As a leader, don’t you want to deliver experiences that make customers return for more? We’re guessing you want that, and that’s precisely why we’re here. From getting to know the importance of a customer experience (CX) strategy to building one in just eight simple steps, you’ll learn all about it.
Off we go!
What Is CX Strategy?
The customer experience (CX) is a metric that tells you what customers think, perceive, and feel about the brand. This can be from their interactions with your products and services.
A CX or customer experience strategy is like a plan businesses use to ensure customers have a great time when they buy or use their products or services.
It’s about creating a positive and smooth customer experience so they’re happy and want to return. This strategy involves understanding what customers like and making changes to meet their needs, solving problems quickly, and keeping things consistent so that every customer feels good about their interaction with the business.
The goal is to make customers happy, satisfied, and eager to keep doing business with the company.
Since you’ve got a good enough idea of CX from here, let’s now understand why having a quality CX strategy is so important.
Take a look at this…
CX Strategy Example
Have you been like…
“hmm, let me watch something on Netflix.”
Netflix: Should I play this movie for you?
Your mind: No, No. I’m just looking at it for a second.
Netflix: Here, I’ll put it on.
Your mind: I’m just literally here to read about it. Nothing more.
Netflix: It’s playing. Enjoy! 🙂
Your mind: Well then, okay. Thanks, I guess!
Did you ever get persuaded by Netflix to watch a movie you never thought you would?
That’s the power the platform has to persuade us (in the most natural way possible) to watch by showing us the trailer as soon as we click on a movie or series. We often end up watching because of this natural persuasion by their search engine.
Then there’s their “Top picks for…” category that gets viewers hooked to their site as they get content they want to see. And when you want to chill and have a good time. What’s better than that?
Well Netflix makes this possible by focusing extensively on giving a seamless customer experience or CX and using a tried and tested CX strategy.
Before building a strategy, you need to have accurate data in your hands. Measuring customer experience (CX) is like checking how much customers like your business.
1. NPS (Net Promoter Score): It’s like asking customers if they would recommend your business to their friends. They rate it from 0 to 10. The higher the score, the better. People who give a 9 or 10 are your “promoters,” meaning they like you.
2. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction): This determines how satisfied customers are with your product or service. You ask them to rate their satisfaction, often using smiley faces or a scale. The more happy faces, the better.
3. CES (Customer Effort Score): This measures how easily customers can use your service or get help. You want it to be easy for them. So, lower scores are better because it means less effort for customers.
4. Customer Churn Rate: Churn is like when customers leave and don’t return. You want to keep this number low. If many customers leave, it might mean they’re unhappy with something.
Moreover, you must:
Create a Customer Journey Map: Imagine a map showing all the steps a customer takes when using your product. This helps you understand where they might face problems or have a good time. It’s like following their journey from the beginning to the end.
NPS Benchmarking: This is like comparing your NPS scores with other businesses in your industry. It helps you see if you’re doing better or if there’s room for improvement. If your score is higher than others, it’s a good sign!
How to Build a CX Strategy
The massive importance of CX strategy stems from its influence on the buyer’s decisions. The right customer experience strategy works throughout a customer’s decision-making process.
Now, this process comprises six different phases or steps. A well-tested and honed CX strategy plays a crucial role in every phase. Let’s talk about it one by one.
#1 Identify The Need
Necessity is the mother of all inventions. That’s true, even for customers.
Most (almost all) decisions to buy or purchase something begin with identifying its need. This sense of need then makes the customer go looking for a purchase. So, ensure you have a clear idea of the customer decision journey.
So, as a company, you and your team must identify when or why your target audience feels this need and prepare a CX strategy to attract them for a purchase. This strategy is a bottom-of-the-funnel activity.
Hence, it needs to be indirect. But you need to give them the right experience starting from here.
#2 Look For A Solution
The second step in the decision-making process is research. No matter how instinctive a buyer is, some thought goes into buying an item. This is where blogs, tutorials, and videos form part of your CX strategy.
You want to empower customers to make the right decision, and giving quality informational content goes a long way while enhancing their experience with your brand.
#3 Know The Alternatives
Now that the research part is over, your target customers must have decided what they need to buy. They would have put down specific criteria to judge all the options available.
So here, they will evaluate, mark, and put away every review, advertisement, and marketing campaign they see. This is where their experience of using your website or accessible trails should be top-notch.
Both of which form an integral part of your CX strategy.
#4 Select The Best
Before making a buying decision, buyers love to compare all the options quickly. By doing this, they know which product is within their range, what qualities appeal to them the most, and which is the more convenient option. These are all questions that need to be addressed in your CX strategy.
#5 Evaluate The Purchase
Finally, the customers buy and start using your product or service, and they evaluate it, too. Questions that come up in this step are –
Is the product worth its cost? Is it worth recommending to others? Will I want to renew its subscription/Will I want to purchase this again? And so on.
