WHAT IS THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?

A new digital empowered society is emerging, and marketers need to shift to a customer-centric mindset to meet the evolving needs of their customers. This has pushed understanding and improving the customer experience to the forefront.

 

Customer experience is the new battleground

Digitally empowered customers interact with your brand when and how they want. This 'on-demand' mentality has created a customer that has increasingly high expectations. As a result, the customer experience is paramount and has to be the number one focus for your marketing strategy. 

No longer can the customer experience be an afterthought. To succeed, it has to be at the epicenter of a brand's DNA.

Key characteristics of customer experience

What are the key characteristics of the customer experience?

The customer experience is often used as an all-encompassing term. Bruce Temkin, co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, defines it as the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization.

Annette Frantz, the Principal of CX Journeys and a Customer Experience Professionals Association board member, defines the customer experience as:

(a) the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship lifecycle

(b) the customer's feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand over the course of those interactions.

At the end of the day, the customer experience is any interaction an individual has with a brand. Customer experience is an all-encompassing term due to the range of interactions a brand can have with their customers. This can span from the in-store experience to the call center to contact center to digital interactions, which include the in-app, mobile, desktop and tablet experiences.

 

Why is the customer experience important?

The customer experience is your key differentiator.
And below are the main reasons why you can't ignore it:

bad customer experience

Harris Interactive found 86 percent of consumers stop interacting with and buying from businesses if they have a bad customer experience.

more important than price
Gartner identified that 64 percent of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand.
buyers will pay for a better customer experience
Forbes found that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. Yet only 1 percent of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
key factor in brand loyalty
According to Econsultancy 89 percent of consumers said a great customer experience is a key factor in brand loyalty.
multichannel integration
Oracle reported that multichannel integration - a key component of a great customer experience - has the ability to increase profitability by 25 percent.
competitive differentiator
According to Gartner 89 percent of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016.

 

Whether you are looking for a competitive advantage, a reduced churn rate, an increase in loyalty or revenue, focusing on the customer experience will pave the road to achieving those goals.

customer experience management

Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience Management is when organizations are tasked with strategically planning and managing how customers interact with their brand. This practice is a discipline that must be mastered and then leveraged to ensure that consumers have exposure to the company, enjoy optimal experiences and ultimately should be led to engage in a transaction.

Customer experience management is the practice of closing the gap between the expected customer experience and the actual customer experience. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through a Voice of the Customer solution which collects customer intentions, needs and expectations to understand and ultimately improve the customer experience.

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer and the customer experience

Today customers know more about your products, services and pricing than you do and their expectations are higher than ever. CMOs are recognizing that the customer experience is the new marketing and are turning to Voice of Customer analytics to help them gain insight into their customers.
By leveraging Voice of Customer analytics marketers can now better measure and manage the customer journey. According to Harvard Business Review, 80 percent of organizations use customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, one of the main Voice of Customer metrics, as their primary metric to measure the customer experience.

 

This makes the voice of your customers essential in moving the needle and improving the customer experience. By collecting information on your customer’s intent, needs, and experiences across digital platforms you better understand strengths and weaknesses from a customer’s perspective.

Marketing technologies

Marketing technologies and the customer experience

From the rapid adoption of mobile technology to programmatic advertising to the promise of big data, the marketing industry is undergoing a seismic shift driven primarily by technology. As the marketing technology landscape grows so does its impact on the customer experience. Every interaction that a customer has with your brand impacts their experience.
Retargeting visitors that have previously visited your website to live chat interactions, all leave an impression on your customers. This places immense importance on how well your marketing technologies adapt to different customer's needs and expectations to provide relevant and effective interactions that will generate a positive customer experience.

 

SOURCES