Let’s talk about building a remarkable customer experience strategy.
- The customer experience (CX) building cycle
- What you need to succeed - your building blocks
- Let’s zoom in on the customer journey
You know building a successful customer experience strategy is easier said than done. CX spans marketing, sales, service, technology, and more. So, where to start?
Your company is unique, so creating memorable experiences is going to be different for you than it is for another organization in your industry.
Below, we’re going to discuss what an ideal experience might look like for your customers and how you can create an environment that fosters a thriving strategy.
Need a refresher on what the customer experience is really about? We’ve got you covered.
What Makes a Great Customer Experience
Understanding, adapting, and listening to your customers are three keys to an improved customer experience strategy. It’s also important to know that these are not one-time checklist items that can be marked off once completed; instead, these three actions create a cyclical system that should always be front of mind.
A key part of understanding is helping the rest of your team, department, and company understand too.
Documentation helps. Don’t keep this information to yourself. Get these journeys down on paper. They can (and should) change over time, but give your team a place to land, reference, and come together.
Mindset and collaboration help even more. When your team is working together to better understand your customers, the different paths they take, and your role in helping them along the way, your team is bought in to deliver a great experience.
To understand how people with different experiences see your business and undergo the customer journey, it’s important to speak with a number of different customers with different demographics.
For example, an organization that speaks to only a small, similar group of people will likely only understand one version of the customer experience, while there are dozens. To create a seamless customer experience for as many people as possible, you need to understand the different problems they may face — and understand that those issues may change over time.
The customer experience is changing all the time thanks to advancements in technology, market demand, customer expectations and feedback, your competition, and more. One of the most important things an organization can do right now is to be flexible.
For example, over the past few years, many stores and businesses implemented curbside services. By meeting their customers’ needs before many people even realized they wanted this option (or that it existed), they created a seamless transition from the in-store to the hybrid shopping experience.
Whether people like the curbside service for a shorter shopping experience, to keep themselves away from other customers, or for other reasons, its popularity has increased over the last few years and continues to grow. Target expanded its curbside services to include delivering Starbucks orders to customers’ car windows and accepting product returns.
Flexible ideas to keep in your back pocket:
- Test different ways your sales team talks about certain pain points
- Try new messages on marketing channels like email and social media to see what resonates with your audience
- Think about how you deliver your product/service before changing your product/service
While adapting to the circumstances around your organization will vary, it’s important to provide that flexibility to your customers.
After every touchpoint, your customer has an opinion of your brand. Most of the time, your customers will keep these opinions to themselves — even the unhappy ones.
Only an estimated 1 out of 25 unsatisfied customers will provide you with feedback. But it’s important to gather information about their opinions and turn it into feedback because 70% of previously unhappy customers will shop with you or use your service again once their issue has been resolved.
For example, Rent the Runway, a fashion rental company, was having issues with their returns. Instead of the return status changing when a customer shipped their items back out, it said they were still “pending” until they were scanned at the facility. This caused frequent holds on accounts, increased customer service contacts, and other issues. Rent the Runway obtained information about this issue through numerous similar customer service communications, customer feedback surveys, and more.
CX isn't just about listening to what customers think is broken... it's also about solidifying the things that are working and preserving them as your strategy evolves.
Listening to what customers love about your brand, product or service can happen in the comments section of social media, organic user-generated content, customer satisfaction surveys, and interactions with your teams.
By gathering, listening to, and implementing your customer’s feedback, you can create a seamless experience that turns one-time shoppers into loyal customers.
How Can I Create a Great Customer Experience at My Organization
A successful customer-centered experience doesn’t happen by accident. It takes work — and it won’t happen overnight. But, the more time your organization invests in it, the better of an outcome it will be.
Here are three ways your organization can create a great customer experience:
A Unified Team
A unified team dedicated to consistently and compassionately delivering on your brand promise is one of the most important parts of an effective customer experience. You can ensure this happens by connecting all of your employees and creating an environment in which they have the resources, support, and knowledge they need.
By having your marketing, sales, operations, customer success, and leadership teams (and any others!) all on the same page, you have the ability to create a seamless experience that your customers will remember and appreciate.
An Outlined Customer Journey
A customer journey is a researched and documented process of nurturing existing customers to retain their business. And since it’s more cost-effective to retain customers than it is to find net new ones, this step is crucial for creating an improved customer experience while staying within your business’s budget.
What’s the difference between the customer journey and the buyer’s journey? Read the comparison here.
Questions To Ask While Building Out Your Customer’s Journey
It’s important to understand the journey your customers go through in order to create a customer experience strategy that improves your business:
- What was the customer’s experience like after they made a purchase? If you’re afraid your customers feel like they made a purchase and will never hear from you again, it’s time to level up your communication. Through social media posts, text messages, 1:1 check-ins, newsletters, and more, you can connect with your customers and make sure they remember your business the next time they shop.
- Was the customer asked to provide feedback? Asking your customers for feedback is a great way to get insights into your business while supporting the relationship between your sales team and the customer.
- Does the customer have ways to reach out? Your customer should have no doubt about how to reach out with a question or issue. If you think they may have questions about this, it might be time to add a “contact us” section on your website, ensure your contact information is on emails, and connect with your audience on social media. Bonus tip: Add multiple ways your customers can reach out!
A Data-Driven Culture
Your organization’s culture has a huge impact on your customer’s experience for a number of reasons, including the data that you collect and use.
Metrics to measure may change based on your organization, but you might consider the:
- Number of customer complaints. How many people are having issues during a certain time frame?
- Number of repetitive customer complaints. How many customer complaints are similar? How can you solve this problem?
- Quantity of positive feedback received. Some customers may reach out just to tell you how wonderful your team is doing or how much your product is helping them! Maintain data on these, as well, to create a benchmark for positive feedback.
By providing your team with these numbers, they have the ability to create goals around them, solve some problems before customers have to reach out, and improve the customer experience.
Lay the Foundation for a Great Customer Experience
Remember that improved customer experiences won’t happen overnight. Rather, it’s important to continuously work through and improve your organization’s customer experience strategy.
If you’re looking for a way to evaluate and plan for those strengths and weaknesses, look no further than our CX evaluation and planning notebook. This interactive workbook prompts you to think critically about your CX to find areas of improvement (and ways to bolster your already existing areas of success!).