What is CX (Customer Experience) and why is it important for your company?

Customer Experience in a train station

Customer Experience seemed to have risen as the holy grail of marketing in the past few years and I’ve seen many definitions floating around the world wide web, some of them more confusing than actually helpful. According to Gartner, 81% of marketers are going to focus on CX in the upcoming two years.

Chances are that your company is already doing many things considered as part of CX. You might have defined customer personas already, maybe worked on your customer touch points and thought about your customer journey.

As Gartner puts it: Managing Customer Experience is “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.” So CX is the holistic look at every single interaction between your business and your customers. It includes branding, customer service, the browsing experience in your store, purchase and delivery as much as the customer’s interaction with the product at home. CX encompasses User Experience (UX) as much as all Brand Touch Points and Customer Service (CS). It really should be your key strategy for overall customer satisfaction. As much as it can be a power boost increasing your revenue as much it can limit your business aspirations.

A happy customer returns. Again and again. Loyalty and satisfaction are crucial to your business. A strong relationship with your customers increases the likelihood of word-to-mouth recommendations. So how do you improve it?

4 ways to improve your CX

Don’t get me wrong, improving customer experience is nothing that happens overnight. You have to put time and effort into research and learning and more research. A strong but agile strategy is key for your success.

1. Understand your customer

You must have heard the sentence “The customer is king” a million times already - it’s an oldie but goldie and true to the core. Your customer is the most important part of CX - and it is of significant importance to fully understand your customer and their needs. Creating customer personas can be a first step - but you shouldn’t stop there. Use digital media to gather feedback and most importantly react to it.

2. Keep your Customer Experience Management as simple as possible

With Social Media, customers have the ability to connect with companies on multiple channels such as Phone, Email, Facebook or Twitter - and they normally don’t care which one you as a company prefer. Make their interaction with you as easy as possible. The customer wants to be looked after and doesn’t necessarily cares about if your department is actually in charge of the problem. If all customer data and most importantly all customer interaction is stored in one place (so to say in one system) teams can easier work together to make the customer experience as smooth as possible.

3. Build an emotional connection with your customer

Brands such as Nike are a great example of emotional marketing campaigns that go further than just an emotional message. Their slogan “Just do it” is so simple yet so powerful that it is inspirational to people all over the world. Nike uses the trope of heroism in their advertisement with exceeding their own limits as the heroic act. The emotional factor takes customers on a journey with the brand which creates strong brand loyalty.

4. Take your customers on a journey

Instead of thinking about each Customer Touch Point as a separate item, create a journey for your customer from start to finish, that is as seamless as possible. See the journey from your customer’s point of view and map it. Customer journey maps are a powerful tool to understand not only each step in the process but also pains a customer has to go through before and during a purchase.