October 29, 2022

What is Customer Experience: Meaning, Types & Importance

Customers today are connected more than before. They have many channels to find products. They have many platforms to make their purchases and voice their opinions. Customer engagement has empowered them. They now have the opportunity to thrive in a 24/7 environment. 

They have all the means to stay in control. They have the means to explore options. They can research and share reviews about every purchase experiences.

Customer experience, commonly known as CX, is crucial to your business's success. It deals with everything related to a business that affects a customer’s perception of it. 

So, what is customer experience? Let us see.

Meaning of Customer Experience

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During their journey with your company, customers go through several interactions. These interactions at various touch points make up the customer experience. 

Customer experience not just happens at one point. It continues during the lifetime of a customer's relationship with your brand.

It starts before the customer makes a purchase. It then continues during the entire purchase journey. It carries on to repeat purchases of the product or subscription renewal.

Whenever customers interact with your brand, they create images of their experience. Customer experience or CX is the total of all perceptions of the customers. These are the customer feelings generated due to brand interactions. 

You may claim to sell an excellent product. Your team may offer outstanding customer service. But the experience the customers gain out of the entire process is important. It is what leads to their ultimate satisfaction.

Types of Customer Experience

You can classify customer experience into two types. These two types are direct and indirect customer experience.

Direct customer experience

Direct customer experience happens when a customer interacts with your brand. Such interactions can happen during the buying lifecycle. They can even take place when the customer uses your product or service. 

Customers interact with your team. This results in a direct customer experience. Such customer experiences involve direct contact with customers with your brand or company.

Indirect customer experience

Indirect customer experience happens when there is no direct contact with your brand. This can occur by way of your marketing efforts. The customers do not get in touch directly with your customer service team. 

When you encourage brand advocacy, then also indirect customer experience happens. Customer reviews, recommendations, advertisements, and word-of-mouth communication also come under this category.

Why does customer experience matter?

So, what is customer experience, and how does it matter? Why is customer experience so important? These questions might have plagued your mind again and again. 

The market today is filled with more and more products. Customers are spoilt for options as far as buying anything is considered. 

What differentiates one product from the other is its experience with your customers. The experience they get bypasses even the product-specific features and functions.

Customers today have high expectations from the companies they make their purchases from. They want to feel connected, known, and valued.

Customer experience matters. It helps customers to measure the quality of service of various companies. This is the reason why your business must ensure a sound CX strategy. 

It should focus on delivering personalized experiences to customers. The interactions should be pleasing at every touch point the customer interacts.

Importance of Customer Experience

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Brands compete in the market, offering almost similar products. They may have similar pricing and quality. The key factor that now differentiates them is the customer experience. 

If the customer experience is good, customers stay with the brand. A bad customer experience makes customers angry or dissatisfied. Unhappy customers switch brands with ease and affect its bottom line. This makes the customer experience all the more important. 

So, today companies are investing heavily in improving their customer experience. The below facts show the importance of CX.

· According to Dimension Data report, some interesting findings were reported. Businesses that offer great customer experiences reported a 92% increase in customer loyalty. There was also an 84% increase in revenue and 79% cost savings.

· 65% of consumers find a positive brand experience better than great advertising. (PwC)

· 61% of consumers are ready to pay at least 5% for a better customer experience. (Emplifi)

· 49% of consumers left a brand in the past year due to a bad customer experience. (Emplifi)

· 83% of executives consider unimproved CX as a threat to revenue and market share risks. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)

This shows that customers want great experiences and are ready to pay more to get them. A great customer experience helps build fruitful customer relationships. A good customer experience will help your business reap the following benefits:

· Gives information about your users, their behaviors, and preferences

· Improves customer retention

· Builds loyal customer relationships

· Improves your brand value and recognition

· Reduces customer complaints

· Brings in more revenue

What is an Omni channel Customer Experience?

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The world is driven by technology today. Customers can interact with you through any medium of their preference. It could be voice calls, email, mobile, SMS, web, or social media platforms. They can choose any of these channels conveniently. 

You need to offer customer interactions across various channels. But, there are challenges to delivering customer experience seamlessly across these channels.

The biggest is that various channels exist in isolation. Organizations lack the awareness to integrate all these channels. That is why the customer experience is not seamless.

An omnichannel customer experience tracks the complete customer journey across several channels. Customers can move from one medium to another quickly. There is no loss of data or the need to give the same data again. The entire experience is hassle-free.

The employees can also get a 360-degree round view of all customer interactions. This applies to all customer touchpoints. 

With so many benefits, an omnichannel customer experience helps you to up your CX game. Each touch point helps you collect customer data. This data can help your team gain helpful insights.

This helps identify customers' needs and deliver a tailor-made experience. In turn, it helps to deliver a customer experience that is personalized.

What is a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy?

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Now that you know what  customer experience is, it is time for action. If you wish to improve your brand’s customer experience, you need to develop a CX strategy.

A CX strategy acts as a plan to help you decide your course of action. It helps to deliver an excellent customer experience. This will hold good for all types of customer interactions. It will also measure the results that you can use to improve your CX strategy. 

