Customer Experience, also known as CX, embodies how the customer perceives your brand based on an interaction they have had with your business or organisation.
This could be as small as buying a coffee, all the way though to selling their residential property. Whatever your business is, the two main aspects that create the customer experience are people and product. Think back to good experiences you have had; they probably come down to how amazing the member of staff was or how fantastic the product was.
So why is Customer Experience so important?
A positive customer experience at every touchpoint is crucial to business success. Think back to a positive experience you had. You probably told a couple of friends, right? Customers who have positive experiences will promote your business by word of mouth marketing, and this is the best PR you can get!
On the other hand, bad word of mouth can spread like wildfire, and with review sites and social media just a click away, it has never been more important to get your customer experience spot on. But also, it is often noted that exceptional resolution of a bad customer experience, can create the most loyal customers, so experience counts at every single stage.
What is Customer Experience Management?
Customer experience management is about knowing your customers completely and utterly. Then creating and delivering personalised experiences to those customers drives loyalty and engenders enthusiastic brand advocates.
Gaining this depth of knowledge about customers is not something that just happens. It comes from extracting insight from every customer touch point and communication channel across your entire organisation.
So, how can you measure your customer experience to determine what you are doing well and identifying where there is room for improvement or innovation? Here are some techniques that can help:
How to Measure Customer Experience
- Mystery Shopping
- Mystery Shopping shines a light on those parts of the business you can’t monitor yourself, across multiple channels, and provides actionable insights on improving sales processes and customer service delivery.
- Importantly, the feedback from mystery shoppers allows you to experience your brand objectively from the outside, through your customers’ eyes, something that’s impossible to do when you work within an organisation
- Mystery Shopping can be used to showcase top performing staff and help identify any training gaps or development needs within teams
- Market Research
- Market research delivers authentic insights, first-hand from real customers, enabling you to see your brand as they do and adjust your processes accordingly.
- Talking and listening to your customers or employees can identify and remove pain points, encourage product/services innovations and drive business growth.
- Make better evidence-based decisions to enhance your products and services and optimise the way they are delivered to customers.
- Customer Journey Mapping
- Customer journeys can be complex, unpredictable pathways through multiple touchpoints across your business. The first step to smoothing out any pain points or obstacles along the way is through identifying what those touchpoints are for different customers trying to achieve different objectives.
- By defining and illustrating all the touchpoints your customers have with your business in a ‘map’, you build a comprehensive knowledge bank of how customers are experiencing your brand and product or service at each step.
- You can then look at different points on the map and start to implement precise, targeted CX improvements to make that customer journey easier and more satisfying.
Customer experience and customer experience management are not always huge system changes or new corporate strategies. Often it’s the small stuff that can make all the difference, like a smiley face in the froth on that coffee, or a welcome basket when you move house. You only get that kind of insight by talking to your customers, and more importantly, actually listening to what they say, and taking action based on that feedback.
Companies that choose to be customer-centric from top to bottom are the ones who will win and retain loyal customers.
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