Putting your customer first is no longer an option – but a necessity

Competitors are coming after you fast, advertising is getting more expensive overnight, and customers have more options than ever

So, how do you thrive?

It’s not sustainable to lower your prices over and over again. You can’t compete with all the similar companies around. And your customer pool will eventually drain. 

The solution? 

Be deliberate about caring for your customers – they will love you for it! 

From your product assortment to each interaction, offering excellent customer experience is the way to go. 

Today’s your lucky day if you’re unsure what you should include in your customer experience strategy.

Read on to discover the ultimate guide to nailing customer experience – the smart way.

The importance of improving Customer Experience

Customer Experience Illustration

Before we dive into this guide to customer experience, let’s define the term:

Customer experience (CX) represents the customer’s overall perception of a brand based on their interaction throughout the customer journey. 

And CX dictates how the connection with your customers will evolve.

So, even if your products are the best in the market, the price-quality balance is in check, and people see you as an industry leader, customers will most remember the experience

Customers don’t really care about you and your products. 

Customers care about their issues, and you can make their life easier. 

They buy to satisfy their needs and desires, and they need you to be their partner in this. 

It’s a hard truth, but it’s a truth you need to acknowledge before deciding you want to improve your customer experience. 

Impact of Bad Customer Experience

80%* Customers say a company’s experience is just as important as its products or services.

(source: “State of the Connected Customer” report)

So – how do you want to be remembered? 

Of course, you want your customers to return, buy again – and even bring their friends along. 

Improving cx is a safe bet to achieve customer success. 

What happens when you ignore experience management? Here are just some of the issues caused by poor customer experiences:

  • Your CRO will go down

While your first thought when you hear about Customer Experience is about your existing customers, you should consider all the touchpoints in the customer journey.

Maybe you have leads browsing through your website. And some of them are interested in placing an order but still need more information. 

If they try reaching out to your CX department and get frustrated in the process, you’ve lost them forever. 

If the problem is service-related, a shopper is 4x more likely to buy from your competition*.

(source: bain.com)

So, no matter how many A/B tests you run, how much you tweak the copy, and how many professional photo shoots you do, the CRO will be affected unless you improve the customer experience

  • Stained reputation

People like to talk, and people want to complain. People also don’t trust brands – they trust each other. The situation is especially true when it comes to your customers. 

They tell their peers about their experience, and an unhappy customer has a lot of chances of becoming a detractor. 

It’s said that it takes years to build a reputation, but ruining it’s a matter of seconds.  

Unfortunately, repeated negative customer feedback is a sure-fire way of ruining your hard-earned reputation. 

  • Loss of money.

And we don’t mean “decreased revenue in the long turn.” Although lower revenue is also a direct consequence of poor customer experience, there’s also a direct hit in your cash flow that comes with disgruntled customers.  

Unfortunately, companies reduce “experience strategy” to a matter of discounts and refunds.

But these are sheer easy perks to calm down the unhappy customers without actually solving the root cause of the problem. 

And a 25$ coupon can’t make up for the customer’s original hassle and disappointment. 

So, when Customer Care departments are cost-centers, they cost you money. You can’t profit from sales if you have to refund them regularly, right?

When you’re losing customers left and right, you have to double down on marketing and make sure you’re bringing more customers in to replace those who left. 

However, it’s 6-7 times more expensive* to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. 

(Source: Kolsky)

  • Employee turnover.

Another side effect of treating your customer service department as a cost center is high employee turnover. 

Your CX representatives deal with frustrated, angry customers and

people without patience. So, they’ll soon get tired, frustrated, and even burnt out from being yelled at over the phone. 

So they quit. 

And now, besides covering the costs of losing a customer, you also have to cover the cost of replacing a good employee. 

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  • Lower Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

CLV is maybe one of the most critical metrics for your eCommerce business. It shows you exactly how much you can expect to earn from a new customer – if you treat him right.