Your team needs to build strategies that focus on customers. They will aim to delight customers at each step of the conversion journey. They will help nurture relationships between customers and the brand.

A CX strategy defines and plans your organization's approach to improving its CX. It will optimize customer experiences at all touch points. This applies to all experiences before, during, and after conversion. 

A carefully designed strategy will help you meet business goals. It will help reduce costs and increase brand value.

You need to have a good customer experience strategy. It shows customers that your company understands their expectations and behavior. It conveys the message that your brand can deliver up to, or better yet, more than their expectations. 

A good CX strategy creates meaningful experiences for the customers. It also improves customer loyalty.

How to measure customer experience?

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You need to find out what kind of experience your customers are getting. For this, you need to measure customer experience. It is a complicated and detailed topic. 

Customers come with different motives. Most experiences have many touch points in different channels. You need to find out the degree of goodness your customers feel. This brings the need to measure customer experience. 

Your CX team can use a customer journey map to get visuals of the experience. These maps of the customer journey tell how your customers interact with your brand. These maps connect companies and buyers. You can get a deep understanding of your customers' behavior through them.

Businesses can follow a three-step approach to measuring their customer journey.

· Measure the overall customer journey

· Measure in phases of the customer journey

· Individual touch point performance

Here are some ways to measure customer experience.

Customer satisfaction surveys

These surveys help measure the customers’ satisfaction levels with their products. They help identify unhappy customers as well as those that love your brand. 

Customer surveys contain 5 to 10 questions. You can know about NPS (Net Promoter Score). They also provide insight into CSAT (customer satisfaction score).

Customer Effort Score (CES)

This score measures how hard the customers try to interact with your brand. It also shows whether your product or service is easy to use by them. Or how easily your customer service rep can solve a problem for them. 

Churn Rate

The churn rate or the attrition rate is the rate at which customers leave your business over a given period. The greater the churn rate, the more customers stop doing business with you.

Customer Lifetime Value

Your customer does a certain volume of business with your company. It happens over the entire customer. It comes under CLV or the Customer lifetime value. It is an important metric with obvious results. 

It is less costly to keep existing customers than to keep new ones. So, increasing the value of your existing customers can help drive growth.

Community forum 

Any community forum discusses feature requests, challenges, and pain points. They also provide insight into how customers feel about their brand experience. 

Data Insights

Companies can use data analytics for customer service. This could be valuable data like ticket reopen rate and time-to-resolution. It will show if your customers must wait before getting an answer. 

Talk to your customer support team 

The customer support team may know about the customer challenges they face. You can help them simplify customer issues. When you make the CX agent's jobs easier, they will provide a better customer experience.

What makes a good Customer Experience?

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Customer experiences are unique to a business. A good customer experience in one business may not be the same for another. There is no single checklist that your team can follow to guarantee a good CX.

You can achieve creating a good customer experience in the following ways:

· Listen to what your customers say on a top priority 

· Solve customer problems and challenges

· Get an in-depth understanding of your customers through customer feedback 

· Put in place a feedback system as part of your CX strategy

· Analyze and act on the feedback regularly

A good customer experience comes from asking your customers questions. Listen carefully to what they say. Note down their suggestions. As your team begins to action the feedback, the customer experience will improve. 

Follow the industry best practices for customer services to give the best customer experience. 

What causes a bad customer experience?

Customers will sometimes complain of a bad customer experience. This happens when your business fails to meet its expectations. This can be response time, service quality, or overall customer experience. 

Generally, long wait times and a lack of real-time support may cause a bad customer experience. Inefficient support staff or improper understanding of customer needs may also backfire.

Poor customer service may endanger the existing customer relationships. A poor customer experience maybe due to:

· Resolution needs several touch points and transfers

· Inaccurate or incomplete information

· Unreasonable payments 

· Unexplained charges

· Robotic answers

Bad customer experiences may increase your customer churn rate and affect brand loyalty.

Consolto: Your gateway to a great customer experience

You now know what is customer experience. You also know how important a good customer experience is. It is time to give your business a good CX tag with Consolto. 

Consolto video conferencing software has all the features to deliver a rich experience. It ensures your customers discover solutions to their problems easily. You get to stay on top of your communication flow with customers. 

Besides, you can bring files, images, audio, and video recordings, all on a single platform. You can put all your text messages, meeting notes, and forms here. Even your appointments, profile insights, and payments are in one place. 

Find everything organized and at your fingertips. 

You can also integrate Consolto into your business website. Look into important business metrics, such as call and chat stats. 

Get instant access to important user data. Get a chance to know all about your customers. Page views, session time, and last page visited data are now available on Consolto.

Wrapping Up

Good customer experience forms the basis of your business relationships. Delivering a customer-centric experience should become the primary aim for your company. By improving your customer experience, you build lifelong customer relationships.

Consolto provides an automated customer service platform for you. Deliver real-time support help and an excellent customer service experience. Sign up for a 7-day, free trial today.

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