Customer experience is fast becoming a focal point for many companies today. In 2020, 27% of brands improved their Customer Experience Index scores.

This number presents a significant increase compared to previous years. It came about even with the pandemic forcing many businesses to scale down.

Customer experience or CX is a significant driver of your company’s success. Your business relies most on client patronage. So, it is dependent on how they feel every time they interact with your brand.

To understand CX better, we have gathered more information below. Read on to know of ways to drive your business forward.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience represents the entirety of a customer’s interactions with your company. This will determine how they feel about your business. Maintaining positive customer experiences is integral to building good customer relationships.

Dave Dyson, Sr. Customer Service Evangelist at Zendesk, said CX “involves every way a customer interacts with a company, at all stages of the customer journey.” He pointed out that this includes “the marketing materials they see before they become a customer.” Others are “the sales experience, the quality of the product or service itself, and the customer service they receive post-purchase.”

Customer Experience vs. Customer Service

Customer service is one aspect or touchpoint of the customer journey. Customer experience, however, is much more extensive than that. It includes customer service, marketing, advertising, monetary transactions, etc.

In simpler terms, customer service is one aspect that goes under the customer experience umbrella.

7 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

If you’re planning on focusing more on your CX efforts, now is the right time for it. Here are a handful of surefire tips to help you get started.

1. Map the Customer Journey

Every successful company effort requires a game plan. Creating a customer journey map for improving CX in your company is a great place to start.

Although it might appear a little different depending on your business, here are some of its essential parts:

  • Customer persona (Who is your customer? What demographics do they belong to?)
  • Customer goals (What does your customer plan to achieve?)
  • Customer attitudes (How does your customer feel? How do they express it?)
  • On-stage experience (What parts of your business does the customer interact with?)
  • Off-stage experience (What other factors need to be in place that the customer isn’t aware of?)

Understanding the customer’s journey helps all employees. This is especially true for those in direct contact with them. A customer journey map lets you visualize different customer scenarios and plans.

2. Value Your Employees

Of course, CX focuses on the customers. But, you need well-equipped employees to execute a successful CX strategy. After all, every customer’s experience with your company involves their interactions with employees.

Company dissatisfaction and a lack of training will harm employee performance. Thus, quality training and healthy working culture are crucial to good CX.

Aside from top-down approaches, collecting employee feedback is also a good practice. Their direct interactions with customers help them provide accurate assessments. Management can then compile this information to improve the company’s CX strategy.

3. Personalize Customer Interactions

Customers want to feel special and valued, especially from businesses they buy from.

Personalizing interactions with your customers helps build better relationships with them. This relationship may result in patronage and repeat transactions.

It can come in different forms. Personalization in small businesses can look different from how large companies do it. Here are some ways to personalize your customer interactions:

  • Speak their language. Get to know your customers and appeal to their values and interests. You can even do this in the literal sense. Suppose a significant chunk of your customer base speaks Spanish. You can appeal to them by finding ways to incorporate the language into your website.
  • Send thank you cards or emails. This is an excellent practice to follow up on each transaction. Using their first name would add a friendly touch.
  • Create personalized recommendations. Using their previous purchases or website activity, curate personalized recommendation lists. This keeps them engaged and opens the door for further transactions.

4. Focus on the Initiative

Every campaign requires commitment and dedication to achieve success. The same principle applies to your customer experience strategy.

This can take the form of hiring a VP of Customer Success, a Customer Success Manager, or other similar roles. Having someone dedicated to the job can boost the effectiveness of your CX plans. Ninety-five percent of senior marketing executives swear by the importance of CX job roles.

It might seem like a massive investment, but the results sure are worth it.

5. Look at Your Analytics

Digital channels have made it easier to collect relevant data, especially for businesses. All your online channels can give you detailed analytics of your performance. These channels include your official website, online shop, and social media accounts.

With analytics, you can get concrete figures that reflect your performance. Using numbers can help ground your assessments for objective evaluations. These figures will come in handy during reviews and planning sessions.

6. Conduct Regular Evaluations

No strategy or campaign is complete without an evaluation. Conducting regular assessments helps your company identify your strengths and weaknesses. This awareness will inform future decisions and improve their implementation.

The quality of the evaluation matters, as well. Customers often interact with various departments throughout their journey. So, it is essential to involve these respective departments in the process.

Customer service, marketing, and sales are often on the frontlines of customer interactions.

7. Make Use of Available Technology

With many people favoring digital transactions, your digital channels are your best friend. This also means that you’ll need to leverage new technologies to improve CX.

In particular, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proven very useful in improving CX.

AI chatbots allow companies to provide immediate responses to common customer issues. Quick response times keep customers happy and develop a better experience. It also frees up some time for the customer service team to help with more complex issues.

The Bottom Line

Attracting and keeping customers is essential for keeping a business alive. Maintaining a good customer experience strategy is critical for this goal. Keep the tips we highlighted in mind for your next brainstorming session. The right approach will keep your customers happy and your business thriving.

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