Customer Experience Is The Top Business Benefit Sought by Executives
It all boils down to customer experience.
No matter what sector your organization belongs to, your primary aim is to make your customer’s experience delightful. But that’s only possible if you are able to come up with a fruitful strategy.
An effective customer experience strategy helps to retain your incoming and existing customers effectively. But what’s even more essential while planning this strategy is to think like a customer. Unless you aren’t thinking from a customer’s point of view, your business won’t reach its desired goals, such as attaining good profits or building a strong brand value.
Keeping that in mind, many organizations see customer experience as an exciting opportunity for their growing business. A study by Econsultancy suggests the same.
But do all organizations see customer experience as an exciting opportunity for their business? What’s more - do they actually understand what the term ‘customer experience’ stands for? And do organizations view customer experience as customer service? Or do they see it as customer satisfaction? Phew!
A lot can be inferred from such questions. But according to a discussion in a podcast released by Mckinsey in 2016, experts view customer experience as both service and a method to boost satisfaction rate.
Except, the concept holds more relevance than this. So let’s take a look at what all does the concept has to offer to the organizations today.
What is Customer Experience After All?
In simple words, it is a narration of a scenario about how a company treated its customer at the time of need. The way you treat your customers helps them formulate a perception which later impacts their behavior and feelings built towards your brand. These perceptions further become a decisive factor for customers to either hold brand loyalty or not.
In short, if they like the services your organization provides at the moment, then they’d continue the association with your brand. What’s more? They’ll recommend your organization in future.
But to reach that level of customer satisfaction, it is important you build a personalized experience that makes them more loyal towards your brand. So where do you start?
Do you ask for customer feedbacks and analyze the data? Or start working on a strategy where you have no clue about what all changes do your customers expect from your organization to build an experience?
Well, it’ll be a good idea to collect data and gain in-depth knowledge first on your customers and their needs. By approaching this method, it will become a simpler process to design and execute a strategy that boosts their experience with your organization.
Improving customer experience will result in increased sales and more benefits. Some of the other benefits an organization can achieve through improved experience are given below.
Benefits of Improved Customer Experience
As discussed above, this is one of the benefits an organization gains from improved customer experience. However, to reach this benefit many organizations forget that investment made towards improving the same customer experience shouldn’t be considered as a cost but a sales opportunity.
If you do not make the initial investment towards improving the customer experience, you’ll probably lose on your sales too. That’s because customers would avoid associating with a brand with which others faced a bad experience.
According to one of the customer service surveys conducted by American Express, 78% customers backed out from the purchase process because they or their peers faced a negative experience with an organization. The study further claims that 91% customers aren’t willing to do business with organizations who couldn’t build a positive customer experience for them.
It’s not just sales of your organization that see a hike once you invest in customer experience but so does your reputation in the market.
Imagine this: Your support agent has just finished a conversation with a lead and was successfully able to sell off one of your prime services. While leaving a feedback, the customer mentions how your support agent was able to provide the right solution for its current needs.
Other than the feedback, the customer ensures to spread the word of mouth and let its peers know how the experience was with your organization. Such an action increases your reach in the market and ultimately boosts your reputation.
However, what would have happened in case your customers had a bad experience with your organization? Well, the negative news has a tendency to spread out first and at much faster rate. What’s even more interesting is how different platforms play a pivotal role in spreading the news faster.
So in short, the way you manage and improve the customer experience can make or break your reputation in the market.
It’s not the price but the experience that leaves an impact on your customers. That’s why improving customer experience is far more essential than offering competitive pricing. So what’s your first step towards improving the experience? There is no way you can guess all the issues your customers must be facing with your product or service. So how do you start?
Well, you can become more approachable for your customers. By doing so, they will be able to reach out to you with their problems. What’s more? If you provide multiple platforms such as self-service, responsive real-time platforms like live chat services, and more, you’ll be able to solve the issues more efficiently.
By introducing such platforms, it will be easier for you to increase customer loyalty towards your brand.
In short, you need to place customer’s needs at the center of all your processes in order to reach your desired sales number, improved reputation, and increased loyal customer base.
But are these benefits that easy to achieve? Guess what? It’s quite a challenge to reach them successfully. In case you aren’t familiar with these challenges yet, then it’s time you read them below.
Challenges Faced While Improving Customer Experience
The first thing that every organization needs to do is to keep their data organized. Since a lot of data gets collected in form of feedbacks, responses and queries, it is important to keep all this organized. After all, these not only come handy to improve customer experience but also prove to be beneficial for future references.
But to manage so much data at once does become a challenging task at hand. In fact, a study by Dun & Bradstreet suggests that there are only 2-5% of organizations which can be classified as ‘highly data mature’.
Therefore, this challenge can be faced head-on if companies are able to integrate a CRM tool with their live support chat software. By taking this step, they can easily store the data in one place. What’s more, they’ll be able to know whether the same customer has approached them in the past regarding a specific service or not.
