Satisfied customers ensure recurring sales and are the best brand ambassadors. Price and product quality are becoming less important for the purchase decision. The future belongs to companies that reliably create positive customer experiences. This can only be achieved if companies build their customer experience on customer data and make personalized offers.
Definition: What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience, or CX for short, describes the totality of all experiences that a customer has with a company - in every phase of the customer journey, from initial brand awareness to the purchase decision to the relationship as an existing customer.
Managing this customer experience positively is the task of Customer Experience Management. This holistic discipline develops strategies, implements processes and introduces technologies that are designed to reliably shape customer contacts in a positive way.
Especially on digital channels, the (digital) customer experience can be personalized thanks to data-based technology. With the help of customer data, companies can address their users precisely and not confront them with irrelevant information. The quality of such a data-driven customer experience depends on the data available in the company.
In marketing, for example, a lot of effort has been put into A/B testing to find out how a website should be designed so that users can best find their way around it. Advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence can shorten the testing period, save costs and maximize the value of a positive customer experience.
What Are the Benefits of a Positive Customer Experience?
Customers have high expectations of the service and range of services offered by companies - and their expectations are often disappointed. According to a pwc study, 54% of respondents believe that the customer experience of most companies could be improved. So far, many companies do not work on the quality of their customer contacts across departments. Marketing, support and sales optimize individually - and companies are wasting potential.
By investing in their customer experience management, companies can demonstrably realize countless benefits.
Stronger Customer Loyalty
If companies succeed in making customers feel a positive emotional connection to the product or service and thus also to the brand, this has an impact on their loyalty and willingness to buy. Customer loyalty increases by up to 70% as a result of CX initiatives, according to market research firm Forrester.
Higher Conversion Rate
When customers receive ads, messages or website displays that are tailored to their current needs and interests, they are more likely to take the next step in the customer experience journey - get in touch or make a purchase directly.
A positive (digital) customer experience not only ensures more new customer sales, but also leads to a higher customer lifetime value for existing customers. According to a Forrester study, the average order value can be increased by up- and cross-selling by up to 90%.
Lower Marketing Costs
New digital applications can automate many processes in marketing. Data collection and analysis only require a few clicks. This reduces internal costs, while at the same time the insights from the customer data enable a more targeted customer approach.
A positive customer experience not only motivates customers to make personal recommendations. It also increases the likelihood of receiving positive public customer reviews - which, when strategically embedded, in turn has a beneficial effect on conversion rates.
Unique Selling Point
Price and brand are playing an increasingly minor role in the purchase decision. According to a Walker study, customer experience has replaced both factors as the most important decision criterion in 2020.
Customer Experience Management – 3 Tips for Getting Started
Customer experience management is clearly more than just friendly customer support. How companies can ensure positive product and brand experiences for their customers is closely linked to the business model. The measures are individual, but there are some basic success factors.
Tip 1: Develop a holistic strategy.
Customer Experience Management is a cross-departmental and interdisciplinary task. Without a holistic customer experience strategy, each department will base its own interpretation of the topic of digital customer experience. The IT department
for example, will focus on technology, marketing on campaigns, purchasing on price points, and customer service on transactions. There is little information sharing, no cross-fertilization of data points, and no complete understanding of the customer journey across the enterprise.
Tip 2: Create a customer experience map.
To understand what good customer experience means for your company, identify the typical use scenarios for your products. Work out buyer personas, i.e. put yourself in your customers' shoes. Understanding their problems, wants and needs will help you understand what your customers expect from you. Create a customer experience map for the different use cases. Assign the customer wishes and problems to the respective phases of the customer journey and differentiate according to channels. This way, you get a comprehensive picture of your customers and optimization opportunities.
Tip 3: Create a technological foundation.
Don't decide on CX measures based on assumptions about customer preferences, but get to know your customers based on customer data and usage behavior. To realize such a data-driven customer experience, companies need to review their IT infrastructure. Based on the use cases, it can be determined which data should be collected in which formats in the future. Do systems need to be adapted and interfaces set up? Then this should be done first. After technical optimization, companies must also revise their data governance. Only then operational measures such as customer experience design can take place.
Customer Experience: Examples and Use Cases
First-class customer experience is a mosaic of many, sometimes small measures. Simple starting points for improvement can be found above all in the digital channels.
Zendesk research found that 67% of customers prefer self-service to speaking directly with a support representative. 91% of respondents would use a knowledge base if it met their needs. Companies that install a forum, FAQ section, or chat bot not only reduce the burden on support staff, but also meet customer needs.
On average, users spend almost four hours a day with their smartphone. In their free time and at work. For many, the first contact with companies takes place via the mobile website. Whether B2B or B2C, companies should therefore ensure mobile optimization of their Internet presence. Long loading times and cumbersome navigation prevent sales and recommendations - and are also disadvantageous to top search engine rankings. As a component of an omnichannel strategy, the digital customer experience is ideally consistent, intuitive and personalized on every channel.
From a customer's perspective, there are no significant differences in customer service between social media, live chat, email or phone. That's why companies need to have an equal handle on all channels. According to the report "The State of Journey Management & CX Measurement", the companies with the best customer experience use more channels than their competitors and master them better.
Frequently Asked Questions About Customer Experience
In marketing, the term customer journey is used to describe the various phases from the customer's awareness of the problem to the search for a supplier to the conclusion of the purchase and beyond. If the company's presence in these phases is optimized with a view to the customer experience, this is referred to as the customer experience journey.
Customer data is one of the basic elements of a successful customer experience strategy. Only with precise knowledge of the individual customer personalized offers can be played out that precisely meet the customer's needs and thus lead to a positive experience for him.
What are the most important customer experience KPIs? Defining a global KPI for customer experience makes little sense. Companies should define relevant KPIs for their strategy in each phase of the customer experience journey. For the phase of the first brand contact, website traffic and dwell time could be collected, in the phase of the purchase decision the conversion rates and later the churn rates of existing customers or the customer lifetime value. Specialized customer experience management software offers extensive possibilities for the analysis of various KPIs.
What Everyone Wants, but Few Accomplish