How To Develop An Infallible CX Strategy
In today’s cut-throat business scene, customers generally hold businesses to higher standards when it comes to the user experience they offer. And while this is good in ensuring that businesses put in the necessary work and better themselves in order to meet customer demands, some businesses might fall behind in the race; especially if they lack resources and proper organization from within.
This article is your ultimate guide to CX- what it is, why it is important and what your business needs to do to stay atop this evolving game!
What Is CX?
In the time of the ‘experience economy’, CX or Customer Experience surpasses all else. Investing in a good CX strategy not only boosts revenue growth but also ensures customer retention and loyalty and is overall the best thing to do for your brand. In today’s age, more and more businesses are hopping on the CX wagon- entirely transforming their attitude towards marketing, how they influence their buyers and interact with all those that approach their brand so that they can put their best CX foot forward.
But in order to offer an exceptional customer experience, businesses must first define what customer experience truly means. While there is no said-and-done definition, the business world has a general agreement on what customer experience involves, and what makes it good or bad.
At its core, customer experience refers to the total interaction customers have with your brand- complete from advertising, browsing, purchasing, customer service and beyond. CX is not only about actions and practices, it is about how individuals feel when they interact with your brand across all platforms. It focuses on the relationship between a business and its customers and includes all interactions between them, whether that be when paying a bill or contacting a call center. There are many stages of the customer experience, and businesses can try and fine-tune each one so they can provide a streamlined and effective customer journey as a whole.
What Makes a Good Customer Experience?
Although businesses have prioritized customer satisfaction with regards to their products and services for the longest time, this promise alone usually does not satisfy modern customers. Pricing and product are no longer the only reason customers will do business with your brand, as they tend to prioritize a holistic customer experience above all.
Due to this massive shift in customer motivations and mindset, it is extremely important for businesses to offer a good customer experience- but again, what does that constitute?
A good customer experience is whenever customers walk away from your brand feeling content. Customers approach businesses with the expectation that they are in line with their needs and offer their loyalty to the brand if those needs are met in an efficient and satisfactory manner. While there is no one right way to go about ensuring customer satisfaction, there are certain practices and methodologies businesses can implement to build up a loyal customer base.
A customer will generally term their experience a ‘good’ one if your business offers:
- Simplified and easy to follow buying procedures
- Catchy and relevant marketing campaigns
- Mobile accessibility
- Self-service options
- A timely and adequate crisis response management system
- Friendly and professional front-desk employees
- Personalized and adaptable services/ interaction.
The Importance of a Strong CX Strategy
In today’s highly digitalized world, customers are only a couple of searches away from finding exactly what they need- and most of them take the time to educate themselves about a brand or a service before they choose to interact with it.
How customers feel about your brand directly impacts your business’s bottom line and is strongly tied in with customer retention, sales and brand loyalty. This is exactly why it is so essential for your brand to have an infallible CX strategy that not only helps present your brand in the best light but also recognizes and addresses the requirements of every single stage of the customer experience. After all, what business will not benefit from offering a seamless customer experience? With nearly 95% of leading organizations citing CX job roles as the most vital to achieving business growth, the importance of CX in business today is instrumental and unquestionable.
Here are some other reasons why a well-constructed CX strategy is important for your brand’s growth.
Customer Buy Experiences, Not Just Products
As we touched upon earlier in the article, a great product or service doesn’t always guarantee success, especially if it isn’t supported by an exceptional customer experience. Because of rising competition and constantly evolving circumstances, customer behaviour trends have changed significantly over the years, and a business’s ability to adapt and respond to these changes is what determines how it will perform in the modern market. Customers today tend to look beyond just the product you are offering and approach your brand with a set of expectations already in mind. If you make an effort to understand and keep up with these expectations, you can deliver a service that exceeds those expectations and keep the customers coming back for more!
Better Crisis Response & Management
Even the most successful and well-organized businesses can face crises when it comes to customer management. However, if you already have a strong CX strategy in place, mitigating these crises becomes all the more easy. Not only do you have a general idea of what your customer expects from you, but have also earned their loyalty and are better equipped to deal with the issue.
Through your customer experience strategy, you can learn an immense deal about customer behavior, response, needs and preferences, and when a problem strikes, can use this knowledge to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. Plus, if your customers have had a wonderful experience with your brand previously, they are more likely to overlook small hitches along the way, as long as you’re consistently delivering quality and respond well to any issues they might have.
How to Measure CX- Key Performance Indicators
Customer experience isn’t simply an abstract concept- it can be measured and analyzed, and the findings can be used to strengthen your brand’s CX strategy in the future. Here are some ways in which you can measure customer experience.
The most basic way to measure CX is through surveys or customer satisfaction forms. These can be anything from checkboxes on paper to pop-up forms on your brand’s website, with simple questions or ratings to gain a general idea of customer experience. It’s important to use these surveys as a way to receive feedback on a regular basis as it can give you vital insight into how your customers are interacting with your brand.
Net Promoter Score
Another reliable way to measure CX is through your brand’s Net Promoter Score. This score indicates how likely your customers are to recommend your services to their friends and family. It is good practice to measure your NPS score for each team individually, from customer service teams to sales, webinars and more. This will help you pinpoint exactly what customers appreciate and where they feel your service is lacking, and you can use these findings as groundwork to plan future improvements.
Customer churn or customer attrition is the term used to refer to the percentage of customers that stop using your product or service within a certain time frame. Measuring churn rate can give you a general idea of how customers are interacting with your brand.
