If you really want to get ahead of your competition, you should have a great customer experience strategy. Customer experience (or CX) is where most companies compete nowadays as product and price have become less important in the eyes of customers.
But, a CX strategy doesn’t come naturally — it takes deliberate effort to find what resonates with your target audience and offer them personalized and efficient service.
To help you build an effective strategy that works for your business, we put together 14 methods you can use.
A customer experience strategy is 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 CX strategy? The most important thing is to fully understand the customer journey and apply your strategy across every stage. You need to consider interaction quantity and quality, as well as the availability of touchpoints (think an omnichannel approach that includes email, text, chatbots, ads, content, and more).
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 service team speaks with and note their needs. Also, collect data from your CRM or customer experience platform.
Once you have enough information, create buyer personas. In the image below, you can see how this Spotify campaign used buyer personas as an effective marketing campaign.
What is the main goal? New customers? Entering a new market? Perhaps you are launching products into a current marketplace? Review brand studies and identify the barriers. How can they be overcome?
Ask yourself: how can your customer experience strategy help you achieve your long-term goals? Then try to find the answer to these questions:
The answers to these questions will help you better shape your strategy.
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.
Employees are key to creating a 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.
User experience (UX) is key when it comes to creating a complete 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 for creating a great customer experience:
According to research from Bain & Company, 80 percent of companies believe they are providing great customer service, but only 8 percent of customers agree with them.
Asking for feedback is the best way to close this gap. Here’s how:
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.
Customer support can be the pillar of your customer experience strategy. 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 features are 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.
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 employees, analyzing the market, and brainstorming ideas about what your business wants to be to your customers.
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:
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.
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. You can also focus on customer service KPIs, like NPS, CSAT, or CES (Customer Effort Score).
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:
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.
A customer experience strategy is an ongoing process. Adopt a continuous improvement approach. Measure, optimize, repeat.
Remember: customer experience provides a massive opportunity to create loyal customers. 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.
Nikoletta is a Content Specialist at Acquire. She's a writer and editor with an avid interest in data, tech, communication, and the customer journey.