Unlock the value of CX with a Customer Experience Strategy
Updated: Jul 12, 2019
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DRIVES BETTER BUSINESS RESULTS
Having a successful, growth fuelled business in today's economy is not possible without a well-defined and executed customer experience strategy.
I can honestly say that customer experience is vital in running a better, more successful business. Lately, the common marketing strategy used by businesses is, emphasizing their ability to provide the best customer service. However, customer experience is more than just customer service. It is every single interaction that a customer has with your business. It is the design and definition of all of your policies and procedures. It is how you price your products / services. It is how you design them. It is how you talk about your customers at every level of your business. It is everywhere. And, customer experience is what will set you and your business apart from the competition and substitutions that are so rampant in the majority of industries.
If you follow me on social media, you'll see that most times what bothers me most about engaging with different companies is how they don't respect and value me as a customer. As a customer, I am the MOST important aspect of their business. Without me (or you), they wouldn't exist. Yet, so many companies treat their customers like they are an inconvenience.
The companies that I get most excited about, the ones who I am loyal to, are companies who clearly value their companies. Maybe they aren't very mature on the customer experience maturity curve, but you know they genuinely care about their customers. Let's talk about how we can elevate your companies CX practice.
First of all, before you dive in and start developing your customer experience strategy, let's talk quickly about some of the reasons why you need to invest in customer experience, and why it is so important to know what you’re trying to achieve.
How Customer Experience Drives Better Business Results
Deep inside of you, answer these questions; why do I buy things from where I buy them? Do I ever care about quality of the interaction I have with the customer service agent? What attracts me to a particular business? All these questions are somewhat important in knowing the value of a good customer experience to any business. As a customer, you have a vast amount of experience you can tap into to better understand this complex competency and its value. Look within your own experiences as a customer, be critical, be open and be honest about what drives your loyalty, what impact does a good / bad experience have on your buying habits, how did you feel about the last big purchase you made?
A Great CX Strategy can Create a Fiercely Loyal Customer Base
An outstanding customer experience can help to build a loyal customer base. If your customers get the best experience from your support anytime they get in touch, it’ll help them build trust in your business. More than that, customer loyalty is quickly shifting. More and more, customers’ tolerance for a bad experience is lower, and often customer attrition can be attributed to the last interaction they had with your business / brand.
Generating Social Proof with Positive Reviews
In a socially driven society, social proof is becoming an increasingly important data point for customers as they make their buying and loyalty decisions. Often time, when potential customers want to try a business for the first time, they tend to check feedback from previous customers to see if they’ll get a good customer experience. And, happy customers are more likely to provide positive reviews – keep in mind, that customers provide reviews on all aspects of their customer journey, from perception of the brand, to the product, to the buying experience, to the responsiveness of the contact center. EVERYTHING COUNTS!
As customers, we live in a crowded world. We are overwhelmed by ads, and the newest and best product or service. We are tired, and we are confused. We know who we want to buy from, but it's hard for us to navigate the crowd. We seek direction and reinforcement from others. Keep that in mind when thinking about what your Customer Experience should look like.
A Bit More About Customer Experience Strategy and Design…
A customer experience strategy can be a relatively straightforward deliverable – for most of my mid-size clients who are just starting out on their customer experience journey, we like to start with the following:
Customer Experience Design Statement – a simple statement articulating exactly what you want each interaction with your brand / product / business to feel like to the customer. Think of it as a vision statement, but with a lens towards your customer.
Customer Experience Standards – a list of the 5 to 10 elements that make up every experience.
Beyond simply defining these elements, you must think about how you will execute, and build these into your company culture and strategy. That’s where the real magic happens. When Every. Single. Employee. Lives and Breathes the statement and delivers consistently on your standards – that’s when you will have a consistent, differentiated customer experience.
The Value of Customer Experience
There are many different reports out there that talk about how companies with a CX strategy outperform their peers. Higher revenue, more loyal customers, high spend per customer, lower costs, etc. All very compelling.
However, I think what’s more important to think about in the context of an increasingly competitive marketplace, is the cost of NOT investing in CX. Think about it. What’s the cost of losing a customer? Or, what’s the cost of losing all of your customers? You only have to think of the turnover of the Fortune 500 over the last decade to realize the cost of not focusing on EXPERIENCE is significant. My challenge to you is to not ask yourself the question “can we afford to do this”, rather ask yourself, “can we afford not to”.
This is murky ground, and not easy work, many companies choose to work with a combination of customer experience consultants and customer experience platforms to assist with the development AND execution of a CX strategy. I invite you to reach out, take us for a test-drive, and see how we can help amplify your customer experience for better business results.
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Janelle Mansfield is a passionate Customer Experience Consultant and Evangelist. Her goal is to grow the CX competency, and to help mid-size companies differentiate themselves with a defined and well-executed customer experience strategy. She has experience in many different industries, and brings a cross-functional focus to her practice with experience in marketing, sales, consulting, delivery, operations and all aspects of experience design, strategy and execution. Janelle is creative strategist, who engages with her clients on an integrated level.