What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience

Customer experience is the collection of interactions between our clients, individual customers, and the business. Customer experience is not limited to the interactions with customer service staff; but also includes any other activities associated with being a customer of your organization.

Customer experience’s guiding tenet is that the customer is the heart of the business. This means we need a complete and transparent understanding of their needs and experiences across each touch point with the business.

Customer experience extends beyond person-to-person interactions and includes organizational procedures, processes, and multi-channel technology platforms.

Customer Experience Insights

Consider these customer experience insights:

  • By 2018, more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience. – (Gartner)

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. (Walker)

  • 95% of unhappy customers share their bad experience. (Dimensional Research)

  • 82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly. (Econsultancy)

  • 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. (Oracle – CEI Survey)

  • 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a more consistent experience. – (Kampyle)

  • By 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. – (Gartner)

Customer Experience Strategy Development

An effective customer experience strategy can be achieved through the alignment of key tactics.

The Vision for Customer Experience Starts With Customer Expectations

In order to deliver value, the customer experience strategy must start with knowing our customer and their expectations.

Customers are individuals and want to be treated as such. It’s important to understand who the customers are as well as to identify within uniquely aligned segments. This will enable customer interactions to be tailored to the expectations for each customer segment versus a one-size-fits-all approach. Customer calls for example, should be flexible rather than transaction interactions.

Cross-Department Alignment

The Customer Experience Strategy is not a marketing initiative. This is an enterprise-wide initiative to enhance all interactions with customers and elevate the experience of customers in all of their interactions. As such, this strategy will need to align with Sales, Operations, Customer Service, Compliance, etc…

All departments need to have active engagement in the implementation of the customer experience strategy.

  • Take Ownership for Processes & Activities that Create Customer Challenges / Issues
  • Empower Employees to Resolve Customer Issues
  • Address Customer Challenges Promptly
  • Customer Pain Points and Delays Need Actively Removed

Avoid the usage of jargon and even generic names in emails, sales material, etc in customer interactions.

Capture & Use VOC Data to Drive Future Results

Customer data must be captured at all touch points and across channels where interactions take place. This includes phone, web, and written correspondence. Feedback must also be captured as close to real-time as possible in order to measure the highest quality of interaction. Further, VOC data must be tied to individual interactions (service agents) where appropriate.

Align Quality & Training

An aligned quality and training framework is critical to the ongoing success of the Customer Experience strategy.

Embedding Exceptional Customer Experience into our DNA is a cultural shift which will require a structured training roll-out along with an accompanying Quality program that is constantly measuring for success.

A sustainable strategy will require ongoing education and measurement.

Leverage Employee Feedback

Annual feedback does not provide sufficient insight for rapidly changing businesses. Ongoing mechanisms to capture employee feedback, ideas, and innovations will need to be developed and cultivated.

Employees need to see themselves as change agents driving customer experience.

Measure the Benefits of Improving the Customer Experience

Many mechanisms can aid in measuring the Customer Experience Strategy success including sales, client retention, and VOC data.

Capturing and monitoring ongoing data that answers these two questions is key:

  • “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?”
  • “Would you hire the person you interacted with in your company?”

Want to raise the bar on your customer experience? Give us a call – we can help!