If you define Brand, like we do, as “the sum of experiences and expectations that a consumer has with your product or service,” then considering how you present your brand in the post COVID-19 environment should be a top priority. Focusing your efforts on customer experience management, both online and offline, may be the single most important undertaking you can make now to ensure your brand aligns with the engagement of the new marketplace.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience (CX) is the ongoing interactions brands create with customers over the duration of their relationship. CX is distinct from Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, and even Customer Service. Creating a positive CX needs to be considered across every touchpoint that your brand interacts with your customer to deliver on your value proposition as well as emotional expectations.
Why is Customer Experience so important?
Providing a cohesive, positive customer experience builds brand differentiation and loyalty because it has the capacity to get customers to want to interact with you, spend more, stay longer, and refer their peers. In marketing terms, CX can beneficially affect both Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
What we learned statistically after another global crisis, the 2007-9 recession, is that leaders in the practice of customer experience saw a 3x higher return for shareholders post-recession versus the customer experience laggards.
With the current COVID-19 crisis still unfolding, accommodating CX practices congruous with new digital and remote touchpoints can contribute to your brand’s growth and leadership.
Many times, big shifts in branding can be lengthy and expensive endeavors. Improved CX practices on the other hand, can be initiated through an immediate change in focus.
A customer experience management agency can create Customer Personas, a comprehensive Customer Map, Data Analysis, and provide strategic optimizations at each touchpoint within the Customer Journey.
How do you get started with identifying your Customer Experience?
With customer journeys transitioning as the Covid-19 crisis develops, brands are adapting to new and unfamiliar consumer interactions. Internet usage is up by over 70%, including growth in the usage of streaming services, video and smart phones. In many industries, the internet is going from being a helpful tool to a downright necessity.
With digital connectivity more imperative now than ever before, it is important that brands stay on top of digital trends while improving upon customer experience.
Here are 4 steps to consider when developing an ideal Customer Experience in a more digitally connected world:
1. Map Your Customer’s Journey in the New Normal
Create a timeline imagining the most probable touchpoints, embracing a highly digital landscape, during and beyond COVID-19:
Touchpoints Outside the Funnel May Include:
Press on the good your company is doing during the crisis
Press on innovations your company will be delivering
Ads placed in digital media; including streaming, video and audio platforms
Sales emails strategically reimagined
Mentions in online communities
Touchpoints Inside the Funnel May Include:
Website visit with Chat Bot designed for personalized interaction
Video service calls or product education
Shipping and returns
Video tech support
Transactional and promotional emails
Ratings and reviews
2. Value Propositions to Embrace Now
Customer Experience leaders are not concerned with being the lowest priced or the most unique in order to gain market share. Brands must become more emotionally intelligent to thrive in these times.
These value propositions bolster CX:
Being the easiest
Being open to feedback with a two-way customer dialogue
3. Integration Across Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Leadership
The number one enemy of excellent customer experience is the lack of integration between various customer facing business divisions and leadership. What we’ve diagnosed with both Fortune 1000 clients as well as aspiring start-ups, are siloed divisions without strategic alignment, and even worse, actual competitiveness between divisions. The most basic way to enhance customer experience is to deliver on the same promises across every division.
4. Measurement - Don’t Assume Your Customer’s Experience
To be a top performer in CX it is imperative to be fanatical about measuring customer data. You cannot assume what bothers your customers, especially now.
While many research and survey platforms can take 2-3 months to get results, you can begin to solve problems and get accelerated feedback in these ways:
Identify and clear away any random experiences; including random content, messaging, emails, and employee
Create Listening Posts such as face-to-face research, monitoring social media, and feedback from front-line
Single survey email questions, (not linked to purchases) to gain a Net Promoter Score—like feedback, e.g. “Would you recommend ___ to a friend?”
If you can swiftly adopt advanced customer experience disciplines with a focus on digital transformation, you will become more relevant and relatable during times of change. Being keenly aware of your customers’ needs and rethinking the expectations they’ll demand means you’ll have an impact on customers that will survive crisis and thrive in the years to come.
Have You developed Your Customer Experience?
Take our 12-point CX assessment quiz and find out how in-tune you are with your customers.