‘The customer is always right’ is an old business adage, but one that is becoming increasingly relevant in modern times. Originally, the phrase referred to the idea that customers had their own opinions on what product is right for them.
Today, the meaning of the phrase has expanded to include the totality of interactions a customer has with a business. In modern business jargon, this new idea is called customer experience (CX).
Consequently, providing a quality customer experience became a top priority for modern companies. However, trying to do customer experience without a plan is not advisable. All it takes is one negative experience, and your customers will start taking their business elsewhere.
What you should do instead is create a customer experience strategy for your business. This will allow you to tackle customer experience in a systematic manner, which will, in turn, enable you to reach positive outcomes.
To learn more about the benefits of having a customer experience strategy, check out our short write-up on the topic in the remainder of this post.
What Is a CX Strategy?
If CX represents the totality of interactions a customer has with your business (pre-sale as well as post-sale), your CX strategy is a specification of plans you will put in place in order for these interactions to have a positive outcome. In order to develop an effective CX strategy, you have to pay attention to several factors, including:
- Competitive intelligence – data about your rivals and the strategies they’re using
- Customer research – the structure of your customers, and their needs and wants
- Marketplace analysis – market trends, and the overall state of the economy
- Strategic alignment – the way CX fits into a broader business strategy
Providing quality CX requires a team effort. This means that each of your departments should be involved in the process, not just sales and marketing reps. If you keep your CX efforts distributed across all departments you will have an easier time sharing insights, implementing tactics, and achieving goals.
Benefits of Having a CX Strategy
CX is not just about pampering your customers for the sake of leaving a positive impression. If you implement CX in a strategic manner, you stand to gain much more than just customer goodwill. Having a CX strategy in place will confer the following benefits to your business operation:
Greater Customer Engagement – A CX strategy is like a guidebook for customer interactions. Whenever a customer reaches out to you, your strategy will tell you what you have to do next in order to keep the interaction going. For instance, if a customer asks a question about some product feature, you can give them a basic answer via direct mail, and invite them to subscribe to your newsletter for more advice on the topic.
Higher Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – Engagement will make your customers stick around for longer, giving you the opportunity to generate value through up-selling and cross-selling. Retaining existing customers is also costs less than acquiring new ones, so a CX strategy will keep your customer acquisition costs low while keeping profits high.
Sales-Marketing Alignment – Keeping your marketing and sales departments synchronized is essential for acquiring and retaining customers. A CX strategy will keep your marketing and sales goals aligned, making for a smoother customer journey.
Increased Brand Authority – If you make the effort to provide a truly stellar CX, your customers will start talking about your brand online. This kind of word-of-mouth appraisal is difficult to come by, and CX is one of the ways you can achieve it reliably.
Elements of a Successful CX Strategy
In order to develop a CX strategy that is right for your business, you need to focus your effort on several key areas. Here is what you will have to keep in mind:
1. Interaction Touchpoints
Where you interact with customers will have a significant impact on their experience. If you're not engaging customers through their channel of choice, you will fail to develop long-lasting relationships. Start by determining how your customers like to communicate online (email, live chat, social networks, etc.). Follow it up by familiarizing yourself with these channels, their features, and their limitations.
2. Convenient Customer Service
Customer service is an integral component of CX. If you fail to provide an adequate level of service, customers will be hesitant about engaging with you. Ideally, you should give customers a variety of customer service options to choose from. Live chat works particularly well with CX, as it allows you to engage with customers in real-time.
3. Personalized Experience
In order to provide a truly memorable CX, you will need to collect data on your customers throughout your relationship so you can offer a personalized customer experience. From the customer’s perspective, your attempts to create a personalized relationship will be received as a sign of trust and respect. It will also showcase your dedication towards improving your CX.
4. Convenience and Ease of Use
CX has a technical side as well. You can’t provide a satisfactory CX if your website takes too long to load, or if the customer can’t use it properly from a mobile device. To make your website convenient to use, make sure you’re using dedicated hosting to keep loading times short and keep it optimized for mobile viewing by implementing principles of responsive design. Other convenience-oriented optimizations include keeping your CTAs highlighted, making navigation simple, and providing adequate feedback for each on-site action.
5. Channel Flexibility
CX requires to be flexible in your approach in order to get on the customer’s good side. In this context, flexibility refers to your ability to switch between different communication channels according to circumstance and customer preference. For instance, if a given customer likes to establish the first contact via email, and ask product-related questions via live chat, you should try to accommodate them if possible. We recommend using CRM software to help you manage all your communication channels from a unified dashboard.
Customer Experience as The Road to Success
Customer experience represents the culmination of customer-oriented commerce. If you want to provide the kind of CX your customers will love, you need to set a strategy in place before you start implementing measures. Each business is different, so you can be somewhat flexible in your approach, provided you get the basics right. And if you’re having issues with the latter, you can use this guide as a reference.
Angelina is a tech writer, popcorn addict and retired digital nomad. She wrote articles for reputable tech websites all around the globe, and if you would like to read them, check out her Twitter account.