The higher the CLV, the more profits and revenue for your business. This metric is rapidly becoming the game changer in eCommerce since advertising costs are surging and acquisition is becoming more and more expensive.

Companies that thrive are those that nail the CLV methodologies and know how to extract value from their customers. 

But CLV is highly tied to customer retention. And 67% of consumers* cite bad experiences as a reason for churn.

(Source: Kolsky)

So, you can’t focus on extracting lifetime value if your customers will never come back after the first purchase. 

Increasing customer loyalty is your endgame here. And the best tools to win the game are customer-centric CX strategies. Strategies focused on customer feedback, customer stories, and customer complaints. 

  • Lower revenue.

All the above side effects add to the most painful one: you stop making profits.

Bad reputation leads to more expensive (and challenging) acquisitions, employee turnover leads to more expenses for the HR department, and lower CLV means lower overall value earned in time.

Sales and profits are the blood that keeps a business alive. Alive, thriving, and successful. 

And unfortunately, you can’t obtain sales and profits unless people are happy with your brand. 

The good part?  

Your experience management strategies aren’t set in stone, and you can constantly improve and evolve. 

Here’s how you can approach your customer service experience and become more profitable in the long run. 

Ways to Improve Customer Experience

When you tackle the mission of improving customer experience, you also embark on transforming your culture.

If your culture focuses on your products, you must now align all your departments to a new, customer-centric culture

First things first: it’s essential to understand how to measure customer experience

Monitor the right customer experience metrics.

Some companies will claim they value customer experience, but they don’t know how to measure it.

There are two ways you can go here:

  1. Metrics related to customer satisfaction.

Essentially, these metrics represent the voice of the customer. You can use customer surveys to feel the pulse of your customer base and better understand your customers. 

The customer satisfaction score (CSat) measures satisfaction by asking a question on a corresponding scale. (1-3, 1-5, 1-10). 

The higher you rank, the better the experience. 

The downside of using a simple scale is that you’re not getting additional info, and your customer feedback is not complete. You don’t know why you did well or what you need to improve. 

So, we recommend adding open-ended questions to really understand the root of your problems. While it may be a little more time-consuming for customers, it’s a worthy trade-off. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS).

NPS shows you how many customers are willing to recommend you to other people. You should measure both pre and post delivery to determine: 

  • How simple is it for a shopper to buy your products
  • How happy the customer is with the whole process. 

After filling out the NPS survey, your customers get sorted into Promoters, Neutrals, and Detractors.

You subtract the percentage of Detractors respondents from the percentage of Promoters, and you get the score.

Besides these, customer retention is also a reliable indicator of how healthy the customer relationship is.

You’re doing something good as long as people are coming, right?

However, you shouldn’t take retention for granted. Even if the rates are steady, you should still take customer feedback seriously. 

That’s the only way to gather the necessary data to prevent churn and become proactive in improving customer relationships.

  1. And metrics related to your customer service department

Customer experience goes two ways. 

On the one hand, you must measure customer satisfaction, but you should also measure the performance of your CX department. 

Here are the metrics to guide you in this endeavor:

First Response Time:

50% of consumers expect an email reply to a complaint within a day. Even if you can’t fix the problem within this timeframe, the customer will feel better as long as you’re quick to respond. 

While it might seem challenging to achieve such a quick response time, it’s not impossible. And it’s the standard you should thrive for. 

Resolution Rate

You determine this rate by looking at the percentage of requests you solved in a reporting period. 

In short, Resolution Rate answers a simple question: are you effective in fixing a problem? 

If yes – congratulations! 

If not – take the necessary steps to change this rate. 

Mean Time to Resolution

This metric tells you how long it takes your team to resolve issues

If you want healthy customer relationships, you should strive for shorter resolution times and fix problems faster. 

Your customer experience strategy should definitely include continuous monitoring of these metrics and constant optimization. 

Look at all the factors. 

When crafting your customer journey maps, you need to look at all the pit stops and weigh all the factors affecting your customer experience. 

