What is Customer Experience

Customer experience and the associated customer experience management are current trend topics and meanwhile popularly used buzzwords. But what is customer experience in detail? And "what is Customer Experience Management" from a company's point of view? 

Customer Experience (CX) refers to the experience customers have with a company. Be it customer service, product quality, delivery and installation time, prices or the general reputation of the company - surely everyone has had negative and positive experiences with brands.. Customer experience includes and addresses all of these experiences.  . 

New customer rate, conversion rates, turnover, shopping basket size, customer loyalty, brand trust, customer satisfaction - these are just some of the direct areas of influence of customer experience management. Therefore, positive customer experiences are of high importance for companies. 

Agenda

  • What is customer experience?

  • What is Customer Experience Management?

  • What is the importance of customer experience for companies?

  • Tips for optimising your customer experience

  • Metrics to measure your customer experience

What is Customer Experience? 

Customer experience includes every single experience a customer has with a company along the customer journey - at every touchpoint. Every single experience leaves a lasting impression on the customer and can lead to a purchase, non-purchase and/or repurchase decision.. A negative customer experience is very difficult to transform into something positive, and usually requires a lot of effort.. Successful companies therefore pursue the goal of not only meeting customer expectations, but exceeding them: "The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them - preferably in unexpected and helpful ways". (Richard Branson) 

Example touchpoints that can lead to a positive or negative experience: 

  • Visiting shops

  • Visiting the website

  • Reading the newsletter

  • Advice from sales/advisor team

  • Headlines from management or corporate strategy

  • Support from customer service

  • Quality of the product/service

  • and much more.

Creating a good customer experience is one of the greatest challenges for all companies, and at the same time the greatest opportunity to build long-term and thus sustainable customer relationships. This is usually accompanied by a considerable competitive advantage. 

With the help of customer experience management, this goal can be approached holistically and strategically. 

What is Customer Experience Management? 

Customer Experience Management, also abbreviated to CEM or CXM, means the active management of customer experiences along the entire customer journey. Due to the holistic perspective on all touchpoints, customer experience management is often attached to higher-level positions in the company, distributed among different areas or covered by a customer experience management position or department. 

The task of customer experience management is to develop a targeted and implementable customer experience strategy and to establish it successfully. A major challenge to successful implementation is considering and managing a large number of stakeholders. Not only the management, but also sales, marketing, process managers, customer service, and many more are in the focus and decide on the success of the implementation. The goal is always not only to meet customers’ expectations, but to exceed them. This way, customer relations can be positively influenced in the long term to sustainably increase the company's turnover.Customer Experience Management also aims to ensure a high level of customer centricity and orientation. In order to meet this goal, customers should be asked about their experience at relevant touchpoints. This customer experience feedback is used for analysis and subsequent optimisation. In detail this means: 

  • Identifying relevant touchpoints and developing ┬áthe entire customer journey

  • Collecting customer experience feedback at focused touchpoints

  • Analysing and evaluating ┬áthe customer experience feedback

  • Deriving optimisation measures and evaluating the cost/benefit ratio (economic efficiency)

  • Evaluating measures based on previously defined KPIs

>>Our eTrusted team and  Experience Feedback Solution will be happy to support you in all these tasks with our market experience. 

Customer Experience – The Importance 

Customer Experience has a direct impact on the success of a company. Bad customer experiences lead to customers avoiding the brand and writing a negative review, which in turn leads to further new customers not trusting the brand and ultimately not buying. 

Digitalisation, progressive comparability, increasing competitive pressure and several other challenges mean that quality and price advantages alone no longer create a difference to the competition. If I get a high-quality meal for a reasonable price in a restaurant, but the service is poor, I will not recommend that restaurant to others and will not come back. It is similar with all products and services, whether B2C or B2B. 

An excellent customer experience can be decisive for these reasons. On the one hand, the buying behaviour of new customers is positively influenced and on the other hand, the loyalty of customers towards the brand is strengthened. 

The importance of a personalised, customer-centric, service-focused experience at every touchpoint of the customer journey has never been more important. 

Customer Experience – Tips for Optimisation 

In order to optimise the customer experience, the first step is to identify the relevant touchpoints of the customer journey and take the customer's perspective. What does the customer value? Which aspects are particularly important to your customer? And at which touchpoints do they come into play? 

These questions are very easy to answer by collecting and analysing customer experience feedback. Customer-centric companies align their product and marketing strategy with this feedback. In this way, a positive customer experience is created. 

After collecting and analysing the customer experience feedback through surveys and reviewing profitability, appropriate measures are derived, implemented and communicated to customers after implementation. This in turn supports a positive customer experience, as the feedback is taken seriously and used for optimisation. 

Customer Experience - Metrics (KPIs) to Measure your Customer Experience 

In order to measure and understand the development of your customer experience, it is very important to first identify the relevant touchpoints in your customer journey. Especially at the beginning of such a KPI measurement, it is advisable to concentrate on a few but very significant touchpoints in order to build up an effective step-by-step reporting. Depending on the respective touchpoints, various individual KPIs are suitable for measuring your customer experience. In addition to very touchpoint-related, thus individual KPIs, there are also overarching and market-standard metrics that enable the measurement of sub-areas of your customer experience:   

NPS: Probably the best-known metric that indicates how satisfied a customer is with the brand/company is the NPS (Net Promoter Score). For this purpose, the following or a similar question is asked in surveys "How likely is it that you would recommend brand X to others?" The customer rates the probability of recommendation on a scale of 0 to 10. Three customer groups can be formed from the results: Detractors, Indifferents and Promoters. To calculate the NPS, the percentage of detractors is subtracted from the promoters. 

CSAT: The CSAT score (Customer Satisfaction Score) is used to determine customer satisfaction. In comparison to the NPS, the CSAT refers to a product or service. On its own, the CSAT is therefore usually not meaningful for a positive customer experience. Satisfaction with a product does not necessarily mean that the customer experience is positive at all touchpoints of the customer journey. Usually, customers can indicate their satisfaction with a product or service in surveys on a scale (very satisfied - not at all satisfied). The average value of the results is the CSAT score. 

CES: The Customer Effort Score includes the question about the effort the customer has to make to achieve e.g. the following: contact with customer service, contact with sales/advisor team, completion of purchase. On a classic scale, the customer can rank this question in a way that the average value automatically results in the CES. The goal is to achieve the lowest possible CES. 

In addition, the following measures can be used to measure the customer experience: 

  • A/B testing of customer experience measures

  • Survey of employees with customer contact (Employee Experience Feedback)

  • Touchpoint individual metrics