CX - Customer Experience

CX refers to the experience given by the organisation to a customer throughout the different touchpoints in the customer life-cycle.

Introduction

Hello again people and welcome to the new edition of my blog! (crowd goes wild).

Today I’m going to speak about CX (customer experience) and why focusing on it can lead to increased sales, brand awareness and generally providing an awesome experience to your customers.

We’re going to cover the following:

  1. The Difference Between CS & CX

  2. Examples of Poor CX

  3. Why is CX Important?

  4. CX Models & Data Collection

  5. Basic CX Ideas

  6. Closing thoughts

Let’s dive right in!

What’s The Difference Between CS (Customer Service) And CX?

CS is reactive. It relates to dealing with an interaction that is initiated by the customer and it involves giving guidance, solving product/service problems and efficiently dealing with queries.

CX is proactive. CX refers to the experience given by the organisation to a customer throughout the different touchpoints in the customer life-cycle. This ranges all the way from the initial contact with the organisation, to onboarding and ongoing product/service delivery. CX is all about anticipating the customer’s next move. 

Examples of Poor CX

QR Check-In

I attended a restaurant with some friends, and as you might expect, we were asked to scan a QR code to provide our details for COVID-19 track & trace purposes.

After scanning the code, a message popped up on my phone saying that I didn’t have the required app (none of us had this app and I hadn’t seen it used anywhere before).

I downloaded the app and scanned the QR code again. I then received a message saying I would need to enter my e-mail to receive an activation code. Ok fine - I did this, waited for 2-3mins and still nothing, so I figure something has gone wrong.

I enter my e-mail again and still nothing for another 2-3mins, then all of a sudden I get spammed with 4 activation codes via e-mail (exact same thing happened to my friends also).

We then try to enter our activation codes (the latest one first) and it doesn’t work for any of us. After 5-10 mins of waiting about not knowing if we’re being dumb (I always ask myself this question first!) or if it’s the app, we have to call a staff member over to manually take our details - the response being “yeah we get this a lot, the app doesn’t work very well” ……. 😑

Even though the meal was nice and the staff were friendly (good customer service), I wouldn’t visit this restaurant again (at least until COVID is over) as I don’t want to go through the hassle of using a poor app that they don’t seem to have any intention of fixing (bad customer experience).

Referral Agreement

I recently received a referral agreement from a company that I had to sign. The document didn’t offer any kind of digital signature which was a bit annoying, so I e-mailed the company and asked if I could simply “draw” my signature on the document, save it and send the document back.

Note that this was just a standard referral agreement and I’ve signed hundreds of these things in the past electronically without issue.

They replied saying that I must print out, manually sign and then scan the document to send back to them. Hold on a minute, they want me to refer clients to them, and they’re making the process of signing a simple referral agreement complete pain in the ass?

Partners to whom I refer clients to are an extension of my brand. If I refer them to someone crap, I look bad.

I decided to stop working with this company and found another supplier. A classic example of poor CX at the outset.

Why Is CX Important?

A great CX can lead to increased customer loyalty, longer customer retention and importantly better customer advocacy which means that customers are more likely to become brand ambassadors for the company and share their experience with friends & family and on social media etc.

This article from SuperOffice.com gives us some interesting data:

  • 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.

  • Customers are willing to pay a price premium of up to 13% (and as high as 18%) for luxury and indulgence services, simply by receiving a great customer experience.

  • 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized customer experience.

  • Customers that rate companies with a high customer experience score (i.e. 10/10) spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to 6 years.

Research from The XM Institute provides the following insights:

  • 95% of consumers who rate a company’s CX as “very good” are likely to recommend the company.

  • 94% of consumers who gave a company’s CX a “very good” rating were “very likely” to repurchase from that company.

  • 90% of consumers reported that they are more likely to trust a company with “very good” CX.

  • While 75% of consumers are “very likely” to forgive a company for a mistake if they think it delivers “very good” CX, only 14% of consumers will forgive a company if they deliver poor CX.

  • 64% of people who gave a company a “very good” CX rating said they’d be “very likely” to try a company’s new product or service immediately after launch.

The report also showed that even small changes in customer experience, such as tweaking onboarding or real-time support, can improve customer loyalty.

CX Models & Data Collection

Assessing CX

The basic Compass Model (NWSE) can help companies assess their CX from a starting point. It considers four different aspects:

Needs: The basics of what a customer is trying to accomplish.

Wants: Features that would make a significant difference and go above and beyond needs.

