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Understanding Customer Experience and Ways to Improve It

Alekh Verma | February 24, 2023
customer experience

There’s a very famous quote by Maya Angelou “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”, which completely sums up the essence of customer experience.

Customer experience is today a requirement, not just a luxury that only a select few can afford to offer. It goes without saying that the least a company can do is to offer a positive consumer experience. When a customer has a negative experience using a company's website or application, it can leave a lasting impression and may even permanently turn them off of your brand. Having a positive experience, however, increases the likelihood that the customer will become a loyal customer for life, or at least, will be persuaded to purchase your product or service.

Customers have a wide range of options at their disposal as well as the resources needed to educate themselves and make independent purchases. Customers are your biggest resource for increasing brand recognition, which is why it's crucial to provide them with a remarkable experience and make them want to keep doing business with you.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience refers to the overall perception that customers have of your brand during the entire buyer's journey. Their perception of your brand is affected, and it affects revenue-related and other bottom-line aspects. The way a customer perceives your brand depends on one of these two factors (sometimes both)- Product or People.

The first thing that directly engages with the audience is your product. And when we speak of a product, we do not mean what you’re selling (although that’s important too, that’s a conversation for some other time). What we mean by 'product' is the medium you’re using to communicate with your audience. So, in this digital age where people are mostly engaging with everything through the web, then your company’s website, mobile application, blogs channel, social media accounts, etc., become the ‘product’.

In the initial phase, the whole image of your brand depends on the kind of experience you’re providing them with through these channels. If a user is visiting your website for the first time, then you must provide them with a good experience, and that’s true for returning customers as well.

The second factor that plays a factor in building your brand image is the ‘People’ of your company. Having a website or mobile app for your company is essential, but at the same time, you shouldn’t lose focus on the kind of customer support you’re providing. Make sure your customer is satisfied and wants to keep returning. It’s in your hands to turn a user into a loyal & recurring customer.

How to Measure Customer Experience?

Now the next question that must arise in your head would be, how can you assess your customer experience to identify your strengths and areas for development?

Here are some of the methods you can use-

  • Analyze and interpret data from customer satisfaction surveys.

Customer satisfaction surveys can give insight into how your consumers feel about your brand, product, or service on a regular basis. Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is an excellent metric for gauging customer experience. This tells you about the likelihood that customers will recommend your business to their friends, relatives, and coworkers as a result of their interactions with you.

Take into account team-wide statistics when calculating NPS. You'll need a clear image of performance because multiple teams have an impact on your entire customer experience, and that picture comes from several data sources.

What is the NPS for in-product usage, for instance? What is the NPS for the various customer care teams (phone, email, chat, etc.)? What is the sales NPS? How does the NPS for watching a marketing webinar measure up?

You may learn where you need to improve and where you are already offering a great experience by analyzing NPS from various touch points along the customer journey. This will also demonstrate to customers that you are paying attention to their feedback and care about what they have to say. Investigate your team-by-team performance using your NPS score to make sure you're doing well overall. Additionally, you can decide to respond to both positive and negative client comments in order to connect with them more deeply, strengthen your relationship with them, and increase customer retention and loyalty.

  • Determine the frequency and causes of customer churn.

Churn rate is the proportion of your customers or subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions or do not renew them within a specific time frame. Even while employee churn is unavoidable, it's still critical to understand why it occurs in your organization so you can take steps to minimize it. Choose a time period and add up the total number of customers you've acquired and the total number of customers that have left during that time period to find out your churn rate.

To determine your churn rate, divide the total number of clients you gained by the number of customers who left, then multiply that decimal by 100%.

Then you can try and identify the main causes of client churn. Is there a lack of interest by the user? a negative user encounter? Or might it be a lack of assistance? In either case, tracking and examining your churn rate ought to aid you in enhancing the client experience.

  • Analyze analytics on customer journeys.

Utilizing your analytics to examine the customer journey is another method of gauging the customer experience. However, you'll need to have a thorough grasp of your customer experience before you can collect this data. If you haven't done so already, mapping out the client journey is a highly useful technique to accomplish this.

A customer journey map should provide information about the needs, motivations, and pain areas of the consumer. A customer journey map will also assist you in comprehending every touchpoint a consumer encounters while traveling. You will collect customer journey metrics in this manner. You can gather analytics about your customer's experience after you have a thorough understanding of all the potential touchpoints.

The metrics for your social media, ads, website, corporate events, product evaluations, onboarding, customer loyalty programs, emails, and surveys are usually where you should start. Then, so that you can evaluate your customer journey experience, you can establish a page or tab on your customer journey map just for reporting the metrics of your touchpoints. You should be able to respond to queries like "Where are my clients encountering the most friction" by doing this. or "How can I help my consumers more effectively?" You should be better able to satisfy unmet demands and improve the client experience after completing this activity.

