7 Best Practices For Creating a Customer Experience Strategy
“Satisfied customers are the expression of the best business strategy.” — Michael LeBoeuf.
When a business builds a customer experience strategy with customer satisfaction in mind, happy customers mean a successful company.
A clear customer experience strategy can be said to be one of the “fragrances” that make the success of a business. And some of the best practices admit this is a vital system in today’s fiercely competitive market. How can I create a customer experience strategy, you may ask? Let’s find out right below.
What is a customer experience strategy?
A customer experience — CX for short — strategy is a tool to help businesses grow and make high-value decisions, especially for revenue sources. The importance of customer experience is undisputed. However, nowadays, many companies are confused and don’t know how to handle the adverse reactions of their customers.
According to an Oracle survey, 74% of senior executives who say customer experience has impacted customer willingness are loyal advocates. If you want your customers to be dedicated, you have to invest in their experience.
Super Office research shows that 86% of customers are eager to pay more for a better experience. A while ago, the Temkin group published a study and found that companies with $1 billion in annual revenue are estimated to earn an average of $700 million in additional revenue within three years of investing in their customer experience.
Excellent customer experience is the key to success for any business. As your customers have a better experience, you’ll receive more positive reviews for customization and improvement, and reduce the frequency of customer complaints and returns with your products.
Most importantly, having a great customer experience strategy will help businesses improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and increase revenue.
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Why do business owners need a customer experience strategy?
If customer experience strategy refers to the total number of customer interactions with the business, both pre-and post-sales, it defines action plans to deliver a positive and meaningful experience through those interactions.
In addition, these strategies act as a bridge connecting customers and businesses, helping businesses receive the most sincere feedback from customers about their culture and working style.
Therefore, thanks to having a customer experience strategy, companies can correctly determine what to do and be effective.
Before explaining further why customer experience is so important for business growth, let’s check out a real example from the passenger, Peggy Uhle, about the much-loved Southwest Airlines below:
“She got on the plane and turned off her phone. The plane left the gate in the direction of the runway, suddenly turned back and the airport staff took her off, making her think she had boarded the wrong flight. But no, the staff told her to call her husband. Her husband said her son had an accident and suffered a very severe head injury and was in a coma. Next thing, the airline put her in a separate waiting area, transferred her luggage, and she transferred to a flight to Denver, where her children live, instead of going to Columbus as usual (at no extra charge). Before going down to Denver they even served her lunch.”
Surely, they touched the hearts of Peggy and anyone she shared this with. Thus, there are some extremely important benefits for businesses.
Benefits of a customer experience strategy
Increased customer loyalty
Loyal customers are a huge determinant of your revenue. Loyal customers spend 67% more than infrequent customers. That’s why businesses always want to build their dedicated customer numbers.
Increased customer satisfaction
In business, you know that customer satisfaction is always an opportunity to continue using your product. However, when a customer is not satisfied, they leave, and it can affect your business opportunities in the future because they will share that feeling with others.
Better word-of-mouth marketing
Historically, there have been many brands that have succeeded without colossal advertising costs. Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is one of the biggest factors that help brands grow without spending much. Word of mouth marketing is the lowest cost of all marketing because it is based on organic discussions about your brand and is completely free.
WOMM is a form of communication between people, like C2C; these conversations can be directly or indirectly through social media or phone. Today, there are many forms of word-of-mouth marketing such as viral marketing, arranged marketing, rumor marketing, personal Facebook marketing, etc.
All of the different forms of WOMM typically follow these three steps in the process:
Search Google or Facebook to find information about products to buy
Ask for opinions and get reviews and advice from friends and relatives about those products
Consider and make a purchase decision
When leaflets or advertisements on TV and other devices become boring and mundane, consumers still trust the advice of friends and relatives before buying a specific product.
Positive reviews and recommendations
Positive reviews drive good business. No matter the product or service, the customer must make sure they are paying for top quality. By the time businesses gain regular customers, it will be much easier to recruit new customers through recommendations, which is a sign of a successful business.
When defining your “Customer Experience” strategy, make sure to include not just the people who come into direct contact with customers, but all of your departments.
Key Components of a Customer Experience Strategy
By combining feedback and company insights, you’ll find it easier to align your organization around its intended goal: improving customer experience and relationships. A successful CX strategy takes into account several important factors, including:
- Reviewing your current customer service strategy. By analyzing and measuring customer experience, you can track how those experiences are improving or worsening over time. Then, you can use those analytics to gauge your success or failure.
- Creating a customer journey map. Customer journey is the whole experience that customers have with an organization from beginning to end. It involves touchpoints throughout all of the stages of the customer lifecycle — from product awareness to becoming a loyal customer.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer or potential customer has gone through to get to the ultimate goal of your business: making a purchase, using your service, or helping managers and employees easily understand and perform their duties.
