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If you really want to get ahead of your competition, you should create a customer experience strategy.
At it's base, a CX strategy is a foundation you can rely on to ensure your organization is providing the absolute best service across all customer touchpoints.
What is a customer experience strategy?
A customer experience strategy is defined as a holistic plan to increase customer satisfaction and engagement across all interactions with your brand, from discovery to post-purchase.
But what makes an effective customer experience strategy?
The most important thing is to fully understand the customer journey and apply your strategy across every stage. You need to consider quantity and quality of how the customers interact, as well as the availability of touchpoints.
It takes deliberate effort to find what resonates with your target audience and offer them personalized and efficient service.
Let's see how to build a strategy for customer experience.
How to develop a customer experience strategy
- Understand your audience and create buyer personas
- Analyze your business objectives
- Reverse-engineer the experience you want to deliver
- Hire team players and get them invested in the process
- Eliminate bad design early in the game
- Pay attention to customer feedback
- Research your competitors
- Build systems for quick and effective resolutions
- Incorporate a memorable brand personality
- Apply AI technology
- Redefine your marketing
- Understand your customer experience metrics
- Make use of the right technology and tools
- Optimize your customer experience strategy
Let's get started.
1. Understand your audience and create buyer personas
Understand your customers. Who are they? What are their motivations? This information will allow you to build customer personas that you’ll later use to shape your strategy.
For example, categorize the types of customers your customer support team speaks with and note their needs. Also, collect data from your CRM or customer experience management platform.
Once you have enough information, create buyer personas and use them in marketing campaigns.
2. Analyze your business objectives
What your business goals? New customers? Entering a new market?
Perhaps you are launching products or services into a current marketplace? Review brand studies and identify the barriers. How can they be overcome?
Ask yourself: how can your customer experience strategy framework help you achieve your long term goals?
Then try to find the answer to these questions:
- What technology, people or processes do we need?
- What gaps exist between customer expectation and actual experiences?
- Where do we stand now in terms of a customer centric experience?
The answers to these questions will help you better shape your cx strategy.
3. Reverse-engineer the experience you want to deliver
Steve Jobs was an advocate of “beginning with the customer experience and working backward to the technology”. This approach could work for your company, too.
For example, you can start by listing your brand’s customer experience stages. Where are the opportunities to make an impression? (For Amazon, for example, it’s early delivery.) Start from there and ask: what do we need to make sure customers go through this stage seamlessly?
And of course, you can start from customer expectations. Meeting and exceeding them is the ultimate goal after all, so knowing what your customers want you to do can help you figure out how.
ON-DEMAND WEBINARThe Future of CX: Trends and Predictions for Customer Engagement
4. Hire team players and get them invested in the process
Employees are key to deliver great customer experience. Damien Peillon, from Logogenie, trains employees to really pay attention to customers. If a customer mentions a birthday when making a reservation, the manager will come over to wish them well at the table.
What can we learn from this? Hire people who have a customer experience mindset, even if they’re not in customer-facing roles. Then, pay attention to the details. Knowing customer likes and dislikes gives the chance to act on them, personalizing the experience.
5. Eliminate bad design early in the game
User experience (UX) is key when it comes to creating a customer experience strategy. That’s because UX design is essential for the main points where customers enter their relationship with your brand, namely your product and/or your website.
Three design tips to improve customer experience:
- Create a consistent brand experience across channels - your website, apps, email, and social media channels. Take inspiration from Etsy’s orange and white theme.
- Eliminate unnecessary hurdles and streamline the process to purchase. Make it easy to find the right information or service.
- Factor in emotion. Wufoo included emoji faces in their app, ranging from super smiley to mega grumpy. Customers were asked to rate how they were feeling based on this scale.
6. Pay attention to customer feedback
According to research from Bain & Company, 80 percent of companies believe they are providing great customer service, but only eight percent of customers agree with them.
Asking for customer feedback is the best way to close this gap. Here’s how:
- Use post-interaction and real-time feedback surveys. Follow up with customers over the phone or email to get clarifications.
- Practice social listening. Social media is where customers are usually the most honest and vocal.
7. Research your competitors
Analyze competitors and market trends to get a clear picture. What are they doing to service your target audience?
Sometimes you can play catchup with what your competitors are doing to avoid being left behind. Other times, you can identify gaps, such as CX tactics no one is using.
This will help you stand out.
8. Build systems for quick and effective resolutions
Customer support can be the pillar of your customer experience strategy plan. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking for a solution to a problem and not having a clear and fast way to get it.
Thankfully, there are a lot of tech options that can help you build an effective support process. For example, live chat is super convenient for customers browsing your website. It’s easy to access when needed without being distracting. It can be integrated with video chat and chatbots for even higher-quality support.
WHITEPAPERThe Ultimate Guide to Customer Support
9. Incorporate a memorable brand personality
A unique brand personality can result in a massive, loyal customer base. Apple, Amazon, Target, and so many other companies are trusted to provide memorable experiences to their customers because they build their brands around them.
Create a unified brand identity by getting feedback from your employee experience, analyzing the market, and brainstorming ideas about what your business wants to be to your customers.
10. Apply AI technology
More than 6 out of 10 U.S customers prefer a digital self-service tool (website, mobile app or online tutorial) over a call or video chat for resolving issues. This experience can be enhanced by AI tech.
Here are some benefits of AI:
- Enable auto-responses to routine customer queries, guiding your audiences with carefully curated content.
- Customer service interactions run by AI reduce the need to attend every customer conversation, freeing up your agents to focus on more complex issues.
- Segment your user base and increase personalization. With records of a subscriber’s email browsing data, web pages visited and past interactions, AI can auto-send personalized messages and even track their response.
- Draw on past interactions, making sure that the customer gets the most relevant experience.
- Starting with an AI chatbot on your website can help you provide more personalized experiences and faster, automated service.
11. Redefine your marketing
Digitalization has drastically shifted customers’ decision-making processes. Now they’re not waiting for your ads, your emails, or salespeople to make their purchases. They’re actively researching their options and are more well-informed than ever before.
That’s why you need to enable proactive and educational marketing in addition to traditional campaigns as part of your digital transformation efforts. Content, reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, and more can be key to creating the best customer experience before purchase.
12. Understand your customer experience metrics
Failing to measure your customer experience means missing out on valuable information that can boost your customer experience strategy. Remember, if it can’t be measured, it can’t be improved.
There’s plenty of data out there. Average response and resolution time, for example.
How does your CX strategy stack up?
Take the assessment to find out.
13. Make use of the right technology and tools
In the era of digital customer experience, no customer experience strategy would be possible without the right technology. With a robust customer experience platform, for example, you can:
- Engage customers across multiple channels all in one place.
- Increase customer engagement with automated messages and faster support.
- Reduce churn with predictive analytics.
- Personalize interactions.
And more. Do your research and find solutions that allow you to build unified customer profiles, offer omnichannel service, and automate workflows for increased efficiency.
All-in-one CX PlatformDigital customer engagement starts here
14. Optimize your customer experience strategy
A customer experience strategy is an ongoing process. Adopt a continuous improvement approach. Measure, optimize, repeat.
Remember: customer experience provides a massive opportunity to boost customer loyalty. With the right strategy in place, the sky’s the limit.
Do you have any tips on how to build a customer experience strategy? Let us know in a comment below.