The way customers interact with brands has changed drastically over the past few decades. In 2022, it’s not only about how good your product is or how impactful your advertising is. The real question is: how good of a customer experience does your business provide?
When brands are deliberate about defining and improving their customer experience (CX) strategy, they stand to improve brand loyalty, conversion, and retention rates. Just like UX or marketing, CX strategy shouldn’t be left to chance.
Having a solid CX strategy in place is designed to ensure that customers have a positive experience with your brand or business. Unfortunately, it’s something that many businesses neglect, and one that can be vital to maintaining customers with high lifetime value. The problem with not planning CX is that you’re left with many problems to fix along the way — not to mention missing out on valuable conversions.
Prospective customers need to know that your brand is trustworthy and credible. However, they also need to see some concrete benefits: great service, personalized attention, seamless UX. Great CX can help you improve your acquisition rates.
Implementing a CX strategy will also force your business to look deeper into the experience that existing customers have with your brand. As you inspect surveys, social media interactions and customer service complaints, you’ll get a much better feel for how to improve your retention rates.
Regardless of price and brand reputation, prospective customers can be put off by having a negative experience on a company’s website. The problem is that there are a lot of businesses out there with excellent, innovative CX. To be able to compete, implementing a CX strategy is essential.
Offering a great customer experience will always reflect positively on your brand. Conversely, customers who have had a bad experience interacting with a brand will tend to assume that it’s untrustworthy and may even doubt the quality of its products. In other words, you can’t build an exceptional brand image without excellent CX.
Customers also keep positive customer experiences in mind when recommending companies around them. Having good CX can lead to more “word-of-mouth” marketing, saving you a lot of money on advertising.
When we talk about CX, we’re talking about much more than customer service. CX encompasses every interaction that customers have with a company: from communications to advertising and from the product’s ease of use to its features.
At the end of the day, CX is the impression that customers are left with. Any good CX strategy aimed at improving this impression should start from these five basic notions:
Customer-centric businesses place the customer experience front and center of every business move. The cultural shift to becoming a customer-centric business starts at the top of the organization. It ripples down to each department, which focuses on the needs and desires of the customer before implementing new strategies.
Understanding customers' pain points, needs, and subjective desires are central to providing great CX. Many companies assume that they know customer drivers — sometimes without data to back it up. To create better CX strategies, companies need to pinpoint customer drivers using reliable research tools.
Companies need to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. A key aspect of CX strategy is understanding what customers do before, during, and after the purchase of a product. By tracing the steps that customers take in the customer journey, companies can prepare themselves to create better CX.
Customers come to your brand with certain expectations. Some of them are brand-specific: they expect the experience to live up to what they’ve heard about it through word-of-mouth or advertising. Other expectations are universal. It’s only by understanding these expectations that your company can deliver excellent CX.
Once you’ve understood customer expectations, it isn’t enough to just match them. The most competitive companies are those that go over and beyond expectations. For example, customers may expect your company to have reliable customer service when they encounter an issue. But they might not expect your company to have proactive customer service that anticipates these issues.
Once you’re ready to start creating a new CX strategy for your company, here are seven crucial steps to follow:
Getting feedback is essential before, during, and after implementing a new CX strategy. Directly asking your customers about their experience with your brand will help you understand how well your strategies are working. Remember, getting feedback is not a one-time thing. It should always be at the forefront of your marketing strategy as it continues to evolve.
Using surveys is one of the best ways to get feedback. A couple of examples of popular surveys include:
All of these surveys use scoring systems that give you valuable insights into customer experience. The easiest way to conduct them is to integrate them on your website using AI-backed survey tools. However, it’s also a good idea to diversify your channels: you could also conduct surveys on the phone and include them in your post-sale emails.
If you’ve chosen to go for custom surveys, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to generate the most useful data possible:
Be neutral — Beware of leading questions and any signs of bias. For example, instead of asking: “Did you have a good experience navigating checkout?”, ask, “How would you rate your experience at checkout?”
Be clear — Use the most straightforward, most human language you possibly can. If the words you use are confusing, you won’t get usable data. For example, instead of asking “Do you go clothes shopping regularly?” Consider asking “Do you buy new clothes more than once a month?”
Be concise — Surveys shouldn’t take ages to complete. Aim to focus on one area at a time in each survey to keep them shorter.
UX (User Experience) is one of the most important components of Customer Experience. Whereas CX describes all interactions between a brand and its customers, UX describes the interactions between customers and a specific product.
UX is crucial to CX because interactions with the product leave a powerful impression on customers and reflects on the brand. Companies typically focus on UX a lot when they are launching but let it fall to the wayside over the years. Doing regular UX evaluations can remedy that.
A UX review or evaluation helps your company identify friction in the user experience. For example, it can diagnose accessibility problems, engagement issues, and misunderstandings about the product. If it’s been a while since your last UX evaluation, the chances are high that some of your new strategies have impacted UX in negative ways. The best way to counter that is to schedule regular UX reviews.
Here are some tips you can implement right now to improve UX on a website:
Go mobile-friendly — Purchases made using a smartphone or tablet now make up 40.1% of all Ecommerce sales. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, users will likely click off and turn to your competitors.
Reduce purchasing effort — Aim to have as few steps as possible to purchase a product. For example, you could implement a “One-Click Purchase” option.
Focus on accessibility — Your website should be easy to navigate for everyone, including older people, those with dyslexia, and those with sight or hearing impairments. Be careful with the colors you use, the size of the text, and the meta-descriptions.
