The Value of Customer Experience for Business Strategy
What is the customer experience?
Customer Experience Management encompasses all aspects of a company’s relationship with their customers. For example, Customer Experience Managers might focus on improving the way the company communicates with its customers – whether through email, social media, phone calls or live chat. Alternatively, they could look at improving the current products themselves, ensuring they meet the needs of their customers.
CEM is not just about the physical product itself, it’s also about the entire customer journey. It includes everything from the first point of contact to the final interaction between the brand and its customers. The goal is to improve the overall experience so that customers feel more satisfied and loyal towards the brand.
One of the biggest challenges faced by CEM teams today is that technology continues to change the way that interactions take place. There is an increased focus on omnichannel experiences – meaning companies must be able to adapt to each channel as well as across them. This means having data from multiple channels, which can then be used for effective communication and personalization.
Another challenge for CEM is how to increase satisfaction levels when dealing with customers who may be unhappy with certain parts of their purchase process. In this situation, there will be a need to provide quick resolution and an improved customer experience.
Finally, while CEM tends to be associated with large corporations such as airlines and retailers, it’s increasingly becoming something you should expect from even small businesses too. With digital transformation now being adopted rapidly throughout the economy, smaller organizations are looking to improve their customer journeys and make sure everyone involved knows what is needed.
Why is customer experience management important?
According to research conducted by Forrester Research, consumers spend approximately £1,000 per month on average on luxury goods. This figure represents a significant amount of money and it’s expected to grow over time. Therefore, it becomes critical for luxury companies to invest in developing relationships with their customers through a CEM strategy.
A study done by McKinsey found that consumer attitudes towards value chains were affected by both quality and cost factors. However, these two elements became less influential than price perceptions once an item reached the point where it would have no impact on the consumer’s life whatsoever. At this stage, individuals only consider other attributes such as style, comfort, and convenience.
Research from Accenture states that 75% of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for products and services that deliver great service. Another report by Gartner Research suggests that in 2018, the world spent $2.7 trillion on services globally, which represented 24% of total spending.
According to Bain & Company, 90% of people believe that companies that treat customers well tend to succeed better. What’s more, 88% of people believe that if a company treats them poorly, it will lose out financially.
Understanding Customer Experience
Customer Experience management is a strategic approach to managing all aspects of customer relationship. This can include things like the design of the website, the way products are presented, and how the company interacts with customers through social media platforms.
The most common method of delivering CEM is by using a ‘customer journey map’. It shows the order or flow of events between a brand and its customers up until they reach the end goal of making a sale. The main purpose of this type of plan is to identify points at which the customer has an impact on the business and areas where improvement can be made.
This concept of mapping the entire customer journey helps to ensure that the business is aware of everything that happens during a transaction and provides information about the key moments that affect positive and negative user experiences. A good example of this type of analysis comes from a company called First Data Corporation, whose journey maps are available online. They show how their customers interact with the bank at various stages of the buying cycle and how users feel about particular touchpoints.
One of the biggest challenges faced when creating these plans is the fact that every single interaction between a consumer and a company involves many departments within the organization. To help streamline processes and ensure consistency across channels, it’s beneficial to create a visual representation of each department’s role and responsibilities. When there are multiple departments involved, this process becomes much easier.
Once the workflow between the brand and its customers has been identified, steps need to be taken to implement changes. These may involve training employees to use new systems, improving internal policies, or implementing technological solutions to make interactions simpler and faster.
How to Improve your Customer Experience Management Strategy
In terms of customer experience management strategies, one of the best ways to gain traction in the market is to provide additional benefits to existing customers. This means offering discounts for returning customers and rewarding loyal clients with rewards programs.
For instance, according to Business Insider, Amazon increased their Prime membership fee because they saw that it was worth it to keep customers happy. In addition to providing free two-day shipping on orders, customers enrolled in the program receive access to exclusive deals and discounts as well as invitations to extraordinary events.
Another strategy that businesses can use to improve their overall CEM is to focus on increasing the quality of customer service provided. This includes ensuring that the call center is equipped with highly trained agents who can answer any questions that arise throughout the course of conversation.
It also includes ensuring that the agent is familiar with the product and knows what features should be included in an offer or discounted price point. Ensuring that the person on the other end of the phone knows you personally could have an enormous impact on whether the deal is accepted or not.
Furthermore, there needs to be proper follow-up after sales, so that if there are complaints, they will be addressed immediately. Once again, this is where having experienced agents can play a huge part. By being able to respond quickly, even if it means dealing with issues over the weekend, the customer will see that you take them seriously and do their business accordingly.
Customer Journey Mapping
A Customer journey mapping helps companies understand what happens to people after they first hear about them and before they finally decide to purchase from them. It’s a great tool for understanding where people get stuck along the path to conversion.
