The customer has become the epicentre of business strategies. In addition to offering good products and services, companies are increasingly concerned about offering satisfactory experiences to their customers. Taking care of the customer experience is nowadays one of the key points for any business. In this article, we talk about customer experience and why it is essential!
As consumers take on the role of content generators and the shopping experience moves to the digital ecosystem, the customer experience is becoming increasingly important and is already positioned as one of the key points for streamlining the conversion funnel, building customer loyalty and, ultimately, increasing profitability and boosting long-term business growth.
What is customer experience?
As its name suggests, the customer experience is the complete experience that a customer has in relation to our brand, from the moment they get in touch with us, until they finalise their purchase. Therefore, the customer experience encompasses every stage of the customer journey.
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The customer experience encompasses each of the sensations and sensations that are awakened in the customer during the entire process of interaction with our brand. Therefore, it is essential to take care of each touch point to ensure that our customers' experience is as pleasant as possible.
One could say, then, that the customer experience is a memory; the memory that the customer takes away once they have completed their purchase. If the memory is good and the experience is not hindered by inefficiencies, we will get them to buy one of our products or services again and, therefore, the relationship will continue and the customer journey will not end.
To build customer loyalty, the customer experience must be optimal before, during and after the purchase and we must strive to take care of the public in every interaction and point of contact so that the memory is not only good, but unforgettable. Our customer experience strategy must consider each of the stages of the customer journey, take into account each touch point and continue once the customer has made a purchase.
Ultimately, the experience of our customers is as important as the quality of our products or services. If we offer a very efficient product or service, but the user's experience when obtaining it is unpleasant, the customer will undoubtedly not repeat the experience. Therefore, the customer experience is, at the end of the day, our brand's value; everything we communicate and do in each of our relationships with our customers. Quoting C.K. Prahalad "the experience is the brand".
The 6 reasons why customer experience is so important
1. Encourages active listening
When carrying out strategies to improve customer experience, active listening of their comments, opinions and experiences in relation to our brand is essential. In this sense, working on the customer experience encourages organisations to listen more to customers, to get to know them better and, in short, to pay more attention to what they have to say.
Active listening to the voice of the customer can be carried out in multiple ways. On the one hand, the collection and analysis of customer data at each point of contact is essential, but in addition, the information and insights resulting from data analysis can be complemented by other methodologies such as the implementation of surveys, focus groups, interviews with key customers, etc.
2. Increases customer retention
The best way to build customer loyalty and retain customers is by offering them a satisfactory, unique and, if possible, unforgettable experience. A customer who is satisfied with the purchase process and with the relationship they have established with our brand is a customer who, when they need the service or product again, will trust us again and repeat.
Furthermore, customer experience strategies contribute to the growth of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and the development of an optimal customer experience is one of the most fruitful and profitable ways to build customer loyalty. Research from marketing and ecommerce consultancy Econsultancy shows that 64% of organisations believe that customer experience is the best strategy for improving CLV.
3. Encourages customer acquisition, business generation and increased revenue.
Multiple market studies show that acquiring new customers is much more expensive than retaining existing ones, and Hubspot adds that over the last six years, the cost of acquiring a new customer has increased by 60%.
In addition to boosting customer retention, improving the customer experience encourages existing customers to recommend the company to their acquaintances and, therefore, also leads to the acquisition of new customers. In this respect, the US data and information company Nielsen conducted a study in 56 countries which confirmed that more than 91% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust advertising.
In addition, Forbes reports that organisations that take care of the customer experience achieve between 4 and 8% more revenue than other companies in the same sector and that 84% of companies that implement customer experience strategies report an increase in revenue.
4. Improvement of marketing and commercial actions
Active listening to customers, obtaining insights and knowledge about who they are, how they act, what they want and what they need promotes the optimisation of marketing and commercial strategies, actions and campaigns.
5. Optimization of the purchase ticket
Taking care of the customer experience also tends to boost the value of the average purchase ticket, as customers who are satisfied with the shopping experience and the touch points are more likely to buy more items. In addition, the customer experience can be an opportunity for businesses to encourage the purchase of additional products or other higher-value products.
Forbes reports that brand-loyal customers are five times more likely to make a repeat purchase, buy more products or recommend the brand to an acquaintance.
6. Promotes differentiation from the competition.
Brand differentiation is related to the differentiation of customer experiences. More and more businesses are leveraging customer experience as an element of differentiation. Creating unique, original and impactful customer experiences is an agile and extremely effective mechanism to differentiate from the competition and retain customers.
7 keys to improve customer experience
1. Know your customers' experience
To improve something, the first step is to understand it and know it exactly: its strengths, weaknesses, inefficiencies, complications, aspects that could be improved, etc. To optimize our customers' experience, it is necessary to be very clear about what experience we are offering them so far.
In this regard, we can resort to data analysis, conduct market research, interview some of our customers, etc.
2. Identify areas for improvement and pain points.
When we are clear about the experience we are offering our customers, it is time to identify the main pain points of the current experience and reflect on what aspects we could improve.
Even when most of our customers are satisfied with the experience, there is always room for improvement. Increasingly, companies are betting on innovation and the creation of innovative, surprising and original experiences that manage to create a positive impact on the customer and differentiate us from the competition.
3. Correct the necessary
Once we know what we need to improve, all that remains is to plan how to do it and put a strategic and action plan in place. The points of improvement of the customer experience can be of multiple natures and involve processes from various disciplines. When we do not know how to improve any of the aspects identified, the best thing to do is rely on the guidance of experts.
4. Think about which communication channels your customers use or prefer the most.
Today, the customer experience can be developed in multiple communication and contact channels, both physical and digital.
To offer the best possible experience to our consumers, ensuring the accessibility of our channels is fundamental. Opt for those communication channels that adapt to the needs, consumption habits and generate customer comfort.
5. Opt for personalization
Not all customers have the same needs or behave in the same way. This is precisely why personalization of the customer experience is so important.
Adapting to the characteristics of each customer is more important than ever and offering each customer what they need is the best loyalty strategy.
6. Make sure the customer experience is in line with the brand's mission, values and promises.
It is essential that the experience we offer is congruent with what we promise, as well as with the values and vision of our brand. Otherwise, customers may feel misled and our communication and marketing strategy may be interpreted as lip service.
7. Don't forget your employees' experience
Taking care of our employees' experience is as important as taking care of our customers'. Our employees are the face of our brand and, as such, the ones who convey the company's values, mission and passion. If our employees do not have a pleasant experience, customers will notice. Conversely, if employees are satisfied, they will pass it on to customers.
In conclusion, developing a defined, clear and data-driven customer experience strategy is essential to build customer loyalty, speed up the conversion funnel, get them to recommend our brand to others and enhance our brand values. Make your customers' experience unforgettable!