Your customers tend to hold a lot of expectation from your services. Reason being, they have access to a lot of information at present. They understand what all services your competitors offer in the same price bracket. Therefore, they are bound to make comparisons between your services and that of your competitors in case you fail to provide services according to their expectations.
So what do you do in such a scenario?
You’d probably try to boost your employees to offer your customers a more engaging experience that makes them come back to your brand at all times. But what if your employees lack the engagement aspect in the first place?
First of all, you need to understand that customer experience and employee engagement share a connection. Unless your employees aren’t happy with what they are doing currently at the workplace or share the same passionate feeling towards boosting the brand reputation at a new level, you cannot expect them to provide the best customer experience.
Question is: how do you plan on keeping your employees engaged with the customers?
Well if you don’t know where to go from here, then how about involving your HR team to help you out. The HR department can help you establish the mission, vision, and values of the company once an employee becomes a part of your organization. Once your employees will be familiar with the cultural aspect of the organization, it’ll be easy for them to get more connected with your goals, thus boosting employee engagement.
Next, you can also ask your HR department to run regular SBM indexes. This approach helps your management to diagnose, understand, and later provide accurate strategies that help to boost employee engagement to improve customer experience.
Other than that, you can also ask the team to conduct activities that boost employee engagement like training sessions, motivate to improve their performance as an individual, and focus on hiring process that ensures to cover all the emotional touch points easily.
If these activities get covered, you can observe a drastic change in employee engagement thus helping you improve the customer experience later on.
Lack of Realistic Marketing View
If you thought that’s all the challenges you’d face while improving customer experience, then think again. Another challenge that can impact customer experience is lack of realistic marketing view or goals. And this can happen to many organizations.
Every organization comes up with a strategy that they think will help them reach their profit goals effectively. However, they fail to take into account the bottlenecks they may encounter while marketing their services in market. Without taking these into account, they notice a lag towards achieving those marketing goals.
So how do they overcome such a challenge?
For starters, they could build a more clear and realistic roadmap. Such a roadmap should define all their marketing goals and how much time will it take to complete each milestone clearly. Once that gets done, companies should focus on building marketing plans that are more personalized for their target audience.
Let’s take Sephora as an example in this scenario. The company has done a splendid job towards building a personalized experience for its customers to try on different looks via phone by integrating the use of augmented reality. What’s more, their customers can also try on the looks of other customers and decide for themselves which suits them better.
Now such a strategy not only invites more customer engagement with the brand but also helps the organization to meet its marketing goals easily. So as an company, you need to understand that building a personalized and planned experience will boost customer engagement with the brand that will ultimately help you meet your marketing goals efficiently.
Lack of Understanding on Customer Experience in General
Another challenge that does hamper the chances of improving customer experience is the lack of knowledge towards the concept itself. If you search the concept in Google, you’ll come across varied results. Such results would include how CEO’s of reputed organizations interpret the concept in the first place and how they later set effective strategies to provide the best customer experience in their sector.
But this is where you need to pause and understand that the concept isn’t that complicated as others take it for. As discussed earlier, customer experience is how customers engage with a company or a brand and the solution they receive for their queries during their journey with an organization.
One thing that an organization needs to understand at this point is how it’s not a particular time or a phase where they constantly need to interact with their customers. It’s the whole customer journey they need to take into account. From the point where a customer approaches the organization to them filling in the feedback form, your executives should constantly engage with them to build a delightful experience.
Once an executive takes control of the customer journey, building a positive experience for all your customers won’t seem to be a challenging task at hand. Also, gaining positive feedbacks for your services will become easy for your organization, thus helping you establish a strong brand name in the market. If anything, your customers would love coming back for more services.
There is no doubt that customer experience is the top business benefit that is sought by executives belonging from all the sectors. However, reaching this benefit requires an in-depth understanding of the concept at hand - customer experience.
Once you are clear with the concept, it is important for you to recognize the benefits customer experience can bring in for an organization. These benefits include:
- Boost in sales
- Positive boost towards brand reputation
- Improved customer loyalty towards the organization
However, attaining these benefits isn’t easy. There are various challenges that should be checked in order to improve the most sought after business benefit i.e. customer experience. These challenges are:
- Bad data organization (Which can be resolved if your chat service comes with a CRM integration at hand that stores all customer data for brand improvement and future references)
- Lack of employee engagement (which can be resolved if the organization involves the HR team to promote activities that ingrain the mission, vision, and values of the company)
- Lack of realistic marketing goals (which can be resolved if the company focuses on creating personalized and planned marketing goals that can be achieved within the specific period of time)
- Lack of understanding on the concept of customer experience (which can be solved once the companies are clear about the fact that they need to be present during the entire customer journey)
Once these challenges are resolved by the organization, there is no way they can fail at achieving this top sought after business benefit.
Jason is a Sr. Technical Writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.