The Importance of Customer Service
Customers want more than simply good products and services. They want to know how their money is spent and why. If they feel like they aren’t getting value out of their purchases, they’ll turn somewhere else without hesitation. That’s why it’s important to develop a strong relationship with your audience early on. Your goal should be to build trust and loyalty through consistent communication and care.
To begin, it’s critical to listen to both your audience and potential customers. You must ask yourself:
How I can better serve my target audience?
What do they really desire?
How can I provide added value to my audience?
The answers may vary depending on your industry, but the concept remains the same – don’t forget that you’re working toward building a long-term partnership with your customers.
Asking the right questions at the beginning of a customer engagement can go a long way toward establishing rapport and gaining insight into their wants and needs. You might start by asking open-ended questions such as “What do you think our competitors are doing wrong?” or
“If you are looking for a new car, what would make you choose XYZ Company?”
You can then move beyond broad questions and dig deeper to uncover specific preferences and habits. For example, you might probe further by asking questions such as: Do you prefer buying online or offline? How often do you shop online vs. in stores? Or you might find that certain items appeal to one group of shoppers while others are more interested in premium brands.
Once you’ve established that your customers need something different, you can design a personalized solution for them based on their answers.
Once you understand your audience, you can craft your message. Start by crafting a compelling message using words that resonate with your audience. Don’t just use buzzwords; make sure that every word has meaning. Use simple language that’s easy to recall, such as short sentences and bullet points.
Keep things conversational by talking about subjects that interest your audience. Avoid jargon and technical terms unless they are relevant to your product or service. And always give credit when appropriate. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience.
Your goal should be to establish credibility and trustworthiness.
What is the touchpoint in a customer journey map?
Touchpoints are moments in the buyer’s journey when a company has contact with a potential customer. This could be anything from a website visit to a phone call, to a physical interaction at a retail location. The key thing to remember here is that it’s not just one event, but an opportunity to communicate with someone who may be interested in your product or service.
How to Build a Customer Loyalty Program That Works
You already get all sorts of offers in the mail. But there’s another type of marketing people send messages to each other these days called customer loyalty programs. ” These programs reward customers for continuing to buy products and services over time.
Most companies have tried some sort of customer loyalty program at one point in their life. Most fail miserably because they focus on making the program look impressive instead of figuring out how to convert people into loyal customers. Let’s look at three ways to create a successful customer loyalty program.
1. Know Exactly Who Your Target Audience Is and What They Want
While most businesses are still trying to figure out how to market to everyone, the truth is that only a few demographics make up most consumers today.
But before you begin designing the perfect loyalty program, you must first answer two especially important questions. First, which consumer segments will you target? Second, what do those segments really want?
To determine this, you’ll need to conduct extensive research on your audience. For starters, you’ll want to know where your ideal customers spend their time. To track their behavior, you’ll need to identify which websites and apps they frequent, so you can learn more about their interests. Then, gather information through interviews, surveys, and user testing.
And don’t stop there. You’ll also need to consider what motivates them to buy. In fact, a recent study found that half of customers say they purchase the same brand or item again simply because of a promotion or discount. So, if you’re going to offer any kind of incentive, make sure it’s something big and memorable.
2. Offer Something Valuable to Your Customers
There’s nothing worse than getting a flyer in the mail promising discounts on your favorite restaurant or airline tickets to Hawaii, only to discover later that the company doesn’t exist. The best way to avoid this scenario is to provide real value to your customers.
If your business sells clothing, why wouldn’t you give your customers free t-shirts every month? Or, you sell jewelry, why not throw in a gift card to a local store sporadically?
The bottom line is that customers like to feel special. And they’ll pay top dollar for your goods and services if you show them that you’ve taken notice of their preferences.
3. Make It Easy for Your Customers to Participate
As noted earlier, many companies use mailing lists to deliver promotional materials. While this certainly provides an efficient means of communication, it’s far less effective than emailing directly to your audience.
With email, you’re able to reach your customers whenever it suits them. Plus, you can include links to content or deals that appeal specifically to them. And as soon as they click on the link, they become part of your list.
Set Clear Objectives for The Map
Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely, and important. They should be SMART. If you don’t know what they are, ask yourself why you’re doing this.
2. Create a roadmap based on the set objectives with detailed steps and timelines.
Most companies start by creating a loyalty program just because that’s what other people tell them to do. But while you may think your loyalty program looks great, chances are no one else does. Instead, they see it as another thing on your to-do list. Which makes sense since most companies don’t exactly have the resources to build a loyalty program from scratch.
But you don’t have to worry. There are plenty of resources available to help you get started. One option would be to partner with a third party who has experience building programs like yours. Another would be to hire a consultant to guide you through the entire process.
