What Is a Customer Experience Strategy?
By definition, a customer experience strategy is a business process that companies use to develop a positive, personalized, and meaningful encounter during every interaction that a customer has with their business, both before and after a purchase.
Customer experience strategies are far more than a trend or buzzword. Instead, the technique encompasses each touchpoint that could influence how a customer base perceives a brand. As such, organizations should consider the following when designing a successful customer experience plan:
- End-to-end touchpoints
- Customer data
- Distribution channel analysis
- Industry insight
- User emotion
- Customer service department gap analysis
- Overall mission and vision
- Company-wide action points
- Training, engagement, and interactions between coworkers
Further, customer experience plans should involve all departments, not only the customer-facing teams. By placing the customer journey at the forefront of the marketing, sales, and development processes, businesses can better align their teams to deliver a positive customer interaction.
How Do Customer Experience Strategies Impact Customer Service?
Customer care departments play a vital role in a company’s customer experience strategy. In many cases, customer service employees may be the first human interaction that customers have with your company.
Customer assistance departments can leverage a comprehensive customer experience strategy to boost brand loyalty, deliver personalized assistance, and stay one step ahead of their competition. Other benefits of a well-executed customer experience strategy include:
1. Improved Customer Care
As mentioned above, the best customer experience strategies result in a seamless, positive customer journey. Each time the customer interacts with your business, they should feel valued and seen. With this in mind, you can leverage your customer care team to keep customers happy, engaged, and satisfied.
Many businesses incorporate key performance indicators (KPIs) like the Net Promoter Score® scale into their customer experience strategies to measure churn and brand loyalty ratings. The factors also indicate where companies can improve their customer experience strategies.
2. Cohesive Customer Experience
Customer experience strategies include policies and procedures to ensure a cohesive customer experience. In addition, the plans work proactively to identify and mitigate potential “pain points,” or areas in the sales or product support processes where customers may run into problems or find a reason to stop before making a purchase or completing a subscription.
The forward-thinking strategy results in a seamless experience from start to finish while improving your brand’s relationship with customers.
3. Streamlined Customer Service Operations
Finally, customer experience strategies provide ways to streamline customer service operations. While each company may adopt a different approach, some popular options include:
- Self-service tools
- Brand-wide knowledge bases
- AI-powered chatbots
- Live chat agents
- Automated surveys
How to Develop a Customer Experience Strategy
Developing a customer experience strategy begins with a thorough understanding of user expectation and current customer satisfaction ratings. Before creating your plan, review your current customer support strategy and determine how happy your customers are with your previous practices. Then, work with your team to create a comprehensive approach by:
1. Determining Customer Expectations
Each customer has basic expectations for your brand. No matter the circumstances, you should be helpful, reliable, and consistent. That said, your customers may have different needs every time they interact with your brand.
With this in mind, consider ways to deliver rapid, real-time assistance and highly personalized care while determining what type of solution the customer requires during each interaction.
2. Creating a Customer Experience Map
A customer experience map should include all the touchpoints and pain points your customers encounter while interacting with your brand via social media, your website, or in person. The map makes it easy to learn where you can remove roadblocks, streamline processes, and increase or improve interactions.
3. Training Customer Service Agents
Finally, address any friction points found within your customer service strategy. You may need to develop new policies or incorporate new technology to help meet organizational goals. Still, the additional training, research, and investment in a positive customer experience will pay off, especially in a competitive industry.
How to Create a Great Customer Experience
Developing a customer-obsessed business approach can drastically improve the overall user experience. With this in mind, consider the following techniques for optimized customer experiences, happy shoppers, and productive teams.
- Invest in an omnichannel communication plan.
- Create relevant self-service content to streamline the customer journey and minimize call center workloads.
- Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to amplify support offerings.
- Train customer-facing teams to provide value through fast, caring, and positive assistance.
- Use customer feedback and best practices to empower leadership with a customer-first mindset.
- Implement a customer loyalty program or other incentives to encourage loyalty.
- Incorporate a Net Promoter Score survey into each customer interaction and use the information obtained as a resource to set key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives for customer care teams.
Customer Experience Strategies for Service Departments
Customer experience strategies enable organizations to improve every aspect of the consumer journey. However, customer service teams can especially benefit from the business process in countless ways, ranging from higher satisfaction rates to a competitive edge against other competing brands and the ability to charge a premium price for products or services.