What is customer experience (CX) and how should it influence your communications?
‘Customer experience’ is regularly mentioned in relation to customer communications, but what does it really mean, and why is everyone talking about it?
A widely accepted definition is that customer experience, often abbreviated as CX, is the result of a customer’s interactions with your products.
CX is how someone experiences what you offer.
It’s the entire experience of dealing with your organisation, from the first contact with your marketing, through sign up, delivery, maintenance, upgrades and even cancellation. These points of interaction are all opportunities to provide a great customer experience – or to detract from the overall impression the customer gets.
Customers are demanding. They have high expectations, and are used to getting their own way. So it’s increasingly difficult to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations.
We have to continually improve products and services so that we can match the kind of seamless, effortless experiences offered when shopping on Amazon, getting a ride with Uber, or ordering dinner from Deliveroo. These companies all have a lazer-focus on helping the customer achieve their goals, while also making the journey a delight.
Has your company adopted a ‘good enough’ approach to your products and services? This might suggest you have opportunities to enhance the customer experience.
Customers might not be complaining, but if they’re not delighted they might be tempted by another provider who offers something more magical. But where to start? How can you identify areas for improvement?
In the realm of customer communications, there may be a few quick-wins that can help you impress your customers, without having to invest in major projects or new solutions. Of course, a powerful Customer Communication Management (CCM) solution should make many of these ideas easy to implement.
Your customers may number in the thousands, or millions, but how do you make every individual feel valued, heard and understood? Your communications, which are inherently personal and private, can easily encourage a sense of connection, and just as easily break trust.
For example, sending customers messages that aren’t relevant, or trying to sell them products they already have, is a quick way to irritate customers. On the flip side, messages that build on your knowledge of the customer create the sense that you know who they are and what they want to achieve.
Your customer communications can begin to feel like spam if they are too frequent or irrelevant. Customers want to hear about special offers, or anything that might save them time or money, but they won’t appreciate relentless messages that only meet your needs.
Delight resides in the little details. This might mean referencing someone’s first transaction with you, or their start date, or making a small joke in the footer of an email. It might be offering a random discount to a valued customer, or inviting a customer to share their story with their peers.
Watch the comments
They say you shouldn’t feed the trolls, but in any business, our critics, even those that seem malicious, may be a rich source of feedback. Our loudest detractors can help us spot ‘pain points’ – those niggly bits of our sales processes that we really ought to fix.
By listening to the noisiest critic, we can fix issues before they are taken up by the chorus of our customers. You might resent the outspoken complainer – but remember that they might be the only one of 30 disgruntled customers who had the time or initiative to complain.
Do you have any secrets for optimising the customer experience? Or any questions about how customer communications could play a part in delighting your users? Email email@example.com with any questions.