Netflix: Should I play this movie for you?
Our minds: No, No. I’m just looking at it for a sec.
Netflix: Here, I’ll put it on.
Our minds: I’m just literally here to read about it. Nothing more.
Netflix: It’s playing. Enjoy! 🙂
Our minds: Well, ok. Thanks.
That’s Netflix trying 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. Most times, we end up watching just 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 wanna 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 seamless customer experience or CX and by using a tried and tested CX strategy.
What about you and your business? As a leader, don’t you want to deliver experiences that make customers keep coming back for more? We’re guessing you want that, and that’s exactly why we’re here. From getting to know the importance of a customer experience strategy to building one in just 8 simple steps, you’ll get to know all about it. Plus, there are other topics and a bonus that’ll catch your attention too.
Is your coffee ready, then? Because we’re starting with no further ado.
What Is Meant By CX?
The customer experience (CX) is nothing but a metric that tells what your customers think, perceive, and feel about the brand from their interactions with your products and services. Customer experience, as you’ll see in the next section, starts even before the purchase and goes all the way until a customer ends their association with your company.
It’s a very elaborative and long-term process that requires patience and constant iterations to bring the right results. Plus, clearing as we get this a lot, customer experience doesn’t just mean giving the right customer service, and they both are not the same. Customer service falls under the umbrella of customer experience, and it’s just one way to enhance your customer’s experience.
Since you’ve got a good enough idea of CX from here, let’s now understand why having a quality CX strategy so important?
The Importance Of CX Strategy In The Decision Making Process?
The massive importance of CX strategy stems from the fact that it influences a buyer’s decision. Yes, the right customer experience strategy works throughout a customer’s decision-making process. Now, this process comprises five different phases or steps, and in every phase, a well-tested and honed CX strategy plays a crucial role. Let’s talk about it one by one.
#1 Identifying 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 the need for it. This sense of need then makes the customer go looking for a purchase. So, as a company, you and your team’s job is to 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 Looking For A Solution
The second step in the decision-making process is research. No matter how instinctive a buyer is, some thought definitely 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 in doing that while enhancing their experience with your brand.
#3 Knowing The Alternatives
Now, the research part is over, and your target customers have decided what they need to buy. They have put down certain 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 the part where their experience of using your website or free trails should be top-notch. Both of which form an integral part of your CX strategy.
#4 Selecting The Best
Before making the buying decision, buyers love to perform a quick comparison of all the options available to them. Doing this, they get to know which product is within their range, what qualities appeal to them the most, and which one is the more convenient option? These are all questions that need to be addressed in your CX strategy.
#5 Evaluating 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.
CX Strategy For 2021 In 8 Simple Steps
We’ve now addressed what CX and the importance of a CX strategy is. With these out of the way, it’s time to talk about the all-important question – How to build a CX strategy in 2021 in just 8 simple steps?
So, start reading. This is where the fun really begins!
1. Find Your Target Customers
This has got to be the first step in any customer experience strategy, especially after last year’s pandemic. 59% of consumers care more about their experience with a brand than what they did before the pandemic. So, you definitely want to give as much time as your team needs to identify the target consumers. The fact being, you cannot give excellent experience and spend your resources on everyone. There has to be a target customer group and ideal persona 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 ends up becoming 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 what you’re offering isn’t pleasing you.
So, sit down with your product team, brainstorm to make the website more in line with what your customer would like. Embed chatbots and website feedbacks that’ll improve customer engagement and take their experience to the next level. 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. You and your product team have adapted the website, app, products, and solutions based on what they need. 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, 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, the process of trying and testing different products, solutions, website, and the app should be as effortless as it can be.
This is the step where you’ll deliver the right experience to your customers directly. So, 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 a superb experience, and they’ll be delighted they came to check your products out.
5. Be Agile
According to a cross-industry leadership survey conducted in 2020, 53% of organizations did not have a CX leader, and only 23% of these leaders reported directly to the CEOs. Well, in the post-pandemic world, companies need to be very agile in delivering a quality customer experience. The customer needs are changing faster than ever, and agility in your CX strategy is how you’ll keep up with these changes.
This is exactly 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 you’re customers would turn into 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 fan. And this would be possible if you’re investing in building and training the right team while also 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. In 2021, customer experience means a lot for your customers, and they’re really smart to figure out if they’re getting the finest experience or not.
7. Monitor Customers Using Processes
87%. That’s the percentage of businesses who think customer feedback has got more importance since Covid-19. Not having the right process while building a CX strategy is a prime reason organizations aren’t able to pivot quickly, effectively, and effortlessly based on new customer insights.
So, start by having a process to survey your customers regularly. Using SurveySparrow’s interactive and efficient surveys, you’ll increase the response rate by up to 40%! Next, put a system in place to mobilize your team while working from home in response to the feedback. Ask them questions like:
- How will you solve these queries?
- How will you follow up with your customers?
- How quickly can you solve their issues?
- What should we do so this issue never comes up?
- How can we 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 would truly be a success when you’re testing and changing it at regular intervals. 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!