Stereotypes: Understanding customer assumptions so that you can work against them.

Emotions: How to help your customers feel good about buying from you.

Collecting CX Data

Vice President of CX, UX and Customer Research at Gartner Jane-Anne Mennella proposed that the data you need for CX is a composite of the following factors:

Customer Voice combines direct, indirect and inferred customer feedback from sources such as surveys, social media, clickstream data and purchase history data. It’s typically used to measure progress against goals and identify both problem areas and opportunities.

Customer Data combines first- and third-party data to create a detailed profile, and is sourced from CRMS, behavioral data, explicit preferences, segments, personas and data brokers. It’s typically used to better personalize experiences.

Customer Insight consists of primary customer research and secondary aggregated data from sources like surveys, focus groups, ethnographic research and market research services. It’s typically leveraged to create more accurate personas and to refine your journey maps.

Competitor Insight is about benchmarking against the market and understanding the “best of the best.” This data is sourced from industry indices, your own benchmarking surveys, third party research services and other competitor comparison research. It is typically used to high-level rank your brand’s customer experiences against your competitors.

Measuring CX Data

This article from Hotjar gives good insight into four KPIs that can be used to measure and track CX:

By having a measurable indicator of CX, you can track how it improves (or worsens) over time and use it to evaluate the success or failure of changes you make that might be affecting your customers. Here are four top metrics used by CX professionals to track customer experience over time:

  • Customer Effort Score (CES) - measures the experience with a product or service in terms of how ‘difficult’ or ‘easy’ it is for your customers to complete an action.

  • Net Promoter Score® (NPS) - a customer loyalty score that is derived from asking customers a simple closed-ended question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”. 

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) - measure customers’ satisfaction with the product or service they receive from you. They can be expressed with a 5- or 7-point scale (where 1: very unsatisfied and 7: very satisfied), or through binary yes/no answers.

  • Time To Resolution (TTR) - TTR is the average length of time it takes customer service teams to resolve an issue or ticket after it’s been opened by a customer. It can be measured in days or business hours, and is calculated by adding up all times to resolution and dividing the result by the number of cases solved.

Basic CX Ideas

Use business process mapping to identify opportunities

  • Business process mapping creates a visual outline of how the business performs actions step by step to reach the end product or result.

  • By mapping out your business processes, you can identify the different customer touchpoints and ask “how can we improve CX?”

Collect and use data to improve your CX:

  • Use customer surveys and feedback forms to gather data and pinpoint areas for improvement.

  • Have a process to log the number and category of customer queries so you can proactively answer these in future.

  • Link your CRM system to customers’ birthdays and send them a birthday e-mail with a discount/offer.

  • Interview your customers and offer them a £50 Amazon voucher for their time. This is a paltry price to pay for .invaluable information that can improve your CX.

Make it easy for your customers to get help from you:

  • Have a live chat function on your website - this can be a bot where customers ask common questions and get standard replies, with escalation to a real person if required.

  • Make sure the FAQ/Knowledge base on your website is regularly updated or alternatively set up a Notion page for your customers (both existing and new) to easily troubleshoot queries.

  • Set up a Slack channel where customers can join your community and ask questions.

Make sure your team are actively focused on CX and actively seek out ways to improve it:

  • Constantly remind staff about the importance of CX in internal communications.

  • Introduce a monthly CX prize - team members can submit examples of how they’ve gone “above and beyond” to provide a great CX. Reward them with an extra day off or an Amazon voucher.

Use technology to provide a great CX:

  • Let customers click a link on your invoice to enter their card details so they don’t have to log in to their bank and do a transfer, or alternatively set up a direct debit which can automatically collect invoiced amounts after X days after the customer approves the invoice.

  • Introduce electronic signing for all customer documentation.

  • Send customers Loom videos along with answers to queries to provide the “wow” factor.

Closing Thoughts

As automation and AI exponentially improve over the next decade and begin to become more integrated into life, business and society - companies are going to need to be more creative in the ways they differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Focusing on an amazing CX is one way to do this.

I get it - you’re a busy person. You’re working hard doing your job or running your business and you don’t really have much free time to focus on other stuff.

I would, however, urge you to allocate at least 1-2hrs per week to do some deep work and think about how you can improve your CX as the compounding benefits are just too big to be ignored.

If you really don’t have enough time, then empower your team and appoint a CX champion. Ask them to read this blog and if they would be willing to dedicate a few hours per week to CX.

You’ll be glad you did.