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How to develop an effective customer experience strategy

Putting the customer experience at the heart of your business model can be an effective growth path. A robust and unique customer experience defines a brand, regardless of industry. Here’s a look at what defines a customer experience strategy, as well as how to make yours more effective.

What defines customer experience?

Customer experience is defined as the customers’ perception of their interaction with your brand. This includes online interactions, from targeted ads to social media posts and website navigation. It also includes distant or in-person interaction, such as experiences with a call center or retail staff member. However, it’s also defined by your actual products or services. A high-quality, good-value product boosts the customer experience just as much as how customer complaints are handled by staff.

Why is a customer experience strategy so important?

After a positive customer experience, 86% of customers are likely to repurchase and 77% are likely to recommend. When customers have a positive interaction with a brand, it translates into repeat business, positive reviews, and free word-of-mouth marketing. Here are just a few of the main advantages of a compelling customer experience strategy:

  • Increase in repeat sales

  • Increase in customer loyalty

  • Increase in positive reviews and recommendations

  • Positive media attention

  • Increased customer retention rate

  • Reduction in returns

Customer experience plan

When you start creating a customer experience strategy, one of the first steps is to craft an actionable plan. Here’s a general list of priorities that tend to create a positive customer experience.

  • Ask for customer feedback

  • Use feedback to devise new products and systems

  • Respond to criticism or negative feedback promptly

  • Create an organized system to act on feedback

  • Offer personalized service when possible

  • Don’t rely solely on algorithms or automated interaction

  • Respond to customer queries quickly and efficiently

This checklist is by no means exhaustive, but one takeaway is that it’s imperative to listen to customers and convert their feedback into direct action. You can then use this as the basis of your customer experience business strategy.

Customer experience strategy metrics

It’s one thing to request feedback from customers, but how do you quantify it? First, you’ll need to collect information from emails, support calls, positive and negative reviews, and surveys. Here are some of the most effective options:

1. Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES surveys are filled out by the customer at the conclusion of any interaction, with questions pertaining to how their issue was resolved on a scale from “difficult” to “easy.”

2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT is similar to CES, but it measures satisfaction with the product or service, rather than the resolution of problems.

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS pertains to customer loyalty, asking customers if they would recommend your product or service to a friend.

Customer experience strategy best practices

When designing your customer experience strategy, best practices include surveying customers for feedback and developing an in-depth persona. With this knowledge in mind, you can then effectively map the customer journey. Think of this as a visual representation of the customer’s interaction with your business, from start to finish.

Here’s what to include in a customer experience guide or map:

  • Customer persona: Use the personas you’ve compiled from market research, interviews, and detailed feedback.

  • Pain Points: One of the main ways to improve your customer experience business strategy is through defining areas that need improvement. Pain points are areas where customers experience difficulties with your service. This could be long wait times, confusing website jargon, or unavailable products.

  • Positive Points: You should also highlight what your business is doing right, basing this information on the customer feedback you’ve collected.

  • Customer channels: The map should showcase clear channels or pathways that a customer typically passes through. One could be from social media advertising to website to phone line, for example.

By mapping out the customer journey from start to finish, you’ll be better able to create a positive customer experience, increasing retention, and decreasing churn rates. Remember that it’s an evolving process, so regular feedback is vital for consistent growth.

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