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Customer Experience

Everything you need to know about customer experience

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s now more important than ever to have a stand-out customer experience (CX). Competition is fierce, and if you don't have a unique offering or can’t be the cheapest, you need to provide a memorable experience that consumers can rely on, especially if you want to improve customer loyalty.

With this is mind, here’s everything you need to know about customer experience and how Feefo can help you measure and improve your CX.


What is customer experience?

Customer experience is how a customer perceives your brand across every interaction they’ve had with you. It usually consists of multiple touchpoints, so to create a great customer experience, you need to consider every part of the customer’s journey, from your website right through to the delivery of the product or service. Depending on your type of business, you might see it referred to as a client experience. Customer and client experience are one and the same, so there’s no need to panic.

There are a number of ways to measure and enhance your customer experience, such as consumer reviews and surveys, but we’ll go into more detail later.


Why customer experience is important for your business and how it relates to customer feedback

Listening to your customers by collecting customer feedback is the key to understanding and improving your customer experience.

There are so many reasons why your business should be focusing on its customer experience. Here are the top three:

1. Word of mouth is powerful

Amazing (and awful) experiences often prompt us to tell others, and not just friends and family. Successfully providing a positive customer experience can earn you a ton of free advertising in the form of personal recommendations, happy social media posts and five-star reviews.

94% of shoppers read reviews before buying a product or service, so make sure your brand leaves customers walking away with a smile, otherwise the tables could quickly turn and you could be doing more harm than good to your business.

2. Stand out from your competitors

81% of organisations consider customer experience to be a competitive differentiator for them, with 92% experiencing increased customer loyalty, 84% seeing an uplift in revenue and 79% reporting cost savings since improving their CX.

81%

of organisations consider customer experience to be a competitive differentiator

92%

experience increased customer loyalty

84%

see an uplift in revenue

79%

report cost savings

Source: Dimension Data


It’s becoming harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. Most brands aren’t the cheapest, and even fewer have something truly unique, so your customer experience and the service you offer can make all the difference. Once you get a reputation for delivering a fantastic customer experience, customers will not only come back time after time, they’ll also start selling your brand to others without even knowing it.

3. Leaders in customer experience grow faster

Leaders in customer experience typically see a 17% growth in revenue compared to a 3% average growth for businesses lagging behind in CX.

Nailing your customer experience creates a loyal customer base that will want to use your service again, but also will be more open to upsell and cross-sell opportunities later down the line.


Why knowing the reasons behind bad customer experience is so important 

You can’t improve your customer experience without listening to your consumers first and understanding where you’re going wrong. At Feefo, we believe negative feedback is incredibly valuable. It allows you to pinpoint your weaknesses and learn from your mistakes, especially if you’re collecting reviews across the entire customer experience.

You don’t need to spend lots of time analysing which aspects of your experience need strengthening, either. Our AI-powered Performance Profiling tool automatically finds themes within your customer feedback and measures how positively or negatively it’s spoken about by consumers.

“Feefo’s AI-powered Performance Profiling tool has enabled us to improve our delivery process and initiated some fascinating conversations between us and our customers, resulting in Iceland being able to better respond, listen and take action on feedback.”

Rachel Lewis, Customer Response Co-Ordinator

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Improving your customer experience can lead to increased consumer loyalty, positive word of mouth and more referrals to your business! No matter what you do, or how good you think your customer experience is, it can always be improved. So, when you see a negative review or get some constructive criticism, don’t ignore it. See it as an opportunity to make your customer experience even better!


Why knowing the reasons behind good customer experience is so important

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Understanding your strengths is just as important as knowing your weaknesses. By identifying what you’re getting right, you can see where you really stand out amongst your competitors and promote those areas where you’re strongest.

Again, you need to listen to what your customers are saying about all aspect of their experience with your business. If you get lots of positive comments about your customer service, why not promote that more in your marketing? You could even use products like Feefo’s Insight Tags to monitor which members of your customer service team get the most positive reviews, so you can reward them for their hard work.


Engaging with your audience – building customer profiles

Do you know who your customers are? Do you understand why they use your business? You may have a vague idea, but if you don’t know your customers inside-out, it becomes difficult to meet their needs and create a customer experience tailored to them.

What are customer profiles?

