A client’s customer experience is more important than we think. It can make the difference between continuing to read about a product or stopping altogether and going in another direction. In short, the quality of the customer experience often determines whether a client will buy a product or not, or whether they will return as customers.
As we can see, the customer journey is a powerful element that can define buyers’ or clients’ future behavior. Indeed, customer experience is primarily based on satisfaction and quality of service. That’s a first hint of why it’s wise for companies to ensure they offer a positive experience.
“While spending time reviewing customer experience can seem like yet another cost, it has to be seen as an investment, one that can bring in more money.”
What is the Customer Experience?
Simply put, customer experience is the experience a customer goes through during the process of finding, purchasing, and using a product. It includes everything from the first contact with the product to the decision. Of course, it can be good or poor. A good customer journey would hopefully lead to a customer making a sale or remaining a customer, while a bad customer journey might lead to a client going in another direction.
There are many benefits to providing a superior customer experience, besides increasing sales. A good experience will increase customer loyalty and company reputation, and could also improve the chances of customers sharing their positive relationship with the brand. That could lead to free publicity from a real customer.
“It can attract new clients or drive them away, retain existing customers or send them towards competitors.”
Customer experience also includes virtually everything a customer might need or use during the process of searching and consuming a product. That means customer service, IT functionality, perks, offers, recommendations, reports, written content, etc.
We can safely say that customer experience is not a finite process. It means that companies should continually seek to review it and adapt it to the reality of their product and customers. In other words, it’s a work in progress. That’s why it’s essential to get feedback from clients. They go through the process, and they can provide insights into how they found it.
Why is a good customer experience necessary?
Customer experience can be the face of a company. It can attract new clients or drive them away, retain existing customers or send them towards competitors. It also feeds the rumour or story mill. In the 21st century, people like to share their experiences online, in person, or on social media. And opinions can go a long way.
“We tend to share our negative experiences more often than our positive experiences.”
We tend to share our negative experiences more often than our positive experiences. That gives an idea of the importance of customer experience. Most satisfied customers are unlikely to sing the praises of a company they do business with, while the majority of unsatisfied customers will make a point of giving their opinion to anyone who will listen.
To answer the question simply, customer experience is important because it can make or break a company. It can bring in revenue just like it can cut a company’s wings. Many elements can influence the customer journey, and we will consider a few below.
Know your customers
We discussed this in a few of our past articles. If this idea always resurfaces, it’s because it’s key. It’s essential to know your client base to give them a great customer experience. By knowing who your clients are, you will know what they need or what they want, and you will be able to offer it. That is the objective of optimal customer experience.
“Many customers actually expect companies to know something about even before the first meeting” – PricewaterhouseCoopers
Preparing for clients you don’t know is difficult. You run the risk of using generic material or ideas that will not resonate with them. As clients are looking for a personalised experience, a generic approach might keep them away. They usually look for a fast and tailored approach to make their experience quick and seamless. Many customers actually expect companies to know something about even before the first meeting as PricewaterhouseCoopers showed in a report they prepared on the importance of data analytics.
Developing personas is a typical way to study clients that most business schools teach in introductory classes. Personas are accurate descriptions of fictitious persons that are target or usual customers. It’s an effective way to get to know your client base better and develop strategies or content, like documents or presentations, that will attract and maintain attention.
Active listening: the foundation for great customer
Good customer experience and conversations have an important element in common: active listening. In a conversation, it will help it flow seamlessly from topic to topic, each person getting to say what they want and feeling like the other is listening and making an effort to understand. All this is very true of developing a great customer experience.
“…active listening can help you understand who your clients are.”
We can’t overstate the importance of being attentive to what your customers have to say. As we explored in the previous point, active listening can help you understand who your clients are. It can also tell you how your processes are doing. Customers are the ones considering a product or going through the whole journey, so they could have invaluable insights to share. And those insights can be just what you need to improve your customer experience.
Create compelling presentations and content
Content is crucial in customer experience. Often, a client’s first contact with a product will be through websites, documents, or presentations. And since first impressions can make it or break it, content takes on significant importance. Customers will buy what attracts them, and that is why compelling content can sell.
“Part of a great customer experience is for the client to feel like you understand what they need and why your service could bring them value.”
Generic content quickly rehashed for every client will likely not strike a chord. Part of a great customer experience is for the client to feel like you understand what they need and why your service could bring them value. To do that, you need good content and even better tools to make the content look great.
We covered the importance of design and of making great tailored presentations with professional tools in 13 Sales Presentation Tips. Clients will be more attracted to something that, in addition to being tailored to their needs, looks professional and serious. It brings confidence, makes clients feel understood, improves your reputation… and the customer experience you provide.
In addition to good design, using an appropriate English level can be beneficial, whether plain or professional. Clients need to be able to understand what they read and see completely. That is very much part of the customer experience.
In the end, a tailored content strategy based on your understanding of the client will be more profitable. You will lose less time in the selling stage by providing the right information much faster, as PricewaterhouseCooper’s report on habits for insurance shopping showed. Compelling and relevant content also makes the product look like it fits the client’s needs.
Calculating your impact enhance the customer experience
Calculating your impact are excellent ways to let clients evaluate the benefits of products or services. One example would be a mortgage calculator that allows changing the calculation based on the cash down, interest, mortgage period, or property price.
Moving away from the specific example of mortgages, calculations are excellent to quickly show what could happen based on different scenarios. They help clients visualise what it would be like to use your services based on the criteria you define.
“Impact calculations are important because clients take ownership, since it is their numbers.”
Impact calculations are important because clients take ownership, since it is their numbers. It’s important to offer a comprehensive experience so that your clients don’t have to go elsewhere to get everything they need. If they go away from your content, you could risk losing them. And if they have to go elsewhere, it also means they want or need something you might not be offering. Use feedback to know this and look into it.
Go the extra mile to wow customers
Going above and beyond is a great way to improve the customer experience. If you do what everyone expects, you are unfortunately only doing the minimum. It’s better than doing nothing, and it means that at least you are thinking about customer experience. However, you could be doing much better.
It’s important to go beyond to please and retain your current customers and win new ones. Some of the most famous and successful brands are known for something, whether it’s excellent customer service, a bulletproof return policy, excellent technical support, clear instruction manuals, etc.
“Clear and compelling sales material make life easier for clients, helping them understand faster and better.”
Many businesses have caught on to the importance of customer experience and are already continually reviewing their processes, setting the bar higher for all other companies. Once clients know that they can get something better elsewhere, they will go where the grass is greener.
Review your strategy often
In conclusion, customer experience is a diversified field that includes many departments and processes. It’s important to review them periodically because customer experience changes over time depending on many factors such as client habits, products available, and what competitors are doing.
In this article, we insisted on the importance of quality content and presentations. Clear and compelling sales material make life easier for clients, helping them understand faster and better. It’s efficient, and efficiency is an important element of customer experience. How many times have we heard that time is money?