A CX strategy is a plan that a company uses to ensure positive experiences at every point of contact with customers during their journey. It involves tracking customer feedback over time to create better experiences and increase customer loyalty.
To create a successful customer experience strategy, start by establishing company-wide visions that prioritize meeting customer expectations and aligning them with business outcomes. Use customer feedback data and metrics to set achievable goals, measure the strength of your current customer experience, and determine which actions should be prioritized to reach your goals.
What is a Customer Experience Strategy?
A customer experience strategy is a plan that outlines how a company will manage and improve the overall experiences of its customers. It involves examining every touch point between a company and its customers — from website design to customer service interactions – and continually monitoring customer feedback with the goal of creating positive experiences.
To create a successful customer experience strategy, it is crucial to consider several significant factors such as competitive intelligence, market research, and mission and vision, among others. Customer experience is the result of interaction between a company and the customer, from the customer’s point of view. A great customer experience goes a long way and brings not only revenue but also customer goodwill.
Customer Experience Strategy Examples
Going through the following examples will help you understand what is customer experience strategy contemporary businesses should use to deliver great customer experience and optimize a customer’s journey to enhance conversions and ROIs –
- Offering personalized customer service by tailoring your interactions to individual customers.
- Creating a loyalty program that rewards customers for their repeat business.
- Using customer feedback to refine products and services.
- Making use of social media platforms to engage with customers, build relationships, and share content.
- Investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer data and gain insights into their behaviors.
Why is Customer Experience Strategy So Important?
Customer experience and brand loyalty go hand in hand and they are mutually dependent on each other. A good customer experience boosts brand loyalty while a negative experience can hamper reputation and customer loyalty.
Developing a customer experience has become the need of the hour for companies. Many surveys have shown that more than half of the company executives and management feel that customer experience has become very crucial these days and maintaining and retaining it should be the objective of companies, which brings sales in the long run rather than a shallow one-time sale.
Why Customer Experience Management is Important?
Some of the key reasons why CX management is crucial for businesses are-
- For decreasing customer churn – Focusing on the proactive resolution of customer queries through personalized conversations can lead to a 5% increase in customer retention. Such an increase in customer retention can result in a profit increase ranging from 25% to 95%.
- For enhancing customer lifetime value – When businesses work on keeping their current customers happy and preventing them from leaving, they enhance the overall value of those customers. This is because the longer a customer stays, the more value they contribute to the brand over time.
- For optimizing customer satisfaction – When your brand provides customers with a positive experience, it raises their satisfaction level. This leads to them sharing their experiences with others online, as well as through positive word-of-mouth with friends and family.
Elements of a Successful Customer Experience Strategy
1) Ensuring your customers have a positive engagement at all touchpoints
Positive customer experience involves more than just being friendly like a salesperson. It also includes carefully evaluating every interaction with the customer to ensure a smooth and seamless experience.
It should include all channels used to interact with customers, such as in-store visits, telephone calls, emails, and social media. A customer journey map outlines all the key touchpoints where your good customer service and superior customer experience can optimize lead generation and conversions.
2) Fulfilling customer expectations
If a business fails to meet the quality expectations of its customers, it can greatly impact customer satisfaction. The shift towards digital marketing has led to higher customer expectations. Your audience now has more power to express their preferences and dislikes. It is important to keep your promises to customers and meet their expectations.
To understand their preferences, ask them survey questions on social media and provide incentives like discounts. It’s also important to research competitors since that’s what shapes their expectations.
3) Identifying CX pain points
To make customers into enthusiastic supporters of your brand, simply meeting their expectations is not enough. You need to go above and beyond. Identify any difficulties customers may experience during their interaction with your brand and find ways to lessen or eliminate those obstacles.
To tackle common issues, helpful tools are available like concierge services, free or quick delivery, 3D product demos, and simple access to product details and upgrades.
