According to Zen Desk, ‘CX, or customer experience, refers to all the interactions that a consumer has with a company. CX encompasses each stage of the buyer’s journey, including pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase.’ But, more than just a transition (hopefully a smooth transition) from one buyer stage to another, CX (also called UX for user experience) relies on crafting the right messaging and offering clear navigation that aids users as they navigate your website toward purchase.
Building a better customer experience
The customer experience includes everything that contributes to how your consumers feel about your business and branding. Brands must ensure that the customer experience is as positive as possible, this way you’ll retain customers, promote brand advocacy, and build loyalty, as well as bringing in new customers. Here are a few ideas to help improve your customer experience.
1. Develop a customer experience strategy
Using all of the key areas and tactics, identified below, you can develop your own customer experience strategy built to support your customers and prospects. To do this you must start with fundamentals such as a customer experience audit to identify weaknesses in your existing CX, as well as ensure fit with your buyer personas to identify exactly what your customers want. You should create a clear vision and gather the tools that might help you deliver a superior customer experience. Once you’ve got your strategy underway you should seek to measure your customer experience ongoing. Many efforts to improve your CX also improve your marketing plan.
2. Create personalized experiences
Data from Accenture revealed that
75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history (Campaign Monitor 2019).
To improve superior CX, you need to deliver the personalized experiences that your customers want. Brands can do so by creating segmented campaigns based on various consumer characteristics. One of the most common ways to deliver personalized marketing is through product recommendations and email marketing. Brands should use CRM systems to record interactions, preferences, and other data necessary for such personalization.
Personalization is the key to improving both the customer experience and your marketing efforts. It can help you to reach out to the right customers and ensure that they feel valued. So, don’t stop with recommendation engines but consider filtering and search options that make it easier for visitors to find the products they want and need. For instance, when searching for a wedding dress for my daughter, the website didn’t give the option of searching based on length. Since she planned a beach wedding, this search variable was much more important than options given, such as designer or color.
3. Focus on your website
One of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to improve your website. Here are a few key areas that you can focus on:
- Slow loading times are bad for CX since visitors won’t wait more than a few seconds for a page to load
- Customers should find your site simple to use so you need intuitive navigation with no bad pages (301 – page not found errors)
- Consider how visitors use your website and remove unnecessary requests for information or requiring visitors to reenter information multiple times (ie. entering a billing and shipping address that are the same)
You should provide entertaining and useful content across a range of formats; utilizing a range of blog content, video content, and graphics. Fresh content not only addresses user concerns, it helps with your SEO.
4. Customer service is a priority
According to data from Nextiva,
across the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
To improve your customer service, consider the following starting points:
- Hire the best staff you can find and offer excellent training, motivation, and rewards.
- Collect feedback from your customers to help you improve.
- Remember that social media is now one of the most important places to monitor and deliver customer service.
- Ensure that you listen to your customers and practice empathy.
5. Special experiences in-store
According to Identity Group,
70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event.
To enhance the customer experience, consider offering special experiences in your brick and mortar store. You might run workshops, events, or add pop-up amenities? If you don’t have a physical store, consider running events online, such as Facebook Live, or at another location. By offering your customers fun events, you can improve their experience and drive conversions. Events are a great way to market yourself in person and get across your unique brand story.
6. Improve the unboxing experience
The unboxing experience is incredibly important, especially if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store. The unboxing experience simply means the experience the customer has when they receive their item and take it out of the box. Brands must strive to make the unboxing experience both exciting and memorable, just like opening a gift. You can do this by using attractive packaging and throwing in extra surprises! A few other ideas to improve the unboxing experience are:
- Use personalization, such as a hand-written thank you note, to add extra value
- Make your packaging attractive and innovative
- Use custom product tag printing to make your products stand out
For instance, I recently purchased an iMac. The packaging was so phenomenal that I saved it to show my friends. Each component in the box had its own contained area with protections designed for that particular element. Yet, a single pull on the perforated tab opened the box to make it easy to remove components. The downside is that the packaging likely weighed as much as the iMac itself but when you pay a premium price for an Apple, what’s a little extra shipping cost.
7. Chatbots can help
Chatbots can help you improve the customer experience. These AI-powered tools answer customer queries anytime and never take a day off. Many customers, especially younger ones, don’t want to speak to someone on the phone. They want access to the info they need, quickly and conveniently. With the help of chatbots, you can solve most customer problems and answer common questions. Best of all, chatbots learn over time so they constantly improve their performance. There are plenty of benefits for using chatbots for your website including:
- You can use them to deliver a conversational marketing strategy
- They provide great customer service 24/7
- Chatbots are a great way to boost your sales
- They can even support your business HR department
8. Gather feedback
To help you improve the customer experience you offer remember to gather plenty of feedback from existing customers. You can identify which areas of the buyer journey need improvement, and where you are succeeding. There are several ways that you can gather feedback, whether through email surveys, chatbots, or social media.
Remember, customers share both positive and negative experiences on social media, although negative experiences travel faster and farther. It’s important to respond to all types of feedback, whether good or bad, and avoid the temptation to sweep negative reviews under the rug. That never works. To help you monitor your online reputation you might like to call upon the services of a reputation management firm.
9. Offer extra value
Enhancing your customer experience is about offering that little bit of extra value. Why not consider providing your market with an entertaining podcast? When you run a podcast you can demonstrate that you are much more than your services and products. Podcasts are a great way to educate and engage while strengthening your relationship. Through your content, you can also offer value, whether it’s videos or blog posts. Help your customers to learn new things, and support them to get the best use from your products.
Using these 9 areas of improvement you can take your CX efforts to the next level. Without a strong customer experience strategy for your brand, you’ll end up losing valuable opportunities.
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