Your customer service isn’t something you should take for granted. Having a bad customer service experience can make a lasting impact on your customers — which quickly spreads through word of mouth. The best way to avoid that is to get constant feedback on customer service interactions. For example, you could add a widget to your customer service chat tool, asking customers to rate their last interaction based on their satisfaction.
Once you’ve identified areas of improvement for your customer service team, consider retraining your staff. Some of the most common complaints from customers are unhelpful advice, delayed answers, and rudeness. Fortunately, a lot of these issues have a quick fix. For example, if customers aren’t getting the guidance they need, you could improve the customer service team's documentation.
Today, using AI-backed chatbots is also an option. Although they can’t replace human interactions, these bots have the benefit of providing 24/7 support for simple queries. Chatbots can also help you integrate proactive forms of customer service — where customer service reaches out to customers to ensure they are having a good experience. Proactive customer service goes a long way and contributes to overall CX.
When your customers have trouble finding information, they can contact your customer service and get a quick, polite, and helpful answer. But what if they didn’t have to take that extra step? The one thing customers love more than good customer service representatives is avoiding talking to them altogether!
Self-service technologies such as knowledge bases and FAQs reduce friction for the user by helping them access the information they need directly. With a well-designed website architecture, companies make it easy for customers to inform themselves about products before purchase.
Researching, writing, and designing FAQs or knowledge bases doesn’t necessarily come cheap. However, it’s an investment that pays off. Not only are well-informed customers more satisfied and likely to buy, but they also put less strain on your customer service team.
A customer journey map is an essential tool of any CX strategy. It presents itself as a visual diagram of all the different steps customers take before, during, and after the purchase of a company’s product. It also includes information on the customer’s identity, needs, and points of friction. The customer journey map makes things visible that many companies don’t consider.
For instance, the time that users spend reading reviews before actually visiting the company’s online or physical store. Creating a customer journey map is essential to creating better CX because it forces companies to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. Customer journey mapping is all about understanding not just customer behaviors but also their values, their attitudes, and their feelings.
While creating a customer journey map, companies are forced to reckon with specific points of friction. For example, it might be hard for customers to go from choosing a product to buying it because there are too many steps involved. It could also be that customers struggle using the product after purchase because they are not getting enough information from the company.
Focus on a single customer — Keep the map simple by basing it on a single customer who represents a large segment of your audience.
Use data to create the map — Don’t just imagine the customer journey. Track it based on data collected from customer feedback.
Don’t forget emotions — You can use the customer journey map to track facts and metrics, but don’t forget the feelings your customers experience at critical touchpoints. They will inform you how you make the journey better for them.
Make it clear — Customer journey maps should be shared widely. Make the map clear and easy to read by using accessible design and human language.
Customers are more likely to remember your brand if you have something unique to offer. For example, makeup brand Bobby Brown lets customers upload a picture to their website to test out lipstick or eyeshadow in different shades. Their virtual try-on feature uses augmented reality to give customers a real feel of what their products can do for them.
Of course, Bobby Brown is a massive brand with a large marketing budget. That being said, there are a lot of affordable tools that can improve your CX through innovation. Feelter’s UGC display technology lets your customers browse products more easily by displaying user reviews from across the web. This simple tool improves customer experience by saving the user the time they would usually spend looking for reviews outside the website.
There are many great tools that can help guide customers on their journey:
Since these tools are fairly new, implementing them as part of your CX strategy can give you a significant competitive edge.
Since collecting feedback is such an essential part of CX strategizing, you’re sure to find yourself with a lot of valuable insights. In some cases, the feedback could lead you to change up your product offering. For example, if you find that users have trouble using the product post-purchase, you may want to work on ways to make it easier to use.
Ultimately, the product is front and center of the customer experience. CX works hand in hand with product management to create a good experience with the brand overall and the product in particular. Although it may be hard for companies to change their product, it’s often a matter of doing a few tweaks rather than completely redesigning them.
Besides, changing products based on user feedback speaks volumes about how much the company values customers. So whenever you make changes, make sure to advertise them loud and clear. Knowing that you changed the product after listening to your customers makes them feel valued and appreciated — which can even increase brand loyalty.
Creating a good CX strategy takes time and energy. It’s not something you can do in a day, and it will force you to reconsider countless aspects of your business strategy. However, the benefits speak for themselves. Offering customers a positive experience with your company is still the best way to improve sales, retention rates, and brand image.
When defining your customer experience strategy, don’t assume you have to change everything at once. Go slow, take the time to collect as much feedback as possible, and introduce changes one by one. If you’re ready to start improving your CX by leveraging social proof strategies, give Feelter’s UGC tools a try today!
We believe in bringing the truth to customers
|Today, when it comes to shopping, searching, booking and opinions, consumers have changed the rules of the game. They are relying more and more on social media. They are searching for the truth. And we believe the truth can serve brands (and people) far better than made-up reviews. That’s when we decided to listen to consumers and bring the truth to them, by creating feelter.
|feelter is a game-changing tool that opens up to reveal the most relevant, un-manipulated wisdom of the crowd and brings it straight to your customers fingertips. So they never have to leave your page, your app or your store.
We’re about giving people the full picture
We believe in making brands more trustworthy & transparent
|feelter is not about organizing reviews. Or about managing opinions to try and convince customers. feelter is about giving customers exactly what they are looking for all over social media – right inside your website. Helping create more engagement, building brand loyalty and trust, increasing conversion rates like never before.