Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three Aspects of Customer Experience

Customer-centric organizations are moving up from doing customer service to managing customer experience, and ultimately driving customer success.

Digital is the age of customers. Customer-centricity is the description of the nature of the priorities in the organizations today. Customer Experience is the actual battleground for the companies aiming at staying above the competition owing to the happy experiences they design for their customers. How can you leverage CX as a differentiator of a brand, how to transform a satisfied customer into a loyal one, and how to excel customer service, optimize Customer Experience and achieve overall customer success ultimately?

Customer Experience is the differentiator of brands. When customers are "highly satisfied," they have more opportunities to be loyal. When a customer is loyal to your brand, they will have more visits, recommend your brand to others and, as a result, your brand's reputation is up with sales up as well. So customer experience and measuring that experience is crucial for brands. There are so many things that contribute to being "in the age of the customer." Now all types of experiences are shared online, social media, online reviews. Given that social media and global connectedness is pervasive, then it is easier for customers to share experiences, good and bad, so experiences are amplified. It has become very important to pay attention to customer requests. News travels fast nowadays. Therefore, experiences good or bad is known quicker. People are more willing to share instantly. What a customer says can contribute to making or breaking you. The customer experience needs to be considered at every level of contact that you as a brand has with your customer. It is a key differentiator.

The entire customer journey at each stage needs to be mapped out clearly. Customer Experience is the new and most potent differentiating factor in a business that looks to embrace universal greatness. However, it presents some business strategy challenges such as increased need for product flexibility, easy transaction processes and safeguarding customers’ interests. It means doing innovation with the business flexibility to continually exceed customer expectations; bearing in mind that the cycle of exceeded exceptions and feeling of it has shortened. It is now mandatory to do innovation with speed. Not only when they walk into your store, interact with your product and speak to your staff, but also when they get in contact via multiple sales channels. The entire customer journey and experience they have of your brand at each stage needs to be mapped out clearly to be sure that your customer is getting the best service, and that their experience is consistent, on-brand, relevant and refreshing.
Being a satisfied customer doesn't always automatically equate to loyalty: Loyalty comes from the product or service delivering its intended benefit consistently over time. Customers don't want to have to be interrupted and expend a lot of effort and hassle to have a product or service do what it’s supposed to do. Even if a support agent eventually does a fantastic job, when a customer has to interrupt their daily routine to look for the help, this takes customers’ time and effort, the more time and effort that is invested has a corresponding reduction in loyalty. Customers are also more demanding in their requests, putting pressure on service delivery! That's the right path for businesses to take - stay focused on delivering exceptional customer experience every day and at every touch point. Where revenue matters, retention matters, and loyalty impacts retention.

Customer service is reactive, customer experience is interactive, and customer success is proactive. Customer experience can't be achieved unless the internal customer service is superior, and processes within your business will reflect outwardly. Customer-centric organizations are moving up from doing customer service to managing the customer experience, and ultimately driving customer success.


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