Customer Experience, or CX, refers to how a customer feels about a brand or company based on their experiences with it. CX managers and departments responsible for creating an optimal Customer Experience Strategy are tasked with ensuring customers have positive experiences with the company, whether through purchasing a product or service, receiving support for their purchase, or being engaged by marketing or advertising initiatives.
Each of these touchpoints, or ways by which consumers can interact with a company, can create negative or positive impressions, and CX strategies involve both differentiating a brand from the competition and maximizing the positive experiences consumers have with the brand, with the overall goal of reducing customer churn and improving overall customer lifetime value (LTV).
Customer Experience: Optimizing Each Point on the Customer Journey
Specifically, customer experience managers and departments analyze each point on the customer journey or customer lifecycle from the perspective of the customer and work to ensure the company is delivering an optimal experience for consumers along the various steps of the process.
The customer journey typically includes most or all of the following steps: discovering the brand via marketing or advertising, researching the brand and comparing it with alternatives through research and reviews, purchasing products or services from the brand, receiving support from customer service, and ideally, purchasing from the company again or remaining on subscription-based revenue models offered by the company.
By successfully optimizing each stage of the customer journey, customer experience departments create a higher likelihood of brand loyalty and positive advocacy for the company and its products or services while also increasing overall revenues and customer LTV.
Specific Strategies and Tactics for Improving Customer Experience
Effective Customer Experience departments will first create a detailed, clear customer-centric vision for the company to follow and then assist various other departments within the company to better align their goals with this vision.
In terms of specific tactics for improving customer experience, many companies have recently focused their attention on improving customer support interaction and more actively engaging customers through various forums to provide better support while also encouraging word-of-mouth or “viral” marketing from satisfied customers.
Other common customer experience tactics include creating opportunities for positive emotional connections with customers both pre- and post-purchase, emphasizing the emotional benefits of the brand and its products, developing and analyzing real-time customer feedback to improve products and support, and creating and fostering social media communities for customers to interact with the brand and other loyal customers.