  • Calculate the score of customer satisfaction.

One of the simplest ways to gauge how well your customers are treated is to look at your customer satisfaction score (CSAT). You can determine it by simply sending a survey right away after a transaction or interaction, depending on your industry.

The question "How happy were you with your experience?" will be posted in this survey, along with a matching survey scale. The average result of such a poll is the CSAT.

A wonderful approach to learning right away whether a consumer appreciated their experience is to ask them about it. If your customer satisfaction rating is low, you can start to enhance the client experience.

Customer experience can appear to be quite ethereal. Even while it may seem challenging to quantify concepts like brand loyalty, these measurements can aid in making the abstract more tangible and clearer. Furthermore, until you start measuring your customer experience, you won't know how to enhance it.

Tried and Tested Ways to Improve Customer Experience

1. Create an Omnichannel experience.

The Internet is growing rapidly and people are adapting to the new changes just as quickly. The days of interacting with a brand via using a desktop computer are long gone. Multi-device digital journeys are increasingly the norm as mobile devices now account for more than 50% of all website traffic.

However, keeping a consistent journey across many devices is not enough. Today's CX executives are aware that customers interact with companies through a variety of offline and online channels, frequently switching between them several times, and that every step of the journey, no matter how winding and unpredictable, needs to be flawlessly connected and consistent. One of the most significant transformations you'll make in your business thinking is to embrace omnichannel, which goes hand in hand with giving customer experience (CX) priority.

An organization's ability to give consumers and prospects access to its product offer, and customer support services over all channels, platforms, and devices are known as an omnichannel strategy. A corporation might provide help via live chat, Facebook Messenger, email, and phone as an example of an omnichannel experience rather than concentrating on just one channel.

2. Give your user a personalized experience

Now that there are more than 19.4 billion websites online, the competition is getting fiercer. If you want to draw in and keep clients, you need to put in a little additional work. Today, businesses that want to influence decision-making must invest in websites personalization and connect with people on a personal level.

Today's consumers desire tailored encounters. In fact, according to research by Epsilon 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a company if they are offering them a personalized experience. And according to Accenture, 81% of customers want the brands to understand them better and to know when and how to approach the customer for any kind of interaction.

Customer journeys are smoother and the relationship between the brand and the client is strengthened by personalization, which involves adapting the experience based on information about the customer. The power of personalization can be felt if you've ever received a marketing email with offers and recommendations based on your past purchases or been able to control what material appears on a website from your user profile.

3. Get regular feedback from the customers

One of the main goals of every firm is to satisfy the needs of the clients. How would you, however, know if your efforts were yielding the desired outcomes? If your company can figure out how your customers feel about your brand, you can give them a better customer experience. The process for enhancing the customer experience should involve gathering, assessing, and putting input into practice.

When customer experiences are described in the consumer's own words, they have a particularly strong impact. You may better grasp the thoughts and feelings driving customers' choices by speaking with them directly, for instance through open-text comments on surveys. As a result, you can make more knowledgeable customer experience decisions. However, even though in an ideal world you'd have a 1:1 chat with every consumer, it would take an eternity to ask everyone what they thought of your brand and listen to their responses. Businesses have hitherto had a limited ability to process and utilize natural language feedback.

Fortunately, technology has made it possible to evaluate open-text input from customer surveys on a large scale, greatly expanding your ability to listen. Natural language processing is used by tools like Text iQ to sort through enormous amounts of textual feedback and find the broad trends you need to be aware of. Even better, it can forecast the future using your data.

4. Improve your customer service

As we’ve already discussed above, one of the main factors that dictate your brand’s customer experience is the ‘People’ part of your brand- which translates to the kind of customer service you provide to your customers.

Customer service is the foundation of a wonderful customer experience and can set you apart from the competition in the eyes of your clients. People buy from you because they are convinced that they will receive help when they need it, not only because your product fits their demands. The statistics consistently demonstrate that customers who receive excellent service spend more money and stick with brands longer. Customers, for instance, were willing to pay 17% more, according to American Express research, for a company that provided excellent customer service.

Excellent customer service depends on a number of distinct factors. To improve customer service abilities and attitudes, your staff needs to be hired, taught, coached, and encouraged. Your company's culture should encourage excellent delivery in addition to speed and effectiveness. Additionally, the infrastructure that supports your business, such as the experience management platform and CRM tools, must be adaptable, scalable, and simple to use.

Conclusion

Being proactive and developing a plan can help you improve the client experience. A customer may be the ideal fit for your product or service, yet they may pass it up because of underlying problems with their experience along the route. Utilize these suggestions in your approach to please your clients and keep them coming back for more.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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