In today’s hyper-competitive market, businesses need to try to get an edge over their competition. One way to do so is by delivering a high-quality customer experience.
What Is Customer Experience Optimization?
Simplified, a customer experience is an interaction between an individual and a company. This interaction can be anything from the user looking up the company’s website to them contacting your customer support.
In this sense, ‘optimization’ is the process of creating the best possible customer experience, at the lowest possible cost for your business. This means finding the right balance between the customers’ expectations and the businesses’ interests.
Why Is Customer Experience Optimization so Important?
In the past, a good product might have been enough to differentiate your business from the competition but in the time of social media, this is no longer the case. Customer experience is more important than ever. It can make or break an entire business.
The customer of today has an array of tools that allow them to search and find exactly what they are looking for. Considering the plethora of choices available to them, an optimized customer experience will positively affect their opinion of any given business.
A great customer experience will improve customer retention and loyalty. It will also increase the likelihood of customers recommending your business to others.
Who Needs to Implement Customer Experience Optimization?
More and more businesses are starting to realize the immense potential of a positive customer experience. After all, happier customers equate to more business, more referrals, more positive engagement and, ultimately, higher profits.
No type of business can afford to completely disregard their customers’ experience when interacting with their service or product. However, there are businesses that profit more from an optimized customer experience than others.
Industries that heavily rely on a large volume of customer interactions will in turn benefit the most from a positive customer experience.
This includes eCommerce businesses, media related ventures and the travel industry.
How Do You Optimize Your Customer Experience?
There are many aspects that need to be considered when trying to build and optimize your customer experience. Unfortunately, there is no streamlined strategy that will instantly perfect your customer experience.
Because of this, it might be best to start with trying to better understand your customers and their needs. From there, you will be able to develop and refine your customer experience, so that you are able to tailor it to the specific needs of your customers.
In this article, we will show you five aspects of customer experience optimization you can work on to improve your business and your relationship with your customers.
Ask for Feedback
This point might seem like an obvious one to you. However, it is very easy to make assumptions about your customers and their preferences based on what you perceive. While some of those assumptions might be correct, it is usually better to directly ask your customers how they feel about your business or product. You might be surprised by your findings
You can send surveys to your customers through different channels to gather feedback. For example, you can directly reach out to them via EMail. In some cases, you can even use your social media accounts to post short opinion polls and gather valuable customer feedback.
The Customer Journey
A customer journey describes the interactions that a customer has with a brand or business when buying a service or product. It includes all stages of the buying process, starting with the customer’s initial discovery of the brand.
Break down the customer journey for your business and try to map out the path that your average customer follows. To accurately determine the customer journey for your business, you should try to collect as much data from your customers as possible. This can be done through surveys or with the help of data aggregation tools.
When creating your customer journey map you should take the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages into account. Generally, customer journey maps are divided into five distinct stages.
What are The Stages That Customer Journey Maps are Divided into?
Discovery: This stage describes the first encounter a customer has with your business. At this point, the user is not actually looking to make a purchase, they are merely looking for a solution to a problem they are having or a specific product they want.
Interest: At this stage, the user is actively considering making a purchase. They are interested in your product or service but they have not yet made their final decision and are perhaps comparing different options available to them.
Decision: Here the user decides whether to make a purchase from your business. If they choose not to buy from you, their customer journey ends at this step. However, there is a chance for them to change their mind later on. By changing or expanding your offering you might be able to transform these users into customers.
Retention: You might think that the customer’s journey ends with their purchase but that is not true. It is much easier to retain a loyal customer than it is to gain a new one. This is why you will want to focus on keeping your existing customer happy even after they made their purchase.
Advocacy: At this stage, your customer transforms into a brand advocate. They are impressed by your product and service and are not only willing to purchase from you again but will also actively recommend your business to others.
Once you have created your customer journey map you will be able to better understand every touchpoint your customers have with your business and how it impacts their perception of your brand. You can then work on optimizing each of these touchpoints to improve your customer’s experience.
Understand Customer Motivation
When a customer makes the decision to purchase something, they usually do it with a specific reason in mind. There is something that they hope to improve by making their purchase.
Finding out what exactly motivates your customers to make their purchase decision will help you to understand how you can better present the value of your product or service.
In order to understand customer motivation, you should conduct customer surveys. Another option would be to talk to your customer support team. Ask them about the things that frustrate your customers and try to improve the aspects that usually deter them from making a purchase with your business.
Mobile Customer Experience
With mobile technologies growing more and more powerful and widespread, it is important not to neglect the mobile experience of your customers.
Ideally, your business should offer the same experience and functionality across all platforms. It should look and operate similarly, no matter what device your customers are using. In addition, it is important that your mobile experience performs well even on low-end devices.
Your customer experience extends far beyond the product or service you offer. It includes everything from the presentation of your website, to anything you post on your social media, and even the quality of your customer support.
To produce the best possible customer experience, you need to offer the same degree of quality across all touchpoints.
A consistent presentation of your business will make it easier for your customers to recognize your brand’s value and make it easier to distinguish your business from the competition.
Customer experience optimization is a process that aims to improve your customers’ interaction with your business. It will help you to gain and retain customers, transforming them into brand advocates.
Optimizing your customer experience is an increasingly important task that covers a wide area of aspects. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy and it is not a one-off task, but rather an ongoing process.
Every little change you introduce to your business or your product can impact your customer experience. Because of this, you should always look out for new ways to improve.