Your customer experience (CX) is more important than ever. Today’s customers own and control the buying journey, choosing when, where, and, most importantly, if they interact with a brand. We live in an age of instant—instant message, instant purchase, and instant delivery. It’s no longer enough to have a superior product or service; customers demand a superior experience as well.
Whether your focus is on growing your business through digital channels or face-to-face relationships, here are three secrets to CX success:
Brands that look at only the traditional buyer’s journey through the lens of only their touchpoints limit the influence they can have on a potential customer. This traditional journey started when a person first engaged with a brand—met at a tradeshow, found them online, or became aware of the company through a personal reference.
To have the most impact today, companies need to look past themselves and look through the lens of the customer—they need to start the moment the buyer is triggered. At the trigger, customers are trying to figure out if they actually have a need or a problem. True CX starts with helping people understand their situation, educating them on how to solve their problem, and only then does it move into the traditional ”buying” stages of the customer journey. If you’re really feeling ambitious, consider your customer’s journey throughout the relationship lifecycle as well. How can you do a better job of serving people after you bring them on board? What loyalty programs can you offer to keep them coming back for more? This is a big part of retaining customers once you’re earned them.
Once you’ve mapped the full customer journey, look for key interactions that can make or break a relationship—like how well you respond to your customers’ questions or problems. Understand what happens when they use your product for the very first time, or why they stop using it. Pick a handful of times like these that mean the most to your customer and make sure that you’ve completely thought through the best way to handle them—from the perspective of the people, technologies, and behind-the-scenes processes.
We all want to do business with people we know, like, and trust. A company that always shows up and tells the same story builds trust with its customers. This means your company’s messaging and your employees’ ability to meet or exceed customer expectations is absolutely crucial to your success. Aligning your internal teams plays a major role in how the company is perceived by the customer.
Do you think you’re too busy trying to keep up with your competition and don’t have anything left for customer experience? Investing in customer experience is how small-to medium-size businesses (SMBs) differentiate themselves, level the playing field, and compete and win against the bigger players in the market.