Time to Define Your Customer Experience Strategy

2020 has been a year of many unexpected twists and turns for small businesses across the globe. With the recent economic and cultural changes, it is important our businesses adapt our marketing strategies moving forward. A big area of focus all business owners and marketing managers should highlight is their customer experience strategy. Remember: customer experience is the ultimate marketing tool and the foundation of your online reputation!

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience, also known as CX, is “your customers’ holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand.” In other words, it is how they interact with your brand. (Source) CX is the result of every engagement a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not—so a great customer experience is your key to success!

A successful customer experience strategy starts with an aspiration centered on what matters to customers and empowering frontline workers to deliver. (Source) Your strategy should take into account a number of important factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Competitive insight
  • Consumer research
  • Marketplace data
  • Mission & vision

(Source)

Keep in mind that if your customer experience strategy is successful, this can later translate into a better online reputation. If your online reputation score is suffering, this may be a sign to look at your internal and external processes; and evaluate where your customers may feel neglected. 

What is the Difference between Customer Experience and Customer Service?

In short, customer service is just one part of the whole customer experience. Oftentimes whenever customer service is either good or bad, this has a huge impact on your customer’s overall discernment of your brand. Though customer experience starts with how your customers evaluate your various content pages, it ends with your customer service. At the end of the day, CX is larger than customer service. However, excellent customer service is essential to your overall CX.

Customer Experience Strategy Best Practices

In order to take the complexity out of optimizing your CX strategy, here are some simplified tips on how to redefine it. Read over these questions thoroughly! Reflect on them as you generate a better customer experience plan that is fitting for both the changing times we live in and your company’s brand. There are six key areas of the digital customer experience:

  1. Reachability: What channels is your business active on? How are these channels being used?
  2. Service convenience: Can customers self-serve? What types of channels are being used to provide service?
  3. Purchase convenience: Is there friction in the purchase process?
  4. Personalization: How well does your business meet/cater to individual customer needs?
  5. Simplicity and ease of use: Are service/informational channels optimized for mobile? Is the customer journey bogged down or straightforward?
  6. Channel flexibility: Is context about the customer being used and applied across all channels? Is there a history of behavior, transactions, and conversations across touch points available for each customer?

(Source)

Before the year is over, dial in your customer experience strategy. Great CX requires a customer-centric mindset and a lot of thoughtful work. Knowing your customer’s experiences requires stepping into their shoes and understanding your brand from their view-point. If you champion the customer, they will in turn champion you. Don’t be surprised if your CX optimizations reflect positively on your online reviews and your brand’s overall reputation!

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