionnaires on your website, ask for feedback on social media, by email, or by phone calls. You can provide a discount or bonus for the review. Note that your requests should not be annoying. Also, your company should react to the feedback and remove the disadvantages mentioned in the reviews.
- Measure ROI from the positive experience. It can be rather difficult to calculate your profit from delivering a great experience, but this step is necessary. When you know how effective the changes in your company are, you can be more confident about your future strategy.
Discover the ways to measure customer experience and the peculiarities of each one in the next section.
How to measure customer experience?
Measuring customer experience looks rather difficult because this metric is based on people’s emotions. However, marketers know the ways to deal with this situation. Below we provide the steps to measure the experience of your clients.
Discover the most important metrics
Customer experience is complex and consists of many parts. There are some metrics marketers usually use to measure how effective the customer journey is.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS). This metric identifies how likely your customers are to recommend your brand. It is used to discover the percentage of clients who love and are neutral to your company. To calculate NPS, you need to ask your clients how likely they are to recommend your brand and provide a scale from 0 to 10. 0-6 is a bad mark, 7-8 is neutral,and 9-10 is positive. The formula of NPS is the percentage of positive answers minus the percentage of negative ones.
- Customer Effort Score (CES). This metric measures how much effort people need to make to reach the next point in their customer journey. According to Gartner, 94% of customers with low-effort interactions will buy the product again compared with 4% who made high efforts. To calculate it, ask your clients to score how easy your product is to buy from 1 to 7. Then calculate the total score and divide by the number of responses.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). This metric shows how satisfied your customers are with your product and service. To discover it, conduct a survey and ask your clients about their satisfaction from all the steps in their customer journey. CSAT is defined as the average score of the whole survey and each separate step. This number can show the whole journey's effectiveness and each separate phase.
You can choose one metric or use all of them. Do not focus only on these three metrics to get a more complete picture.
Define other relevant metrics
There is no hierarchy of analytics that measures customer experience. However, below we provide some more metrics to choose the most important ones for your brand.
- Customer loyalty, retention, churn rate, and lifetime value. All these metrics indirectly show the quality of customer experience you provide.
- Employee engagement. According to Firstup, companies with engaged workers outperform competitors by 147% in earnings per share because they provide a better experience.
- Customer support trends. The number of issues your clients meet shows the effectiveness of your service. If this number increases, it may influence the experience negatively.
Collect more information about these metrics to discover the difficulties your customers meet.
Conduct customer surveys
Besides all the mentioned metrics, you can conduct surveys to ask clients about their personal experiences and collect non-numerical information. The answers may be subjective, but they can help you understand consumers better. Ask questions about specific touchpoints and react to the feedback to improve the experience your company provides.
Congrats, now you know what customer experience is and why it is important, understand the way it differs from customer service, can measure customer experience and improve it.
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Last Updated: 20.10.2022