You may offer high-end products with the lowest price on the web, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee conversions or customer loyalty. There is a lot of competition out there, not just from Amazon but also smaller boutique sites that offer similar products.
Customer experience is what sets you apart. It is the sum of all interactions that a customer has with your business, including interactions before and after a sale. It can include how they research products on your site, how they complete their transaction, what happens when they receive their product, and so on.
Customer experience is one of the main factors that determine whether or not consumers will buy from your brand and become loyal customers.
In fact, a PwC survey found that 17% of U.S. consumers will walk away after just one bad experience. And 59% of U.S. consumers will walk away after several bad experiences even if they love the company or product.
This makes it crucial to set up a game plan to ensure that you deliver a positive and meaningful experience for your customers across every interaction. That’s why you need to have an effective strategy in place so you can take a more structured approach to enhancing customer experience.
In this post, you’ll discover six useful steps to create an amazing customer experience strategy. Let’s get started.
1: Have a Clear Understanding of Your Customers
Unless you thoroughly understand who your customers are, you’ll have a hard time figuring out how to deliver experiences that appeal to them. Without understanding the situations that your customers face, you won’t be able to empathize with them and provide them with viable solutions.
At the same time, it’s important to note that not all of your customers will experience the same issues or have the same pain points. So you need to start by creating accurate buyer personas, which are profiles that represent a common group of people.
You can include demographics data like age, interests, buying behaviors, job profile, etc. to clearly define the characteristics of each persona.
For an even more accurate picture of each persona, make sure you conduct surveys to understand your different types of customers. Use this data to build a customer experience strategy that effectively addresses the needs of all of your customers.
Make sure you maintain a record of all surveys and personas so every department can easily refer to them when needed. HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool simplifies this process. You can name the persona, choose an avatar, and fill out all the details relevant to it to create an attractive buyer persona. You can easily store surveys in a shared Google folder or Dropbox.
2: Map Out the Customer Journey
Customer journey mapping is essential to get a visual overview of the customer’s interactions with your brand from start to finish. This helps you get an even better picture of the customer experience at every touch point, so you can identify their needs and perceptions.
Create an accurate customer journey map for each buyer persona to outline the key steps of their journey. How do they begin the journey and how do they normally interact with your brand? You can then outline their pain points, values, and motivations to better understand how you can enhance their experience at every touch point.
3: Collect Competitive Insights
Competitor research can help you discover what kind of customer experience your competitors are delivering. What can you learn from them and what can you do better? There are plenty of ways to collect competitive insights to enhance your customer experience strategy.
You can start by finding out where and how your competitors are getting their customers using tools like SpyFu. This gives you a detailed look at the organic and paid clicks your competitors are getting as well as their top keywords. These insights will help you understand user intent by identifying the top search terms people are using to find your competitors.
Additionally, the backlink data provides you with information about which websites are sending traffic to your competitors. You can try to replicate this strategy to attract your audience where they’re most likely to be.
You can further research your competitors’ customer experience strategy by going through the various channels where customers interact with their brand. This includes their website, social media, app (if they have one), and so on.
Get a feel for what it’s like to interact with the brand and make a note of any mistakes they might be making. See if there’s anything you can replicate or improve for your own strategy.
In addition, you can also conduct social media listening to see what people are saying about your competitors and the brand sentiment around their companies. What are the biggest complaints people seem to have about their products? What are they praising them for?
Tools like Mention and Sprout Social can help you with this aspect of competitor research.
4: Make Reachability and Customer Service a Priority
Communication is a major factor that influences the overall customer experience. You have to be available to your customers no matter what channel they choose to be on. Otherwise, you could miss valuable opportunities to engage with them.
For this, you have to find out which channels your customers are most active on and ensure that your brand is reachable on those channels.
The best way to get a clear and accurate picture of the performance of different channels is by using UTM parameters. Tag all of the links you share on different channels with unique UTM parameters and find out how those links are performing.
You can simplify the UTM creation and management processes by using tools like UTM.io. This tool lets you create UTM templates that you can easily reuse and customize for each channel. So you can maintain a uniform naming convention that’s much easier to keep track of.
Once you identify the top channels that your customers are active on, you can come up with a strategy to enhance customer experience on those channels. This will involve improving service convenience on those channels in addition to being reachable.
Get familiar with each of the top channels and understand how people are using them to communicate with your brand. What kind of improvements can you make to enhance the customer experience? What other channels do they want you to be present on?
Maybe you already have live chat support on your website, for instance. But people also expect chat support through social media. Or maybe you have people who expect 24/7 chat support, which may not always be a viable option for most businesses. In this case, you can also provide support through chatbots during non-working hours.
You can study customer behavior, reviews, and engagement to look for opportunities to make improvements. You can even ask them directly through surveys.
Cuyana provides convenient customer service by enabling customers to reach them through Facebook Messenger. They even provide customers with predefined questions to choose from, minimizing the need to type everything out.
5: Improve Purchase Convenience
The purchase experience is another major factor that influences the overall customer experience. Factors like how easy it is to find what they’re looking for, how seamless it is to navigate your site, how simple it is to complete their purchase, etc. will all play a role.
So it’s crucial to keep looking for opportunities to optimize your site or app to improve purchase convenience. Make it as easy as possible for people to complete their purchases.
The basic steps include:
- Optimizing your search bar so it’s easy to find and use
- Neatly sorting out your products into relevant categories
- Improving page load speed
- Providing secure and seamless checkout
- Optimizing fonts, colors, and images to improve aesthetics
You can further include useful and clever tools, videos, or images to guide their purchases. Bellyroy does a great job of this by showing what kind of items you can fit inside their wallets.
6: Connect Emotionally with the Audience
How customers feel about your brand also influences their experiences. An emotionally connected customer is more likely to enjoy their interactions with your brand and therefore, have a better overall experience.
In fact, fully connected customers are 52% more valuable than customers who are just satisfied. They also have a high lifetime value and are more likely to advocate for the brand.
This makes it crucial to develop an emotional connection with your customers if you want to create an effective customer experience strategy. You need to come up with a plan to enhance their emotional connections at every touch point – right from marketing and sales to post-sales service.
Aside from better employee training and advocacy, you can also make improvements in the marketing aspect of your business. Switch from bland and pushy ads to more intimate and humanized marketing tactics such as micro-influencer marketing.
Micro-influencers are social media users who have some authority in their areas of interest. They are relatable to the audience because they are just like everyday consumers. As a result, they also have significant and highly-engaged following.
Influence.co even found that micro-influencers drive much better engagement than macro-influencers. The average engagement rate could range anywhere from 2.5% to 6% for influencers with 2000 to 100,000 followers. This rate drops gradually as the following size increases.
In other words, micro-influencers can drive relevant conversations around your brand and your products. So they can help you establish strong emotional connections between your brand and your target audience.
Have them present your product or services in a way that will resonate with their followers. They could share their experience using it, demonstrate how it solved a problem in their life, etc.
One of the most challenging steps is in identifying the best influencers to work with. You can simplify this process by using platforms like iFluenz. All you need to do is create your campaign and wait for the best-matching influencers to apply. So instead of conducting a grueling influencer search, you’ll have the most relevant influencers come to you.
These are the basic steps involved in creating an amazing customer experience strategy. But it doesn’t just end here. You also have to keep making improvements to your strategy based on analytics insights and customer feedback.
Listen to your customers, actively collect feedback, and look for opportunities to adapt your strategy according to the changing needs of your customers.