Customer profiles, also known as buyer personas, help you understand who your ideal customers are and what you should be doing to both retain those customers and attract new ones. They typically contain information such as age, location, job title, hobbies/interests, how much they interact with your business and the challenges each type of customer faces. You will probably have several personas, and they can be very specific (i.e. you create a fictional person that you’re targeting) or more general (i.e. a job title with the challenges they’re facing).

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Why should I create customer profiles?

You could potentially be wasting a huge portion of your marketing budget because you simply aren’t targeting the right audience. Customer profiles help you understand who you should be targeting so you can put that budget to better use and stop your sales and marketing teams from trying to win sales from customers that simply don’t fit your business.

Making a customer feel special, or unique, improves engagement, increases loyalty and ultimately will help you convert more sales, but to do that you first have to understand them. Getting under the skin of your customers gives you all the information you need to start personalising every experience, right the way through from your marketing efforts to post-sale customer support.

How to build customer profiles

There are several tools you can use to start building your customer profiles, but the first step is to actually speak to your existing customers! You can collect reviews from those who have already used your business to better understand who your existing customer base consists of and what they do and don’t like about your business.

Listening to potential customers is important too. Surveys can be sent to anyone, at any point and give you the chance to ask some very specific questions. Everything from your website’s user experience to your live-chat support can be tried and tested using a few simple Q&As or sliding scales. For example, if someone visits a certain page on your website, you can trigger a pop-up that links to a survey asking how well the site functions. This feedback could be crucial in helping you discover why your site isn’t converting, whether you’re attracting the right audience and how to improve that first key step in the customer journey.

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It’s vital to collect as much feedback as possible, at multiple stages of the customer journey. Tools like Feefo’s Campaign Manager Tool can help you collect, and personalise, feedback requests to specific customers at specific points in their journey. This will help you understand everything from whether your salespeople are selling the right solutions to how effective your support team is at solving queries quickly.

“Our partnership with Feefo has offered us much greater insights into our business through the real opinions of our students. This has further enabled us to put our students at the heart of everything we do. Achieving response rates of 11.8% has been brilliant and we’re so proud to showcase these reviews on our website.”

Glyn Hurll, Head of Marketing

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What is customer experience mapping?

Customer experience mapping is the process of plotting how your customers think and feel as they engage with your brand. A good customer experience map tells a detailed story of your entire customer journey and includes every channel and touchpoint where a customer might come into contact with your brand during the sale and post-sale cycle. By identifying how your customers think and feel at each stage of their journey, you’re able to zero in on the areas that are working well, and the things that could do with some improvement.

The great thing is, your customer experience map can look however you want, as long as it includes the right stuff. 

emirates customer map

We love this fun design for Emirates by Robert Dersley

Customer experience mapping vs. customer journey mapping

A customer journey map is best used to understand a definitive process in the overall sales cycle, such as the buying journey for a specific product. A customer experience map, on the other hand, digs a little deeper to help you identify successes and failures in your overall customer experience.

Although both look very similar, where a customer experience map really comes into its own is by taking it that one step further and shining a light on the behaviours and emotions that a customer goes through at each of the key touchpoints with your brand.

What should you include in your customer experience map?

Every customer experience map will be unique to you and your business, so there is no one ‘golden’ rule for how to create one, or even what it needs to look like. There are, however, some things you’ll need to include if you want to get the best feel of how your customer experience is performing:

Customer personas – Each of your customer personas will have different needs and expectations when they encounter your brand. It’s important to take this into account and map them separately

Multi-channel experiences – Customers experience your business across a whole range of channels, from in-store to mobile. Understanding how each of these channels link together and what’s going on at every touchpoint is crucial

Customer goals – Consider what the customer is trying to achieve during each interaction with your brand. How hard are these to accomplish? Are there any barriers?

Positive and negative experiences – At each of the touchpoints, state what you’re doing well and what’s adding value, but also factor in where your customers have experienced issues

To build your customer experience map, you need to find out how your customers really feel about your business. There are plenty of ways to do this, from surveys to social listening, but nothing beats talking with your customers first-hand. Asking for product and service reviews at every stage of the customer journey is a great way to connect with your customers and start gathering genuine insights into what’s working and what’s not. 


