A mantra, though old but live, for the success of organizations in this competitive world is “Don’t do different things, do the things differently”. This will be possible by understanding the behavioral patterns of customers on the products/ services and brands. Understanding the customer analytics will help organizations improve the quality of products/ services and develop a product or cost differentiation strategy thereby customer satisfaction will be met.
Customer Experience (CX) is an approach to recognize the customer’s interests and helps organizations design, develop, and implement customer-centric strategic plans to improve satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. In simple words, CX is to know what perception the customer has on your products/ services or brand. CX emphasizes on the association merely between organizations and customers.
Customer Experience can be achieved through a CRM, AI driven Solutions, Chatbots, Real-time Analytics, and other advanced Cloud-based ERP solutions and many more. However, while developing a Customer Experience strategy, it will be a struggle to leaders to design the projects which leads to rise in customer loyalty and gain results.
As said, CX focuses on voice of the customer, personas and journeys, and customer insights towards businesses and their services/ brands, which results in competitive advantage to the businesses, building of brand loyalty, brand reputation, increase in customer retention, and customer lifetime value.
Five ways to develop Customer Experience Strategy
From the Marketing theories, we all know that “Bargaining power of Buyers” is a key arm of Porter’s Five Forces. In this competitive world, bargaining power of buyers i.e. customers, is paramount and Customers, if not satisfied, can easily switch to another service provider in the market, which ultimately turns businesses lose their customers. Periodic surveys to know the customer’s perceptions are vital for organizations to upgrade and improve their brand value, service portfolio, competitive strategies, and customer retention mechanisms. Below are the five (5) keyways to develop successful Customer Experience strategies:
Understand the customers and maintain the customer profiles: The first and foremost step of businesses to realize the customers and maintain the customer profiles. Knowing more about the customers will help you deliver the right and relevant services with more effectiveness. Organizations categorize customer profiles based on demographics, country of operations, industry, and other various factors to identify their preferences and serve the need.
Listen to the voice of customers: businesses must see the target customers and understand their personas with respect to their brand and products. Speaking to the customers in regular intervals through online surveys (Customer Satisfaction surveys), feedback and other campaigns helps to know what their perception towards your brand is, and how well they are connected, whether any improvements they are expecting etc. Based on this information, a trend of interests and pattern of expectations can be drawn that ultimately be a first and foremost step to take business decisions towards meeting customer expectations.
Gather the appropriate set of data: Data always speaks and gathering and analyzing the right data on customer’s interests and feedback will let the organizations know the gaps between the customers and businesses, so that businesses will have an opportunity to remove the gap and satisfy the customers by upgrading the existing products/ services and brands to the interest of customers. This can be structured or unstructured, collected through customer feedback coms, online survey tools, and customized campaigns etc.
Adaption of right technologies to read the data: It is vital for any organizations to use advanced and appropriate technology platforms or applications to gather and analyze the customer behavior patterns and convert the data collected into actionable insights for the benefit of business leaders in the form of real-time analytic reports and/ or dashboards. The trend of adapting AI driven technologies and customer analytics has been seen most widely in the organizations that delivers quick, agile, and real-time customer-centric data and insights. For ex: Chatbots and live chats (voice, text and video) helps engaging with customers to instantly resolve the issues of customers, and also reduce the resolution time.
Omnichannel CX: Developing an omnichannel strategy helps organizations make customer interactions and know their behavior across their life cycle. Customers expect positive experience from each interaction with the businesses, thus a seamless journey across all channels, both online and offline is the key to provide a consistent omnichannel customer experience. Omnichannel CX strategy aims on delivering a unified customer service experience irrespective of the channel used by customers to reach out to your business. This allows customers to get in touch their desired channels of communication by doing a effortless transition in the same interaction.
Good and bad customer experience
There is a thin line between good and bad customer experience, but results are very huge when it comes to reality.
Positive Customer Experience keeps customers satisfied and happy from each interaction with your business. Positive or good CX offers customers a choice to connect with their chosen businesses and brand anytime, anywhere, through any device – an omnichannel strategy. This also include easy options and loyalty programs, in all the ways, for customers to choose your brand and reward the loyalty.
However, this requires intelligence tools and systems to collect and analyze customer data and develop insights so that seamless and personalized customer experience can be delivered. According to pwc survey, 63% of customers in US are open to share the data for a product or services they truly value.
On the other hand, bad customer experience results in unsatisfaction and frustration of customers as this will ignore and neglect the preferences and priorities of customers. Periodic upgrade and regular interactions with customers will not take place to resolve customer issues, resulting in losing of customers. The disconnection may also happen while interacting with customers with no knowledge on previous customer interactions and without customer profiles in their existing CRM systems. A survey conducted pwc revealed that in the US, 17% customers will switch to another brand from the brand they love if they have one bad experience; 59% will walk away after several bad experiences.
Measuring Customer Experience
Customer Experience is a subjective concept that's difficult to measure. To understand the customer’s perceptions towards businesses and brand, organizations conduct a survey with a questionnaire designed to capture various views. Here are the key metrics that are widely used:
Customer Effort Score (CES): CES is a measure of how easy or difficulty to use the product or service by the customers.
Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS is a customer loyalty score that measures the likeliness of the customers recommending your brand or product or services.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT surveys measure customers’ satisfaction with the product or service they receive from you.
Time To Resolution (TTR): TTR is the average length of time it takes customer service teams to resolve an issue or ticket after it’s been opened by a customer. If TTR is high, customer’s satisfaction will be dropped.
Customer Experience – a top notch priority
According to a survey conducted on ~1920 business professionals, Customer Experience is chosen as top priority for the businesses in the next five years, stood with 45.9%, followed by product (33.6%) and pricing (20.5%). This also revealed that 14% of business are expecting a significant increase in budget for Customer experience initiatives over next years, and 30% are expecting a slight increase in the same.
Many surveys revealed that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, and if customers believe that they receive, or are receiving greater customer experience, they are even ready to pay a price premium of up to 13% (and as high as 18%). 49% of buyers have made stimulus purchases after receiving a more personalized customer experience. Customers that rate companies with a high customer experience score (i.e. 10/10) spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to 6 years.
Bloomberg Businessweek revealed that “delivering a great customer experience” has become a top strategic objective. And a recent Customer Management IQ survey revealed that 75% of customer experience management executives and leaders rated customer experience as top with ‘5’ on a scale of 1-5 (5 being of the highest importance).
American Express, in its research, found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Further, the Temkin Group, in its study found, that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience, a 70% increase in revenue within 36 months.
To perorate, it is evident that Customer Experience is nothing but reading the mindset of customers on your brands and services, and strategies must be developed based on the behavioral patterns of the customers to retain them over the competition. This can be achieved by sophisticated technologies and AI driven solutions which collect and analyze the customer data from various channels and provides insights and recommendation with real-time analytics and dashboards. As this is the top notch priority by global leaders, organizations are recommended to invest in customer experience initiatives.
ACI Infotech’s Customer Experience (CX) Proposition and Suite of Offerings allows our clients to transform their relationships with their customers and create experiences which provide rapid and sustainable value, both for their end-customer and their own organization. We orchestrate Experience Design, Transformation Consulting, Marketing Execution, Architecture and Technology integration capabilities, all in a strong collaborative mode with them. We help our clients in:
- Creating experiences that build relationships
- Continuously evolving and reinventing brand purpose and proposition with their customers
- Embracing humanity, sensitivity, and intuition – grounded in rigorous analysis and cutting-edge technology
- Delivering Agile and Scalable CX projects