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Today’s business landscape is so competitive, and it seems entrepreneurs like you never run out of problems to solve.
Businesses that are unable to thrive don’t survive, and those that are able to adapt can enjoy financial success.
But what sets the two companies apart?
Successful companies understand that creating, marketing, and selling products and services do not make up the entire battle. Providing a solid customer experience throughout these processes is as important.
Think about it: can you remember the last time you had an awesome experience while interacting with a brand?
Chances are, you became a fan of that brand, or at least it made you happy.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know about customer experience below.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience is the overall perception of a person of their experience with your brand. Also called CX, this results from all the interactions a person has with your business from checking out your social media, going on your website, talking to your customer service representative, and receiving the product they bought.
Every step in this process impacts the perception of your customers, as well as whether or not they will come back for more.
In today’s business landscape where customers are empowered and educated, they have the power to switch immediately to a different brand if you are unable to provide the things they want.
Customer Service vs. Customer Experience
A lot of entrepreneurs use these terms interchangeably. However, the two mean different things.
Customer service is considered a major part of your customer’s journey. It is just one piece of the puzzle that focuses on supporting customers. On the other hand, customer experience covers all the interactions between your brand and your customer.
Importance of Customer Experience to Businesses in the Philippines
In this section, we will take a look at why CX is so important for your business.
1. It can increase your revenue
When it comes to business, one thing is for sure – a satisfied customer will keep on coming back to your business. Loyal customers contribute so much to your revenue because these people are willing to spend money to stay happy.
More than that, these people will also help spread word of mouth about your business which can help you attract more customers.
2. It helps with customer retention
When you give an exceptional customer experience to a customer, it will act as your key differentiator among your competitors.
Customers who have had a good experience with you will be loyal to your brand.
3. It engages your customers
People love brands they know, and if they have a good experience with your brand, this can encourage more interactions.
These interactions, whether it’s online or offline, foster an atmosphere where customers are comfortable enough to share their needs with brands. As a result, companies can provide better services and products.
4. It reduces marketing cost
When you have a CX-centric strategy, you can understand your customers better. This allows you to eliminate guesswork when it comes to the things your customers want.
As a result, you can start saving on marketing costs.
In traditional marketing, companies release products without fully understanding what the customers want.
However, a CX-centric approach means that you can cover all possible touch points when it comes to targeting.
5. It improves brand reputation
One of the most major pillars of businesses is customer experience. When customers trust your brand, they are more likely to contact you directly for complaints instead of telling other people about it.
This allows you to manage your reputation better without having to deal with public humiliation.
When your brand has a bad reputation, it can have serious implications for your business. It causes lost investments and even challenges in attracting customers.
A CX-centric approach knows how to treasure the trust of their customers well, and this can help them thrive in the long term, even if they encounter different short-term problems.
6. It improves satisfaction
Companies that put a heavy emphasis on their customer experience have the potential to maximize their customer satisfaction.
As a brand, your job is to make sure that you provide a consistent customer experience in all touchpoints to give people a seamless experience throughout their customer journey.
Examples of Good Customer Experience
A lot of entrepreneurs think that great customer service needs to be flashy. However, even getting small things right goes a long way.
To give you a clue, here’s what a good customer experience looks like:
1. Quick responses
Customers appreciate brands who can reply to problems or questions.
2. Noticing feedback
When your staff can immediately act on the feedback received from customers, it shows that you give a heavy weight on their opinions.
3. Offering omnichannel support
When you have different communication channels, your customers can contact you in many ways. This is a big plus if you have busy customers that are looking for flexibility in connecting with you.
It is integral to have a good presence on social media, live chats, phone, email, and the like.
4. Giving realistic expectations
Marketing your products and services in a way that sets realistic expectations will be extremely appreciated by your audience.
5. Maintaining self-service options
There are many customers who want to figure out their problems on their own. Having a FAQ page on your social media pages and website can be extremely helpful.
Main Causes of Poor Customer Experiences
Bad customer experience happens when you fail to meet the expectations of your customers in terms of your response time, quality of products, and many more.
This endangers your current and potential customer relationships and may cause people to switch companies. Here are some of the major causes of poor customer experience.
As a responsible brand, you should take action on service requests as soon as you can. Even acknowledging your customer’s email is important.
Long wait times
Nobody likes being put on hold for a long time, especially when they are trying to reach your customer support. As much as possible, keep your wait times shorter than 3 minutes.
It is inevitable for your customers to have pain points. Not resolving this the first time your customer tries to contact you will lead to dissatisfaction.
Lack of etiquette
Your employees are a reflection of your brand. A negative interaction with a rude sales clerk or customer support agent will lead to a dissatisfied customer.
This is why you should always hire the right people for the job. Apart from their qualifications, experience, and skills, they should also have a passion for helping people.
Lack of training
When you hire someone that has a lack of training, their knowledge of your company will be poor. This will cause serious frustration with your customers.
Untrained staff will find it hard to deliver a more seamless service to people because they don’t have the right knowledge and tools to do their job well.
Burnt out employees
Another major cause of bad customer experience is the lack of employee engagement. This happens when your employees lack motivation, are less enthusiastic about their work, and create good connections with customers.
This is usually caused by a stressful work environment, poor leadership and management, low morale, and high workloads.
Impact of Bad Customer Experiences
Here’s a look at how bad customer experiences can be extremely disadvantageous for your brand.
It damages your reputation
You worked on your company’s reputation for years, but it could be damaged in a blink of an eye.
These days, brand reputation is very valuable and you never want to lose control of it.
