We live in a world of endless consumer options and brand loyalty can no longer taken for granted. Today, customer experience is arguably the secret driver to success. Business is acknowledging the vital role of the customer experience as a differentiator in business and spend significant resources in developing their Customer Experience (CX) strategies.
Although customer experience will happen organically if left unchecked, this can be detrimental for a company, no matter the initial business ethos or intention. Businesses without a Customer Experience Strategy are then left to play catch up trying to fix problems, rather than guiding the process from the start.
Developing a Customer Experience Strategy
Developing a customer experience strategy is one of the most important starting points for companies who wish to become more customer centric. A CX strategy generally incorporates the business strategy, but more importantly, its brand strategy. A strategy is shaped very much according to the brand’s personality and values. However, a CX strategy cannot be developed without the customer. Understanding the customer, their needs, expectations, pain points and their experience, ultimately form the framework for the strategy development.
The core building block of the strategy is the experience essence – or the clear definition of what the company wishes its customers to experience when dealing with them. It should be practical, succinct and easy to understand by all levels of staff within the organisation. It becomes the radar and reference point for decision-making. “How does this measure to our experience essence?” If you are woken up at 3am, can everyone in the company state what the experience essence is? It must be that simple. Examples: “we want people to love flying” (FlySafair). Everyone can relate to what can be done to inspire people to love flying, right?
A CX strategy requires clearly defined metrics to measure it’s experience performance and a framework within the organisation, to manage the problem areas and opportunities for innovation.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but why should you invest in crafting a CX strategy for your business?
What are the benefits of developing a CX Strategy?
- Experience is not left to chance
The collaborative process of developing a CX strategy, helps employees understand the desired experience with the brand (or business). It also increases buy-in from employees, because when “you help to create it, you will own it”. Once the purpose (why) is clear, the required behaviour (how) almost follows organically. The desiging process itself, keeps the focus on the customer and what the experience should be. Therefore, experience is not left to chance or individual interpretations. One of the main benefits of customer experience strategy is that it aligns everyone into a collective approach to service delivery.
- CX strategy increases brand value
By defining the desired customer experience, it essentially defines the business’ unique approach in relation to similar players in the same space. The benefit is that when the cx strategy is executed consistently through all channels, this signature approach becomes its differentiated value proposition.
- It keeps your business close to the customer
The essence of a CX strategy is created around intimate knowledge of the customer. This knowledge about the customer is typically obtained through various sources, such as Voice of the Customer (VOC), social media, complaints, immersions, interviews and other research approaches. These efforts to get to know the customer and listen to their feedback, keep companies close to its customers. An extremely valuable benefit of a customer experience strategy.
- It reduces cost
Through the framework created in the strategy, the experience will be constantly monitored. Consequently, processes will be reviewed and improved to achieve the desired results and ultimately improve customer experience. With all interactions focused on delivering the desired experience, the customers’ effort to do business with you will be reduced, resulting more likely in fewer complaints. The benefits of customer experience strategy is the efficiency in service delivery that will reduce costs by eliminating
- Duplication of effort
- Solving problems first time thus reducing queries and complaints management infrastructure (less staff required)
- Focus on what really matters to customers and not holding on to systems or porcesses that do not serve the experience requirements
- Reduce customer churn (less defection because the focus remains on solving problems).
- Lower staff churn (feeling secure in what and how to do their jobs, as well as enjoying their jobs)
- Keep your loyal customers
When a CX strategy is designed around the customer, their experiences should be more positive, and therefore they will be more likely to stay with the brand, establishing brand loyalty and a long-term, lucrative relationships. The benefit of a good customer experience strategy is that loyal customers tend to buy more (repeat business) and stay longer.
- Happy customers tell others
Another benefit of a developing & implementing a CX strategy that is that the unique experience will inspire customers to share their stories. Word-of-mouth experience sharing, is a powerful and cost-effective strategy to acquire new business. Good reviews and positive experiences are great referral tools.
You may also like: Customer Journey Mapping |Ingredients to Designing a Great Customer Experience
Ask us at The Consumer Psychology Lab, a customer experience consultancy, to partner with you on your quest to develop your own customer experience strategy, and become more customer-centric! We are passionate about customer experience and developing strategies to achieve that. We are particularly experienced in measuring emotion, an important driver to consumer behaviour and customer experience. Our highly skilled psychologists interview customers about their experience and provide our clients with deep insights into their experience, emotional connection and behaviour. We are also passionate about equipping companies with the most suitable CX tools and skills.