Introduction to Customer Experience
A PWC survey found that 73% of customers consider experience as one of the most important factors in their purchasing decisions.
Customer expectations are increasing and customer experience is rapidly driving the decision-making process. Put simply, an exceptional customer experience improves brand value, trust, and positively impacts the bottom line.
As a startup, it’s easy to forget about the customer experience early on when the focus is on raising capital and building the product and hitting the market. However, several studies suggest that customer experience, when integrated early on, can lead to phenomenal success when a product launches.
So we suggest you start with a great customer experience right from the get-go. How can startups strategize for an enhanced customer experience?
- Sketch a detailed customer journey map
The customers of today interact with a brand through numerous touchpoints. Therefore, it’s important to sketch a map of all avenues of interaction and define what a customer is trying to achieve at each stage.
Then, all you need to do is optimize the service you deliver at each touchpoint. At this stage, it’s important to empathize with the customer.
- How are they feeling?
- What are they doing while interacting with your brand?
- What information do they have at hand right now?
- How much time are they willing to spend on this interaction?
- What are they expecting from you?
All this information will come together to yield a cohesive customer experience that reduces friction and increases engagement across the board. For instance, Zoomcar built a detailed customer journey map with key points in the rental journey to proactively support their customers.
- Share customer data across departments
Let’s consider Jitterbit, the software company that proactively avoids internal silos. They share customer data across departments to create a consistent image of each buyer, leading to a streamlined experience across all avenues.
Broken customer data can lead to an inconsistent experience, hindering engagement and devaluing brand worth. Enable your employees to offer personalized service and recommendations by sharing data across departments.
You can even choose to automate workflows to work smarter, not harder. Email automation, templated responses and other workflow automation tools help streamline operations and speed up the service delivery process, improving the overall customer experience.
- Create an emotional connection and an empathetic CX
The best and most memorable customer experiences are born out of genuinely caring about your customers. Human decisions are based on emotions a lot more than we’d like to believe. A research piece by the Journal of Consumer Research found over 50% of an experience is about emotions.
Your customers may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
If you’re a startup in the Insurance industry, empathizing with your customer would mean fewer fields on forms and a gentle tone of voice in the copy where your customers are applying for a claim.
For instance, when someone calls CD Baby about selling their music through the site, a customer service rep would take time to view their website and listen to their music, proving that they deeply care about their customers.
Engage with your customers emotionally, and you’ll likely never lose them.
- Build the Contact Center of Tomorrow
The contact center plays a critical role in setting up an exceptional customer experience. More often than not, it’s the first and the only point of contact between the customer and your brand. Therefore, rather than viewing it as another cost, startups should see it as an instrument to further enhance their CX. Use modern technologies to build the contact center of tomorrow.
- Move to the cloud – Cloud-based contact centers can easily scale to serve more customers during peak hours. Agents can even offload repetitive queries to bots to reduce call volumes and engage with customers 1:1.
- Leverage data analytics – Collect, store and process valuable customer information for detailed analytics and sentiment analysis. That allows you to uncover feedback and make changes to the CX accordingly.
- Get creative with AI and ML – With access to customer information across your company, you can implement AI and ML tools to a wide variety of use cases to further automate and enhance the CX.
As a side note, all of this not only improves your customer experience but also allows employees to work at their best in tandem with technology.
- Measure the right metrics
It’s impossible to succeed at something you don’t measure. So, choose the right metrics to track to gauge how superior your CX is. Two commonly used metrics are the Customer Satisfaction Score (or CSAT) and the Net Promoter Score (or NPS).
While CSAT is a great way to measure one interaction with a customer, for instance, a singular shopping experience, the NPS metric allows you visibility into the customer’s entire journey with you.
Using NPS as an indicator, you can develop products, adjust pricing and apply processes and technologies to prevent churn and increase customer loyalty.
Customer expectations are on the rise, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Customer-obsessed companies such as Amazon have shown that it’s possible to deliver a truly outstanding customer experience while also taking care of everything else.
As a startup, integrate CX strategies early into your processes so that you can deliver great service right from the get-go.
And if your startup is struggling with your CX, speak to one of our user experience design specialists today.