Customer Experience, CXREFRESH, CX, Brand Loyalty, Customer Service, Customer Experience Strategy

Today, businesses across the board-from agile e-commerce companies to those in the traditional manufacturing industry are realizing the importance of delivering a memorable customer experience. This can be evidenced by the way companies have been increasingly using their social media accounts to respond to customer requests for product prices and even address customer queries and disputes. When there are millions of things requesting your attention all at the same time millions of songs, millions of films, millions of books, millions of platforms to buy products from-delivering an experience that will help you stand out and be found is non-negotiable.

So how do you define and measure something as intangible as customer experience? It isn’t easy because it’s subjective and depends entirely on something as unpredictable and random as human behaviour. But as long as you’re asking the right questions about your customer experience strategy, you’re moving in the right direction:

  1. Ease of access- Is your target customer easily able to access your product? How soon can your product be delivered to him/her?
  2. Personalisation-Are you offering an experience that is tailor-made to your customer’s needs and preferences?
  3. Guidance-Are you educating your customer to make the right choices and offering them continuous support along the way?
  4. Quick dispute resolution-A customer has had an unpleasant experience on your site or with your customer service. How soon can you address this and ensure that he/she returns to your site in the future?

Needless to say, the best way to win a returning customer is to offer them a differentiated experience that goes beyond the transaction. Emails and calls with sales pitches that push your products will definitely turn them off. Instead, educate them about your products and services and present them with information that leaves the choice open to them. Placing power back in the hands of your customer will earn you their loyalty and trust and that counts much more in the long run.

Consistency in Delivery

There’s no reason to think that delivering an extraordinary customer experience is seemingly impossible. Technology has acted as a great enabler for consistently raising the bar for customer experience. Constantly improving your website and mobile user-experience in order to make them more customer-friendly and responsive plays a crucial role in defining a great customer experience and thanks to technology, all this is possible with quick fixes today.

Consistently delivering a positive customer experience can yield dividends for the long run. Returning customers are much less likely to drop off and are likely to convert better. You may call it the pitfall of the ‘attention economy’ but customers are no longer as brand loyal as they used to be. A 2013 study by Dimensional Research revealed that 59per cent of customers said they’d leave for good after having a bad experience. More than half said they’d go to a direct competitor. So no matter how many crores you spend on TV and newspaper ads, strong word-of-mouth is more likely to act as a better endorsement of your product and perhaps, even rake in more customers.

Delivering a positive customer experience should not be the KRA of your customer service team alone. It should be at the forefront of your thinking in all spheres of your business. The best way to get a sense of what your customer needs is to have your ears to the ground i.e. listen to your customers and map the journey on your website/mobile app from their point of view. Think of ways you can improve the user journey by way of refinements in content and design if the customer is encountering hurdles during the user journey.

Staying in sync with the ever-changing needs and preferences of customers may seem like an endless process, but if you’re in it for the long run, constantly evolving your business to offer a more personalized and positive customer experience will help your business to sustain and scale. With tumultuous changes like digitisation that have marked the financial landscape in the last couple of years aided by changes in the regulatory framework, delivering an unparalleled customer experience is now more important than ever. Putting your customers first in every business decision will go a long way in building not just your customer base but also brand loyalty.

Customer Experience    CXREFRESH    CX   Brand Loyalty   Customer Service   Customer Experience Strategy


Reading time: 3 min
CustomerExperience, CXStrategy, CXREFRESH

Customer experience is a term used to categorize and describe the experience a customer receives while interacting with a business’s marketing and sales messages.

Ideally, these interactions will make up a “path to conversion”, also called a customer journey, that facilitates the progression of a potential customer from the introduction to the completed sale and beyond.

In fact, for traditional retailers, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Build A Bear, and Nordstrom, customer experience has been successfully employed to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a brand synonymous with quality.