No business, no matter how successful, retains every single one of its customers for an extended period of time. Customer churn always happens, and that’s okay. What is essential, however, is that your business isn’t simply letting this slide, and is instead continuously working to identify the reasons for churn and improving where it lacks. It’s important to consistently analyze your churn rate, and use your findings to reduce it wherever you can.
How to improve your CX strategy- From Good to Exceptional, and Beyond
Looking to turn around your CX strategy and get those 5-stars rolling in? Here are some simple tips to help you get started.
Establish A Customer-Centric Company Culture
Not only is establishing a customer-centric culture a good business practice, but it is also a smart decision when it comes to elevating the CX you offer. A customer-centric culture can look different across varying businesses, but one thing is common- it always puts the customer’s expectations, demands and feedback at the center of every decision the business is making. If your business takes the time to understand your customer base, listen to their needs and deliver accordingly, this will ultimately help you in providing a seamless customer experience.
It’s important to recognize that customer-centricity needs to start from the top. Once the CEOs and managers make it their first priority, the working staff and employees will follow suit. Customer-centricity is a mindset, behavior and culture, as well as just practices and methodologies, and once woven into your organization’s system, can completely revolutionize the customer experience you provide.
Create Personal Relationships With CRM
Your brand’s CRM system can be a great help with building an effective CX strategy and can be used as a tool to enhance customer loyalty and build a strong communication channel across multiple platforms. After all, the very core of Customer Relationship Management is building and maintaining long-term relationships with your customers in the first place.
Try and personalize your marketing communication with your customers however you can- use their data to address them by their name in emails or calls, or follow-up on any complaints they may have registered. You can rely on automation within CRM for data collection on customer behavior, buying history, and past communication, and then use this data to provide your customers with exactly what they need.
Speak Their Language
Most customer dissatisfaction with support services comes from a large communication gap between the employee and the customer. It’s good to sometimes leave the technical salespeak behind, and interact with your customers in their language instead. You can also use Frequently Asked Questions, complaint forms and inquiry forms on your websites to provide an additional means of communication to your customers. Try and understand exactly what their pain points or confusions are, and respond to them in a way that they will receive well. You can also use Customer Testimonials to display honest feedback from everyday people your customers can relate to. Simply put, try and show your customers you care.
Offer A Seamless Mobile Experience
With a large amount of user traffic being mobile users, it’s vital that you provide smartphone users with the ultimate mobile experience. Make sure your website is responsive, comprehensive and automated to mobile devices. Keep this experience consistent across all platforms- it will show your users that you are reliable, trustworthy and putting their needs first.
Transparency within the workplace is a vital business practice if you want to build a foolproof CX strategy. Encourage transparency within your team, and use the feedback you have collected to openly communicate with your employees where your current strategy may be lacking. They might not be the ones making the big decisions, but they are vital to ensuring their completion and implementation, and thus should always be kept in the loop.
Not only should you be transparent within the workplace, but also with your customers. Modern-day customers greatly appreciate honesty and communication from a brand and are likely to respond better if you reach out and try and build a relationship with them.
Empathy & The Human Touch
Although automation is great for business productivity, your brand should not lack a human touch. Most customers would not appreciate being led down a sales funnel without any sort of human interaction whatsoever. It’s extremely important to ensure that your customers feel like there is always a listening, empathetic ear on the other end. Train your employees, especially in the customer service departments, to not rattle off about policies and instead try and openly communicate with your customers however they can. If you make it easy for them to ask questions about your services, return products and provide guidance about your services, you will be retaining them for a long time to come.
Training Your Team
Customer centricity isn’t created in a vacuum. Not only is it important for the higher-ups to try and encourage this culture in the workplace, but also to continually offer training and support to employees in this regard. Regular training and guidance ensure that the principles of customer-centricity are re-emphasized in the workplace, and also gives employees the tools they need to improve and respond well to customer issues.
WHAT TO AVOID
Too Much Automation
Automation can be a great asset in your business’s success when applied right, but it’s important to maintain a balance between the human touch and automation, especially where customer experience is concerned. There is a very delicate balance between the two, but engaging with empathy and humanizing automated responses plays a significant role in a good user experience. While automation can provide you with the speed and agility you need for task completion, it should be used as a tool to supplement employees and not to replace them.
Slow Responses & Service Times
Slow responses and unanswered queries are the bane of every customer’s existence and are the most common reasons why customers will report an unsatisfactory experience. Fast response times are a significant attribute of the customer experience, and must not be overlooked. You can make use of effective human cloud technology such as Simplr, which offers thousands of human customer service agents on demand. Businesses can also make use of templates, shortcuts and automated responses to ensure they are getting back to their customers faster and massively improving their experience.
Creating A Remarkable Customer Experience
Customer-centricity isn’t simply a methodology to apply and forget about but is a life-long culture and mindset that needs to be implemented in your workplace from top to bottom. You can use the above-discussed practices and tips to make your customers the center of all decisions, and guarantee that you are offering them only the very best of services.
You must also remember that a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ user experience can be unique according to your business, so you should always consider how the above-mentioned practices and tips will interact with and influence your company culture, and to what extent your business can afford to turn its system around. One important thing to recognize is that a good user experience isn’t built overnight. Customer mindsets and behaviors are constantly shifting, now more than ever, and your brand needs to consistently re-evaluate and update its CX strategy to ensure that you don’t fall behind.
Searching for top-scale Enterprise CRM solutions to take your CX offerings to the next level? MPire Solutions can help! Drop us a line at (617) 804-0539 or send your query our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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