As technology evolves and customer expectations grow, businesses are starting to focus more heavily on improving customer experience (CX).
Companies that are putting time and money into building a consistent customer experience are seeing increases in profits, customer retention, and overall performance. In fact, according to PwC, 82% of top-performing companies maintain a strong focus on using technology to boost human experience.
Improving CX technology and initiatives can help companies solidify their brand and generate growth, and it provides countless opportunities for feedback to improve strategy.
But how can your company curate CX technology to work for you?
Read on for a comprehensive guide on the customer experience and how to level up your use of CX technology.
What is customer experience and it’s importance?
Generally, customer experience refers to how a company’s products and services, practicality, and client interactions line up with their customers’ demands and necessities.
Most brands aim to create what is called a “unified CX,” which focuses on keeping the company’s CX consistent across all platforms.
Over time, customer satisfaction has come to the forefront of corporate strategy.
In 2020 alone, nearly half of companies implemented more customer satisfaction initiatives, but many still believe there’s room for improvement.
Consumers seek brands that understand their needs, and companies are starting to realize the benefits of reworking strategies to fit those needs.
Streamline Operations and Increase Revenue
Maintaining a good customer experience can not only increase efficiency, but it can also turn out stronger profits. Temkin reports that a $1 billion organization can see a three-year profit increase of $775 million by improving its customer experience.
If consumers associate your brand with positive interactions and a favorable transaction experience, they are more likely to pay for products and services in the future.
As companies continue to integrate available technology into customer experience initiatives, many are finding that automation strategies can optimize performance in online environments.
77% of marketing experts have found success in automation as a means of boosting customer experience, and most brands that invest in this technology report that the expenses are worth it, as they can streamline site operations in the long run.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Aside from the companies’ own benefits, augmenting CX technology can increase rates of satisfaction among consumers as well.
Businesses with higher rates of CX approval retain more first-time customers and find that consumers will pay as much as 16% more for products from companies with favorable CX than from competitors.
A major reason for this is trust. Customers want to be sure that they can count on brands to deliver quality interactions and protect them from any poor experiences they have faced with other companies.
In fact, nearly 65% of consumers find it easier to entrust their personal information with a company if they offer excellent customer service.
Though more business leaders are prioritizing customer experience strategies in their overall mission, it’s important to understand exactly how to implement them successfully.
Tips to Create Excellent Customer Experience
Value Experience over Profits
Naturally, the first instinct when running a business is to focus on turning out the highest profits possible.
However, with over half of American customers saying that most brands have room to grow in their customer experience, companies are starting to take a new, consumer-driven approach to profit strategies.
When making a purchase, customers want a positive experience from start to finish, and that means thinking beyond the impact of the product or service alone.
Almost one-third of customers are willing to pay extra fees if it means their questions will be answered and their problems solved swiftly, and over 75% of the population believes that this is best done through smartphone technology.
Focus on the Buyer’s Journey
Understand that making a purchase can be a lengthy process, and a major part of the customer experience is consistent support throughout that process.
Gearing content strategies towards each stage of the buying process will let customers know that they aren’t alone, which will build a level of trust that will encourage them to return to the business in the future.
If a customer doesn’t feel supported at any point in the purchasing process, they may not be inclined to continue to offer their business.
According to PwC, 32% of customers claim that a single run-in with poor CX can turn them off from ever returning to the business in the future.
Ask for Feedback
Part of understanding your customer’s needs is asking them! Most brands measure customer satisfaction and feedback using a benchmark called a “Net Promoter Score.”
This is a measurement used to gauge broader customer sentiments on brands as a whole, as opposed to feelings on a specific engagement or experience.
On a scale from -100 to 100, businesses that offer favorable customer experiences can differ from those who lack comprehensive CX strategies by up to 21 points.
Companies without a strong feedback program miss out on this valuable input from those who are the driving force behind their business.
Forging that level of communication can make a huge difference in how a company’s CX works in its favor.
The Future of CX
Between the evolution of marketing technology and the developing pandemic, there have been significant increases in digital spending and tech-driven business practices.
In the last year alone, 84% of customers increased their usage of digital platforms, and rapid shifts to online experiences resulted in three-quarters of American consumers exploring new brands.
Expect customer experience in the future to use customer data to create a more holistic customer experience journey, from ideation to predicted outcomes and beyond.
Advanced software and analytics will predict value outcomes for specific customers based on revenue, loyalty, and cost to serve.
In the future, advanced customer experience will be required to build a lasting reputation and strong customer base.
Stay competitive by keeping up with technological advancements of CX and industry trends. For a deeper dive into customer experience stats, check out this visual from Chattermill below.