How to improve customer experience (CX) and why you shouldBusiness Tips • Published at 25/07/2021 • 3 min. read
Your customer is your greatest asset, but how much time do you spend thinking about their experience with your business?
‘The customer is always right’ is a phrase most people have heard of, particularly if you’re involved in communication or customer service. The sentiment behind the phrase is to recognise the value in your customer, regardless of the situation.
The idea behind customer experience (CX) is closely linked – it’s the notion of putting the customer first, being customer-centric and paying sharp attention to the journey a consumer has with your business.
CX begins the very moment a customer becomes aware of your brand. It’s the perception they gain from every single touchpoint and interaction they have with your business – all the way from acquisition through to retention.
Why does CX matter?
Brands need to fight harder than ever to acquire customers in overcrowded market spaces. CX is key in forging long-lasting relationships between business and consumer. It’s the very thing that converts a customer from thinking about making a purchase, to actually committing – and it’s the thing that will keep them coming back. How many times have you enjoyed using a service or purchasing from a business, so much that you find yourself going back, even when you don’t really need to?
In today’s market, consumers are overwhelmed and spoiled for choice when it comes to making purchase decisions. CX is one of the ways that a business can differentiate itself from others. When all cafes sell the same coffee, a consumer has a choice to make about which café to visit. Their choice will most likely be based on their actual or perceived experience with each café. For example, considering the efficiency of the service, the ambience, the lighting, the venue, the furniture etc.
How can I improve CX?
Customer experience exists beyond the price of a product or service - no cheap product or service is worth a bad customer experience. It’s particularly tricky to control CX due to it being a challenge in predicting how customers will behave. What’s even harder is changing the perceptions of a brand in a consumer’s mind if they’ve already had a bad CX.
The best thing a brand can do in response to bad CX, is to quickly find a personal resolution with the customer and investigate the problem to ensure it doesn’t result in an overall bad CX with other customers – which in turn, could be the death of a business. CX is volatile, so businesses cannot rest on their laurels when CX is good - since that could quickly change, but similarly a bad CX can be improved with a bit of work.
There are many ways to keep checking in on CX and it should form a major part of a business strategy. Customer feedback is arguably the best way of understanding CX and finding out how to improve it. Most importantly, it’s free! Listening to customer feedback can help a business identify what works well (and so it can do more of that) and what doesn’t (identifying what to fix).
Another way of improving CX is by monitoring how customers behave – either online or physically on a business premise. Monitoring website traffic can often identify why a customer is choosing not to make a purchase – are they getting all the way to checkout and then abandoning cart? Do they barely make it past the first page of a website? Are they quickly leaving a business premise? Monitoring these behaviours can narrow down problem areas and allow a business to focus resource on a website bug, poor facilities, major flaw, or many other possible causes.
A simple Google search can help to surface the reality of what consumers are saying about your brand. Most customers are very savvy and will rely on recommendations before making a purchase – this makes it all the more important to focus on good CX.
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