Prioritizing Customer Experience to Improve Retention
Your customers are the most valued people within your industry. Whilst staff are important and looking after them should be a priority; the customers are the ones using your products or services and bringing in the money for your business.
A great team may produce an effective product and service, but the way that consumers interact with it indirectly helps with your word-of-mouth marketing, reviews, and general brand image.
So, to improve your customer experience and subsequently your customer retention, let's analyze the fundamentals of the customer journey.
What is Customer Experience
Customer Experience (CX) is the combination of your customers' thoughts and feelings caused by interactions with your brand, directly through a product or service, or indirectly through other media channels.
From the moment they click on your website and continue through their lives as they repeat purchases, subscribe to a package, or interact with your brand.
What is important to remember, is that Customer Experience doesn't end once they've bought your product or service.
Every single company, brand, and even consultant has a customer experience and needs to be able to manage it effectively.
Essentially, your customers have the final word. And that is why understanding your customer and appealing to your target audience is important. You may think you're speaking to your customers' pain points, but in reality, your product or service may not be solving their problems.
Unfortunately, this could cause a negative CX.
So, how can we ensure that your brand has a positive customer experience?
First, let's figure out why it is important anyway.
Why is Excellent Customer Experience Important
The answer is pretty simple. A positive customer experience will help you to take over and beat your competition. If your client base is enjoying working with you and your product, you're not giving them any reason to try anything new.
There are many similar products and services out there. Apart from USPs that may differ slightly from brand to brand, what else can you do to shine a light on your services?
A great CX that includes caring, empathetic customer service will enable satisfied customers.
But that's all for new customers; which is great, but what brands love even more than signing up new customers is loyal, long-lasting customer relationships.
Whilst a new client is great, a client that guarantees you income every month is even better. There is something about the consistency of payments, forming a bond with your client, and understanding the customer that helps you to become more intuitive in the future.
Here are some more ways customer experience is important:
Simply, the better experience a customer has then the more likely they are to return again.
You purchase a cheeseburger. The staff was lovely. The service was exceptional. And it was affordable.
You're more likely to go there again, compared to a place that didn't meet or exceed customers' expectations.
For more information on whether customer loyalty and retention go hand in hand, read this.
Increased revenue through customer acquisition
The cost of acquiring new customers has increased by 60% over the last six years, according to Hubspot.
Therefore, it is much cheaper for a company to be recommended through word-of-mouth or other 'free' forms of marketing, than paying for an advertisement to generate new leads.
By taking time to improve your CX, you're likely to increase the likelihood of a referral. This is an organic source of acquisition that saves a lot of money.
Referrals made by friends or family were able to generate 3-5 times higher conversion rates and a 25% increase in profit margin.
Outdoing the competition
Add an additional USP.
Ensure your customers feel cared about, listened to, and solve their problems for the best experience.
At the end of the day, it is their experience that matters most. By understanding the customer experience journey, you're then able to formulate much more accurate data within your target industry and create strategies based on that.
If you're putting in the time to make sure your customers are having the best user experience, then you're going to increase your customer retention and have an incredible brand image.
Listening to the consumer is future-proof data
Customers love giving feedback. Whether it be through surveys, social media, or direct conversations - this type of customer data is fundamental in improving your customer's journey.
How to Improve Customer Experience
"To grow a life-centric CX strategy, brands need to think of customers as more than just buyers"
The best way to begin start viewing your customers as more than just people that 'buy from you' is to understand the customer experience yourself. That way you're able to understand the strengths, areas for improvement and use the data to market to your customers.
Understand the Customer Experience Yourself
You have never bought your own product, and you may not even use your own service. Of course, you've worked to produce the product/service, but when you haven't gone through the purchasing process, your bias will affect the way you see the customer journey.
So, in order to improve your CX, you must first get to know it; what are the best bits, bits that need improving, some bits that could be done more efficiently, and what feels complicated.
By understanding these fundamentals, you'll be in a good place to start your digital customer experience strategy.
Identify Pain Points
Hopefully, most of your customers will be happy with the product or service that you're offering.
Unfortunately, there is always the simple few that feel impossible to satisfy. As much as we love our customers enjoying the journey, we almost need to shift the focus onto those that don't.
Send out surveys, listen to your demographic, and implement feedback from reviews.
More and more companies are putting effort into making their user experience much more nuanced and unique. Find out your customers' interests and disinterests. Then use this to create an experience they'll never forget.
Great Customer Experience Is Personalised
Individuals love feeling like they are the only one that matters.
So, why should your brand treat them any different. If a consumer feels as if your company is listening directly to them, implementing their feedback and solving their unique problems, then you'll have a loyal customer willing to recommend you to others.
One way to make sure they feel directly supported is by investing in great customer support. Not an automated one that makes the user feel as if their problems aren't worth hearing.
But ensure the customer supporters are trained to deliver great results. You'll increase your brand loyalty, especially if you're willing to help people out for 'free'.
Managing Your Digital Customer Experience
When a customer has a good experience with you, not only does it help to generate more income, but it also has a great affect on the public perception of the brand.
A better brand image will increase customer generation and retention.
Largely, Customer Experience Management (CXM) focuses on improving the customer's journey with your brand, pre-sale and post-sale.
But, if you leave your CXM unattended then parts of that journey will begin to fail, decline and leave your customers with a poor perception of the brand.
Customer Experience Management is much more than keeping your brand image. By focusing on your customer experience and personalizing your approach, both you and the customer succeed.
They have a problem solved; you have sales generated and loyal customers.
But here are some ways that Customer Experience Management helps:
Understanding the Customer
Allows you to deeply understand the customer. Your business can use this view of the demographic to target products and services more accurately.
By connecting with your customers, you'll be able to identify the demand within the demographic and tailor the individual's experience to ensure sale generation.
Whether you're using automated marketing services or technology to improve the overall user experience, using data to personalize the experience provides a seamless customer journey.
Managing your customer experience ensures that you form deeper and long-lasting relationships with your clients. This will help further down the line with new product launches, feedback, and loyalty incentives.
Employing CXM strategies will allow you to collect a vast amount of data on your customer experience. When you make improvements and strengthen your inefficiencies - the data will show the success of investing in your CX.
We've mentioned it throughout this article, but customer retention really does save costs. There will be less need to pay for large amounts of advertisement when your brand's image is doing it for you.
Recommendations by trusted friends, family, or colleagues help to drive profit and sales.
So, from onboarding to the sale, post-sale to customer service, make sure you invest in the customer experience.