Customer experience. CX. It’s much more important than you might think. Why? Have a think about the last time you had an exceptional customer experience encounter with a company or brand. You probably left the experience feeling pretty good, right? The same goes for a poor experience as a customer. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth, one that’s hard to forget. For this very reason, excellent CX is vital to the success of your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big corporation or a small business, CX is everything.
The important thing to remember is a happy customer is a loyal customer, and a customer who will want to promote your business through word-of-mouth. They’re your biggest brand advocates. The annualDigital Trends report by Econsultancy and Adobe, showed companies view customer experience (CX) as the most exciting opportunity for 2020—beating out content marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing. Not to mention these CX stats show 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for better CX, and 73% of consumers consider CX an important factor that affects their purchasing decisions.
What is CX Exactly?
According to HubSpot: “Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.” The two primary touch points that create the customer experience are people and product.
Why Does Customer Experience Matter?
Customer experience is the main ingredient when it comes to exceeding your customers’ expectations. The opportunity here lies in your ability to deliver what you promised, and then some. Customer experience matters because these days, the power lies in the customers’ hands. Brands and companies are fighting for the attention of customers in highly competitive markets, so the brands who can stand out and make an impression of customers with a great experience, are the ones who are going to succeed.
How to Improve Your Customer Experience
The main goal of CX is to create a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints in order to exceed your customers’ expectations. There are a few ways to improve the CX of your business.Firstly, it's important to understand your buyer personas, then map out your buyer's journey, next align your content and experience to the way they buy and finally remember to ask for feedback (and act on it!). Here are a few other ways to begin building a positive customer experience:
- Have multiple support channels, such as live chat (this makes it easier for customers to get answers quickly)
- Make sure you have helpful content on your website, such as blogs and even videos/infographics.
- Ensure the returns process is simple and hassle-free
- Reduce friction at the checkout process (for example removing unnecessary steps)
- Ask customers to fill out feedback surveys and make changes to your processes based on their responses
Perhaps most importantly, in these uncertain times, strong relationships with customers is more vital than ever. Personalised content and memorable experiences are key. If you can effectively make each one of your customers feel like they matter and you value them, you have a greater chance of building trust and ultimately a stronger, longer-lasting relationship.
About the author: Stacie Chalmers is the managing director of The Inbound Marketing Company (TIMCo), a global Inbound Marketing and Sales Agency based in Australia, with clients in North America and Australia.