Part 2: Be a Part of “Age Of Experience” - Customer Experience Questions Answered
Customer Experience is a concept that has been given constant priority by the business world over the past few years. Brands need to create perfectly working experiences to stand out from their competitors and to create loyal customers.
In our previous article titled "Customer Experience Questions Answered", we made an introduction to the deep and comprehensive subject of customer experience, and went over some of the key concepts we can classify in the subject customer experience. We tried to understand what customer experience was, we have defined the customer experience, explored why it is important, explaining where it differs from customer service, and how we can enrich and ultimately measure the experience that customers go through. You can click here to read our article titled Understanding the Customer Experience.
1. How to Tell If You Need to Improve Your Customer Experience
There can be more than one way to find this out. Of course, feedback from customers is the first thing that comes to mind. However, we know that each negative feedback means that you have 26 unhappy customers who are keeping silent at the same time (source). The other 25 customers are switching to another competitor product or service by changing their preferences instead of sharing their opinions with you. Although collecting feedback is absolutely necessary to find the source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of your customers, it may sometimes need to be supported by various data.
If your brand has a decline in market share, it probably means that your customers are leaving you. Such data are the most important indication that you need to improve your customer experience.
An increase in spending on acquiring new customers as well as a decrease your existing customers may mean that you must work harder to improve the experience you offer your customers. So you should keep track of how much new customer acquisition costs to you. To calculate customer acquisition cost, you can divide the cost of all activities you do to acquire customers to your customer count.
You can also follow the recommendations and comments about your company on social media. From time to time, customers prefer to share their complaints directly on social media without sharing them with you. Do not just follow the negative comments, if there is a decrease in positive comments and recommendations, it may mean that your customers are having less positive experiences.
2. How much does my product or service affect the experience of my customers?
The answer to this question is actually rather short. Your product or service itself becomes less important to your customers day by day.
Today, competition is higher than ever and increasing day by day. With the help of technology, it is now much easier to reach the best quality raw materials, the highest quality materials or the best manufacturers and to obtain detailed information on any subject. This is a huge thing for consumers because everything they want is instantaneously at their disposal. This situation also constantly increases the number of companies, that is, the players in the market that are getting established, which is inversely proportional to the amount of capital.
In an environment where product and service quality is so close to those of competitors, the most logical way for brands to really connect with their customers seems to be to offer them perfect experiences. Although the meaning and scope of customer experience have been intensively discussed in the recent years, many research and statistics clearly demonstrate that customers are now choosing brands according to their experience.
3. Which targets should be set when designing the Customer Experience?
You can obviously set numerical targets based on the sales rates you want to achieve. Nevertheless, Carol Buehler's "Crazy R.A.V.I.N.G. Customer" book mentions the 6 main targets that are appropriate for every type of company, which are extremely comprehensive. What are these 6 targets?
1. Understanding Your Customers Better
You should research, regularly collect feedback, and build a team to interpret this data if possible, in order to understand the expectations and emotional characteristics of your customers and to divide them into segments.
2. Becoming a More Customer-Oriented Organization
You should create a structure where your employees are in close contact with your customers, your customers are more involved with your business, you are able to examine your customer personas in every project and your daily decisions are taken along with your customers.
3. Provide Your Customers with Experiences that will Enable Your Customers to Connect with You Emotionally
You can design experiences that stimulate the senses, surprise your customers at points where you regularly encounter them or support your customers in designing the products they use.
4. Regular Measurement and Development
Develop systematic measurement techniques, take regular measurements, follow opportunities and potential communication improvements.
5. Increasing Leadership Skills
To achieve this target, you can conduct in-house leadership training programs, presentations for leadership development with experts, useful seminars and webinars, and collaborate with professional customer experience organizations.
6. Creating Cultural Change
Finally, do not forget to place customer-orientation into the core of your employees' work culture. For this, you can go over customer scenarios with your employees, and you can ask them to be organized among themselves to achieve your targets. With performance assessments or award mechanisms, you can further enhance the customer experience by celebrating the achievements of your employees.
4. How do I determine how much to spend in order to invest in the customer experience?
According to research 55% of customers are ready to pay more when they are guaranteed a good experience. It would be a huge loss for your business not to invest in your customer experience as the customers are readily prepared to pay. But of course, this is not the only reason to invest in customer experience. If you are observing that the gap between you and your competitors is increasing in surveys or competitive analyzes you are carrying out, it is time for you to include customer experience expenditures in your overhead expenses. But for those who have come across customer experience for the first time, the most confusing subject is the amount of money that should be spent on these processes.
Of course, it is clear that a small initiative or a startup is not as profitable as a bank, airline company or luxury hotel chain. Here you should make the decision yourself by experimenting according to the size of your company. Implement any idea that comes to your mind and do not be afraid of being original. If you have a small business, you can prepare your own free training program and train your employees in communication with customers. Maybe you have a shop and you put hot cookies on your counter every morning. Or you have a big-scale business and you assign a new manager to your customer service department.
The important thing is to analyze the data from your customers correctly and to make stronger decisions using these analyses. Having a big or small scale company will surely affect your spending, but the budget is never the single most important aspect of the customer experience.
5. Where should I start?
Actually, we can say that we provided the answer to this question just above. There are many steps you can take and lots of resources you can follow on the subject of customer experience. There is no single formula, but many different ways to make your customers bond with you. Taking steps towards the target by staying in touch with the customers, listening to them and analyzing the responses are the responsibilities of the companies. Because ultimately, they are the ones to choose you and decide to buy your products or services.
Do you have any other questions about the customer experience? Pisano also provides consulting services alongside the feedback systems that will grow your business and reinforce the decisions you make. You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to find answers to your questions about customer experience and to get strategic support from our team that includes important figures of the industry!