This popular post was originally published in early 2020. However, so much has dramatically changed since then—including most expectations and best practices for customer experience—we wanted to refresh our definitions to offer you the most relevant, current commentary from an array of CX experts. Check out what they had to say!
Investing in better customer experience (CX) helps drive revenue growth and customer satisfaction. In fact, three-quarters of Americans are more likely to be loyal to a brand that delivers a personalized customer experience.
Despite this, a generally accepted definition of the concept remains elusive, and many continue to interpret it in their own way. We reached out to a handful of experts to hear their definitions, including what CX represents and the value it brings. And here's the expertise they shared.
David Fletcher is a senior vice president at ClearSale, a firm devoted to protecting consumers from fraud in ecommerce.
In his view, “[CX] requires curating an engaging shopping journey that is not only personalized, but as secure and seamless as possible. It's the ultimate indicator of a company's success."
Sean Weber, vice president of customer success at PunchOut2Go, believes customer experience encompasses a customer’s total perception of an interaction with a company, from branding and marketing to sales and customer support to product use.
“For PunchOut2Go, CX is a journey we join with our customers to help them navigate B2B automation and transformation—a technologically and organizationally challenging process. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to drive value and success. Trusting and enduring partnerships are built on outstanding experiences shaped by a commitment to excellence at all points along the journey.”
Put It Forward helps companies create data-driven experiences. According to their CEO Mark Cowan, CX is the mark of a company’s ability to collaborate in order to deliver value for customers.
“This is one view that resonates with many … not how well their systems work, who supplied them, or how nice the website is for the customer, but how the organization responds to their call regardless of the point of entry.”
"Conversations drive meaningful interactions, which translate into either good or bad CX,” says Mike Myer, CEO and cofounder of Quiq, a CX conversation platform.
“The quality of experiences depends on how you structure, deliver, and craft conversations. Positive conversations happen on the customer's terms, when and how they want to have them. Put yourself in your customers' shoes. Then try asking: ‘How'd the conversation go?’"
Loqate helps deliver location-based customer experiences. In the words of Yves Pahud, head of global partner marketing, companies need access to unique contextual intelligence in order to deliver for customers throughout their journeys.
“Investing in better experiences now means developing a golden customer record that captures real-time and relevant data—critical to building customer intelligence that will power technological innovations and enable superior CX. Additionally, CX is how your company meets customer expectations in each interaction ... it’s a customer’s perception of their interactions with the organization, as well as the business discipline associated with the design and management of these interactions. CX is a value that accumulates while you build relationships with customers through communication, trust, loyalty, and recommendations.”
Randy Frisch, co-founder and CMO at content customer experience platform Uberflip, says that delivering CX is a process of guiding customers, not controlling their journeys.
“The customer is in control, but the brand can help deliver relevance to increase engagement. To excel at this, marketers must invest equally in how we identify the right buyers with data, attract them with the right channels, and engage buyers with personalized and relevant content. Although balance truly creates a guided customer experience, Forrester Consulting findings show 74% of marketers know how to identify the right accounts but only 11% feel confident they can engage their buyer.”
Customer experience can take on many different meanings, but one thing’s for sure: Companies that provide excellent experiences have an advantage in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.
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Post originally published February 2020. Updated February 2022.
Beth Perry is a Senior Content Marketing Manager for Oracle Advertising and CX.