Challenges You Will Face Trying To Achieve Quality CX
Till now, you know how to build your customer experience strategy, and you know how to do it in 8 simple steps. But would it be all easy-breezy? No. There would be challenges along the way which would require you to take tough and 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.
What You Think Customer Want Vs. What They Actually Want
This is probably the biggest challenge any company looking to build or work on their CX strategy deals with. If the research is not good, there’s a disparity in what you and your teams think the customers want and what they actually want. Developing a customer experience strategy to improve customer engagement and relationships should always be about them, with no bias.
The best way to know exactly what they want is by conducting feedback, research, and customer satisfaction surveys. The data you’ll get from here would reveal their ‘exact’ requirements and satisfaction levels, which you can then use to build the CX strategy.
Eliminating ‘Random’ Experiences
When it comes to customer experience strategy, there’s always the notion that it should take care of every experience along the customer journey. Well, customers still end up enduring random experiences because of inconsistent delivery or because of mistakes from your customer-facing teams. Taking these into account while building a CX strategy is extremely challenging, and you should keep room for error here.
Meeting New Demands
The remote work culture has very much become a reality now. And with that, a massive shift has come in the way teams handle new customer demands. While creating or changing a CX strategy, this needs to be accounted for. Why? Because your teams, based on functions, responsibilities, and skill-sets, can’t handle all the new demand. You need to create something like an ‘experience team’, which would be a group of professionals with different skills and core competencies, but passionate about customer success.
Focus On Short-term Results
“Today’s culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need.” – Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock.
Most companies embrace this culture of focusing too much on short-term profits, and they look at their CX strategy with the same lens. Well, customer experience doesn’t work that way. It’s a fairly long-term process that requires constant iterations and meddling. So, if you’re going berserk over near-term losses and underperformance after implementing your strategy, you’ll face a massive challenge getting the right results from it.
Finding What Customers Value The Most
Different customers value different aspects and characteristics of your products and services. Finding what they value the most collectively is a real challenge for achieving quality CX. Often it’s not a single thing but a blend of different values that come together to give a quality customer experience. A stumbling block here is that many CX managers and teams are unsure where to access the latest accurate information about the practices and values their customers desire the most.
Overcoming All Silos
In a huge organization, there are national and regional arms that have their separate tasks and responsibilities in place. Within these arms also, different teams are performing different responsibilities. Hence, a CX strategy is hard to follow in a big corporation and can bring dissatisfied customers if not taken care of. For medium and small businesses, overcoming data silos is comparatively easy, but it is still 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 existing 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 not satisfied and wishes that you deliver a better experience. Here are those 5 ‘warning’ signs you need to look out for.
They Stop Communicating
One of the clearest signs that your customer wants you to improve customer experience is this – Communication gap. Now, there can be other reasons for this too, like increased work. But if the duration of this communication loss is long, it’s a clear warning sign that your CX strategy is not up to the mark and needs further trial and testing.
Too Much Complaining
If one or some of your customers are reaching out to your representatives regularly about the slightest of issues, it’s a clear sign they’re having negative experiences with your brand and are unhappy about it.
They Start the Comparison Game
How often do you hear this – Other brands are offering me so much, but you aren’t.
Well, if you are regularly, it’s not a good sign. And it means that you and your team need to work on the complete CX strategy to find what needs to change to resolve such dissatisfaction.
They Take Longer to Clear Their Bills
If this is happening without any reason, it means they’ve put your invoice on someone else’s table for more consideration. And they’re having questions like, “why are we using this product/service?” or “why are we spending this much on this product/service?” or “can we get a cheaper and better option?”. Generally, it’s a question about money, not the quality of the product or service. But it still affects their experience with your brand, and you need to work on your customer experience strategy to bring such scenarios down.
They Don’t Show Interest in Future Projects
In the past, customers who showed a tremendous interest in discussing a long-term vision about their collaboration with you are now trying to avoid such discussions. It’s clear, their satisfaction and experience with your brand have gone down, and your CX strategy now needs some changes to turn this around.
Bonus: Tips To Write Customer Satisfaction Questions That Gets Answered
As you’ve read, customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) play a vital role in developing a CX strategy that gets results. And while these surveys are important, what’s more, important are the questions you decide to include in these surveys. If the questions are not right, you’ll either not get the right answers, or you won’t get any answer at all!
So, here are some time-tested tips that’ll help you write questions that get answered, for sure.
- Ask very simple 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.
- Scale questions, like the rating scale, bring out more actionable data compared to simple yes or no questions. Remember that.
- With customer satisfaction surveys, open-ended questions should be used less. Use either 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 are using it.
- Include an overall satisfaction question like, “Are you satisfied with the overall experience” at the end. And keep it a yes/no type 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 the value of trying and testing for your CX strategy enough. If it’s good, aim to make it better. If it’s better, make it perfect. With the way businesses understand how crucial quality customer experience is for their growth, this constant A/B testing would set you apart from the rest.
With the hope that you’ll use this article to develop or change your customer experience strategy, we bid you adieu. But hey, we’re just a click away if you need our help with new customer campaigns or surveys. So, just leave a ‘Hi’, and we’ll be there for you.