A customer experience (CX) strategy is where you set out how you intend to optimise your customers’ journeys so their engagement with you is as relevant and resonant as it can be.
It covers every part of your organisation, including your product, marketing, sales and service, exploring all the interactions between you and your customers.
It should include online and physical touchpoints, such as email communications or how customers deal with you person-to-person.
Good customer experiences are frictionless. They make it easy for your customers to achieve their goals, helping them research, buy and use the products and services you offer. A good customer experience strategy can help your organisation achieve its purpose and goals, too.
Statistics show that good customer experience (CX) reaps the rewards. Research by Salesforce found that 89% of business buyers and 92% of consumers are more likely to buy from you again after a positive customer experience.
Building a CX strategy is best divided into stages that form part of a CX strategy framework, such as:
Customer personas are a tool that help you get to know your both existing and potential customers.
A persona is a detailed representation of a customer, including their motivations and what helps to drive their buying decisions.
It’s widely referred to as a ‘fictional’ customer representation but should be data-driven and evidence-based.
Personas should embody elements such as demographics, buying behaviours, motivations and pain points of a customer type or segment.
It helps you to see your target market as real people, so consider assigning a name to each persona, such as “Careful Colin”, to help facilitate brainstorming and decision-making.
You should base customer personas on data and insights.
Consider interviewing and surveying existing customers, or use your company’s sales teams and customer service staff as a frontline customer insights resource.
Gather insights into audience demographics, location, interests, technology, and the social channels they use.
Trend reports can provide valuable insights into new customer markets or analyse customer reviews of target competitors to gain an inside view of competing CX approaches.
Empathy mapping entails a deeper dive into your customer personas. It explores their motivations, needs, desires and pain points.
Benefits of empathy mapping include:
Speak to current or potential customers to create an empathy map.
You can find multiple examples of an empathy map in the online whiteboard Miro, which makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues.
What they have in common is that they explore four key elements:
Your customers are likely bombarded with messages from rival brands that’ll also have CX strategies in place. Reviewing these will help you identify aspects you can improve, and develop reasons for customers to believe in your brand.
Conduct a mystery shop with competitors, putting yourself in their customers’ shoes. What is the buying experience like? What tone of voice do their use in their marketing? What do customer reviews on sites like Feefo, Reviews.io and TrustPilot say?
A customer experience map provides a framework for understanding how customers interact with your brand.
One example of a CX framework is Philip Kotler’s 5As Customer Path, which helps you explore five stages of your customer’s journey. The 5As stand for:
You can create a visual customer journey map, using information from persona and empathy mapping.
These capture different stages of a customer journey aligned to the 5As (Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Service, Loyalty), touchpoints, customer experience, business goals and teams involved at each stage of a customer’s journey.
You can use CX maps to plot your current and desired customer journey.
For example, a customer journey map in the travel sector may include all the stages a customer experiences finding, choosing, booking, travelling and experiencing a holiday.
For each stage of our holiday example, you’ll need to identify touchpoints such as:
For each stage, examine elements that impact customer experience, such as:
By examining each touch point and understanding how the customer feels and behaves, you can design a better customer experience that fixes pain points and make the customer experience positive and frictionless.
So, how do you know if it works?
A successful customer experience strategy will show in your bottom line, but customer feedback is the best measure of success.
Specific CX scores you can measure include:
Regular customer surveys can help you measure the above, but you should also keep a close eye on review sites, social media channels, and other physical touchpoints.
If you need help finding the right expertise for your CX project, let the Portevo platform guide you through scoping, searching and selection.
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