Giving a highly competitive market like today, serving customers with customized and personalized messages across their buying journeys is no longer an option but a must for effective distinguishing positioning. And the key to offering customers an excellent experience from purchasing your products or services is undoubtedly customer experience optimization. Only with driving your company’s focus onto this term will your business hold a chance to stand out amongst the competitive market environment and secure your customers to be loyal and buy more in the future, which means your business is becoming more and more thriving.
What is customer experience optimization?
What is customer experience?
Only with driving your company’s focus onto this term will your business hold a chance to stand out amongst the competitive market. Source: Blaske Wisz.
In order to understand the term customer experience optimization, we must first clarify what customer experience (CX) is? To put it in an easy-to-understand way, Customer Experience is the sum of all the experience from A to Z that a customer had of a brand on his/her journey of purchasing any products or services. This term does not refer to the customer’s emotion in a single moment, but to what remains after all the times in which customers interact with that brand via various platforms or methods such as website, social platforms, email, call, or directly with anyone who represents the brand.
In short, customer experience is precisely the result of customer-business interaction. This interaction is mainly made up of three components: the customer journey, the point of contact (or the touchpoint) with which the customer interacts with the brand, and the customer experience environment (including the digital environment). Customer experience optimized means that their personal experience at all touchpoints with the brand on their journeys meets all of their expectations completely.
What is customer experience optimization?
Giving the perceptions of Customer Experience Optimization above, many may claim that this term seems pretty simple. But it’s actually far more complicated than what most might acquire.
When the customer experience is mostly constructed by the satisfaction that the customers or users gain when meeting our brands via watching our fascinating ads, browsing our well-built website, or surfing our social media pages and what perceptions they develop in their minds about our brand. And as we all can perceive, there is always something more for the brand to develop and improve on these touchpoints to interact with customers. That is what customer experience optimization is about.
Now bear that explanation in mind, consumer experience optimization can now be tackled. In short, consumer experience optimization is an overall method of approach to improve or/and optimize the customer experience – the consolidation of brand identity, brand vital messages, transferred to customers or users by utilizing a wide range of channels throughout the complete cycle of a customer, from gaining their first attention to when they purchase the product. And the ultimate goal of this process is to assure that all their expectations on the journey are satisfied consistently and thoroughly on every interaction point.
Standout case of customer experience optimization
An excellent example of customer experience optimization is not all about boosting a website’s loading speed or enhancing the quality of customer service staff but mainly focus on long-term consistency, that your brand makes customers happy over months or even years.
Analyzing standout case studies about businesses that progressed their CX optimization process successfully can give you precious insight on how the constancy and consistency should be done to satisfy all the customer’s expectations. And below is a case of how RS Components – a trading brand of Electrocomponents inc. providing industrial products and electronic components – improved their customer experience on their sites and how it gained them spectacular successes.
The problem of the business
Though RS Components sites received up to roughly 10m traffics monthly due to the utilization of SEM (search engine marketing), the feedback from customers and metrics gained from platforms indicated that the on-site user experience was not up to their expectations, with a total of 70m customers leaving the website right at search stage – metrics analyzed in a one-year period.
The solution of the company
Given the business is driving its focus on conversion rate, RS Components knew that it had no choice but to alternate its 60 websites to improve its users’ online experience. After collecting the feedback from customers through online surveys and real-time testing, the company identified these vital components that influenced customer experience:
- Convenience to find products: Data showed that consumers might find it frustrated and dissatisfied when not being able to identify the products they want or receive confirmations that they have found the right products.
- Range reliability: Nearly half of the customers, when interviewed, said that they had known the exact product that they wanted before visiting the site. And in such cases, they simply just want to be able to type in the manufacturer’s code and find it in stock.
Bearing these insights in mind, the company decided that any enhancements to the consumer experience must assure to eventually drive an increase of 0.5% in total conversion rate. As figures indicated that 20% of user’s searches return a result of null, lowering down the customer satisfaction, RS Components proposed the following methods to enhance the customer experience in searching stages:
- Revise and correct the search terms.
- Re-categorise and re-present the search results returned.
- Improve mobile search features.
And within purchasing and tracking stages:
- Track customer’s order history: Connect all the order of customers from stores to online, and now the engineers are able to track these order history to propose better strategies to re-marketing or practice customer service
Why customer experience optimization matters?
According to a recent survey of customer experience managers conducted by Forbes, about 72% of businesses reckon that customer experience is at their top priority. With that being said, optimizing and delivering a great and consistent customer experience is significantly important to any business. The more satisfied customers are, the more positive reviews and feedback businesses receive and reduce the rate of customer complaints and returns. Therefore, customer experience optimization is vital for businesses in making constant revenue and constructing a solid reputation that attracts new customers.