But in today’s landscape where your customers have access to the internet, they can easily write bad reviews, or even vent out their frustrations about your brand to social media for the world to see.
This results in a decrease in sales, as well as negative word of mouth.
Related: 20+ Ways to Increase your Sales
Your leads won’t convert
Bad customer experience is the major killer of leads. Try to think about the times you reached out to customers without any reply.
How did you feel? Now, imagine what your customers think when they send you a message and never hear back from you, or when they are put on hold for 20 minutes.
Keep in mind that acquiring new customers is more expensive than keeping your current customer base.
Bad customer experience will put a strain on your relationships and the lifetime value of your customer will drop significantly.
You may lose capable employees
The impact of bad customer experience is not just felt by people who buy products from you, but your employees as well.
When you have a customer experience problem, your capable staff will be forced to work overtime and cover the mistakes of untrained employees. This ultimately leads to burnout.
You will lose profit
You may not feel it immediately, but if your customers continue to have a negative experience with your brand, you will eventually lose sales and profit.
8 Tips on How to Improve your Customer Experience Strategy
Nowadays, businesses are finally recognizing how important customer experience is.
But how can you exactly achieve this? We’ve gathered some tips below.
1. Start with your employees
If you want to make your customer experience game the best, you need to start with your employees because empowered employees and satisfied customers are directly related.
Figure out what’s stopping your employees from delivering a good customer experience. You can use a survey to know their pain points and use these insights to review your processes.
Also take a look at your company culture. Managers, leaders, and employees should have a common goal.
2. Create an omnichannel strategy
It’s not enough to just have one channel for your customers to contact you. Building an effective omnichannel strategy is crucial to making your customer happy.
This includes having multiple channels for sales, marketing, and customer support – such as email, live chat (via website), SMS, and social media. Every interaction people have with you should be seamless across all these channels.
3. Develop a top-down approach
If you want to be a CX-centric organization, you have to start at the top. Leaders must be role models and set an example for employees.
For example, Walt Disney himself used to walk around Disneyland Park to observe the experiences he tailored for his customers and see what he needs to improve.
Starting from the top, leaders themselves must adopt the values and behaviors of the company and serve as role models for everyone.
4. Use technology to your advantage
Technology has come a long way. F
rom chatbots that reply to inquiries 24/7, to email automation, digital tools and software will allow you to serve customers with a high level of personalization in an affordable way.
5. Always try to be as personal as possible
Customers want to feel valued by brands they love. Personalization is the secret when it comes to a positive customer experience, but how exactly can you do this?
You need to base the experience of your customer based on what you know about them – their demographics, psychographics, and purchasing behavior. This way, your messages won’t sound generic.
6. Map out your customer journey
Think of your customer experience like a road trip. Customer journey mapping involves illustrating the customer’s needs, processes, and perceptions that come from their interaction with your brand.
This allows you to see the steps your customers take when they interact with your brand. When creating a map, look for the moments that matter.
For instance, if you are selling a house, the most important step with the heaviest emotional load is when they finally get the key.
By following this tip, you can have a better understanding of issues and opportunities in your current customer journey map, and make changes as needed.
7. Ensure good customer service
With every company, customer service should be prioritized. Customers don’t just get your product because they think it can help them.
They buy from your brand because they are confident that they will get support from you if they need it.
Good customer service is a result of different things. First, you need to hire the right people, then train and coach them to improve their skills.
More than that, your brand also needs to focus on delivering top-tier products, not just making a profit.
8. Conduct experiments
If you’re only looking at your customer experience based on a leader’s perspective, you won’t fully understand what your customers are going through.
You can conduct an experiment where you pose as a customer to uncover what’s working and what’s not working in your customer’s shopping journey.
This way, you can see what you need to improve. Go through your customer’s journey step by step, and then set it up in a way that achieves early success.
What is Customer Experience Management?
Customer experience management, also called CXM, refers to the management of your customer’s interactions through physical and digital touchpoints.
This results in a more personalized experience that drives increased revenue, brand trust and loyalty.
Ideally, CXM plans how you will initiate and react to various customer engagements at different parts of their journey. Its purpose is to give people a consistent level of service that will deepen your relationship with them.
How to Measure Customer Experience
You may think that customer experience is a subjective concept that you can’t measure. However, you can rely on these CX metrics to get an indication of whether or not your CX is positive.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This is your customer loyalty score. You can get this metric by asking customers closed-ended questions such as “From a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to repurchase a product from us?”
Of course, you can adapt questions to suit your brand, as well as use a follow-up question to gain better insight.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
This measures the experience of a customer with a service or product in terms of how easy or hard it is for them to complete an action.
This survey can be sent out after an interaction with your customer service agent, and after customers reach an important milestone such as completing a transaction.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
This metric measures the satisfaction of your customers with the product they received from you.
They can express their happiness or dissatisfaction with a 5-point scale where 0 is very unsatisfied, and 5 is highly satisfied, or through yes and no answers.
Unlike NPS, this metric focuses on specific touchpoints instead of their overall feelings towards your brand.
Time to Resolution (TTR)
This is the average time it takes for your customer service team to resolve a ticket or issue opened by a customer.
Considering that long waiting time is a major source of customer dissatisfaction, you need to track this metric and see which areas you can improve on.
The shorter your TTR is, the more likely it is for your customers to stay satisfied.
Trial-to-paid conversion rate
If you have a trial program for your brand, this is a metric you need to measure. How many of your customers upgrade from their trial?
After all, these people may have seen value in your product before they pulled out their credit cards.
When you know this metric, you will have an insight into the features of your trial period that needs to remain or change.