360 Degrees of Customer Experience
In the age of customer-obsession, it’s not surprising that, according to Forrester, 72 percent of businesses say improving customer experience (CX) is their top priority. CX is a broad term that encompasses customers’ assessment and opinion of your brand across all touchpoints and channels of the customer journey. Because it's so encompassing, I’m focusing on some of the fundamental elements that are key to building and improving it.
Establish the foundations of customer experience
A solid foundation will empower you to build an enriching customer experience. Here are some tips to set you up for success.
Foster brand awareness. According to Investopedia, brand awareness is “a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product or brand by its name.” Creating brand awareness is vital in promoting your products, exposing customers to your brand, or reviving it. Ideally, you want people to recognize your content and products instantly. Establishing a powerful brand awareness represents an early touchpoint from which to construct a dynamic customer experience.
Promote brand perception. Brand perception differs from awareness in that it reflects the quality or qualities of your brand and how people feel and think about it. The key here is what people are thinking and saying about your brand. If it’s negative, work quickly to change it. Even if it’s positive, there’s probably room for growth. Read up on brand perception and how you can change it for more information.
Craft value-laden messaging. Your messaging is the language you use to describe your brand, services, and/or products. Messaging helps customers relate to your brand, and it’s how you demonstrate your underlying and unique value. You want it to be consistent across channels so customers can instantly recognize you. Read this article for guidance on creating messaging documents.
Offer reliable products and services. These are at the core of your business. Customers interacting with these need seamless experiences that consistently deliver quality. While providing a product or service is the reason most companies exist, I’ve seen businesses neglect these more than you may think. Make sure you’re continuously insisting on the highest standards.
Ensure a smooth sales process. From their first interaction with a seller to customer service, your employees have the potential to impact the customers’ experience. Make sure you understand how and where your employees interact with customers. Also, try to make every touchpoint as positive as possible. Here are some ideas for smooth customer interactions.
Improve your customer experience
There’s a myth about CX; it’s apparently time-consuming and hard to improve. First, who said doing anything worthwhile was easy? And second, it’s actually not as hard to enhance as you may think. This list explains how you can make it better.
Map out your customer journey. The customer journey is the process by which a customer interacts with a business to achieve a goal. Mapping this process out can offer deep insights into your customers’ mindsets and show you any gaps in their path to purchase. Here’s how to map your customer journey.
Personalize the experience. Customer obsession means that customers are king. They expect experiences tailored to their needs and desires. This type of personalization can separate your brand from others that provide generic experiences. Check out this article, 10-step Plan to Personalized Customer Experience for guidance.
Create detailed buyer personas. Creating these researched personas can help you identify your customers' challenges, needs, and desires. You’ll also understand where they spend their time. You can use this info to target them more accurately and provide more tailored messaging. Read this article for a step-by-step guide to creating accurate audience personas.
Be mobile-first. This may seem highly tactical, but I can’t overemphasize its importance. As of 2019, 52 percent of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If you want your brand to survive, or hopefully, thrive, you must adopt a mobile-first strategy.
Create a seamless user experience. Customers want to know you’re obsessed with their experience. To show this, offer enticing content across all of your channels and make it easy for customers to move between them. Engaging content that flows and transitions smoothly across channels will give you a competitive edge. For some brands, this could mean a little tweaking to your website. For others, you may want to consider using a content platform like UberFlip to overhaul your user experience. Here are some broad tips for a seamless user experience, regardless of your goals.
Evaluate your customer experience
How do you know if you’re pleasing your customers? Ask them. These ideas will help you gauge customer satisfaction.
Conduct surveys. Use both qualitative and quantitative data to capture a complete picture of your customers’ opinions and experiences. Here’s an article to give you guidance on what to ask them.
Examine customer support/service trends. Are you offering automated customer service options? Are you connecting with your customers via social media? These are just two of the critical customer service trends that will help you be more customer-obsessed. See more customer service trends to monitor.
Ask your employees. They are the most efficient and inexpensive tool you have for insight into your customers. This article gives suggested questions to ask your employees about your customers.
Because a smooth and enjoyable customer experience can give your business a competitive edge, taking the time to cultivate it is worthwhile. But finding someone who understands the process from top to bottom and can implement changes is challenging. Let Altus do the heavy lifting for you. Businesses have partnered with us to leverage our experience and provide them with actionable insights to improve their customer experience and drive revenue. See how businesses have found success by partnering with us.