What is Customer Experience / CX

What is Customer Experience / CX

Understanding Customer Experience / CX

Great CX requires a customer-centric mindset… and a lot of careful work. This guide is your introduction to the basics: why CX is important, how to improve it through customer feedback and surveys,

What is Customer Experience / CX?

The customer experience is everything related to a company or business that affects a customer’s perception and feelings about it. It includes customer-facing interactions throughout the customer journey (commonly known as touch points) that can have an obvious or subtle effect on customer loyalty. It’s also influenced by elements such as brand recognition and corporate social responsibility.

The benefits of delivering a great CX include:

  • increased customer loyalty
  • increased customer satisfaction
  • better word-of-mouth marketing, positive reviews, and recommendations

All business models can benefit from improving the customer experience: subscription businesses can increase retention and reduce churn, e-commerce marketplaces can increase repeat custom and reduce returns, and service industries can gain recommendations and reduce complaints.

What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?

In short, customer service is just one part of the whole customer experience.

customer experience is a customer’s overall perception of your company, based on their interactions with it. Comparatively, customer service refers to specific touchpoints within the experience where a customer requests and receives assistance or help—for example, calling an operator to request a refund or interacting via email with a service provider.

  CX is larger than customer service. It includes every touchpoint a customer ever has with your company, whether it’s the moment they first hear about you in a blog post they found on Google, all the way through to the time they call your customer service team to complain about your product

What’s a good customer experience?

A good customer experience entails everything that can leave an impression on a customer, which makes it impossible to be completely simplified. It calls for expert leadership that understands how each department plays a role in crafting an encouraging customer experience. There isn’t one department that “owns” the customer experience; that kind of mentality ultimately results in the fragmented approach that Brian warns of. To deliver a top-notch customer experience means each part of it must strive to be customer-centric.

We’ve broken it down into four parts that should be unified for delivering the customer experience: sales, marketing, product, and customer service.

Marketing

Marketing’s role in the customer experience might be the most dynamic; it needs to be constantly adjusting to match the shifting needs of their customers. The department is often responsible for making the first impression on a prospect through ads, outbound campaigns, and word-of-mouth. Its influence continues through a company’s public communications, web presence, and how their brand is conveyed. The data accumulated through marketing efforts can expose the trends and habits of customers, which in turn can inspire more personalized and tailored customer experiences.

Sales

Sales organizations are responsible for solidifying the expectations of becoming and being a customer. Outside of quick retail experiences, the sales process is often very attentive to the customer journey and meeting the needs of their prospects. This provides valuable insights concerning what customers are looking for (be it specific features, follow-ups, support requirements, etc.) which in turn can influence the efforts in the other departments. When CX is in-sync, sales can be more enabled to close repeat purchases, reduce churn rates, and increase customer value.

Product

The goods and services provided by a company and the customer experience are closely linked; many customers will pay more for an experience than the product they’re receiving (think of the differences between high-class dining and fast-casual fare). Beyond the immediate experience, there are details like reliability, affordability, user experience (UX), general ease of use, and a product’s life cycle that all tie into the customer experience. The experience provided by the product is the primary contributor to a business’s reputation, which in turn impacts every other part of the customer experience.

Customer service

After a sale, customer service is the primary department that interacts with the customer. That doesn’t mean that support the “totality” of the customer experience, but it can often be the deciding factor for ensuring a positive experience. Support agents are in a position to garner necessary feedback on the customer experience: they can see how customers interact with the product, how (and if) expectations are being met, and how the customer base is changing. Feedback is the most critical part of the customer experience; businesses can’t effectively evolve without it.

6 things that cause bad customer experiences

Bad customer experience comes in many shapes and sizes, but we noticed a number of commonly-reported issues in our customer experience stats.

Bad customer experience is primarily caused by:

  • Long wait times
  • Employees who do not understand customer needs
  • Unresolved issues/questions
  • Too much automation/not enough of a human touch
  • Service that is not personalized
  • Rude/angry employees

How to measure and analyze customer experience