In addition to the ultimate goals are quality and consistency for every single interaction that a customer has with our brand, optimize the experience of the customers has always had a big impact on the sustainability and branding of your business thanks to the following important benefits:
Make customer return
Customer satisfaction is one of the most decisive factors for customer loyalty to the business and customer experience enhancement could be responsible for that. Creating a great experience will attract and retain customers for longer, bringing them back to buy more and more products. In addition, this helps businesses easily be introduced voluntarily to relatives, friends, and colleagues of the customers.
In contrast, a majority of customers, when surveyed, said that they would switch to another business competitor in the same product segment if the experience was bad or their expectations are not met up well.
Boost customer’s loyalty to brand
According to Salesforce statistics, more than 50% of consumers have the possibility of switching brands if the business does not meet their needs. The above data collected show that providing customers a great experience that satisfies their expectations is a significant factor that facilitates businesses to become more prominent and create a more solid brand positioning compared to other business competitors.
Providing customers a great experience that satisfies their expectations is a significant factor that facilitates businesses to become more prominent. Source: Clay Banks.
When choosing products or services, customers nowadays don’t just compare prices and quality, but also care about personalized and customized experiences from the business such as after-sales care activities, special promotions, special day gifts, or even the attitude of the staff, etc
If your business pays more concentration on those experiences, you will create a strong brand preference in the hearts of customers, increase brand awareness at the highest level, and eventually win the customer’s loyalty to the brand.
Generate more revenue for business
Customers’ emotions have a considerable influence on the behavior of purchasing products and services. When served with care and a professional attitude, customers tend to be willing to spend more money on your products, helping to increase sales. Then these old customers become the brand’s loyal ambassadors/advocates when they continue to voluntarily introduce your brands to their friends, eventually helping the business increase both reputation and revenue.
As the market becomes more saturated, businesses realize that offering the best customer experience is one of the most precious opportunities for them to stand out in the nowadays competitive marketplace. From the above factors, optimizing the customer experience will enable the business to reap more benefits and generate more revenue.
Customer experience optimization strategies
Experience optimization is actually not a term coined today. It’s a phenomenon that has existed for decades and been utilized to gain success for many businesses. But in fact, less than half of companies could really deliver a great customer experience. According to Zendesk’s 2020 customer experience trends report, analyzing feedback from 90,000 consumers across 175 countries and recording their experiences with more than 300 businesses shows that about 46% of customers didn’t feel comfortable with the experience they had when purchasing products or services.
When it’s true that most businesses held the perception of the importance of customer experience optimization in helping businesses to dominate the market, many didn’t develop thorough and systematic strategies to apply the CX optimization process, so below are a practical customer experience strategy that may help your business thrive by enhancing customer experience.
Optimize experience on customer journeys
Nowadays, with more modern tools and better information sources, before embarking on a business strategy, companies can map out an accurate customer journey map. This will make it possible for them to process personalized and customized consistent interaction activities with customers along their journey, which enhances their experience. But to construct such an integrated journey is not an easy task at all, that’s why your business need a comprehensive customer experience strategy
For example, people often prefer fast-food chains or grocery stores because of the satisfaction of shopping there. You choose KFC instead of Lotteria, you nod to Circle K instead of Shop & Go not entirely because the quality of KFC or Circle K is better, but because you feel more satisfied when buying in these places. A great customer experience can make it easier for customers to withdraw their expenses even if the price is slightly higher.
Optimize experience of customer on digital platforms
Customer experience optimization is imperative for a business to succeed in the digital age. According to McKinsey, digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%. Also, companies with stronger omnichannel experiences retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to 33% retention for companies with weak omnichannel customer experience.
Digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%. Source: John Schnobrich.
There is a wide range of ways to optimize customer experience (CX) through many conventional aspects such as trade or sales. But as e-commerce marketing soared up, there’s another important area to focus on: digital experience optimization.
Digital customer experience can be defined as a branch of customer experience whose main focus is all of the touchpoints on the digital platforms such as websites or social media which leads to an impression that the customer bears in mind afterward. If the term CX is inclusive and can consist of real-time interactions, DCX focuses specifically on virtual interactions of consumers and businesses. Along with the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, many argued that DCX has become more important than other conventional parts of customer experience.
Planning an integrated digital experience optimization approach wasn’t too complicated in the past when businesses could just invest in some simple tool kits such as Hootsuite to automate and optimize posting on different social media platforms or Mailchimp to personalize every marketing mail. But today, creating a digital customer experience management process has been much more difficult.
It’s imperative that you keep track of who you’ve reached to, with what messages, are those messages appropriate, on which platforms, etc. This can’t be done within a single Mailchimp account or an Excel sheet. That’s why it’s remarkably necessary to invest in digital experience optimization tools.
Not big data, social media, or content marketing, enhancing customer experience (CX) is the trend that helps businesses overcome adversity between Covid and any uncertain situations in the future. It’s vital for any business to invest in qualified resources to manage and develop a customer experience process.