Customer experience definition
To begin with we would like to mention 2 examples of both good and bad customer experience. Example 1: You ordered pizza delivery on a website, immediately received a call (or a written notification) from an operator who assured they had received your order, and it would be delivered in half an hour. Then courier delivered your hot(!) pizza before the time-limit, and added a discount on your next order. The pizza was delicious. This is an example of a good customer experience.
Now let’s imagine that you have an issue with your internet connection and you decide to call your internet service provider. And you wait 10 minutes for support specialist to answer, then a specialist with no enthusiasm asks questions of the issue and promises to call you back in an hour. After this conversation support specialist doesn’t call you back and probably internet provider loses you as a client forever. And getting back to the first case you are highly likely to use the services again.
What is Customer Experience?
It is a set of all the impressions, emotions, reactions which a customer gets during any interaction with the company and its service.
Why Customer Experience is important?
The situation is that the key factor today that plays a vital role in client-customer relations is a client’s attitude to the company
It’s worth mentioning that there is no an ideal company in the market. But obviously there are companies that pay special attention to customer experience and are aimed at improving of customer’s impressions. Such companies try to define why customers use their service why do they recommend (or do not recommend) the company, implement special tools to collect data via multiple channels about customer etc.
An important issue is that Customer Experience (also called CX) begins even when a person is not your client. It may happen when a person sees a promo post in social networks, or simply hears friend’s opinion who has interacted with the company recently.
Customer experience affects customer loyalty. Thus better customer experience improves customer loyalty and vice versa. And as you may probably know, loyal customers buy more, buy again, recommend your business to others and even can buy at a higher price.
Customer Service and Customer experience
Before start working on Customer Experience improvement any company has to deal with customer service. It is extremely important to be sure there are no issues with companies’ products or services.
Let’s pretend that any successful business is based on 3 parts:
In case business has a bad product and/or service and tries to improve customer experience – this is a bad way. Company will just lose money acting this way.
Let’s mention one more example. This time a client buys a new cell phone. The client sees a series of advertisement on YouTube and Facebook, checks options, decides what color he wants. Then he goes to the store where a consultant explains the reasons of buying the chosen device with patience and in detail. Finally, the client buys the device and after he starts using it appears that the phone rings very quietly and a person he talks to is almost inaudible. There is no information on a manufacturer’s website about the issue, and customer support specialist says there is no solution and this is not a warranty case.
This is an example of a good Customer Service (partially) but poor product quality. So the client is disappointed, he can’t solve his problem, can’t use the product and even a good customer experience is unable to correct the situation.
And in case product and service are elaborated and everything works fine, this is time to think about customer experience development.
At the same time it is not a constructive way to think of good service only without paying attention to customer experience. Today’s market is extremely competitive and a good service is a must. And it is not enough. A client who has been served well is not a loyal one. But the client who has been served badly becomes disloyal automatically.
A client simply doesn’t leave the company thanks to good service. And thanks to Customer Experience a client wants to keep going with the company and to recommend it to others.
In case a company still develops the product and service is not good, but there is a strong necessity to develop customer experience, company can divide efforts into 3 directions: Spending 60% of resources on service improvement, 20% on product improvement and 20% remaining on Customer Experience seems to be fine for practically any business.
Pay attention that even though Customer Service and Customer Experience are closely related, good level of service is still more important. Discount on next purchase will not be used if it is presented in a rudely.
The secret here is to serve better than the competitors. At least a little bit better. For example, according to the so called “rule of 3%” that means there is no need to be significantly better than competitors, being at least 3% better is enough. The thing is that business has to be 3% better constantly. As a result, applying small improvements constantly makes business significantly better than competitors after a while.
How to improve Customer Experience
There is no a common solution for CX improvement, because a plenty of factors affects the customer’s loyalty. However, there are some basics that may be useful to improve company’s customer experience:
- To know what is important for a client. This means constant communication with client, asking for feedback, replying in comments in socials etc.
- Understand that you don’t work with a “client base” but with a person. Every client is person with a set of pains or needs. The task is to personalize the communication, to try to offer the product or service exactly for this given client.
- Offer more than a client expects. Offer free bonuses by default. This simple action affects the loyalty positively .
- Track service in real time. Even though complex solutions for end-to-end analytics and automation may be expensive enough, there are enough free tools to track companies activities, like, task managers or CRMs with additional modules.
- Be honest with the client. If you raise the price or change conditions of service you will have to explain the reason(s) to clients.
- Additionally, business can also make services available 24/7 as well as its support, apply multi channel interaction with customers (provide them with possibilities to send email, write in a messenger or socials or just call).
Customer Experience development is a complex, continuous process. Even if the company is the best in the world, has the perfect product and perfect service, there is always room for improvement in customer experience. Competitors improve their CX too. Clients expect more and more. Even if everything is fine, there is always something to improve in CX.