From conversations with staff in a physical store, to entirely automated digital retail journeys, every time a customer connects with your brand, that’s a customer experience — and every one can be good or bad.
Customer experience (CX) is about how customers perceive your brand or business. It covers feelings and emotional responses at every stage of the customer journey. By focussing on CX, businesses can carefully monitor how customers feel about their brand, and use that information to design better services and products to delight, engage and retain customers.
What is it?
A way of assessing customer responses to engagements with your brand, helping you understand what you’re doing well and what needs to change.
CX is important for new and existing customers alike. Engaging experiences help bring new customers through the door and give existing customers a reason to come back and buy from you again. Great experiences also help encourage recommendations and conversations around your brand and give people a reason to talk about your brand positively.
On the flipside, negative experiences can quickly damage your brand. CX recognizes that it isn’t just the final outcome of a customer journey that matters — every engagement can have a profound impact on retention, satisfaction, and long-term customer value.
What’s in for you?
Better experiences lead to higher customer satisfaction, greater retention, and increased acquisition. Put simply, better CX gives people more reasons to buy from you, keep buying from you, and spend more per transaction.
CX can deliver bottom-line benefits, with many customers willing to pay more for better experiences. And a study by Temkin Group found that companies with an annual revenue of $1bn can expect to earn an additional $700m on average within three years of investing in customer experience.
What are the trade offs?
Improving customer experience requires long-term strategic commitment. Making changes to customer experience needs a strong commitment to data-driven decision making to stay in tune with how your changes are impacting customers’ perceptions about your brand and to respond swiftly to correct negative experiences or to amplify positive experiences.
CX begins and ends with customers, but any changes you make also need to consider your business’s goals. What do you really want to gain by improving CX, and how do you want to influence how customers engage with you? That’s why a strong strategy is so important.
CX also requires significant time and money to gain the visibility you need to understand what customers think of the experiences you’re delivering, and in developing innovative new ways for them to engage with your brand. An ill-devised or inadequately funded CX program can create solutions that turn customers away and damage retention and revenue.