4) Understanding that great CX is everyone’s responsibility
It is important to note that creating a great customer experience strategy is not solely the responsibility of marketing and sales or the customer support team. With the advancements in CX software and its ability to measure various aspects, all teams within a company can benefit from utilizing it.
To improve efficiency, it’s crucial to find a CX solution that is adopted by the entire organization. This means that customer service might need access to previous issue data, while the finance team may need to reconcile budgets seamlessly. When everyone contributes to the CX experience, it benefits the entire team.
How to Build a Customer Experience Strategy?
Key steps you need to use to build a customer experience strategy are –
1) Know your customer personas and optimize the customer journey map
To build a great customer experience strategy, it is crucial that you know your customers, their behavior, their likes, and dislikes which will help you to build a strategy accordingly. Once you have a proper idea of the customers, group them into similar funnels.
Make sure the customer service and sales team categorize the customers into proper types or social media analytics or market research can be used to do the same. Once the segregation is done, then the targeting can be accordingly for enhanced customer experience. For example, it’s usually about two or three months before major mobile phone launches occur.
The mobile outlet must ensure that the sales representative dealing with young customers is around their age so as to understand their lingo and dialect and also for customers to develop empathy. This gets easier and quicker sales. While if the customer is middle-aged browsing through the mobile section, a similarly aged executive would be better to explain the product.
2) Aligning to Vision and Mission
While promoting the product, the company should ensure that all the activities that are taking place are in sync with the vision and mission of the company. The objectives of the business should be listed and any business activity that is carried out should be around those objectives.
There will be different scenarios while dealing with customers and the company should have plans to deal with every scenario while ensuring that the plan does not deviate from the vision and mission of the company. This will give an idea to build the best possible customer experience strategy.
For example, if an electronic goods company has a mission to become the world’s most valued brand, it cannot do so by selling products cheaply. The company requires sales and revenues and selling niche products is the only way to generate a revenue large enough to make it the world’s most valued brand.
In this scenario, if a customer approaches with a bulk order of the products but demands it for a very low price while promising long-term business, the company should respectfully refuse it. In this case, there is the sale and generation of long-term business but that does not comply with the mission of the company. It would not become the most valued brand by offering huge discounts. This may result in the loss of a customer but the message will reach out in the market loud and clear that the company will provide premium products at a premium price only.
3) Have a dedicated Customer Experience team
A dedicated team of customer service can always take care of the levels of customer experience and ensure it doesn’t fall. While the sales team would be concerned about completing their targets, at times, they would not be the right people to take care of customer experience. Only a dedicated team can do it effectively and maintain the standards.
It is very important from the company’s point of view that the team is equipped with proper training, skill sets, and standards of ideal customer experience are well defined and the team is empowered to take any decisions related to customer experience.
The team can create Standard operating procedures or SOPs for the sales and customer service teams to follow in order to adhere to Customer Experience standards. While this may not be possible with smaller organizations, large corporates can ensure the presence of a dedicated team.
4) Pay attention to Customer Feedback
Customer experience is not only a one-time thing but it is a continuous process. It can always be made better and in no way can customer experience reach a level of saturation. One of the very important ways is to keep the ears open.
Passive customer feedback about the levels of experience should be recorded and acted upon. The customer experience team can modify its strategy based on regular feedback and suggestions. The active seeking of feedback is to be done by regular customers in order to improve services and standards while passive feedback can be expected from occasional buyers.
In any case, it should be a mandate to collect customer feedback. Keeping an eye open on Social Media also helps since a lot of customers use Twitter to put pictures of products while suggesting a little modification in them.
5) Incorporate FAQs, SOPs and Self Service Solutions
To enhance customer experience, the customer service team should have a ready list of frequently asked questions and immediate actions that can be taken along with the procedures to respond to different customers for different queries.
Letting the customers know these steps passively would not only save time for customer service but even ensure that timely resolution is provided to customers by themselves following the steps. Problems, if any, should be escalated immediately to provide quicker resolution and to improve the customer experience.
