Every time a customer receives a package from your business, they receive more than their order. They are also receiving you.
A brilliant customer experience is a mandate for any business to be deemed successful in the marketing landscape of 2022. It has moved beyond the golden rule to become an essential component of a business.
Today, the holy grail of business is to provide a stellar experience to customers from the moment they start their journey, from branding to delivery, and at every touchpoint afterward.
This includes every detail, from delightful emails to an easy return policy. The challenge is that many things come into play here—making it very difficult to determine what exactly makes up a great customer experience.
Luckily, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you determine all you need to know about the complexities of customer experience. By the end of this, you will know how to build it, analyze it, and understand whether customers appreciate it.
1️⃣ Build a clear vision for your customer experience.
A clear vision for your customer experience is key to developing a strong brand image and a positive reputation.
To build a clear vision for any program, start by building a shared understanding of the company’s strategy, vision, and culture—the why behind what you do. Developing a shared understanding will bring your team together around the goals and values of your organization. This will ensure you are on the same page when executing your program.
A well-defined mission, brand promise, and strategy help employees think more strategically and deliver more compelling experiences as they interact daily with your customers.
2️⃣ Understand who your customers are
A customer experience is more than the sum of its parts: it’s a complex interaction between individuals and brands. The era of 1-1 marketing is here, so it helps to understand the primary players in this story: your customers and your branding.
Customers don’t only expect experiences that are smart, seamless, modern, personal, and contextual; they also expect experiences to be reliable, consistent, and of high quality. To deliver these experiences, companies need to design with customers at heart — and technology can help them do this.
By looking into the data and building customer personas, companies can gain an edge and truly connect with their customers. They can further supplement their findings with A/B testing and understand what moves their audience.
The better they understand their customers, the more they can relate to them. And we all know that’s the right way to run a business at this moment.
3️⃣ Establish an emotional drive with your customers
Your customers need more than a quality product. They want to feel connected to the business behind the product. They want service that feels like an extension of their community. And they want something you can provide: an emotional drive.
They want to feel connected. Imagine the experience your customers would have if they could get an immediate response to a question in just seconds. If they could get exactly what they’re looking for, any time of the year, 24/7—no complicated search or having to scroll through all of your products on the site.
And if they could rely on your company every time they made a purchase, no matter how big or small. That’d make them feel truly important.
That’s why customer experience is far more than just delivering good service; it is the effect of emotions that any business has to deal with and satisfy to achieve its goals successfully.
A well-executed, emotionally-driven customer experience helps build loyalty, increases sales, and gives your brand authenticity.
4️⃣ Bring in customer feedback as you experiment and develop
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned conversation, and sometimes in the development cycle, you have to send something out and gather some feedback from your customers.
One of the best ways to learn more about your target audience is to speak with them. There are several ways to do this: data-driven through A/B testing, people-driven through surveys, and even beta testing programs.
Pro Tip: Customers love being involved! Beta testing gives them the chance to enjoy exclusive privileges while effectively contributing to a company they like. It’s usually a great program to bring in!
Customer feedback is important and can help shape your business (or validate what you’re doing). It would help you improve the right business areas and avoid focusing on something that isn’t a problem for customers (or an improvement).
Customer feedback is also key to building a brilliant customer experience, the cornerstone of your content marketing efforts that ties your customer’s emotions to your business.
5️⃣ Establish a quality framework so you can track brand experience internally
Brands today are trying to have a good reputation by delivering fantastic experiences to their customers. But what about the brand experience through their employees? What about that customer experience being run internally?
Good business practice is determining key standards and running them with measurable actions that can be tracked at a later stage.
The brand experience can often be overlooked and is hard to measure throughout an organization. Leveraging a brand experience framework creates consistency across an organization, improves service and content quality, and increases customer loyalty.
When you look at it from a management standpoint, having a standard quality framework is an excellent way to build a consistent and brilliant customer experience.
6️⃣ Regularly engage employees and bring in their perspective
Employees can help provide valuable insights and suggestions for improving the customer experience. However, this vision can only become a reality if you’re consistently able to hear, see, and feel what your employees need, talk about, and think about your product or service.
That’s why it’s a good idea for companies to have regular slots of time reserved for employees to meet together—to talk about their common goals and connect the dots of how company strategy meets the needs of their customers.
Use these ideas to make better decisions about products, services, and processes. Even so, review them and see whether there has been an improvement in customer experience or conversion rates after implementing them.
Remember: the foundation of every organization is its people. The more engaged they are, the more the business will flourish.
7️⃣ Build customer experience into the larger organizational goals.
“If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.” — Edgar Mitchell
Every business has some sort of competition out there, no matter how small it might be. Companies that provide an excellent customer experience are more likely to attract new customers and build brand loyalty.
To do that, organizations need to make sure that the customer experience is put right at the center of their larger organizational goals.
Customer experience should be the cornerstone of any business venture. Without it, the building’s foundation is shaky at best.
While it’s critical that a business understand what the customer wants and needs and build a product that meets those expectations, an equally important aspect of customer experience is how customers are treated between purchases.
That includes everything from your ordering process to delivery (or lack thereof) to potential returns or replacements. These are small things that can make a difference in whether or not your customers feel valued and like doing business with you again.
It’s all about the experience, both pre-purchase and post-purchase.
In a customer-centric world, it’s impossible to have organizations not talk about their customers. It’s really because customers matter more now than ever. Customers have more choice, you’re competing for their business across multiple channels, and customers can vote with their feet at the click of a button.
That is why customer experience is an important element of your business model and brand identity. You want a customer experience that is special, unique, and memorable. This customer experience is all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations, including every aspect of their interactions with your business.
It is about all the touchpoints a customer has with your brand—from when they first become aware of you to receive their product or service.
Businesses are beginning to understand that the customer experience is one of the most important things when it comes to the success of their business. It’s all about making a good first impression and then delivering on that promise to the customer — business-wide.
For every great customer experience, an organization has taken a strategic approach to creating and delivering its customer experience. Every customer touchpoint is part of a larger experience, which needs to be aligned with the shared goals of your company.Tags: customer care, customer engagement, customer experience, Customer Experience Management, customer relationship, customer relationship management, Customer Service, customer support, Marketing, online reputation, Online Reputation Management, Social Media