Every entrepreneur knows it: The competition in one's own industry is getting bigger and bigger. Constant comparisons between customers and other stores make their own services and products almost interchangeable. It is no longer enough to simply advertise a low-price offer or provide high quality - this is where the customer experience (also known as UX) comes into play. It is largely responsible for the economic success and sustainable growth of a company and is therefore indispensable.
The customer experience (CX) reflects how customers perceive a brand. It is the sum of all experiences at the various touchpoints with a company - from the first encounter to the purchase.
A brand's CX is created by the following marketing tools, for example:
Social media profile or web presence
Recommendation from friends, family or acquaintances
Visit to a branch in the city center
Questions to customer service before or after purchase
Whether it's long loading times, unfriendly customer service or unresponsive chatbots - poor customer service has a negative impact on a company's reputation. The challenge for companies is to create positive customer experiences along the customer journey. This is the only way to keep customers on the ball and coming back again and again.
For a long time, it was normal to use advertising to persuade prospects to buy certain products and services - without paying attention to facets such as ...
and experience with service and products.
Nowadays, due to increasing numbers of competitors - especially in the online sector - the customer is a central point for every company. Because only with the right communication and a serious appearance, companies land on the favorites list of their desired customers. For this it is elementary to create a professional online store.
With Customer Experience Management (CEM), companies manage all individual touchpoints with their customers (along the customer journey). It is important to make these as pleasant as possible. This includes a coordinated customer experience strategy with corresponding marketing measures. This has a positive effect on both customer relationships and sales.
However, the measures are labor-intensive as they involve the optimization of all touchpoints (such as customer service, hotline, store visit, product use, etc.). The focus is on satisfying individual customer needs by developing appropriate strategies, concepts and brand management. The tasks of the CEM include:
To be able to optimize CX, companies must conduct an analysis to identify weaknesses and optimization potential. In this way, companies develop an individual strategy.
It is particularly important that companies know where their customers' pain points lie. Whether preferred communication channel or problems for which the product or service offers a solution - customer surveys provide information about the relevant criteria.
CEM is essentially concerned with fulfilling the perception points along the customer's customer journey. Based on the current status, CX must be improved and appropriate measures implemented.
Before implementation, it is important to check all concepts for their economic viability. A cost-benefit analysis for each measure is therefore essential in the CEM.
The first measures have been implemented, now it's time to observe:
Which measures are successful?
Where are there already improvements and where are there deteriorations (along the customer journey)?
If the CEM does this regularly, any positive and negative changes will quickly become visible and can be addressed.
At regular intervals, the company's own products and services should be subjected to a quality test. This ensures a certain quality standard and customers complain less at the end of the day.
Companies should respond quickly to complaints so that the customer is satisfied. Product critiques should always be taken seriously and feedback from the responsible department should be written for each piece of feedback.
A lack of communication or poor communication on the part of a company leads to frustration and dissatisfaction on the part of the customer. If the customer has the feeling that he or she is not being taken seriously or properly understood, the result is a negative customer experience.
Long waiting times or poor service also have a negative impact on a company's reputation. Does the customer hang on hold forever? Are his or her inquiries not processed quickly and competently? This is how companies quickly earn negative points with their prospective customers.
Another negative example is poor product quality. If the product does not meet the customer's expectations, this can quickly lead to disappointment. In the worst case, the prospective customer bails out before making the purchase and turns his back on the company.
There are also some stumbling blocks when ordering online:
Complicated checkout process
Difficulty to find the desired product
Long loading times on the website
Whether market studies, strategic goals, consumer studies or mission statements - all this information serves as the basis for a good customer experience strategy. All departments of a company are involved, as every customer interaction flows into the big picture. The advantages and disadvantages of CEM are presented below:
Increase Brand Value:
The market value of a company increases when CX is optimized. In addition to material value, how customers perceive a company plays a major role.
Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV for short): The
financial value of the customer (to a company) is of great importance to see how much money should be invested in customer retention.
If customers have a positive experience during their purchase, they are willing to come back. Targeted measures help them identify with a company.
Reduce costs: Unfriendly customer service, poor products or a slow website - these are all negative impressions that a company can leave behind. A well thought-out customer experience strategy counteracts negative customer experiences and saves costs.
The desire of every company is to control customer behavior with customer experience management, but this does not always succeed with coordinated measures. Emotions and opinions are idiosyncratic and cannot be planned. Branding campaigns can tip over and lead to a shitstorm instead of the hoped-for success.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are helpful to evaluate CX. There is no general rule to measure CX success: Depending on the industry and company, appropriate KPIs should be defined to reflect what works and what doesn't. Generally applicable KPIs help as a basis to find the right way to achieve the company's goals:
Longer customer loyalty
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Reduce customer service costs
A customer journey map also provides information about which touchpoints customers have with a company and at which touchpoints there is still room for improvement. Analytics tools can also be used to measure customer intent (search history, page views, dwell time, and interactions). Customer feedback is worth its weight in gold! For example, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) should be used to find out how many customers would recommend a company to others.
It is important for companies to take the customer's perspective in order to understand which processes need to be optimized. Simplicity, efficiency and empathy are the three magic words for a successful customer experience. Companies should ask themselves the following questions to better understand their customers:
What do I place the most value on?
What touchpoints are there and how are they communicated?
Are the goals clearly defined?
What is the feedback from employees and customers?
What does the data say?
Are digital tools being used?
Surveys help prioritize the right measures and align the company's own products more closely with customer preferences and wishes. In addition, it is valuable for companies to receive feedback from their customers, as this is the only way they can continue to develop. Open communication is a plus in showing customers that their input makes a difference.
Customer experience refers to all experiences that a customer has with a company or a product. This includes, for example, the purchasing process, customer service, product quality and brand image.
A positive customer experience is important because it influences customer loyalty and satisfaction. Customers who have a positive experience remain loyal to the company and may even recommend it to others. A negative customer experience, on the other hand, can lead to the loss of customers and damage the company's image.
For a positive customer experience, it is important to respond to the needs and wishes of customers. This includes, for example, fast and friendly customer service, high product quality, and ease of use when ordering online. A consistent brand identity and clear communication can also contribute to a positive customer experience. Continuous improvements and an open ear for feedback can ensure a positive customer experience in the long term.