How to measure customer experience

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to measuring customer experience. There are plenty of metrics and tools out there, but which one is best for your business depends on what you do, and what your customer journey looks like. Here’s some of the more common metrics you should be keeping an eye on.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT-v2What is CSAT?

This is a broad term used to describe customer service survey questions which measure – you guessed it – customer satisfaction. A CSAT score is usually determined by asking customers questions, whether that be a single query or a long survey.

Respondents usually use this scale:

  1. Very unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very satisfied

The results are then averaged to give a score, which with a quick calculation is then turned into a percentage. As you’d expect, 100% represents the most satisfied customers, and 0% the most dissatisfied.

Why is CSAT important?

CSAT is one of the single most important metrics for customer support. It’s a great indicator of how your customers are feeling and can be extremely useful in giving insight to help you improve your business. It’s particularly effective when looking at individual touchpoints, as it’s based on a ‘here and now’ reaction, rather than the experience as a whole.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

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What is CES?

CES measures the user experience with a product or service. Customers rank their experience on a five or seven-point scale which ranges from ‘very difficult’ to ‘very easy’.

These surveys can be distributed at every touchpoint, so it’s a great way of generating feedback about specific parts of the customer experience rather than giving a general overview.

Why is CES important?

Measuring CES helps you to address any obstacles that are related to the quality and ease of your products and service. It’s also simple to rollout and track over time. Providing an easy, consistent experience across all touchpoints is the best way to prevent churning, making CES measurement vital.

 

Time to resolution (TTR)

TTR

What is TTR?

TTR is the average length of time it takes for your customer service team to solve an issue, from when the ticket was opened by the customer to when it was closed by your team. You can choose to measure TTR in either days or business hours.

Why is TTR important?

Long response times are the number one customer experience frustration, so if you’re looking to improve your CX, this metric is one you should be focusing on. By reducing your TTR, your customers are less likely to become irritated when dealing with your support team and have a more positive experience with your brand.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

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What is NPS?

Used by millions of companies worldwide, NPS measures the loyalty of customers by asking them how likely they are to recommend a company to friends, family or colleagues.

NPS scores are measured with a single question and reported with a number from -100 to +100. The higher the number, the better the score - simple!

Depending on how customers rate the business, they fall into one of three categories:

Promoters: Score the company with either a 9 or a 10. These are your loyal, enthusiastic customers!

Passives: Respond with a 7 or an 8. They’re happy with the service, but not quite happy

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 enough to be promoters.

Detractors: Give a score between 0 and 6. These are classed as your unhappy customers, who are unlikely to use the company again.

Why is NPS important?

You can measure almost anything with an NPS score, but generally, it’s used to measure how customers feel about your company overall and how loyal they are to you. NPS is also an excellent way of benchmarking yourself against your competitors and a good indicator of how likely your customers are to churn.

Net Promoter Score

Discover how your customers feel about your business in an instant

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How to build a customer experience strategy using customer feedback

There’s no one way to create a customer experience strategy, as it will entirely depend on your objectives and the length and scale of your project. While every strategy will be unique to your business, there are some things you always need to keep in mind when creating one.

Understand the fundamentals

What do your customers need and what do they want? If you don’t know, ask them! This is where surveys and reviews come in. Before you start building any strategy you need to understand who your customers are and what they expect from your business – then you can measure how far you are from hitting those expectations.

Define what good looks like

What’s the current state of your customer experience? Whether you’re focusing on improving your customer service response time or building a better website, you need to check how well you’re currently doing and decide where you want to be after a set period of time. Make customer experience measurable. For example, if you’re improving your website, you may look at metrics such as time on page, bounce rate and conversions. Once you know where you are and what looks good to you, you have something to aim for.

Know your competition

Who are your competitors and what are they doing to improve their customer experience? Don’t just match what they’re doing – work out what makes you different or where you know you can do it better. Look at the current marketplace and research the personas/profiles you’re targeting too. You need as much information as possible.

Decide and define your mission and vision

Once you’ve done your research, you should have a good idea of where your customer experience needs strengthening. Your CX strategy must pinpoint exactly what you want to change or improve and by how much. While you may only be planning to make changes to specific parts of your customer experience, remember that every step in the journey needs to feel cohesive to your customers. That’s why it’s important to include all departments within your strategy, not just those dealing with consumers on the frontline, and make customer experience a major part of your business company-wide.