The new term Customer experience (CX) is the new battleground for business. According to market research firm Forrester, 72% of businesses are making it their top priority.
Customer experience is all about how you as an organization are consciously and subconsciously perceived by customers, based on their interactions with you. And technology has handed them an unprecedented ability to dictate the terms on which they will buy from you.
With customer expectations now so high, if you want to win and keep the hearts and minds of potential customers, you need to think not only about what product or service you are delivering, but how you are delivering it.
Do this well, and you will give yourself a competitive advantage that strengthens your brand, improves loyalty, reduces customer churn, lowers costs and leads to more sales. So how do you make this happen?
One. You must know your customers well enough to create the personalized end-to-end journey they are looking for. Do this effectively, and customers will not only stay with you long-term, but also become evangelists for your company. That means seeing the world through their eyes, because only then can you find out what’s important to them. The data you gather from them online (which is also a part of our index) will help greatly in this, as can your sales team, who are often best placed to provide insights into your customers’ preferences, interests and behaviors.
Make customer experience a team sport
Two. See customer experience as a ‘team sport’ in which all parts of the business participate. So, while marketing may take overall responsibility for the customer experience, if this is to be seamlessly smooth, sales, service and other departments need to be involved.
Three. Empower everyone to be the customer’s friend and helper. You can’t do this if you shut away customer data in silos. Knowledge needs to be shared so anyone can act on it.
Four. Show customers you care. If you can respond to their needs in ways that show you have taken note of their preferences and choices, they will feel cared for and will be much less likely to drift away from you. Remember, research shows that 25% of customers will defect from you to a competitor after just one bad experience.
Five. Go the extra mile to add extra value to what you do. Making service part of your overall package is particularly important for smaller companies who aren’t able to compete with the big boys on price or product range.
Help buyers achieve success
Six. Help your customers achieve success by eliminating potential frustrations that could lead to an unsatisfactory experience. For example, free coaching sessions on how to use a new software program would enable the customer to get the very most from the product. Not only would that leave them feeling satisfied, but it would also keep follow-up support calls to a minimum (good for the company), as well as turn them into an advocate for you.
Seven. Personalize their experience, then personalize it some more by using marketing technology. Integrating your CRM database with your automated marketing systems will give you a better understanding of your customer base so you can interact more effectively. So, for example, you will know which social media channels they are most likely to use to share your content, and can tailor your calls to action accordingly.
Do you know your level of Digitalization?
By properly using the available digital technologies, you can optimize every interaction a customer has with your organization at whatever point of the buying cycle they are at. But, with so many possible digital options open to you, it can be difficult to know what to do first.
That’s why we created our Digitalization Index. Based on over 200 parameters and competitor benchmarks, it gives smaller businesses in particular the chance to objectively determine their digital priorities.