Customer experience has become a huge talking point for businesses in recent years, particularly amongst marketing professionals whose job it is to strengthen the brand and understand consumer behaviors. In this guide, we’re going to look at how you can create a meaningful customer experience in your business and which organizations are already setting a great example.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the response customers have to how they are treated by a business. This can impact their opinion, behavior, and loyalty to a brand. But if you dig a little deeper, customer experience is about the direct and indirect interactions an individual has with your company, from purchasing and customer service whilst in-store, to word-of-mouth recommendations and pop-up adverts when browsing the internet. All of this will contribute to their overall experience with your brand.
Why is meaningful customer experience so important?
In a world where branding is everywhere and competition to be the best provider is tough, creating the best possible customer experience is vital. Consumers want to be respected and treated well, especially with frugal shoppers reading reviews and doing their research before parting with their hard-earned cash. Their experience will determine whether they are loyal to your brand and whether they choose to recommend you to others, and social proof is a hugely important tool for driving sales.
In fact, leaders in customer experience can increase their revenue by 17% when compared to those that haven't invested in their customer service. Other key reasons why meaningful customer experience is so important are:
- To give your business a competitive advantage
- To create brand loyalty
- To increase customer satisfaction
- To build long-lasting, trusting relationships with consumers
- To boost brand advocacy and encourage positive customer feedback and word of mouth
How can you create a meaningful customer experience?
As a marketing team, there are several ways you can create meaningful customer experience through your marketing strategy, as well as collaborating with other departments to ensure the best possible user experience. Some of the most effective ways to create meaningful customer experience include:
Ensuring the human touch
There are lots of automated tools out there that can help you to support customers. However, you also need to make sure you offer elements of human interaction such as replying to emails and making phone calls, otherwise it can feel like they're only ever dealing with robots and this can be frustrating and impersonal.
Personalizing their experiences
88% of consumers said they're more likely to shop with retailers that offer personalized experiences, so don't miss out on this opportunity. This could be through personalized email campaigns, offering tailored discounts and deals, or recommending products based on their previous purchases.
Be sure to take feedback on board and respond to comments and reviews whether good or bad. If your customers have suggested ways to improve your service, let them know that you will do your best to implement real changes.
Creating useful, in-depth content
It’s not just about creating great product descriptions, your content needs to extend further to blog posts, social media content, images, and ‘about’ pages that help to add real value to the customer’s life and to build your reputation as an industry leader.
Optimizing user experience
The user experience from discovery to purchase must be as simple and enjoyable as possible. This means creating clear content and CTAs, as well as streamlining the checkout process. It’s also important to have FAQ pages or contact options so customers can get in touch with queries and get answers as soon as possible.
5 Examples of brands who are already leading the way
In this final section, we’re going to take a look at five examples of brands that are leading the way in customer experience. There’s a lot to be learned from these examples of organizations going above and beyond for their customers.
Netflix not only disrupted the entire film industry with its streaming service but also with its customer experience strategy. Personalization is the aim of the game, offering different membership plans, allowing users to make their own profiles, and recommending films and TV based on their past viewing behavior. And the results speak for themselves; the service went from 21.5 million paid subscribers in 2011 to over 158 million paid memberships by 2019.
Looking at more tangible customer experience, the Ritz-Carlton is always receiving praise for how their staff go above and beyond for guests across the world. On one particular occasion, The Ritz in Bali had special milk and eggs flown in from Singapore to accommodate the allergies of a young hotel guest.
The company behind the social media management tool, Buffer wanted to be known not just for their great platform but their great customer service. They have dedicated teams (called the Heroes and Warriors) and a Community Champion who spend all day getting in touch with customers, sending love, and making sure they're getting the most from the service.
If you’ve never been to an IKEA store, you don't know what you're missing! The whole premise is designed to support the customer journey and experience, with furniture set out like faux-homes so you can see exactly how it would look in your rooms. The one-way system makes for a peaceful wander through the store and to top it all off, they’ve added restaurants and play areas for the ultimate customer experience. Shopping at IKEA can turn into a whole day out for the family.
Last but certainly not least, Lego has been around since the 1930s and its great customer service definitely plays a part in the company’s success. Did you know they offer a missing-pieces service in which they’ll send you even the tiniest piece of Lego if it’s missing from your set, with an apology from the company. In one case, a little boy lost his Lego figures while out shopping and emailed the company to tell them. They replied and sent him a limited-edition replacement along with a few extras.