What Is Customer Experience? | SmartKarrot Blog

What Is Customer Experience?

What is Customer Experience and why that measures the performance of a company? Know how to measure and improve the experience quotient in no time in here.

what is customer experience
what is customer experience

What is customer experience (CX)? In short, the customer experience encompasses every interaction a brand has with its customers. It is a composite of every human or non-human way you encounter the brand and how those shape your perception of a business.

Delivering a great customer experience paves the way for business success. Satisfied customers who promote your brand to their friends, family, and peers are invaluable. Moreover, if you deliver a stellar customer experience and you’ll generate loyal brand advocates who share their experience with the world.

This amounts to free advertising, and word-of-mouth promotion is the best type of advertising there is. Survey data from Nielsen shines some light on this often-misunderstood concept. Consider this: 83% of consumers trust product and brand recommendations from personal acquaintances more than any other type of promotion. You get there by focusing heavily on customer experience.

What is customer experience exactly?

Unfortunately, there is no official definition of “customer experience.” But we can give you the SmartKarrot definition…

Aside from what we mentioned above, the customer experience encompasses everything that influences your perception of a brand. Every touchpoint, every phone call, every email, every support call, even the aesthetic quality of your logo.

It is a holistic, all-encompassing combination of all the above, although you likely ascertained that from the name itself. There are many variables involved in CX; it’s a more complicated and important concept than many people realize.

It defines your business success or lack thereof. That’s why delivering great customer experience is so important. This begs the question: How do you deliver a great customer experience?

Below we delve into the topic to unpack it by answering four common questions. The answers to these questions will help explain what CX is, what it does, and how to deliver a great one. Here are those four questions:

  1. Why is CX important for your business?
  2. How do I evaluate customer experience?
  3. How do I improve customer experience?
  4. What is customer experience management?
  5. What causes a bad customer experience?
  6. What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?
  7. Impact of Bad Customer Experiences

Why is Customer Experience (CX) important for your business?

For any given business, delivering a stellar customer experience is crucial. The better is the experience the customers have, the higher will be the repeat sales, positive reviews and frictionless customer journey. In fact, 74% of the senior executives state that CX impacts the willingness of a customer to be a loyal brand advocate. If you want your customers to stick around with you, you will have to dig into their experience.

Customer experience impacts brand loyalty
Source: Superoffice

Your business strives on the love and support of your customers. When it is suggested to delve and invest into their experience, guess that makes sense. As per a recent Customer Management IQ survey, 75% of the CX leaders rate customer experience a perfect ‘5’ on a 1-5 scale.

Customer Experience Importance
Source: Superoffice

How to evaluate customer experience

There are many ways to measure the quality of the customer experience you deliver. Let’s dive in.

Evaluate customer satisfaction survey results

Use customer satisfaction surveys periodically—particularly after meaningful moments throughout the customer journey. Responses will provide actionable insight into your customers’ experience interacting with your brand.

An indirect way to gauge customer experience quality is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS measures how likely your customers are to promote your brand or product to their friends, family, and colleagues. NPS is actually intended to measure customer satisfaction. But customer experience largely determines satisfaction levels and can indicate the quality of CX. To evaluate and track your customer experience, the CX leaders have relied on the four metrics for best results:

  • CES: Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures the experience with a product or service on the basis of ease and difficulty for your customers to finish a particular task. Some examples include, ‘How easy was it to get your crisis fixed’.
  • NPS: Net Promoter Score is a customer satisfaction metric that is evaluated by asking the customers close-ended questions, such as on a scale of 0 – 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to your friend? The ones who score you about 9 or 10 are called as promoters, while the ones who score you 6 or less are called as detractors.
  • CSAT: Customer Satisfaction metric measures the customer satisfaction or loyalty that they receive from using your product or service. It focuses on the customer’s attention on the specific touchpoints that they were satisfied or dissatisfied with, unlike the NPS.
  • TTR: Time to Resolution is the average length of the time it takes for a customer support executive to fix a crisis after it has been opened by a customer. It is generally calculated by adding up all times to resolution and then dividing the result by the number of cases resolved.

Analyze customer churn rates and reasons

Regularly measure the amount and percentage of customers you lose and analyze each case to understand why you lost them. This helps you determine whether your loss rate (or customer churn rate) is increasing or decreasing. It also provides insight into why you lose customers.