A negative experience here can lead them to go away, while a positive one can turn them into your loyalists. And your post-purchase CX strategy determines that.
This is one aspect most enterprises overlook (Kudos if you’re not one among them!).
How you treat a customer after a purchase shows the value you invest in your audience base. Appreciate the time and effort they put into your brand, thank them from the bottom of your heart, and ensure they feel valued and important.
Moreover, always respond. Whether they are someone who has not made a purchase recently or a brand-new customer, be prompt with their queries.
CX Strategy: A Nine-Step Guide
We’ve now addressed what CX is and the importance of a CX strategy. With these out of the way, it’s time to discuss the all-important question: How can you build a CX strategy in just nine simple steps?
1. Find Your Target Customers
This is the first step in any customer experience strategy, especially after the pandemic. 59% of consumers care more about their experience with a brand than what they did before the pandemic.
So, you want to give as much time as your team needs to identify the target consumers. The fact is, you cannot give excellent experience and spend your resources on everyone.
A target customer group and ideal persona must be built to build your CX strategy.
Sitting down with your sales team would give you a great idea about who this group is. They deal with customer inquiries all day long. So, they know who or what type of buyers become your customers. And this knowledge is too good to be left unexplored.
2. Build And Adapt Based On What They Need
Once you have brainstormed with your sales team and found the target group, it’s time to call your product team for a meeting. Why? Because you need products and services that your target customer group needs.
Strictly speaking, it doesn’t matter if your offer isn’t pleasing you.
So, sit down with your product team to brainstorm and align the website with what your customer wants—embed chatbots and website feedback to improve customer engagement and take their experience to the next level.
Read More: How to Use AI To Improve Customer Engagement
Think and work towards delivering the same experience and satisfaction over your app and even with your solutions and products. Trust us. Your CX strategy is already a success if you’ve done this right.
3. Go Loud!
You know your target customers. You have the ideal buyer persona. And you and your product team have adapted the website, app, products, and solutions based on their needs. Then, what’s stopping you from talking about it?
See, if you have the right solution for the right customer, you need to go out and talk about it. Use advertising, run campaigns, write blogs, shoot videos, and engage on social media.
Do whatever you need to do to get more and more eyeballs, especially from your target group.
This is a massive part of your CX strategy because without attracting them, how would you deliver the right experience?
4. Make It Effortless
After attracting the right audience to your website, application, or product, the next step of your CX strategy is to make the entire process effortless.
Simply put, trying and testing different products, solutions, websites, and apps should be as effortless as possible.
This step is where you’ll deliver the right experience to your customers directly. So, please give them a product tour, employ chatbots to support them, and conduct customer effort surveys to know their customer effort score.
All this would give them a superb experience, and they’ll be delighted they came to check out your products.
5. Be Agile
According to a cross-industry leadership survey conducted, 53% of organizations did not have a CX leader, and only 23% of these leaders reported directly to the CEOs.
In the post-pandemic world, companies must deliver a quality customer experience agilely. Customer needs are changing faster than ever, and agility in your CX strategy is how you’ll keep up with these changes.
This is precisely why hiring a CX leader who reports directly to the decision-maker should be the next step of your CX strategy.
6. Go All In On Customer Service
This is the step in your CX strategy where your customers become loyalists. Yes, after giving them a positive experience with your products and website, giving them excellent customer service is how they’ll turn them into your fans.
And this would be possible if you’re investing in building and training the right team while incorporating the right technology to support customers.
In other words, the chatbots you’ll use need to have more and more contextual clarity and awareness. And they should be able to answer more than the usual pre-loaded user stories.
7. Monitor Customers Using Processes
87%. That’s the percentage of businesses who think customer feedback has become more important since Covid-19. Not having the proper process while building a CX strategy is a prime reason organizations cannot pivot quickly, effectively, and effortlessly based on new customer insights.
Next, implement a system to mobilize your team while working from home in response to the feedback. Ask them questions like:
- How will you solve these queries?
- What should we do so this issue never comes up?
- How will you follow up with your customers?
- How quickly can you solve their issues?
- What should we do to improve their experience further?
Use the right automation tools to make your and your team’s life easier and improve productivity. And use a channel to share information with everyone so they’re all on the same page.
8. Test, Test, And Test Some More
Your customer experience strategy will succeed when you test and change it regularly. It should change based on every customer’s needs, and these changes would take your CX strategy as close to perfection as it can get. You’ll even start seeing its results in your bottom line!
9. Close The Loop
It is like finishing a conversation with a customer. If they tell you something, you respond and fix any problems. It’s about showing customers you care about what they say and taking action to improve things.
There are some other key components you must include in your CX Strategy.
1. CX Surveys
Customer Experience surveys are like asking customers how they feel about your business. It’s like a friendly chat where you want to understand what they like and what could be better. The answers help you improve and make customers happier.
