Why Customer Experience is the New Sales & Marketing (and Why You should Invest in It)

In a digital world where everyone has a great website, a newsletter, a live chat, a Facebook page, an app, and a blog – it’s hard to stand out.

Enter Customer Experience (CX).

CX is basically the sum total of how customers view and interact with your brand.

And it’s going to be the best way to differentiate your brand from the competition.

According to a survey of nearly 13,000 professionals in the marketing, creative, and technology fields across North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, brands that use a cross-team CX exceeded their 2017 business goals at almost twice the rate of those who did not.

The experience people have when they interact with a brand influences their likelihood of purchasing from you and remaining loyal to your company.

It is the experience that organizations create for their customers that influences their level of success.

Over the past few years, data has become a popular buzzword in marketing. Brands have largely realized the value of tracking data and customer behavior.

To build that superior customer experience, however, they need to create an emotional connection.

They need to utilize creativity driven by the data and recognize the value of paying attention to the design of their website.

There is a discrepancy between the quality of customer experience that companies think they provide, and the experience customers profess to receive.

Eighty percent of brands believe they provide their users with an excellent experience, but only 8 percent of customers actually report receiving such an experience.

To better understand how you can improve your customer experience, consider the five steps below and how they can be incorporated into your organization.

Building a better customer experience

Get to know your customers better

In the past, companies largely relied on the complaints or compliments they received from customers to understand how they performed.

If they received no complaints, they assumed that their brand served customers well.

However, only an estimated 1 in 26 customers will voice their concerns to brands, leaving a very limited data set for organizations that want to fully understand their customer experiences.

Instead, you want to take an active approach to gathering customer opinions, such as surveys or mystery shoppers. This will give you a better idea of the experience customers have.

Once you have your data, create customer personas articulating who they are and the pain points you can solve.

Give the personas names to make it easier to envision speaking to them and creating marketing materials.

Create a strategy

Create a CX strategy that brings your various teams together.

For example, those who work in the physical and online stores should coordinate to create a consistent user experience.

Similarly, those who work on the creative and design teams should come together to make sure that the website and apps maximize the experience for customers.

Your data, design, and AI potential should merge to create a customer-centric experience.

Invest in a cross-departmental CX team

An interdepartmental CX team will help build a cross-channel experience for customers.

Remember that consumers research and buy from brands while moving across a variety of devices and channels.

According to the Aberdeen Group, brands that create a strong cross- channel experience will retain 56 percent more of their customers.

Provide regular training for your team, including coaching and group training experiences to help them remain abreast of the latest trends and insights.

Get customer feedback

As you implement your improved customer experience plan, request regular customer feedback.

After sales, ask customers to spend a few minutes letting you know their thoughts.

Remember to keep surveys short and to the point to maximize completions.

Most importantly, once you have collected this insight, act upon it.

Let customers know that their opinions matter. This will improve engagement as you also build a stronger customer experience.

Measure ROI

After you have implemented your improved customer experience plan, measure your ROI. Look for:

  • rates of return customers
  • rates of new customers
  • purchase amounts
  • revenue
  • reviews

These types of metrics will give you a good idea of how people respond to your customer experience and if it has the type of impact you want to see.

With every business developing websites and creating social media accounts, modern businesses need a new way to stand out: the customer experience.

By focusing on the interactions people have with your organization, you can improve returns and loyalty, positioning your business for growth.

Need some inspiration?  Check out these innovative examples of customer experience.

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