- Training your customer service staff. Much of the customer experience can be influenced by singular interactions with your business, specifically, the time spent with a salesperson during the buying journey. Therefore, the human factor plays a very important role in providing a positive customer experience. If sales staff think they don’t have the tools they need to do the job effectively or feel undervalued, it could affect their ability and motivation to do the job.
- Determining your customers’ expectations. Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT, is how businesses are able to measure customer satisfaction with the products or services they provide. By asking customers a short question at the end of each purchase or experience, companies can gain invaluable data.
- Providing self-service solutions. Customer experiences are all personal experiences and can involve aspects such as sensory, emotional, rational, and physical stimuli. In fact, customers will not always have a positive experience with your business. Therefore, managers and sales staff need to have appropriate sales strategies to promote positive customer experiences and have reasonable solutions to minimize poor experiences.
- Routinely collecting feedback. Customer service agents can provide insight into these real-life customer experiences as they are constantly the first line of communication for customer feedback on a product. They listen to genuine customer feedback on a daily basis, so welcome their views on improving the customer experience.
How to create a good customer experience
Believe that your business is unique and so are your customers. There is no universal checklist to ensure a good customer experience. However, we found some general principles by polling 2,000 CX experts in many fields. Here are a few takeaways.
Here are seven ways to help organizations create a customer experience strategy.
Create a clear customer experience vision
Laying out a customer experience vision is the first step you can take to communicate to your organization to create a clear and customer-focused vision. The most straightforward approach to define your vision is to create a set of statements that act as guiding principles for employees. A clear mission statement will drive individual behavior within the organization.
Every member of the company must know these principles and should incorporate them into employee training and development. Also, these principles need to be shared with users so that they understand what to expect. For example, Lush sends the company’s values in their series of welcome emails. This way they introduce what the company stands for, which principles it uses in manufacturing, and how users will benefit by using Lush cosmetics.
An email from Lush introducing the company’s values
Understand who your customers are
Exposing the characteristics of different customer types greatly helps your customer support team have meaningful interactions with customers. If your organization wants to truly understand the needs and wants of your customers, you need to be able to associate and empathize with the situations that customers face.
By creating an overall customer persona, the customer support team can recognize them and understand them better. This is a crucial step to make the customer the center of your business process.
Customers and businesses are always the two main characters in the same movie. Therefore, it is essential to legitimize or align strategies to keep business methods and customer experience consistent. These strategies mutually support achieving the best results for a company’s business or human development.
Create an emotional connection with customers
The most high-grade customer experiences are achieved when you create an emotional connection with your customers. Customers become devoted because they are emotionally attached, and they remember how it felt when they used your product or service. Always offer more than the customer expects. A complimentary gift will leave a good impression and give the customer a desire to return to your business.
Chanel for instance sent a heart-warming series of emails dedicated to Mother’s and Father’s Days. It didn’t use fancy imagery, rather kids’ drawings, something that will appeal to any parent.
Emails from Chanel dedicated to Mother’s and Father’s Day
Customer experience is not simply an interaction, but more than that, it is an emotional element built into your customer experience strategy based on customer perception. Emotions determine whether a business can create a good and lasting relationship with customers.
Today, many businesses use social media, and personal video marketing often helps companies create the most emotional connections with customers. Of course, every emotion is different and brands such as Chubbies present themselves as more attentive to the details, for example, sending out personalized emails to the customers. Comparing to Chanel strategy, Chubbies gets a point for heartwarming and caring messages.
An email from Chubbies shows their understanding that Mother’s and Father’s day can be a sad reminder for someone so they offer to unsubscribe from these specific messages as the topic is too sensitive.
An opt-out email from Chubbies
Building with a combination of audio and visual elements affects emotions and leaves the most images for customers. You may not know it, but 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious and based on emotions. Emotions are a factor in forming and leading to a customer’s decision to buy or not to buy.
Capture timely customer feedback
Reviews from buyers after their experience is an effective way to evaluate the quality of service that a business has provided. However, for customers who give negative feedback, companies should calmly handle the problems they have. Don’t worry about abandonment from these guests.
The assurance and trust from you for customers in need of help is a unique flavor that can make your business stand out. Just like Travel Buddy has given customers confidence in their own decisions, giving customers a sense of security throughout the journey.
Part of a conversation with Travel Buddy’s chatbot
Although there are hundreds of cheaper sites, customers still choose Travel Buddy because the company has a solid customer service guarantee. Creating a reputation for your business is a must, but you should always create things to ensure your continued good reputation. Always make those guarantees public so customers feel completely confident.
Make improvements and listen sincerely. Also, when it comes to neutral customers, you should actively communicate with them, but reaching these customers is not easy. Therefore, take the time to monitor behavior, evaluate your performance, and provide solutions for customers in this group to assure you do not miss any leads.
