The customer experience, also referred to as CX, is your customer’s perception of how your business treats them. This, of course, includes how your employees treat customers in stores and how responsive you are online. However, it also goes further than direct customer interactions. CX includes everything from advertising to product packaging to pricing and more.
A great business builds their brand with the customer in mind. They put themselves in the customer’s shoes and consider what would make the customer experience better.
Perhaps your target customers would want a storefront location in the city. Or, perhaps you need to buy a domain and build a website as well as social media channels, since you are an eCommerce shop.
There are so many ways to enhance the customer experience based on your brand. Today we discuss 5 principles of customer experience and how to implement them into your business plans.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Customer experience is present throughout every stage of the consumption process. From pre-purchase to consumption to post-purchase, CX is at the center. Through all stages, CX involves cognitive, affective, sensory and behavioral consumption.
Meaning, when a customer is shopping with a brand, they will have different emotions, senses, perceptions and responses to the experience. They will have positive or negative feelings during the anticipation, overall experience and memories of the brand after completing shopping.
As a brand, investing in the customer experience comes with many positive outcomes:
- Customer satisfaction
- Increase in revenue
- Improve ROI
- Competitive advantage
- Customer retention
- Brand credibility
- Poor CX = unhappy customers
The 5 Principles of Customer Experience
Here are five main principles of customer experience and how to implement them into your plan:
1. Know Your Customer
As a business owner, it is imperative that you know your customer like the back of your hand. This includes age range, gender, interests, location, etc. Why? Because understanding your customer means you can curate your shopping experience to their wants and needs.
You must have a level of understanding of basic human psychology when curating a shopping experience. Men and women respond differently during experiences. Men respond positively to relational, behavioral and cognitive experiences, while women respond to behavioral, cognitive and affective experiences. Therefore, if you were to create a product advertisement with a female target audience, you would want to focus on the emotional side of that product.
Additionally, it is important to understand the shopping environment can have different effects on customers’ experience. Your store could be in a mall, a stand alone or strictly online. These can all have an effect on a customer’s perception of a business. For example, if your store is located in a shopping mall that is far from town, does not have many surrounding stores and has a poor reputation, it is going to be much harder to reach your audience.
Customers today are seeking a personalized experience while shopping. Even if they do not realize it. When they shop, they want to feel seen and special. But what does this look like?
- Product recommendations
- One on one interactions in physical store
- Using names (think, Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign)
- User account customization
- Remembering products in cart
- Live chats on website to answer questions or response to social media DM
- Hand written notes
Personalization requires some more work – data and customers sharing some information. However, the results can be worth it. Creating a personalized experience yields a much higher ROI.
Customers today want to feel connected to your brand. So, get them engaged!
There are so many ways to encourage engagement, it is just about finding the right way for your business! Engage customers in polls and Q&As on social media, ask for feedback online and ask customers to participate in different activities in store.
Engagement also goes beyond customers. Ensure your employees at every level are engaged in the company. This will create a brand culture that attracts customers.
4. Deliver on Promises
Part of building a positive customer experience is building trust with customers. When your customer trusts you, you gain their loyalty. Furthermore, their business.
When you make promises to your customers, you need to deliver. Customers do not want to return to shop with a brand that does not fulfill their wants and needs, and falls through on future promises.
Be there for your customers.
5. Invest in Technology
Giving your customers the best experience sometimes requires some extra help.
A customer outreach strategy that is data driven allows you to easily monitor, track and analyze customer actions. CX technologies can complement your current systems while also providing additional information about your customers. Your CX technology can then assist with personalization, engagement and more.
The Bottom Line
Being a business owner, your goal is to provide the best product to your customers in the best way possible. When you utilize these five principles of customer experience, you can enhance your experience while also improving ROI, customer satisfaction, customer retention, loyalty, and set yourself apart from competitors.
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