Business is, has always been, and will always be about offering a product or service at a reasonable price, making it as easy as possible for people to buy what you’re selling, and keeping them coming back for more.
That last part, the customer experience (CX), is what we’re here to discuss.
By now, you have a handle on what the customer experience is, and have an idea of how to get started on putting together your CX strategy.
Today is the day we really drive the point home by discussing what are realistic customer experience goals to strive for.
Goal Setting in CX
What is the primary goal of your customer experience strategy?
This isn’t rhetorical. There’s only one wrong answer: “we don’t have goals in our CX strategy.” And if that’s the case, then sweet; this message is for you.
Why is it that there’s a 100 meter-dash in the Olympics rather than an “Everybody-Just-Run-For-a-Bit-and-Then-Stop-Wherever Dash?”
Because measurements are important. We need ways to measure our activities to track our progress, and our CX strategy is no different.
65% of businesses say improving their data analysis is critical to delivering a better customer experience.
But before we can have a measurement, we have to have a goal.
The Dream: Give Your Customers the Best Experience Possible
If the top goal of your CX strategy has anything to do with money, you may want to rethink it.
Companies with the most mature CX strategies are less likely to view themselves as profit-centric, even though their revenues are much higher.
What does this mean? Aren’t we all in business to make money?
Well, yes, but it’s about creating a cultural mindset among employees where if the customer’s experience is the top priority, it’s assumed the revenue will follow. In fact, 84% of companies see increased revenue when they focus on improving the customer experience.
A customer-centric approach to your CX strategy is about building a relationship with your customers.
It’s about your customers knowing you have their best interest in mind (as expressed in your brand promise) and are willing to go the extra step for their business (actually fulfilling that promise).
This kind of relationship is at the heart of brand loyalty — the Holy Grail of CX strategy.
Brand loyalty is often your customers’ most valuable response to your consistent follow-through on your brand promise.
It happens naturally when you create these meaningful and helpful experiences that teach, empower, enrich, and support your customers throughout their buying and post-buying journeys with you.
Need a little more convincing? Here are a couple of fun and ultra-informative brand loyalty statistics:
More than half of customers (way more, in fact, 64%) prefer a great customer experience over a lower price. 🤯
Most customers (93% to be exact) are more likely to show you their brand loyalty by making repeat purchases if they had a great experience. 🥰
Most companies (more than 89%) can corroborate. They also credit CX as a primary driver of customer loyalty and retention. 🤝
To be clear, businesses and their customers are agreeing that excellent CX can mean bigger contracts and higher LTV. The other thing they have in common is they aren’t looking just at the dollars. They are looking at the feeling. They are prioritizing relationships and experiences.
For your goal setting, you need to dive deeper. “Have good CX” isn’t a goal.
To define your goals for delivering the best experiences possible, you need to know what experiences your customers are looking for. Here’s a list of ideas that can help jumpstart your quest for better CX goals that can be layered with your research, data, customer interviews, and CSAT findings.
CX Goal Examples:
Increase customer readership on our blog by creating content that continues to dazzle them the way we did while they were in the buying process – aka marketing & cs working together to create customer-centric content
Reduce the number of clicks it takes for a lead, opportunity, or customer to seek help through better digital experiences for marketing, sales, and customer service
Give customers better visibility to how you work, your processes, and where they are in those processes – through documentation, 1:1 communication, etc. – to set better expectations and accountability.
The Inside Job: Lower Cost & Stress Among Your Teams
Let’s look internally with your teams responsible for delivering on these experiences.
Since customer experience is all about perception – that is how your team perceives your brand promise and how your customers perceive your delivery of that promise – misinterpretation of what your team needs to be successful can be fatal.
Listening to what employees think of your customer experience can uncover gaps in process or messaging that are roadblocks to unifying your CS team with sales and marketing to help set better expectations with prospects before they close.
In fact, 25% of companies plan to take this a step further and create a single function that combines marketing, sales, and CX by 2023.
To make this single function a reality, or to make a stepping stone to this future state, you need a team that is empowered, excited, and efficient when it comes to delivering on your brand promise.
After all, do you think a company with a poor CX strategy will have higher or lower turnover than a company with a good one?
Do you think a company with a great plan for implementing its CX strategy will have higher or lower employee engagement rates?
How do you think having a clear, documented strategy affects employee stress and burnout?
You don’t have to trust your gut, we’ll give you the stats:
Lack of employee training and knowledge is the biggest challenge in the way of meeting CX goals
Documenting your processes helps set internal expectations and helps reduce stress among your employees. That’s a pretty big deal considering stress is responsible for 40% of turnover in the workplace.
But there’s hope! Companies with initiatives to boost the customer experience see an increase in employee engagement by an average of 20%.
And what benefits employees can benefit your bottom line! Companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%.
Long story short: Happy customers make happy employees, and happy employees make happy customers.
This makes sense. If your employees don’t know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who they’re doing it for, you cannot expect them to deliver your brand promise.
Proper training in onboarding and continued training throughout an employee’s tenure ensures alignment on CX strategy, best practices, and overall dedication to the brand promise.
CX Goal Examples for Your Team:
Here are some ideas of goals you can take into your next meeting to increase employee satisfaction, and, in turn, customer experience.
Document your brand promise, buyer’s journey, customer journey, and associated messaging, and train the team on how to apply this in their day-to-day interactions. Need a KPI to tie to this goal? Try a course or quiz to track and test your team’s adoption.
Survey your teams about obstacles, stress, and successes in delivering your brand promise, to benchmark where your employees need help and where they can be advocates.
Create monthly sync for sales and service teams to share your most effective sales and service processes to implement, adapt and mirror best practices and set high, but aligned, expectations for what it’s like to work with your company (sales + cs working together for customer-centric 1:1 engagements)
Improve processes to automate to remove redundant admin time without removing the human element.
The Bonus: Add to Your Competitive Advantage
There’s something you do that’s better than your competitors. There is a reason customers buy what you have to offer.
Maybe it’s a better product than the alternatives, maybe it’s less expensive, or maybe it’s something they can’t get anywhere else. Maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the experience customers have when they are working with you.
It’s a powerful area where you can significantly improve your competitive advantage: your customers’ experience.
Even a few years ago, 81% of businesses compete primarily on customer experience.
Objectively, CX as a competitive advantage is kind of strange. In reality, you’re only here to sell your product or service, not this other subjective thing — experience.
This is where listening to your customers comes into play. Find out what your customers like and appreciate your brand or service and invest in that.
And if you don’t believe that, think about if the last hotel you stayed at was the absolute cheapest you could find… probably not.
McDonald's doesn’t sell the tastiest hamburger. Starbucks doesn’t have the cheapest cup of coffee. Netflix doesn’t have the most streaming options.
That doesn’t stop any of these companies from being leaders in their industries because they continuously work to improve their customer experience.
Whether it’s speed, convenience, atmosphere, personalization, or any of a thousand other factors, they’ve studied their customers and understand what’s important to them and how they can work that into their competitive advantage.
CX Goal Examples to Build Your Competitive Advantage
- Make a habit (aka a process) of asking all customers why they chose you. On the other hand, double down and ask lost customers and opportunities why they chose to go with another option. Then use this information to set your next goals.
Ready to Set Some Customer Experience Goals?
Whether you’re looking to improve your customer’s overall experience, cut costs, increase profits, boost employee retention, or truly make your business stand out in the market, creating a well-defined, goal-oriented customer experience strategy will get you there faster.
Remember, whether you think about it or not, your customers do have unique experiences and opinions about your company. Isn’t it better that you steer that message?