As a business owner, you know how hard you work to perfect your product, research your audience, and market your content. In the various and sundry channels that exist in today’s oversaturated market, it can sometimes be unclear if anyone is picking up your message. When you’re working this hard, you want your efforts to translate into loyal, reliable customers who connect with your brand on a meaningful level.
Designing a Customer Experience that connects with your audience throughout the customer journey is the key to unlocking your business’s earning potential.
What is Customer Experience
Think of Customer Experience as Customer Service’s older, wiser sister. You’re not just responding to customer complaints or trying to fix problems after they’ve already occurred. While customer service is undoubtedly important, it’s just one aspect of Customer Experience.
Good Customer Experience is tailored to your audience, is customer-centric, and designed to ensure your customers encounter a seamless experience from the point of their very first interaction that endears them to your brand and products. It’s the entire package of your business that allows your brand and products to reach your specific audience and then keep them.
Customer Experience Touchpoints: People & Product
A major factor of Customer Experience is what is known as a Touchpoint. Touchpoints refer to every point of interaction between your customer and your product. Touchpoints can include any and all customer interactions from a great review on social media, to a stylized Instagram post, to a billboard on the side of a bus.
Anticipating the various touchpoints throughout the customer journey is crucial to your customer experience management strategy. You want the touchpoints that your customers experience to instill a sense of trust, value, and - dare we say - fun.
These touchpoints are the valuable moments that spark identity with your product. They create and foster the connection that speaks to your audience, brings them in, and translates to repeat sales. By crafting and finessing the touchpoints throughout Customer Experience, you can grab the very people who can help you build your business.
Importance of Customer Experience
In order to secure sales and stand out from your competitors, you need to design a Customer Experience that makes your customers feel important, recognized, and valued.
Any time you’re in the business of selling a product, you’re also in the business of connecting with people. Which also means you’re in the business of creating human relationships and meeting the customer expectations. People are unique and love to feel that the products they bring into their lives reflect their values and personality.
People also love to feel like their needs are met, meaning once you hook your customers you need to make sure your socials, website, and customer support makes them want to stay. And then come back.
The Customer Experience encapsulates every moment that a customer spends with your business. If they have a bad experience, you need a way to measure that feedback right away, fix it, provide them a better experience, and then make sure it doesn’t happen again. Likewise, if your customer has a great experience, you want to capture that feedback as well and keep, or even expand, the aspects of your business that made it happen.
How to Make a Great Customer Experience
To ensure your business consistently creates a great customer experience for your target audience, you’ll need to master Customer Experience Management. Customer Experience Management is the process of identifying your customer, mapping touchpoints, and measuring customer satisfaction.
A successful business doesn’t look at Customer Experience Management as an initial planning tool. Instead, think of it as an ever-evolving rubric you can use to a) gauge your business’s success in reaching your customers, b) provide everything they need to purchase your product, and c) allow them to become a word of mouth advocate for your brand.
To successfully create an effective Customer Experience, follow these steps and revisit them often:
- Develop core values - as a company, create and adhere to values that speak to your target audience. Values will help you remain consistent across the customer journey and deliver on the type of experience you established through whichever touchpoint attracted your customers initially.
- Plan Your Touchpoints - consciously map touchpoints that you can use to attract your customer base to your business and website. Make sure these touchpoints are consistent with your values and brand.
- Collect Feedback - devise a method of collecting customer feedback in real time. You can use an automated service, follow up emails, or social media comments. Ideally, you’ll synthesize customer feedback to either change what the customer didn’t like or expand what they loved most.
By purposefully utilizing Customer Experience Management, you can manifest a better customer experience that translates to loyal customers and increased sales. In short, you’ll unlock that crucial customer engagement that you need to create a viable, growing business.