What is Customer Experience (CX)?
CX refers to how a brand engages with its potential customer’s journey — from marketing, sales, customer service, repurchase of any other product, and everywhere in between. It’s every single interaction a potential customer has with a brand.
Customer experience is very much related to User Experience (UX) but is also focused on feelings overall with a brand, not just in relation to a product experience. For example: How does a customer feel about Apple as a brand as opposed to just about the iPhone? For the customer, they might think about other products, advertisements, online experience, in-store experience, reputation and values. It is important for the brand to understand that for the customer every single touchpoint could create an advocate or totally destroy a customer’s thought about a brand. CX for brands is about understanding how they could improve every step as that total experience influences a customer’s thought and how successful you may or may not become as a brand. Much of the first e-commerce internet bubble burst because of the total interaction – just ask Dell how long it took them to recover.
Why CX matters?
Simple, it’s because there isn’t much difference in the marketplace. Products have become more commoditised.
So, why is the CX so important?
Because customers differentiate based on experiences with a brand more than specific product features and functions. Customers want to feel connected, they want the companies they buy from not only understand them but recognise the respect they deserve, their reasoning. Ultimately CX is a differentiator and when done well the strategies they deliver need to realise personalisation and create bespoke interactions for every customer at every touchpoint. Many interactions might be the same for all, but the feeling that it is personal needs to remain.
All the interactions a customer experiences leaves an impression on a brand and can positively affect them. So brands need to ask:
- Does a campaign speak to a customer’s wants?
- Does a campaign speak to a customer’s needs?
- Is the journey on site or in store easy and provides assistance?
- Is the strategy addressing and serving B2C, B2B and B2B2C if required and is there service assistance in varying sales process?
- How do your customers rate you in understanding them?
What is a CX strategy?
A map of every touchpoint for all potential customers and an action plan to deliver differentiated, positive and valuable touchpoints at every step. Whilst this sounds simple it does need to consider competitions, market data, internal factors, other initiatives and potential value. Insight into all of these elements might impact the map and action plan. Also, CX needs to impact all departments’ behaviour, not just those that directly interact with the customer. Customer-centricity is now a responsibility to every employee too.
CX ultimately needs to deliver an exceeding of expectations which results in creating satisfied, loyal and customer advocates.
This blog is part of a wider series around why we think UX, CX and EX are important in more depth. You can read our first blog in the series here.