Regardless of which route you choose, the key takeaway here is that you must always keep the end goal in mind. This includes everything from deciding what type of rewards you’ll give, to how frequently you’ll communicate with your customers.
Once you’ve determined those details, it’s time to start coding.
3. Use a simple platform to build your map and add functionality.
If your business uses Google Analytics, it’s likely that you already have access to data about your website visitors. That information can be used to determine where and when customers are coming from, so you can send out messages accordingly.
Another benefit to using analytics tools is the ability to segment your customers into groups based on demographics and behavior. For example, you could target customers with certain interests, such as mothers. Since these customers tend to spend more money than men, you might want to increase your marketing efforts around back-to-school items or baby products.
If you haven’t yet integrated analytics into your site, now’s the perfect time to begin. Not only will you learn valuable insights about your customer base, but you’ll also gain a better understanding of how to improve conversion rates.
4. Build a system that works for you
This involves keeping track of all the different pieces involved in running your campaign. From emails to landing pages to tracking codes, you’ll need to make sure everything is working properly and that each piece is communicating effectively with the rest of the map.
It sounds daunting, but it’s easy once you break down each step. Start by determining what’s necessary. You’ll then use a spreadsheet to track every aspect of your campaign, including:
What keywords and links will drive traffic to your site?
Where do your customers come from?
How often do you plan to send emails?
What types of offers do they want?
The key is taking things slow and making slight changes along the way. Don’t try to overhaul the entire system in one sitting. Rather, focus on one piece at a time until you get it right.
5. Track your progress
When it comes to results, there really isn’t any substitute for metrics. So, if you’re looking to turn your map into something successful, make sure you’re collecting the right data. Here are some suggestions to consider:
A/B testing allows you to measure the effectiveness of individual elements within your campaign. By setting up multiple variations of your message, you can quickly identify which ones perform best.
You can also test the impact of various design elements and page layouts. Using tools like Optimizely makes it easier to see exactly how each element affects your conversions.
While it may seem daunting at first, the payoff is worth the effort. With A/B testing and other forms of optimization, you’ll be able to figure out whether your strategy is effective before investing too much time and energy into implementing it.
6. Keep learning
As you move forward, be patient with your own development process. There’s no single path to success. Instead, take small steps and watch what happens. It may sound cliché, but the best lessons usually come from experience.
In addition to learning from others’ mistakes, think about what you can do differently next time. You’ll tweak your timing or adjust your offer. These small tweaks can help you reach new levels of performance while leaving room for growth.
Customer Experience vs. Customer Service
In many cases, the two terms are used interchangeably, but they mean different things. A fitting example of this is Amazon Prime. While it offers free shipping, the real benefit is access to Amazon’s vast library of movies and TV shows. This means that if you want to watch something, you don’t have to leave your house.
But while this might be great if you enjoy binge-watching, what does that say about the customer experience overall? The answer here lies in the fact that people who spend money tend to expect better experiences than those who shop online. That includes not only fast delivery times, but also good customer service when they call.
So how would you define “customer service” compared to “customer experience”? Well, if it takes weeks to ship your order, you’re dealing with poor customer service. If, on the other hand, you receive a refund after complaining about late shipment, you’ll have had a great customer experience. But these examples aren’t always clear-cut, so let’s look at the specific aspects of each term.
For starters, “customer experience” refers to a person’s perception when interacting with a particular brand. This could be anything from ordering a pair of shoes online to receiving a phone call from their bank. When someone has a bad customer experience, they feel dissatisfied and frustrated.
On the other hand, “customer service” is more focused on fixing problems rather than creating a positive impression. For instance, if you need to cancel an order, we simply cannot put you through the hassle of getting everything back together again. That doesn’t make us any happier!
From there, it’s important to understand why companies focus on one over the other. One reason for doing so is because most companies know that both factors play a role in turning customers into loyal clients. Therefore, ensuring that both are satisfactory creates the ideal environment for long-term sales.
Another reason can stem from competitors. Since consumers have become accustomed to low quality products, they’ve switched away from brands that provide high quality goods. However, by focusing on providing excellent customer service, you encourage them to return to your store as well. Think about it: if you were selling groceries, wouldn’t you work hard to ensure that your customers enjoyed shopping at your store?
And yet another reason comes down to cost savings. Companies typically save money by offering lower prices to increase consumption. However, while price cuts can generate revenue, they don’t necessarily result in repeat purchases. As such, offering exceptional service results in increased revenues and loyalty.
While there may be some overlap between these two areas, focusing on one over the other yields significantly better returns. Remember, the goal of marketing should be attracting new customers. So, if you offer low prices, your best chance of succeeding is through increasing consumer spending. On the other hand, providing top-notch customer service brings you closer to attracting regular users. As mentioned previously, repeat purchase rates for businesses rise when a company provides outstanding customer service.
