Marketing, sales, and growth leaders are screaming “customer is king”. There is a palpable FOMO around customer-centricity:
“Every day we're saying, ‘How can we keep this customer happy?’ How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this, because if we don’t, somebody else will.” – Bill Gates
But what we are missing is a concrete guide that showcases how to build better customer experiences.
In this step-by-step guide, we will dive deep and showcase how to set up a customer experience strategy from the ground up to delight your customers.
Customer experience (abbreviated as CX) is the sum of all impressions your customers get as they go through the customer journey. This includes every customer engagement at every customer touchpoint: from brand discovery through purchase and all the post-purchase interactions.
As you can see, CX is a bit abstract. It is built around the seemingly intangible “customer perceptions” of your brand.
Sure, sometimes we can gauge how happy our customers are through customer feedback.
But there is a better way to understand and improve the customer experience by building a measurable, repeatable, scalable, and impactful customer experience strategy.
A CX strategy is a customer experience management plan. It defines and tracks every data point that helps you understand your customer needs and increase your customer satisfaction by delivering a great customer experience.
Before we dive deeper into how to create a CX strategy, let’s ask ourselves the hard questions: is the effort worth it?
In short, the quality of customer experience affects your bottom line.
The longer answer has three ways in which a poor customer experience hurts your company’s financials.
Research from PwC shows that 1 in 3 customers will walk away from your business after a single bad experience.
Customers’ expectations are rising.
The modern consumer expects excellent service and will walk away from great brands if the experiences they provide are not up to par.
But the negative effects of a dissatisfied customer do not stop at the customer themself. Unhappy customers are more vocal than happy customers. Through word-of-mouth, they spread the dissatisfaction that poisons the minds of other potential consumers. And people take negative feedback more seriously:
“It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review.” - Andrew Thomas
But there is hope.
Once you meet the customers’ expectations, you keep them. Happy customers showcase higher brand loyalty. Providing a good customer experience leads to increased customer loyalty.
A great customer experience leads to greater spending. Research by McKinsey shows that across business verticals, companies that care for the customer experience and personalize their communication with the customer benefit from an overall 40% increase in revenue.
A superb customer experience is directly tied to a price premium.
A great customer experience does not only increase the perceived value of the product and services bought. It also acts as a trusted intermediary to increase the spending size.
Consumers are willing to pay 13-18% more for the same products when offered an excellent customer experience.
Garter’s research found that companies in many verticals have capped the gains obtained from improving pricing or product quality. So they made customer satisfaction their competitive advantage. 81% of companies compete primarily on customer experience.
If you do not focus on improving the customer experience, your competition will.
Not all is lost, though. There is a lot of room for improvement.
Even companies that have not invested in customer experience yet have a chance to catch up. Why? Because the opportunity gap is quite wide: 54% of U.S. consumers say customer experience at most companies needs improvement.
Without data, three things happen:
You might ask yourself: what data best measures the customer experience?
There are two ways to assess the CX via metrics.
The first type of metric help you understand the overall customer experience. The metrics here include:
The second type of metric help you understand specific customer engagement and measure a single customer touchpoint. The metrics are used to understand each step of the customer journey, for example:
Now that we established the link between CX and revenue, and showcased how data can drive a better understanding of CX, let us dive into the core of the guide - the guide to making an outstanding CX strategy.
There are five simple steps to create a CX strategy that will put you ahead of your competition.
A customer journey map helps you collect in one place all the customer touchpoints. Think of all the different types of customer engagements and list them:
You can easily spend a couple of minutes just jotting down all the different customer engagements on post its.
If you run out of ideas, think about your customer base via personas. Often we only imagine a single target audience when building the customer journey map. In reality, customers can be segmented into a couple of personas, who interact with your company and products in different ways via different paths.
If you have not already, collect data for every touchpoint. Software tools are your friends. Often, you will deploy devoted tools to do the heavy lifting for you.
For example, Google Analytics can help you track conversion rates through your e-commerce shopping funnel. Delighted helps you automate collecting customer feedback via NPS and CSAT surveys. Etc.
Pro tip: Collect all your data into a single database. This will help you keep your data orderly and accessible for all analytics.
Once you collect all your CX data and metrics, you can more easily understand what areas need prioritization.
The best way to establish what needs sorting is to find the biggest pain points for your customers. This can be in the form of a conversion rate drop-down (e.g. customer purchase great, until the checkout step, where everyone drops off massively) or determining if your overall metrics (NPS, CSAT …) are way below industry benchmarks.
Once prioritized, you can create a roadmap that specifies which part of the customer experience you will improve first.
Delivering a great customer experience is all about delighting the customer.
There are two easy ways to create better customer experiences:
Creating a great customer experience is a process, not an end goal. The moment you will solve one issue, raise a metric above a benchmark, and get customers happy replies, new opportunities for improvement will arise (aka, the corporate lingo for “customer problems”).
A great customer experience strategy acknowledges that.
Include in your customer experience strategy regular check-ins and updates. Meet regularly to discuss the tracked metrics and identify what incentive can move the customer happiness needle the most.
Keboola can help you speed up the deployment of your CX strategy:
Try it for free. Keboola has an always-free, no-credit-card-required plan. So, you can implement your CX strategy with a couple of clicks. Feel free to give it a go or reach out to us if you have any questions.