This emphasis has also impacted the bottom line for these companies. Forrester reports that improving CX can increase profitability by more than 500%, as well as reducing customer acquisition and employee hiring costs.

CX starts with engaging customers with relevant events well before the sale and continues after the sale with advocacy and brand loyalty.

The secret ingredients for a great CX strategy

Define the right style

Your CX strategy changes depending on the predictability of your market, and to every market, there is a different strategic style. The Harvard Business Review, suggests the four strategic styles below. They include:

  • Classical: This style is best for companies that operate in highly predictable industries. Companies utilizing a classical style build a favorable market position by planning well into the future, and remaining with the same strategy for several years. Ask yourself: Can I sustain my customer experience strategy for many years forward?
  • Adaptive: This is best for companies in unpredictable industries. Such companies require a more adaptive strategy that can be easily and rapidly changed. Ask yourself: Is my infrastructure one that can change rapidly? Is the decision-making process quick and easily adaptable?
  • Shaping: This is one step beyond the adaptive style. While it too changes frequently, it focuses beyond the boundaries of the company to define new markets, standards, and business practices. Ask yourself: Do I leave room for market feedback to power rapid decision making?
  • Visionary: This bold and entrepreneurial style can create entirely new markets or visions, and views the environment as a way to be molded to a company’s advantage. But it’s more similar to a classical strategy because companies take calculated steps to reach goals without switching tactics. Ask yourself: What does the future hold for the industry and how can we provide a customer experience that disrupts it?

Create a journey for your strategy

While it doesn’t have to entertain, a good strategy should tell a good story. First, ask yourself what is the correct place to start? Some might start with detailing the goals up front. Some might prefer to opt for a “problem-solution” type of story, which details current challenges and their solutions.

Second, establish a theme by asking what is the main point of your customer experience strategy? Like any good story, your strategy should have a build up to a literary climax. For example, in the “problem-solution” model the climax is reached when presenting suggested solutions and their foreseeable outcomes. Finally, a good strategy brings it all together with a solid conclusion.

Map your customer data

Map out the touchpoints, collect data, and figure out how to optimize the process. We all collect data. However, for your data to effectively fuel decision it should address questions such as:

  • How do customers find you?
  • Why do they choose you over your competition?
  • How easy is it for them to leave reviews?
  • What sort of incentives do they receive to purchase again?
  • How (often) do they receive customer support?

Go for omnichannel

Striving for an omnichannel experience is an important part of an effective CX strategy. Omnichannel businesses provide customers with a seamless integrated shopping experience

When creating a CX strategy, it’s necessary to keep in mind the omnichannel experiences that most customers will traverse.

Focus on the customer

Always maintain a customer-centric approach. Ask yourself: What do my customers want? And what is the best way I can provide it?

Don’t assume that you know what is best for your customers. Spend time talking to them and collecting data. Find out what is important to them, why they choose the products that they do, and what matters to them when they shop. Focus on their needs. It’s all about them.

The ideal customer

If you are losing customers, find out why. Was the customer ready to buy? Was the customer the right fit? But be sure to also study the profiles of your best customers so you can understand what you are doing right.

Using all the information, come up with a description of your ideal customers, and then create a better customer experience with them in mind.

The ideal journey

Using your customer data to address areas that should be improved, map out the ideal customer journey. Ultimately, it should be an experience that allows your customers to easily find what they are looking for, quickly purchase it, and then return to buy more.

Research assets, cost analysis, and KPIs

What will it take to implement your CX strategy? Make a list of the assets you have and will need to deliver the strategy. Consider what sort of impact the strategy will have on resources, but be sure to show the expected return for these expenditures.

Create a timeline

Customer experience management involves lots of touchpoints and its optimization is a cross-departmental undertaking.

Keep in mind, different departments have different goals, so map out a timeline and prioritize. Is it more important to focus on discovery or retention?

Create a reasonable plan, with the ultimate goal of achieving a truly seamless customer experience that includes everything it should.


Reading time: 4 min