What Is Customer Experience and How To Leverage It

Without a shadow of a doubt, a great customer experience (CX) is crucial for your business’s success. It determines whether your customers are happy and if all their needs are met. A happy customer is a return and loyal customer. And there’s nothing more valuable for a business than this.

Your customer experience depends on how you operate your business and treat all your customers and employees. And without a good experience, you can’t hope for much. 

So, if you’re hoping for success, you need to know what customer experience is and how you can leverage it.

What Is Customer Experience?

Customer experience is the perception customers have of your brand as a whole. And it’s based on all of their interactions with it. The experience is built throughout the entire customer journey and it greatly impacts your entire bottom line.

There are two primary touchpoints that influence what kind of customer experience you offer: products and people. Your buyers need to be happy with the products you’re offering as well as with the representatives from your business they communicate with.

However, keep in mind that customer experience is not the same as brand experience. You can read more about the differences between these two in our blog post here.

Why Customer Experience Is Crucial for Any Brand

Customer experience is a big deciding factor in whether your organization will succeed. As a matter of fact, there’s an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience. On the other hand, poor customer experience and an approach that isn’t focused on customer centricity can cost you much more than just money.

Today’s customers expect an amazing and personalized experience that meets all of their needs. If they don’t receive it, they’ll simply turn to a competitor brand. And if you meet their expectations, or better yet, exceed them, your customers will surely stick around.

If you provide a better customer experience than all your competitors, you might even be seen as irreplaceable. Unfortunately, not many companies are able to provide this type of experience. And the reason for this is that they aren’t even sure what a good customer experience is.

What Counts as Good Customer Experience?

There isn’t a checklist for a good customer experience strategy nor can you focus on one aspect of it and think that’s enough. Great customer experience differs from business to business as every company is unique.

However, there are a few common tips for a great customer experience that work across all industries, no matter what you sell or what size your company is:

  • Make listening to customer feedback a priority.
  • Solve all specific problems and challenges for each customer that contacts you.
  • Use the feedback you receive from customers to understand their needs better.
  • Create a well-designed system for collecting and analyzing the feedback you receive.

It’s actually quite simple. For your customer experience to be exceptional, you need to focus on your customers’ needs and expectations. Their feedback is priceless, and what you do with it determines how good your CX will be.

What Makes Good Customer Experience Go Sour?

There are many things that can go wrong across the customer journey that will make your customer unhappy. You can always see what your customers don’t like by going through their feedback, but there are a few things that usually make for a bad experience.

That’s why you need to avoid the following:

  • Long wait times when a customer contacts your support team
  • Rude and unhelpful customer support from employees who don’t understand customer needs
  • Ending a conversation without having resolved the issue or answered all the customer’s questions
  • Non-personalized customer service
  • Relying too much on automation and not providing enough human interactions

Still, keep in mind that some automation can be very useful. When used properly, customer experience automation can help with payments, email, and much more.

If you need any more ideas, just remember the times you were a customer yourself and became frustrated with your experience. Make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes and that’s a good start.

How to Evaluate Customer Experience...

Based on everything you read about so far, you’re probably thinking that learning how to measure customer experience is an impossible task since it’s a subjective concept. However, there are a few different metrics you can use to determine how good your customer experience strategy is.

They include:

  • Customer Effort Score (CES) – How much effort a customer has to put in to get their issue resolved.
  • Time To Resolution (TTR) – How much time passed before the resolution was achieved.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – How willing a customer is to recommend your business to others.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – How satisfied a customer is with their interactions and experiences.

These measurable indicators of CX allow you to track how your customer experience improves or declines over a period of time. It also helps you determine what aspects of your approach need to be changed.

… And How to Improve It

Finally, there are so many things you can do to improve your CX starting today:

  • Constantly improve your customer service.
  • Treat your employees right.
  • Make use of analytics, customer feedback, and social proof.
  • Create a culture around customer-centricity.
  • Use artificial intelligence such as chatbots.
  • Interact with customers during their entire customer journey.
  • Create customer loyalty programs.
  • Train your team on how to go the extra mile.
  • Design an omnichannel strategy that includes self-service options.

Finally, let’s take a look at two brands that do CX right:

  • Southwest Airlines. This airline company provides great working conditions for their employees and creates a team-based environment that allows employees to enjoy what they do. This gives the employees pride and joy to go above and beyond for customers.
  • Airbnb. This famous company caters to people who are looking to rent out a space and those who want to find a place to stay. They cater to two audiences on one platform while providing a personalized experience for both.

Conclusion

Your motivation for providing a great customer experience needs to be keeping customers around and earning their loyalty. With a customer-centric approach and deep knowledge on how to measure customer experience and improve it every step of the way, you will take your business to new heights.