Moreover, by utilizing self-service tools, such as knowledge bases and chatbots, customers can easily locate solutions, and this can also lead to a decline in the number of cases your reps handle. With an increase in the usage of your self-service channels, the number of customers reaching out to your support team for common issues would decrease.
6) Include all channels through which your customers interact
Reaching customers would involve the use of channels and choosing the right channel is as important as choosing the right audience. For a great customer experience, it is essential that the company targets the right people in the right way using the right channel. For this, the company should have perfect segmentation and study of the audience.
For example, Rolex would not advertise Television but it would choose Elite business magazines for advertising. Similarly, a sale of discounted airfare for economic flights would make no sense in a business magazine, but television commercials form the right medium. Reach is just as important as the medium used to reach.
8) Ensure customer convenience to make customer journeys hassle-free
As much as the company is interested in selling its products and services, it is essential that following regular modes would not suffice to attract customers. Having a dedicated online store as well as an offline store is important.
Not every customer will walk down to the store owing to schedule clashes or work. Rather if the same things can be provided via an app or on the website, it would definitely be a positive customer experience.
For example, if a customer wants to order a marriage suit, but is tied up in business meetings and unable to make time to go and visit the shop, there should be a facility available with the shop to schedule a meeting at the convenience of the customer to get the measurements and possibly few trial sizes.
The shop can charge extra for the service but should ensure that the customer experience should be positive, which in turn will be a sale. Having a 24/7 dedicated customer service representative in a hospital, providing free trials of products at home, and availing the memberships of services like Gym anywhere while traveling is a few ways to develop a better customer experience.
9) Enhance customization for your customer base
In the case of the service industry, this is true wherein at times, a customer may demand something very specific in accordance with his needs. The service provider should be flexible enough to provide that.
For example, in the case of restaurants, a customized dish, a special request on a particular occasion, or in the case of jewelry, a customized design made on the request of the customer helps for a better customer experience.
Customer experience is not a one-time thing but it is a continuous process that requires relentless efforts, proper execution, and many commitments from the company. It may not pay immediately but it is a foolproof solution in long run.
10) Use artificial intelligence (AI) for a better customer experience
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has redefined the customer experience landscape. Businesses can use chatbots to significantly improve their customer experience and accelerate their growth.
According to Invespro, businesses can benefit from chatbots due to their ability to reduce customer support costs by up to 30% while also increasing response time and addressing up to 80% of frequently asked questions.
AI chatbots can help with 24*7 support, auto-collect customer information, lesser support tickets, and capture customer data. This data can be used to learn about customers’ preferences and suggest the best product.
Key Metrics of an Effective Customer Experience Strategy
For measuring the effectiveness of a customer experience CX strategy, you need to analyze the following customer experience metrics –
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) – Measuring customer satisfaction through the CSAT metric involves asking survey questions about their satisfaction with the product or service, which can provide valuable insights into how customers perceive your brand.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) – The NPS metric assesses the customer experience and gauges the likelihood of customers referring your business to others.
- Customer effort score (CES) – To assess your customers’ experience with your products or services, you can use the CES metric. You can ask them to rate the ease of their experience with your company on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents “Very Difficult” and 5 represents “Very Easy.”
Is customer experience the same as customer service?
While they are related, they are not exactly the same. Customer service is focused on providing support and help to customers after a purchase has been made. Customer experience, on the other hand, is focused on building relationships with your customers before and after a sale. It takes into account their journey while they are interacting with your company, and the overall impression they have of your brand.
Start using Customer Experience Strategy Best Practices Now!
Some of the key practices that you should start using right away to enhance the experience of your customers are –
- Reach your desired customers by providing personalized experiences both in-person and online.
- Ensure consistency in all your customer service efforts.
- Improve your products and services using feedback from customers
- Make it easy for customers to purchase your products by providing convenient options
- Simplify and make communication channels user-friendly
- Evaluate the versatility of communication channels and utilize automation and AI
- Take initiative by actively monitoring and analyzing social media conversations and conducting regular team training sessions, etc.
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