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The Customer Experience (CX) encompasses all experiences an individual has with your brand, services, content, touch-points, interactions, employees, products and so on. It can be hard to measure, but you could take into account the customer’s overall experience, likelihood to continue use, and likelihood to recommend to others.

A good customer experience allows the customer to have a pleasant, professional and helpful interaction with a brand and leaves them feeling positive about the experience and everything associated with it.

The User Experience (UX) is the user’s overall interaction with your product and the experience they receive from that interaction. It refers to all elements involving the use and experience of a single process, service or product, and when it comes to websites and conversion, the UX is typically more prevalent than CX. Focusing on users is more concrete when it comes to measurement because you can track metrics like success rate, error rate, abandonment rate, time to complete task, and clicks to completion.

A good UX gives a user the ability to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for, complete their task with ease, and search your web pages without difficulty.

Why do you need to provide a good customer experience?

If a brand fails in either customer or user experience, the result is a poor overall experience. You want satisfied customers because they are more likely to repeat a purchase and become loyal – it’s around 7 times more costly to acquire new customers than it is to retain old ones, so it’s important to ensure that the customer experience is a positive one.

The Entire Experience

In order to improve customer satisfaction, there should be a focus on the entire customer experience, not just user experience – don’t simply focus on individual interactions with customers, think instead about the broader terms and of the bigger picture.

You should have a clearly defined customer-focused vision that you can communicate to your entire organization, from sales to after sales.

Create a set of statements as guidelines for employees to drive the behavior of your organization. Every member of staff should be aware of these principles and they should be ingrained into all areas of employee training and development.

Take Nordstrom for example. The store has a reputation for its stellar customer experience, which has become its biggest selling point. Salespeople offer to ring up purchases without the customer having to wait in line, and also walk the bagged purchase around the counter rather than handing it to the customer.

Salespeople are known to walk customers over to items when questioned on their whereabouts rather than pointing, and assistants are available for a one-to-one shopping experience to help the customer find items in their size.

Employees at Nordstrom are taught to use their best judgment when it comes to customer service, and it’s these little details at every step of the journey which make the customer feel valued and special, providing an experience that is as a whole more memorable, and will make the customer more likely to return.

The main goal is to create a customer experience that’s consistent across all touch points, and that meets or exceeds the standard you want to deliver. You need to ensure that the promise of a positive experience is being upheld throughout the customer journey, and that the customer experiences superior level of service by doing business with you, be it from sales, support, or customer service.

Differentiating

When executed properly, customer experience will help you differentiate from your competitors. Creating a truly impressive customer experience that exceeds expectations will ensure that customers will want to continue doing business with you. You want them to realize that they may not have the same experience with a competitor, so they won’t want to risk that by switching.

In order to survive in today’s highly competitive marketplace, companies need to create strong and sustainable relationships with their customers, which can only be accomplished if companies meet their customers’ expectations at every touch point, with a well thought-out, customer-focused, data-driven customer experience strategy – that can be a powerful new differentiator.

Take a look at LUSH. They offer a customer experience that’s unlike any of their competitors. They offer free samples of all the products they sell, so when you walk into their farmers-market-style shops, you know you’re visiting LUSH, not any other cosmetics store.

Bath bombs are displayed like apples on a stand, face masks are kept on ice like fish, soaps are displayed like wheels of cheese, and all their other products are packaged in simple black tubs. This creates a customer experience that’s different from the competition. Customers will want to go to LUSH so they can have this unique experience that they can’t find anywhere else.

Increasing Loyalty

Increasing customer loyalty will yield positive results, but you cannot fake loyalty: loyal customers are developed and nurtured by truly awesome customer experiences that really exceed expectations, not through half-assed loyalty schemes – 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, and are therefore more likely to remain loyal.

If you provide a consistently good experience every time, you customers are going to keep coming back to you and telling their friends about their good experiences with your brand.

I’m sure you can recall a time when you’ve witnessed customer service that’s really blown your mind. And I’ll bet you shared that experience with anyone who’d listen. And why did you share that experience? Because your expectations were exceeded, and the company went above and beyond in order to keep you happy.

Now imagine you provide that kind of service for every customer. You suddenly have a team of enthusiastic advocates telling anyone who will listen about how great your service is, about how you went above and beyond to exceed their expectations. Think of how many more business referrals you can attribute from this – 90% of people claim that positive reviews influence their buying decisions, so if you have customers giving you glowing opinions online and through word of mouth, you’re more likely to gain more customers if your customer experience is exceptional.

Final word

You can differentiate from your competitors in a few ways, but one of the key points is by offering the lowest price, and by providing a superior customer experience. In today’s environment, a competitive advantage will do you all kinds of favors, and the customer experience offers the perfect platform for that.

Torsten Tromm

About the author

Torsten is CEO and founder of Userpeek. He is an old stager in the online business with 20 years of experience as an online marketer, conversion rate optimizer and UX strategist.

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