What makes you decide which company to buy from? It can’t always be about the best product, because so many companies are selling the same or similar things. Perhaps without realising it, we consider lots of different factors when making a buying decision. Many of these factors are summed up in what we call customer experience.
Read on to learn more about customer experience and why it’s important for your brand.
What is customer experience?
Simply put, customer experience is the experience a customer goes through while interacting with your brand. In more helpful terms, it refers to the perception a customer develops after interacting with your brand, buying from you, and using your product or service. This impacts the customer’s opinion of your brand and, therefore, their likelihood to buy from you again or recommend you.
What makes up the customer experience?
The customer experience is influenced by every point of contact a customer has with your business. In today’s multi-platform culture, customer experience could take place over the phone, on mobile apps, mobile and desktop websites, through chatbots, and face-to-face.
These touchpoints may include:
- Seeing a sponsored ad in the Google search results
- Navigating your website
- Liking an Instagram post
- Visiting your store
- Using your product/service
- Contacting your customer service team
These touchpoints will vary from one business to the next, so it’s important to think about the journey of your customers in order to tailor your customer experience strategy. Check out this blog for some examples of customer journey maps.
Why does customer experience matter so much to businesses?
Customer experience is an area that any company can excel in if they put enough energy and attention into it. It’s not just a game for the big brands that can throw lots of money at it. And it’s certainly an area that’s worth paying lots of attention to. Let’s look at some of the reasons why customer experience is so important.
Convincing customers to buy from you
Consumers have so many options when buying a specific product or service. They no longer have to settle for second best. If they don’t like the way an employee speaks to them in-store or they have to wait for ages for a response to their email, then they can simply look elsewhere.
Providing a great customer experience is one of the best ways to stand out from your competitors and convince customers to choose you over them. This leads to more sales and higher profits for your business.
Nurturing loyal customers
If you get customer experience right, then not only will people buy from you, but they should also keep buying from you. If a customer has a positive experience when buying from you, then they’re likely to return to you when they next need the same product or service.
Nurturing loyal customers is perhaps the most effective way to increase your sales, since retaining existing customers is much more cost-effective than attracting new ones. Returning customers also tend to spend more than new customers on a single transaction.
And brand advocates
Another great thing about loyal customers is that they like to spread the word. If they love your brand or your products enough to keep coming back, then they’re also likely to write positive reviews online or recommend you to their friends, family members, and colleagues.
This is another reason why customer retention is so important – because they actually help you with customer acquisition, as well. Even in today’s digital world, word of mouth remains an important marketing strategy.
Manage your reputation
At the same time as providing a positive experience for your customers, you’re also mitigating the consequences of a negative one. When someone has a bad experience with a brand, whether that’s a faulty product or a rude sales associate, they can go straight online and air their grievances on a public platform. In fact, customers are more likely to review a business after a negative experience than a positive one.
Focusing on your customer experience helps to reduce the amount of negative feedback your brand gets, helping you to maintain a positive reputation. The customer has all the power in today’s world, so it’s time we all started focusing on them more than ourselves.