In today’s marketplace, customer experience can make or break your company’s reputation. It includes every aspect of doing business with you, from the time a consumer first learns about your brand to post-purchase. In simpler terms, customer experience is the journey you create for your customers. In a 2022 study by Salesforce, 88% of customers say the experience a company delivers is just as important as the products and services they offer.
When most people think of customer experience, they focus on the interactions consumers have when help is needed. But that’s just customer service. Customer experience includes, but is not limited to:
- Advertising – do your ads pull a consumer in and engage them?
- Customer service – how easy is it for a consumer to contact your business with questions or concerns?
- Consistency – do your website, app, social media pages and storefront (if you have one) tell the same story? Do they feel like the same brand?
- Technology – is your website intuitive? Is making an online purchase easy and frictionless?
- Pick-up & Delivery – do you offer options for customers to get their hands on your products?
- Post-Sale – what happens if a customer has a problem? Are you easy to deal with or is it a cumbersome process?
As you can see from this short list, customer experience is all about putting the consumer first, making them feel valued and doing your best to make their experience easy and enjoyable. According to the Coveo Relevance Report 2022, 76% of consumers leave a brand behind after three bad experiences and 12% after just one. But how do you know if you’re meeting expectations and providing a good customer experience? Like everything else when it comes to your business, there is no one size fits all solution. There are many different customer experience strategies you can use, but one of the easiest ways to get started is collecting customer feedback.
If you have a physical location, strike up a conversation with your customers at checkout. Simple, open-ended questions that encourage feedback like ‘How was your time in our store today?’, ‘Is there anything that would have made your experience today better?’. If you offer e-commerce, or you’re a solely digital business, follow up with customers via text or email asking them to complete a short survey. There is a vast pool of survey software online, available for every budget. Just a few simple questions can help you start to understand what you do really well, where you can make improvements, and how likely customers are to be repeat buyers and tell their family and friends about your business.
A great customer experience helps separate your brand from competitors in an age where the internet allows consumers to move freely between channels and brands at the touch of a button. By providing a memorable customer experience you’re building brand loyalty, creating greater brand awareness, and ensuring long-term success for your business.
If you don’t already know where you stand with your customers, there’s never been a better time to start.
Paige Sandvold is a Marketing Manager on the Brand and Platforms Team at Directwest.