Every successful business has one thing in common, a following of loyal and satisfied customers. Creating and retaining loyal customers is not a simple task in today’s culture where instant gratification and superb experiences are often necessary to stand out from your competition. For businesses to see success, they must invest in creating a positive customer experience (CX) for everybody that comes in contact with their brand. Research shows that 76% of customers will quit doing business with a company if they don’t meet the customer’s expectations.
With CX being declared as the number one way businesses need to differentiate themselves from one another by Gartner, businesses everywhere are starting to commit to it. Now it’s more important than ever to understand the impact customer experience can have on your business.
What is CX?
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]CX is how customers feel when they think about or interact with your business.[/inlinetweet] In the past, many believed that as long as you solved a customer’s problem, you were creating a good experience. See how CX is vital at every point in the customer journey:
The first step in the customer journey is where they discover your brand. Whether it’s while searching the internet, reading a magazine, or going to work, their initial connection with your marketing sets the tone for the remainder of the customer journey.
This stage is where a potential customer starts to analyse and research available options. Asking friends, family and reading online reviews are common techniques used. Brands that don’t invest effort into this stage are quickly replaced by those that do.
Once a customer decides to buy, they enter the purchase phase of the customer journey. The individual communicating with the customer during this phase has a great deal of influence. If they don’t make it a simple process, the customer can still change their mind. And if they wow the individual, they’ve created a loyal customer for your brand.
Enjoy, advocate, and bond
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The customer journey doesn’t end once they finalise their purchase. This is the phase where customers decide to become repeat customers or find another brand if you didn’t meet their expectations.[/inlinetweet] Their decision is based on the interactions during the purchase phase along with how well you connect and nurture them after the sale.
Understanding customer preferences
Understanding the customer journey is only the first step in creating a consistently positive customer experience. Not every customer has the same expectations or needs, which can make it difficult to build a positive experience for every phase. To overcome this hurdle, businesses need to be flexible and understand their customer preferences.
Understanding customer preferences is easier than most businesses realise, especially if you are already utilising call centre analytics software to track customer trends and data. The voice of the customer refers to the information captured from every interaction. You can use the data to better understand customer preferences for communication methods, what they like and dislike about your products, and services and things you don’t currently offer that you might want to consider. It also tracks customer satisfaction across communication channels and average response time.
When used appropriately, you can better manage and plan for customer expectations across multiple phases of the journey. A company that really understands their customers’ preferences is Zappos. They are an online retailer, and most of their communication with customers is through the internet. They also realised that sometimes customers prefer to move those conversations to the phone. To make that an easy transition, you can find their phone number on most pages of their website.
Using sentiment analysis to better understand customers
The last essential component of a great customer experience is customer sentiment. Customer sentiment refers to the emotion a customer feels while they are engaging with your brand. In many cases, this important data is not known by companies unless customers openly express their feelings. But businesses that use analytics software can utilise the listening and voice analytics features to gain better insight into customer emotion.
For businesses to see success, they must invest in creating a positive customer experience (CX) for everybody that comes in contact with their brand. Click To Tweet
Sentiment analysis listens to the acoustics and context of conversations with customers. The analysis tracks changes in voice inflection paired with the words to measure the customer’s feelings about the conversation and brand. The data is captured for multiple calls, agents, and days to identify trends that cause negative or positive emotions and allow businesses to make changes to their daily activities quickly.
You can also create a social listening strategy that lets you capture comments and conversations on social media platforms and combine this information with the call data to gain a 360-degree view of customers’ emotions.
The importance of customer experience is here to stay. It’s time for businesses to invest in creating an experience that listens to the voice of their customers and understands preferences as well as customer sentiment.
What methods are you currently using to capture the voice of the customer and improve customer experience? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Originally published May 09, 2018, updated Jan 17, 2023