To capture feedback, use live chat tools, send follow-up emails to every customer with post-engagement surveys and other customer experience tools like calling customers.
Apply a quality framework for employee development
Employee development identifies training needs for each member of an enterprise’s customer support teams, such as developing a customer service team through online training and group training.
To improve their customer experience, businesses can invest in their sales staff by:
- Improving the qualifications and capacity of employees through training sessions on sales and customer care skills.
- Automating manual data entry so sales staff can focus on more valuable sales activities.
- Evaluating and reviewing the existing sales process.
- Modifying processes to drive a more positive customer experience
Act on regular employee feedback
Most organizations have an annual survey process that captures overall employee feedback. Ongoing employee feedback allows employees to share ideas on improving the customer experience and lets managers know how employees feel about the business.
An email from Rifle Paper Co. offering a discount for feedbacks
Measure business results by delivering great customer experiences
Measuring customer experience is one of the most prominent challenges organizations face. That’s why many companies often ask a simple question: Would customers recommend this company’s products/services to friends or relatives?
In business terms, this is called Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a standard and a customer satisfaction metric that measures how likely someone is to recommend a brand to friends and family. NPS is a standard measurement that companies monitor to improve customer satisfaction. If you always believe in the concept of “loyal customers” that only interact, finding and managing the NPS index will help businesses increase their competitiveness and keep customers returning.
In short, customer expectations are more important than ever. And as the customer has more power, it increases the importance of the customer experience.
Customer experience is an area that every business needs to be constantly nurturing and caring for. With the right strategy, “Customer Experience” will provide an excellent opportunity to create loyal customers. Companies will realize the positive effects on customer loyalty and satisfaction, maintain them, and boost revenue.
Consider 13Chats your trusted partner
A healthy customer relationship is key to a successful business. Therefore, it is imperative to implement the latest technology to enhance communication with customers. So, how can you respond to customer requests 24/7? With the explosion of instant messaging, online chat software allows businesses to provide immediate customer support.
Creating a chatbot with 13Chats
1. Instant feedback by automated messenger
Customers expect to get answers to their queries or find information in the blink of an eye. In cases when they can’t find the information they need, customers get frustrated and leave. This results in you losing sales or a lead forever.
Live chat and customer care deliver an authentic customer experience. But for customers who don’t like to wait more than 25 seconds, a chatbot can solve this problem.
In simple terms, chatbots respond faster to customer chat requests than customer service agents. An employee can only handle a limited number of chats simultaneously, while chatbots have no such restriction.
The chatbots report states that 55% of respondents said they would love to receive immediate responses to simple inquiries from a chatbot. This shows that chatbots help build a customer experience strategy.
2. Chatbots improve cost-efficiency
Chatbots are programmed to handle FAQs or information-based to instantly resolve common requests and powerful queries, and to perform basic support tasks. Based on statistics from invesp, chatbots can save up to 30% on customer support costs.
In other words, when customers reach out with common queries related to shipping or delivery, a chatbot can easily understand the context and deliver answers to frequently asked questions about your shipping policies.
Furthermore, if a customer has more complex queries, a chatbot can easily forward the request to your customer service specialists. Implementing a conversational bot for frontline support questions and concerns can dramatically reduce the number of resources you use and save your business operating costs.
3. Live chat to increase customer satisfaction
One reason many companies use live chat is that it promotes their sales. Many studies show that customers who use live chat are more likely to purchase than customers who do not.
Live chat is great because it not only brings in more money but also saves you a lot. Research by Forrester shows that an online chat is about 20% to 50% cheaper than a phone call. The reduced settlement time is a significant reason for this cost reduction. Seeing chat history helps to minimize the loss of customer time by connecting the right visitor with the responsibility of each department. And live chat agents can support multiple customers at once, using messages to resolve common requests instantly.
Speed, completeness, and accuracy are critical elements of customer service. 13Chats is a valuable tool when developing a customer experience strategy, complementing direct customer care. So, if you use both live chat and chatbots in the right place and in the right way, you can give your customers the best experience.
To sum up, having a clear customer experience strategy is vital to your business because it helps promote your brand and create a buzz about your business. Incentives, promotions, and discounts at stores — the primary purpose of each is to create new experiences for customers, through which, thanks to their purchasing power, advertise your company’s name.
Providing positive customer experiences will help businesses retain customers longer and turn them into loyal supporters of your products/services. Moreover, a good experience strategy will create a loyal customer base that stays with your business for a long time, helping you stay out of the harsh competition with other competitors.
In general, a customer experience strategy is essential in promoting your business to develop quickly and sustainably in today’s volatile market. Therefore, hopefully, this article will help you find a new direction for your business soon. 13Chats wishes you success in improving and optimizing your customer experience to increase conversion rates and revenue!