It’s important to learn from customer churn analysis so you can prevent it in the future. Discover the reasons for customer churn and identify actions your team can take in the future to minimize it.

Check on customer support tickets

Examine the customer support tickets your support reps are working to resolve every day. If there are recurring issues among tickets, consider possible reasons behind them so you can solve for them.

How to improve customer experience

Many tactics are used to improve the customer experience–too many to list here. But, below are a few of the most effective:

Value the customer’s time

Businesses measure customer experience on various parameters. Forrester Research found that a whopping 77% of consumers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.

To deliver the best customer experience possible, begin by anticipating customers’ needs and challenges, goals, and pain points. It’s also important to quickly respond to support tickets and give customers multiple channels through which to submit tickets.

Empathy to the rescue

Maintain constant contact with your customers. Talking to them, using empathy, and listening to their problems illustrates to them that you care. This comes from understanding your customer and their needs. The best way to effectively do that is through the use of customer relationship and customer success management technology.

PRO TIP: Practice active listening. Listen to customers and proactively uncover their worries and aspirations. If you solve a problem for them before they realize they have that problem, you’re delivering world-class customer experience.

Keep the human touch intact

Chatbots can answer basic customer queries, but that’s the extent of their ability (today). They lack the ability to think critically, which, as of now, is limited to humans and perhaps a few other animals. Bots can tell customers your business hours or connect you with a live person, but they can’t answer complex questions.

What about customer experience management?

Customer experience management (CXM) is the process of surveying, analyzing, and enhancing customer interactions with your business. Customer experience management is a fundamental component of a customer-first strategy because it demonstrates a clear investment in customer needs. By monitoring and enhancing different touchpoints along the customer journey, your company will consistently bring more value to users.

It’s true that new customers want to see quick results when purchasing a product or service. But compromising on quality or value can result in the loss of existing customers. The objective of CXM is to care for customers and tend to their needs via CXM initiatives that reduce customer churn.

What causes a bad customer experience?

What constitutes a poor customer experience varies depending on your business and its customers’ unique needs. The best way to understand how, when, and why you’re delivering a poor CX is to solicit customer feedback. Once you collect enough feedback to base decisions on, you can work to eliminate the impact of factors leading to a poor CX.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Avoid long wait times. When customers must wait hours or days for you to return their email or call, satisfaction levels begin to plummet.
  • Ensure employees understand customer needs. Place yourself in your customers’ shoes to really understand their point of view.
  • Don’t leave open issues or questions unresolved. This can have detrimental impacts on the quality of your customer experience. Circle back to them and ensure that they aren’t disappointed with your service.
  • Avoid letting automation replace the human touch. Do not try to dig in a lot into their personal space. On the other hand, do not present a cold or stoic attitude either. Above all, maintain a balance between respect and genuine interest in customers’ needs.
  • Be diplomatic with angry customers. Agreed, a customer is not always right. Read this article to learn how to handle them the right way.

What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?

Think of this as a Venn diagram – while customer experience is the universal set, customer service is a subset of the whole. The definition of customer experience is the customer’s overall perception of your brand, as per the interactions they have had with your brand. Contrarily, customer service is the assistance on the specific touchpoints that the customers receive from the service provider.

Impact of Bad Customer Experiences

A bad customer experience happens when your customer does not see an easy and seamless interaction with your brand. It affects your company adversely and gives a notch up to the customer complaints and negative reviews. You will be astonished to know that 91% of the customers leave a brand when met with a bad experience. Let us now know what some of the causes are result in a bad customer experience:

  • Waiting too long to talk to a customer support rep.
  • Not caring about the feedback of the customer.
  • A difficult and cumbersome purchasing process.
  • A rude or arrogant customer service.
  • Cases when the customer’s personal security is hampered.

Final Take

To sum up, managing the customer experience can be tricky. Regardless, it is one of the most important aspects of business success today. The voice of the customer is highly important and provides valuable insight that drives business and revenue growth.

If you’re not focused on the customer experience today, yesterday is the right time to start. In other words, act now or be left in the wake of those riding the wave of success.

Want to continue learning and honing your ability to deliver a stellar customer experience? Read about creating a personalized, multichannel customer experience that keeps customers satisfied, loyal, and hungry for more.

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