Creating an outstanding client experience is a matter of life and death. Why?
Because we live in the age of product abundance, which makes product differentiation a massive challenge. It also allows customers to be picky, and if there is one aspect that no customer will compromise on, it’s the client experience.
Creating a unique customer experience is not an option, it’s a requirement. According to American Express, 60% of customers are keen on paying more for a better experience.
How do we define client experience?
Hubspot explains nicely what customer experience is:
“It’s the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey”.
Having a clear understanding of what a customer journey is, is vital to creating an outstanding customer experience.
The customer journey begins with your prospect’s first encounter with your brand. From landing on your website, through signing up for a demo, using your product, to getting product support. All of these interactions make up the client experience.
The importance of customer experience – why CX matters?
Here are 4 reasons why positive customer experience is important:
1. Negative experiences stay with us longer
Did you notice that people more often talk about negative than positive experiences? It’s actually a scientifically proven fact.
Our brains handle positive and negative information in different hemispheres. This means that we spend more time thinking about negative emotions.
We process negative information in more detail than we process positive information. At least that’s what one of the professors at Stanford University says.
What does it mean? If you mess up, your customers will talk about it… A LOT! Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
2. Good client experience helps you build brand loyalty
Wide product availability can, and often leads to increased product switching. Due to product similarity and their various integrations, switching costs are low, which means it’s harder to build brand loyalty.
Hard, however, doesn’t mean impossible, and it’s definitely worth the effort. 88% of US consumers say the more they trust a brand, the more personal information they’re willing to share.
More personal information = more opportunities for product improvement, client experience personalization and, in turn, business growth.
Remember, loyal customers are 5 times as likely to repurchase and forgive, 4 times as likely to refer you, and 7 times as likely to try your new offering.
3. It will help you turn your customers into evangelists
Having delighted customers is great, but you know what’s even better? Turning these happy customers into brand evangelists. Customer recommendations drive sales.
In fact, word of mouth marketing results in 5x more sales than paid media, and 90% of people are more likely to buy from a brand recommended by a person they know.
4. It will help you reduce churn
It’s no secret that customer experience impacts churn. So, if your business suffers from a high churn rate (above 7% annually), your client experience is definitely something you should look at.
And you probably know that acquiring a new customer is 5 times more expensive than keeping your existing one.
Ideas to improve your customer experience
It’s time to discuss some customer experience best practices that will enable you to improve your client experience.
1. View your Customer Success (CS) department as your second marketing department
This is coming from a very passionate marketer: marketing shouldn’t be the only party responsible for creating a positive brand image/customer experience. It’s a joint responsibility, we’re all in this together.
Do you remember when we talked about the customer journey? All departments play a significant role in it, but your CS department even more so.
Frequently, customers stick with a brand mainly because of the support they get. If they like your customer service they will be more forgiving of small product deficiencies.
And if you’re thinking we live in the age of automation, and human interaction is passe, you might want to reconsider.
While a certain degree of automation is highly desired, as soon as something goes wrong, customers expect to talk to people, not chatbots. As little as 3% of US consumers, want their experiences to be fully automated.
Your Customer Success department is the face of your company, just like marketing. This means you need to pay attention to:
- the tone of voice they use, i.e how you communicate (which should be consistent with your brand)
- how your customers process information. Do they prefer video content (like a webinar) or do they favor good old written content?
- what the most effective communication channel is. Options to consider: email, Intercom, phone, etc.
- communication frequency. While it’s important to engage your customers, you don’t want to get in touch too often to avoid annoying them.
2. Never stop learning about your customers
Another customer experience best practice you’ll want to use is to continuously learn about your customers. Getting to know them is a process, not a task. Their pain points, needs, and expectations evolve. The more you know about your clients, the more you can tailor your client experience to their needs.
Learning about your customers not only involves analyzing their past behavior but also asking questions to fill up any information gaps. There are various methods you can use, for example:
- organizing regular calls (which is great but can be very time-consuming)
- using a chat
- or sending surveys.
Surveys are a great way for collecting information as they not only let you quickly and easily contact a wider audience, but also analyze the results. Survicate offers you different survey options: link surveys (which you can send via email), targeted website surveys, and Intercom surveys – all so you can reach your customers via their preferred communication channel.
All the info you collect can then be stored in your CRM. You can gradually collect more information about your clients, which your co-workers will have access to.
The more information you have, the more you can enhance the customer experience.
3. Ask for feedback and monitor performance
Don’t be like Henry Ford. A one-size-fits-all approach stopped working in 1920’s. People are different and have different requirements and expectations which you must acknowledge.
Feedback is priceless. Don’t assume you’re doing great, ask. Your perception might be different from reality. In fact, 80% of companies believe they’re delivering a great customer experience. While only 8% of customers agree with this statement. 80% vs 8% – it’s quite a disparity, don’t you reckon?
Without asking, how are you supposed to know if a product feature you’ve introduced satisfied your clients’ needs? You can’t. But what you can do is display a simple survey asking: “how would you rate this product feature”, and validate your assumptions.
Remember, whoever gets closer to customers wins, and asking your customers for feedback regularly shows them you care.
4. Hire the best people
Customer experience management is about technology and people. While technology will have a massive impact on the client experience – think product performance – human interaction is equally (or even more) important.
The people behind your product or service play a key role in creating a great (or not so great) customer experience. Customers don’t get attached to products, they get attached to the quality of service they receive.
Think about it – when your app is down, you rely on your product team to fix it quickly. When your customer has a problem, you expect your customer support team to address it effectively.
This means that good customer experience management is about hiring the right people. I will dare to say it: you’ll never be able to create a superior client experience without having the best people on board.
Customer experience metrics – how to measure your efforts
Here are a few customer experience metrics to keep in mind while evaluating your client experience.
A Net Promoter Score relates to the percentage of customers who would or wouldn’t recommend your company to others. It’s easily measured, and should be evaluated regularly. It’s as simple as asking: “how likely are you to recommend us to others?”.
CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)
CSAT measures the average satisfaction score of an experience that your customer had with your organization. For example, after reporting an issue with the product that your CS team had to deal with.
CES (Customer Effort Score)
Measures the effort your customer had to put in to complete a certain task. You could include a statement like: “It was easy for me to set up my first survey”. The customer will then rate their experience from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Relates to the percentage of users who either didn’t make a repeat purchase or canceled their subscription. To calculate your churn rate divide the total number of lost customers by the total number of active customers for a given time period.
I know there are a lot of customer experience metrics which you need to keep track of, but the good news is you can do it all with Survicate. So make sure to check it out 🙂
Do you have any tips on creating a great client experience? If you do, share them in the comments!