A strategically crafted and flawlessly executed Customer Experience (CX) can strengthen the connection between your company and consumers, foster buyers’ loyalty, and prolong their relationship with your organisation. While being satisfied and treated specially at every touchpoint, the individuals are more likely to return, recommend your brands to others, and become their committed advocates. This leads to an expansion of your customer base and increased revenue if you consistently deliver exceptional experiences and evolve to meet consumer expectations.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Customer Experience as “the way someone feels at all stages of doing business with a company or organisation”1. This is the bottom line. As we can observe, emotions play a pivotal role in shaping a customer’s view of a brand across multiple channels, interactions, and periods. Therefore, creating a positive impression and influencing friendly feelings about it is essential and is the be-all and end-all of your market success.
The perception of Customer Experience can be shaped by numerous factors referring to past and current experiences. These may cover speed and efficiency of transactions, ease of use and quality of products and services, the efficiency of shipping and delivery, post-service treatment, loyalty programmes, follow-up and personalised retention efforts, courtesy, experience and expertise of agents, positive digital user experience, attractive design, convenient locations, and friendly atmosphere of physical stores, and many more.
You can provide consumers with a positive and consistent CX across all touchpoints and connections an individual has with your organisation, both traditionally and digitally. These can include, for instance, phone interactions, text communication like e-mails, mobile app messages or social communicators, information shared on the website and in social media, chatbots, customer satisfaction surveys, influencers’ recommendations, or trade marketing materials at the brick-and-mortar stores.
Delivering a comprehensive and satisfying CX is particularly important for companies offering high-value products or services or requiring extensive customer education and support. It is essential in industries like retail, travel and hospitality, gaming, healthcare, finance, and e-commerce, which demand frequent, round-the-clock, and multilingual customer interactions.
Olive Huang, Research Director at Gartner, says, “Your business results depend on your brand’s ability to retain and add customers. You must win at every customer interaction with your organisation, whether a marketing campaign, a call to a contact centre, an invoice, or a delivery reliant on the supply chain. Every department must play its part in a coordinated fashion”.
Driving business success through a customer-centric CX strategy
With shifted expectations and growing awareness of consumers, whose loyalty is increasingly influenced by their experiences with brands, businesses must adopt a customer-centric approach in the CX strategy while putting buyers’ needs first at every stage of the relationship.
This extends beyond transactional voice-centric contact centres that only address customers’ requests, complaints, or concerns. Instead, it should aim to transform the CX approach into an omnichannel, personalised, and empathy-driven engagement model that prioritises emotional connections. Otherwise, meeting evolving expectations of individuals in today’s economic context and progressing digitalisation will be challenging or impossible.
What could happen when providing not fully satisfied customer services and limited support? People would be disagreeable, deterred, and even offended. They would instead stop doing business with you and switch to more caring competition.
Below, you can Discover the correlation between customer satisfaction and brand decision-making with the following few representatives:
90% of Americans consider customer service a key factor when determining whether to do business with a company. (Source: Microsoft)
89% of consumers have switched to a rival brand after having a negative customer experience with their previous provider. (Source: HubSpot)
93% of customers are inclined to make repeat purchases from companies that provide remarkable customer service. (Source: American Express)
Key principles for crafting an ideal Customer Experience strategy
Analysing the thoughts above, it is undeniable that Customer Experience must be more than just average, coincidental, or ill-considered. It ought to be exceptional, well-designed, and implemented consistently across the proper channels.
The optimal solution is to create a CX strategy from the ground up, ensuring a positive and consistent experience throughout the customer journey. It should bring the efforts of different departments and employees, facilitate the complex management, monitoring, and development of the strategy, as well as keep each buyer at the centre of your every decision. With a strategic approach, the CX initiative will be sustained without interruption and contribute to driving business success.
However, to create a compelling and high-impact strategy, it is essential to use carefully selected principles that provide direction, maintain consistency, promote accountability, and drive improvement. By doing so, you can align the strategy with the company’s goals, values, and objectives, assure that everyone is working towards the same goals, and execute the process effectively while remaining open to continuous improvement.
The key principles to building a powerful Customer Experience Strategy are as follows:
1. Define your customer journey while inspiring trust
Defining the customer’s journey is essential in enhancing the Customer Experience. This process begins by identifying the individuals’ interactions with your organisation and predicting the emotions and thoughts an individual may have at each stage. The next step is to turn the customer journey into action by continuously analysing and looking for opportunities to streamline processes and obtaining feedback to better discover buyers’ needs and preferences. This approach will allow you to continually refine the journey, resulting in a positive and seamless experience, eliminating the risk of dissatisfaction, frustration or discouragement arising. Last but not least, inspire trust through Customer Experience to promote a trustworthy image of your brand and enhance its reputation. To achieve this, ensure that your CX strategy is consistent with your brand values and promises. Show empathy and understanding when dealing with customer issues, provide transparent communication, and keep customers informed about any problem or concern that may affect their experience. Additionally, consistently deliver on your promises and avoid dishonest techniques and making false or misleading claims, protect customer data and guarantee secure transactions.
2. Enable hyper-personalisation
Hyper-personalisation is playing a growing role in the CX strategy. It enables companies to customise marketing efforts, product suggestions, and customer support to cater to each buyer’s unique needs.
To achieve it, you must draw lessons from experience and thoroughly analyse every person’s interaction with your organisation. Thus, you need to collect comprehensive data from various sources, such as customer support channels, social media, websites, and contacts with agents and subject this information through sentiment analysis. AI-driven algorithms may generate insightful and actionable intelligence, allowing you to understand customers’ preferences and behaviours better.
To effectively ensure hyper-personalisation in the CX strategy, businesses must allocate financial and technological resources and invest in human capital to provide the necessary personnel and technology. Additionally, you need also to consider continuous development and maintenance of systems and employee training to ensure success in the long term.