See this Customer Experience Survey Template for example:
2. AI Surveys
AI surveys are like having a smart helper ask customers questions. It’s using technology to make surveys easier and quicker. This helps businesses get feedback faster and understand what customers want without making it hard for them to share their thoughts.
SurveySparrow’s AI surveys might be precisely what you’re looking for. Plus, with the ChatGPT plugin, survey creation is as easy as pie!
3. CX Framework
Always have a clear framework in hand.
A CX framework is like having a plan or guide for making customers happy. Businesses follow a set of steps or rules to create a great experience. Think of it like a recipe for success, ensuring every interaction with customers is cheerful and thoughtful.
Challenges You Will Face Trying To Achieve Quality CX
Now, you know how to build your customer experience strategy and how to do it in eight simple steps.
But would it be all easy-breezy? No. There would be challenges along the way which would require you to make smart decisions.
The following are the challenges our clients usually face while working on their CX strategy using SurveySparrow’s customer experience solution. Let’s look at it.
- Understanding Customer Needs: The challenge lies in aligning what you think customers want with their preferences, emphasizing the importance of accurate research, feedback, and customer satisfaction surveys.
- Consistency in Experiences: Eliminating random customer experiences caused by inconsistent delivery or errors from customer-facing teams poses a significant challenge in building a comprehensive CX strategy.
- Adapting to New Demands: The shift to remote work has altered how teams handle customer demands, necessitating the creation of specialized “experience teams” to address evolving needs.
- Short-Term Focus: The prevailing culture of focusing on short-term profits may hinder the success of a long-term CX strategy, requiring a mindset shift to understand the continuous and iterative nature of customer experience improvements.
“Today’s culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need.”
– Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock
- Identifying Customer Values: Determining what customers collectively value the most is challenging, as it often involves a combination of different factors. CX teams may struggle to access accurate and up-to-date information on customer preferences.
- Breaking Down Silos: In large organizations with separate national and regional arms and distinct responsibilities, overcoming data silos is crucial for effective CX strategy implementation. Even in medium and small businesses, addressing silos remains a challenge.
Warning Signs That You Need To Work On Your CX Strategy
The probability of selling to a current customer is 60-70%. Another fact states that around 65% of a company’s business comes from its customers. Loyal customers bring sustained growth to a company. Period. But their loyalty is won when you can give them the right experience at the right time.
You can see the signs when a customer is unsatisfied and wishes you deliver a better experience. Here are those 5 ‘warning’ signs you need to look out for.
- Communication Breakdown: Long periods of communication gap indicate dissatisfaction and highlight the need for CX enhancement.
- Frequent Complaints: Regular customer complaints, even about minor issues, signal negative experiences and prompt the need for a better CX strategy.
- Comparison Game: Customers expressing dissatisfaction by comparing your brand unfavorably with others signal the necessity for changes in your CX strategy.
- Delayed Bill Payments: Extended delays in clearing bills without a clear reason may indicate financial questioning and demand a reassessment of your CX strategy.
- Lack of Interest in Future Projects: Customers who previously engaged in discussions about long-term collaborations now avoid such talks and may be dissatisfied, prompting a revised CX strategy to prevent customer churn.
Bonus: Tips To Write Customer Satisfaction Questions That Get Answered
Customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) are vital in developing a CX strategy that gets results. And while these surveys are essential, the questions you decide to include in these surveys are much more important. If the questions are incorrect, you’ll either not get the right answers (or you won’t get any answers!).
So, here are some time-tested tips that’ll help you write answered questions.
- Ask straightforward questions. Don’t focus on two different products or aspects in a single question. You want to ask with clarity so you get answers with clarity.
- Like the rating scale, scale questions bring out more actionable data than simple yes or no questions. Remember that.
- With customer satisfaction surveys, open-ended questions should be used less. Use either a yes/no scale or Likert scale questions.
- If you’re using rating scales, keep their terminologies constant. Don’t make one as “Most Important” in one question and “Strongly disagree” in the other. That creates confusion.
- Refrain from asking biased questions. This creates a negative impression that you’re not looking for honest opinions. Example: We’ve made some fresh changes to our website. How excellent do you think the UI is?
- Ask more and more questions about your product and how your customers use it.
- Include an overall satisfaction question like, “Are you satisfied with the overall experience?” at the end. And keep it a yes/no type of question.
It’s Time To Start!
For yours, ours, or any business, customers are a lifeline. You’re only as strong as the customer’s belief in your brand. And the only way you would want this belief to go is UP!
Giving them the right experience at every stage of their association with you thus becomes crucial. Plus, we can’t stress enough the value of trying and testing for your CX strategy.
If it’s good, aim to make it better. If it’s better, make it perfect. When you understand how crucial quality customer experience is for their growth, this constant A/B testing will set you apart from the rest.
We bid you farewell, hoping you’ll use this article to develop or change your customer experience strategy.
But hey, we’re just a click away if you need our help with new customer campaigns or surveys. So, leave a ‘Hi,’ and we’ll be there for you.
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