What is customer experience?
According to a Harvard Business Review article “The truth about customer experience” we can define a customer experience as a customer’s “end-to-end journey”.
A “purchasing journey” includes more than just some touchpoints in the customer experience (i.e. when the company interacts with the customer during a process of purchasing). In this particular definition the customer experience is “the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over time, which result in a real relationship feeling, or lack of it.”
Having a positive and optimized customer experience is a key asset for every business because it can improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue and have a better employee satisfaction.
How to optimize the customer experience?
In order to have a great customer experience your business should focus on 6 major rules:
- Rule # 1: listen to each one of your customers; customers need to be heard and they will remember that you listened carefully about their passions, dreams, goals and aspirations.
- Rule # 2: develop a different customer experience from your competitor. In fact, you should use your product and service differences and show by your own customer experience what you can offer to the customer. You should not be a “part of the crowd” because in this case no relationship can be built.
- Rule # 3: demonstrate the benefits of your offer. You have to be willing to find out what your customers’ needs are. You will this way create another type of relationship with your customer that is beyond price or quality value. As a consequence, your new customer will need, buy and recommend your product to others.
- Rule # 4: always show passion and creativity in every solution. You should always be searching for how to innovate your business customer experience.
- Rule # 5: show your personal commitment. You should focus on, discover and meet the needs of 100% of your customer.
- Rule # 6: touch your customers’ hearts. You should show engagement and create an emotional connection with your customer so they want to tell others about your business.
The customer journey map
As seen previously, a customer experience can be described as a “journey”, a long-term relationship between the customer and the company from the initial contact to the act of purchasing. That being said, in order to improve the customer experience companies should create their customer journey map.
According to Paul Boag – author of Digital Adaptation – a customer journey map is a “map that tells the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship”.
A customer journey map is a powerful tool. It’s a way to understand the feeling, needs, questions and thoughts of your customer at different step during the process of purchasing. Analyzing these information and integrating them to your customer experience will definitely be an asset to your company. It may also help you to identify the weaknesses in your customer experience journey, the moment where your customer gets frustrated or is not really satisfied. Finally, it’s also a way to understand how using different devices, social media and the web have changed the customer way of purchasing and adapt your company to that