When these are finally met, you can strengthen loyalty, increase CSAT, CES and other satisfaction metrics, replenish your brand’s equity, and consequently grow revenue. Failure to offer personalised attention and care to customers, including custom experiences across various touchpoints, could result in losing business as consumers turn to competitors.
3. Empower your employees
When formulating an ideal CX strategy, one of the critical components is the continuous enhancement of knowledge and skills of the employees managing customer interactions. This encompasses technical proficiency, communication skills, emotional intelligence and competencies, and familiarity with products and services. It is equally crucial to equip the staff with appropriate tools, software or guides to help them perform their duties effectively and, eventually, take care of their well-being and provide a supportive work environment.
4. Increase speed-to-customer
The swiftness of response to customer inquiries significantly affects their view of the brand, with immediate reactions fostering positive perceptions and delayed responses causing negative ones. Companies can benefit when implementing advanced CRM software to simplify customer management, ensure efficient client identification, and keep track of the history of interactions. On the other hand, adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies to automate routine tasks facilitates rapid responses and allows customer service agents to concentrate on delivering personalised care. Additionally, using chatbots to quickly address common, lower-complexity questions can improve response times and customer experience. Another effective way to improve Customer Experience is by implementing various notifications to alert employees of pressing issues requiring prompt resolution.
5. Measure and track success
Even though measuring Customer Experience is challenging, it can benefit your organisation significantly. With the ability to track the success of your CX strategy, you can identify areas for further improvement of the buyers’ satisfaction, devise the best KPIs, and achieve optimal quality outcomes. What you can measure is, for instance: customer satisfaction, SLA adherence, ENPS and employee experience metrics (XLA) and many more. In other words, the areas of measurement can include, for instance:
- The level of customer satisfaction (CSAT) and the effort required by customers to resolve their queries or issues (CES), and the likelihood of individuals recommending a brand to others (NPS).
- The percentage of customers ending interaction before completion (AR), the time needed to acknowledge a customer’s contact (FRT), length of the latest item handling (AHT), the number of customer inquiries or problems resolved on the first call or contact (FCR), time taken to provide a complete response (TAT), or an average speed of the reactions (ASA).
- Employee experience metrics show their productivity, whether the agents meet clients’ expectations (XLA), and their engagement level (ENPS).
- The number of repeat customers and their preference for a brand (Loyalty), of those who stop using a brand’s products or services (Churn Rate) or the value of a customer to the brand over their lifetime (CLV).
Partnering with an outsourcing provider for extraordinary Customer Experience
An effective Customer Experience strategy, grounded in the correct principles and consistently executed, can effortlessly help you win the attachment and admiration of your customers. How to achieve this? It is crucial to allocate the necessary resources, tap into the expertise of skilled employees, harness the power of innovative technology, and streamline processes inside the organisation.
However, creating and executing a robust Customer Experience strategy can be challenging for many organisations with limited resources, expertise, and experience in this area. But failing to do so puts the company’s brand image at risk and jeopardises its ability to retain customers and attract new ones.
One effective solution is collaborating with a reputable BPO provider to outsource specific CX processes. This can bring many benefits, such as:
- Access to a team of well-trained, multilingual agents capable of handling customer service, technical support, and order processing.
- Leveraging the BPO’s expertise in data analysis and customer insights results in a more personalised CX.
- Implementing modern technologies and processes like chatbots, virtual agents, and self-service portals enhances the customer experience.
- Regular measurement and evaluation of CX through metrics, feedback, and other data to help identify areas for improvement.
- The flexibility to choose from different sourcing strategies, including multilingual support and location-based options, all within a budget-friendly framework.
In such a case, you can be sure that your Customer Experience strategy will be well designed and carried out to the best of your ability without the necessity to bear considerable investments in people, technology, training and reorganisation. Your company can focus on more strategic initiatives at the same time and avoid being overwhelmed by day-to-day responsibilities.
The key to successfully outsourcing Customer Experience services to a BPO provider lies in its ability to align with your company’s strategy, vision, and policies. A reliable outsourcing partner must aid in meeting your objectives and realising desired outcomes, all while providing seamless support, flagship partnership, relevant geographical presence, and specialised domain knowledge.
The proper Business Process Outsourcing partner should also provide you with strategic guidance, technology-driven CX services and valuable insights that can be utilised by your company’s marketing and sales teams to transform the customer-brand relationship beyond just transactions.
Establishing a solid foundation of customer-centred principles is vital for crafting a compelling and customer-focused strategy that delivers exceptional experiences and consistent engagement throughout the customer journey. Integrating the right principles into your strategy aligns your efforts with the company’s goals, enabling you to achieve optimal outcomes and leave a lasting positive impact on your customers. It refers, primarily, to:
- Putting yourself in the customers’ shoes to understand their needs and emotions and providing unique, tailored experiences to individual customers.
- Making it as easy as possible for customers to interact with your company
- Being transparent and honest with consumers and following through on promises.
- Constantly gathering feedback from buyers and using the insight for improvement, being responsive to changing needs.
What is worth remembering?
A carefully designed Customer Experience plays a critical role in a company’s market success
It is all about shaping consumers’ perceptions of a brand across multiple touchpoints.
An enhanced CX is vital for industries with frequent customer interactions and extensive support, or education needs.
Adopting the correct principles in building your CX strategy empowers your ability to deliver exceptional experiences for consumers.
The principles may include the following:
- Defining the customer’s journey.
- Talent enhancement.
- Faster speed-to-market.
- Tracking and measurement.
- Building customer confidence.
A company can either build, manage, and enhance its CX in-house or outsource to a BPO partner with relevant expertise and resources.