The customer experience (CX) is an important aspect of marketing strategies, as the customer is king, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to reevaluate their customer experience initiatives with an aim to create an exceptional journey for every customer. Today, customer service is extremely important to customers. A report of Microsoft on the global state of customer service showcased that 61% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand because of poor customer service.
customer experience was not always as important as it is today, that is the reason the period we are in is also referred to as the age of customers
by various market experts. Different things were important as per the perspective of the market at different periods of time, 1900’s was the period of manufacturers, followed by the period of distribution which roughly started n around the 1960s. 1990 marked the beginning of the age of information or age of technology and today we are in the age of customers where the customer-centric approach has become the secret behind the success of any business.
No, customer experience is not a new phenomenon, it existed from the time markets were born but was recognized somewhere around the 1950s. It was a period when manufacturing was in its initial stage of learning to deliver quality with a focus on the satisfaction of the customer needs. Customer experience has survived and evolved from the Pre-Industrial Revolution to the First Industrial Revolution and the Pre-Internet era to the Birth of the Internet till now. So let’s dive in to check what customer experience lies in its future and why it is a must to experiment with CX.
Let’s begin with understanding
What is customer experience?
Customer experience or CX is the impression your customers have about your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. It results in their image of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue. It is the holistic perception of your customers about their experience with your business or brand. Everything you do has an impact on the perception of your customers and their decision to keep coming back or not, so a great customer experience is your key to success.
Why does your brand need to focus on the customer experience?
Focusing on customer experience and customer service is an important factor as it can play an important role in the rapid growth of a business. As per a study, a completely satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue when compared to a somewhat satisfied customer and 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer. So, brands need to concentrate on delivering a better customer experience.
Know your customers
It is important to understand who your ideal customer is, or who your brand soulmate is. Understanding this will help you in creating a customer service experience model that perfectly fits the needs of your customers. Create an accurate customer persona by answering some questions such as what makes your ideal customers happy? What do they value? What solution benefits are most important to your customers? What is their age, language, communication preferences, social media platforms, etc? This set of information lays the foundation for you to provide the best possible experience for your customers.
Use Case: Dynamic Yield has helped companies like Urban Outfitters, Sephora, and Under Armour to build actionable customer segments with the help of an advanced machine learning engine.
AI algorithms utilize billions of data points to systematically develop customer personas. Some of these data points include factors such as Previous or past communication, Geo-specific events, Purchase behaviors, On-site interactions, Psychographic factors, Source of referral.
Source: Dynamic Yield
Adapt changes with User Experience (UX)
Times like now where the world is stuck in the middle of a pandemic needs businesses to adapt to the situations at a very high pace and stay connected with customers. Digital channels have evolved as a savior for businesses during these tough times but while adapting to a new channel in an urgent situation, companies tend to neglect the user experience factor, which makes customers dissatisfied and irritated. User experience is an important factor when we talk about customer experience. So, concentrate on improving basic factors such as usability, Functionality, Credibility, Desirability, Accessibility, etc. to deliver the best possible UX to your users.
Example: Duolingo is a platform that wants to help you learn a new language, which is a challenging task that can feel overwhelming. To begin with, you need to answer three easy questions after which, users are already starting to learn a new language and have set a goal for their learning. This frictionless approach is incompatible with many competitors. Other such platforms make their users decide on a plan, pay, and sign up for an account before getting started. Each of these steps adds friction that causes users to drop out of the process.
Don’t Neglect Digital Experience
Digital experience is the present and future of marketing and business. When it comes to customer experience and its future, you just can’t neglect digital experience at any cost. It refers to all the online interactions between a customer and a company. It begins with the website of your company and also includes social media, mobile applications, chatbots, and other channels where the touchpoint is virtual.
Why is Customer Experience more than just sales?
Customer experience is not just about sales, it is a lot more than that.
Customer experience begins from the first time a user gets in touch with your brand as a user first time clicks on your website or visits your social media or visits your store, etc., and travels with the customer throughout their customer journey, even after the sales.
In other words, you can consider customer experience exists, till the time your product or service exists. A customer experience is the soul of the product and makes your customers turn into your marketers and also your brand advocates amongst the audience.
Enhancing customer experience, no matter whether it is digital customer experience or physical helps in reducing the cost of service and marketing, optimizes and eases customer acquisition and customer retention. It also acts as a catalyst in boosting customer loyalty and also improves customer engagement. Great customer experience helps in building brand image and reputation.
Humanizing the Customer Experience
Today’s customer is often on the go, looking for timely support, and wants a seamless customer experience. While such demands might be met through advanced technologies, the human touch still remains essential. According to an article on the science of customer emotions published by Harvard Business Review, when a major bank recently unveiled a credit card targeted to millennials and designed to evoke an emotional connection, use among the segment grew by 70% and new account growth increased by 40%.
Humanize Brand Image
Every brand has a story, which is very much human in nature. Are you communicating these stories to your customers? Use engaging written and video content to describe the origins of your brand and the values you stand for, as humans.
Example: Martech Leader, MailChimp gives their web application a face, though it is not a human but their mascot, a chimp named Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV or Freddie for short, pops up throughout their interface giving high fives, adding humor, and an emotional connection with users. This humanization of technology adds depth to the otherwise frankly boring experience of managing your email marketing or website. The application becomes less like a tool and more like a team member when you are working with it to get your job done.
The most effective way to humanize the customer experience is by delivering a personalized experience through your offerings. Train your executives to speak to your customers with empathy, mainly during difficult situations. Giving customers the comfort of knowing what they feel about a matter is essential to winning their trust.
Customer emotion is a measure of how customers feel about their experience with a brand. Understanding the emotional engagement of your customers with your business can empower you in leading loyal customers that are more likely to nurture a lucrative relationship with a brand.
Trends and CX Predictions of 2021
If you have not yet prioritized customer experience till now, then you are already too behind from your competitors and also the present trends, so get started at the earliest. 2021 is about to start and it will be the right time to start prioritizing and developing customer experience strategies while building your marketing strategy. To you in getting started more effectively, Martech Cube has listed some of the top CX trends and predictions for 2021.
– Covid 19 has already accelerated digital transformation, and this transformation will continue at a very high pace in 2021, so include digital channels while developing your CX strategy.
– Customers have preferences when it comes to customer service experience, so serve them according to their preference.
– AI is leading the tech transformation and gaining an important role in enhancing technology, and AI will empower customer experience and its platforms too. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants will gain a more significant role in customer experience.
– When AI is becoming more important, it just can’t happen without data, so the need and use of data will increase with a very huge margin
– Personalization is becoming more important than ever and has evolved as an integral part of customer experience. Real-time integration will have a huge role to play.
Investing in delivering a good customer experience is crucial for any company, no matter how big or small it is. After all, the success of a company depends on your ability to keep and attract loyal customers. And failing to put your customers first and delivering a great customer experience means you are losing a customer forever and benefiting your competitor.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.