  • Employee’s attitude and behavior

Imagine you’re looking to buy kitchen furniture. You have the budget, look for quality materials, and already know the design. 

After the initial research, you narrow it down to two options: retailer A and Retailer B. 

Retailer A seems to have better prices, so you contact them to get the initial quote. You reach out to a representative to discuss the details. From there, it all goes downhill.

The employee seems irritated with you, doesn’t have the patience to explain the details, and isn’t willing to compromise and adjust to your needs. 

You end the conversation with a bittersweet taste and move to Retailer B—the more expensive one. 

The story is different. The employee is helpful, comes up with better ideas and helps you optimize your space, and is looking to solve your storage problems. 

Who are you going to choose? Retailer B, right?

Employees are also brand ambassadors, and each interaction with the customer matters. So make sure you train them to deal with demanding customers. 

  • Resolution time

Let’s recap: how much time passes between the initial report to solving the ticket?

Even if you fix a problem, if the customer had to wait months to see the outcome, it’s unlikely he’ll ever come back. 

You should always prioritize customer complaints and deal with loyal, high-value customers first. 

> if you don’t know how to prioritise, discover the RFM Segmentation. It’s a smart way of segmenting your customers and understanding their actual value. 

  • Buying experience

When thinking about journey mapping, start with the first interaction. 

How easy is it for leads to find the products they need?

How easy is it for them to place an order?

How many steps are there until they can pay for the product?

How many payment options do you offer?

No one has the patience to spend 1hour ordering a product – unless they need it. 

The next time he needs the product, the customer will search for a different provider for a hassle-free experience.

  • Delivery experience

You may be providing excellent buying experiences and still see customer loyalty decreasing. Here’s when you should look into the delivery experience

No one likes waiting for days to meet up with a delivery person, calling busy call centers to locate their order, or getting the products damaged. 

And here’s why you measure NPS post-delivery, not just pre-delivery: to get the whole picture. 

  • Your listening skills

You should also optimize customer engagement if you want to be at the top of your customers’ minds. 

And you should do it wholeheartedly. Pay attention to what your customers are saying (even if it’s bad), answer their questions, and encourage them to start a conversation with you. 

Engaging your customers in meaningful conversations and delivering on their needs is a sure-fire way to make them feel seen, valued, and essential. 

The more engaged they are, the higher the chance they’ll remain loyal customers. 

  • Product quality

It goes without saying – when paying for something, people need to get their money’s worth. 

If there’s a big gap between customer expectations and reality, customers will feel tricked. They will think you took advantage of their trust and never come back to you. 

So, take a look at customer churn by product. Are there any toxic products in your product assortment that cause unhappy experiences? 

Maybe it’s time to get rid of them. 

> If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to analyse churn rate through various filters, take a look at Reveal. The only software built for increasing lifetime value, Omniconvert Reveal gives you all the insights you need at a glance. Check it out here.

Keep your promises. 

You might see a lot of buzzwords like “delight your customers” or “stellar customer experience” flying around. 

However, your concern should be more straightforward: am I delivering the value I promised?

Use customer surveys, interviews, and qualitative research to get the answer. Encourage customer engagement and get honest feedback from your customers.

Don’t be afraid of the truth. Even if you’re not doing as well as you hoped, there’s always room for improvement. 

When you decide to optimize your customer experience and increase customer satisfaction, you understand it’s a marathon – not a sprint. 

You can’t do it overnight. 

And you can’t do it halfway. You have to be all in and make sure all departments are aligned and committed to the process.

However, the reward is worth it in the long term – both in revenue and in reputation.

Impact of Bad Customer Experience

What are the ways to improve customer experience?

Use customer surveys to identify customer pain points and complaints. Prioritize and deal with VIP customers first. Align your departments to treating customer experience as a priority. Strive to solve problems faster and consistently deliver the value you promised before purchase. 

What makes a great customer experience?

Map the customer journey from the first contact to the post-delivery survey. Ask for feedback and act on the input. Make sure your CX department is empathetic and cares about solving the problem.