As a marketer, it’s crucial to consider both sides of the equation. By understanding the differences between customer experience versus customer service, you can gain insights about which approach works best for your business. You may discover that implementing one tactic hinders your ability to sell more products. Alternatively, you may find that focusing on one aspect makes it easier for you to attract new customers. Either way, keeping track of the pros and cons associated with each area can give you a competitive advantage.
Approach your customers their way with a personalized customer journey
The key here is to understand what motivates your customers. What keeps them coming back? What makes them tick? If you know what those things are, then you can build a strategy around them. For instance, if your customers love your product because it helps them save money, then you should offer discounts to them. Or if they love your service because it allows them to spend less time at home, then you should give them a discount for that.
At the same time, you need to consider how your customer experiences are different among various demographics. You target older audiences who are used to receiving higher levels of service than younger generations. Or your brand caters to the college crowd, which means your customer experience needs to be tailored specifically toward this demographic. Regardless, it’s clear that targeting a specific audience will require a unique customer experience.
Your customers expect the absolute best experience when engaging with you. And since the purpose behind any interaction should always be centered on satisfying customer expectations, it’s difficult to imagine a single channel that could accommodate all interactions.
Every company has its own set of processes, procedures, policies, and ways to interact with clients. Each of them, however, contributes towards creating a seamless customer experience.
For instance, if you have staff members handling customer inquiries, it’ll take longer to respond to them than if you just hired a virtual assistant to answer questions for you. In addition to taking the initiative to do something proactive, companies often rely on tools like CRMs, e-commerce systems, social media platforms, and payment processors to streamline their operations and make dealing with customers easier.
These are all critical in helping you create an unbeatable customer experience.
Once you put together all these components, it’s easy to see why establishing a solid customer experience is so important. It’s part art and part science. When you combine the right mix of art and science, you end up with a winning formula that lets you connect better with consumers.
With every consumer touchpoint, there’s a point where you either convert them or lose them. As a marketer, it becomes your job to ensure that every individual contact leaves your customers with a positive opinion about your brand. Once you master this skill, you’ll never feel stuck in the same place again.
Have a comprehensive sales funnel
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, then you need to think like a marketer. That begins by having a well-thought-out sales funnel. A funnel is simply a plan that guides prospects through a series of stages before they become a client. The idea is to keep each step streamlined until finally turning over the baton to someone else to close the deal.
Customer Experience Management Tools
Customer experience management tools allow you to track customer interactions from start to finish. They provide insights into which products and services are most popular and where you might want to improve. Some tools will even let you send out automated emails to your customers based on the information they enter.
Customer experience management (CEM) tools are the new rock stars in the customer engagement and retention industry. CEM tools make it easy for businesses to engage with customers, anticipate their needs, and deliver a seamless experience from beginning to end. With the help of CEM tools, you can design, launch, and manage innovative customer experiences based on real-time data.
Here’s more about why CEM tools are so effective:
Identify Your Customer Personas
By combining data analytics and advanced AI techniques, CEM tools bring real value by helping you identify and segment your ideal customer personas. The result is greater clarity in targeting marketing tactics that work. It may seem like a big task, but once you get started, you’ll realize how much quicker and easier it becomes.
Track Every Step of the Customer Journey
Once you’ve identified your customer personas, you’re ready to focus on every step of their journey – both positive and negative. You’ll quickly see whether their actions match up with your desired outcomes for each stage. This means having the ability to create personalized messages to customers during these moments, as well as measure the results of your communications.
Get Closer to Your Customers
With CEM tools, you’ll gain insight into the true motivations driving customer behavior. From there, you can craft messaging that addresses those emotional triggers and connect better with your customers. All while getting closer to turning them into raving fans!
Drive Higher Quality Leads & Sales Opportunities
You don’t need data or expensive software for CEM tools to produce leads and sales opportunities. If you understand the buyer stages throughout the buying cycle, you can generate qualified leads without relying on automation alone. Plus, using AI technology to analyze customer data allows you to find prospects who are genuinely interested in what you offer and then nurture them with relevant content and offers.
When you think about the different pieces of technology that go into making your business successful, you start thinking about your website, some social media pages, even email, and phone systems. All those pieces of technology work together to create a cohesive message and provide a great user experience for customers. Each piece of technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some technologies are more expensive than others, but all of them add value to your business. When you build a relationship with your users, you give them something to trust. As a result, they feel more loyal to your brand. It’s easy to lose customers when you don’t follow up with them after they’ve made a purchase. But by making sure to follow up with customers, you ensure that they remain loyal to your company. Each business is unique along their respective target audience is. We can assist you in building a customer experience that is uniquely made for your business.