If you’ve paid attention to how to master digital marketing, then one of the threads you’ve seen is about customer experience. In short, it’s the idea of what people think about when they come across your brand. Think of it; we get emotionally associated with brands. Think of your favorite place to eat or your preferred brand of running sneakers. Humans are creatures of habit, even in a world of uncertainty and disruption. And that means that when we come across things we like, we tend to want to get more of the same. So, what is customer experience (CX), and why does it matter for your brand?
Although a lot gets written these days about customer experience, it’s been around for a long time. In fact, a Harvard Business Review from way back in 2007 defined it as an idea that “…encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering—the quality of customer care, of course, but also advertising, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, and reliability.” And while the idea of the customer experience started more than a decade ago, it’s taken time to become a significant marketing practice.
You see, when HBR wrote that article, social media had only recently launched. For instance, Facebook started in 2004! People were using computers, but it was nowhere near as it is now. Although smartphones existed, as did apps, technology wasn’t yet on the level today. In other words, we still lived in the industrial age, not so long ago, and were only starting to enter the digital age. So, while thought leaders spoke about customer experience, it wasn’t as pervasive as it is now.
Understanding what is customer experience and why it matters is crucial for your brand. Again, people will always associate a brand with how it makes them feel. Customer service is an idea that’s been around for generations. But in the digital world, it takes on new meaning. Think about your mobile phone, for example. If it wasn’t functioning correctly, billing was always an issue, and the brand provider had terrible UX, you’d seek to get rid of it as fast as possible. But, the chances are that if you’re passionate about your iPhone or Android (yep, you love one or another), it’s because you love the UX of the brand.
Moreover, when your audience becomes a brand champion, they tell others about it. And as we know, in the marketing industry, you want brand ambassadors and influencers sharing their love for your brand. Also, in the current business environment, customers understand they have countless options. All they have to do is google a competitor if they don’t like the experience they had with a brand. It happens all the time, and with review sites such as Google Reviews, Trust Pilot, and Facebook Reviews, they’re happy to share their customer experience.
So, now that you know why CX matters, how could you measure it and ensure you enhance it for your brand. Let’s explore a few of the essential tips to make sure your customer experience is solid.
The first place to look at for customer experience is with your current clients. Therefore, you need to know your customer churn rate. As you know, your churn rate is the acquisition and loss of your clients. Although churn happens, you want to make sure that your churn rate is as low as possible by understanding why people are leaving your brand. To calculate your churn rate, look at your monthly recurring revenue at the start of the month. Then divide it by the monthly income you lost at the end of the month, making sure not to include upsales and added revenue sources. Also, don’t add any new sales because you want to see your losses. The resulting number is your churn rate.
Although it’s uncomfortable, you have to understand why people leave your brand. So, the next step you want to do is to survey lost customers. There are a couple of ways to do it. First, you could get your marketing point person or top salesperson to call the higher revenue clients and have a candid conversation with them. People will share what they thought of the customer experience with you if it’s done without judgment, defensiveness, and only to learn and understand. Second, you could send surveys to people. Third, you could do both. No matter your approach, as a business leader, you always want to get to the bottom of customer churn and understand if it had anything to do with the UX experience.
As we know, one of the best things any business could do is test and pilot new ideas for products and services. To amp up customer experience—and loyalty—get people to beta test your innovations. While you may think your ideas are brilliant, sometimes your customers might have other ideas. Create a group or forum for your best customers to try out new services. You might also want to suggest to your best supporters to try out new elements for a website when you next upgrade it. In sum, getting your customers and brand ambassadors to partner with you increases the chances you’ll lower your churn rate and increase retention. Moreover, you’ll also grow a loyal following of people who value your brand.
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