Those two letters are meaningless to many business leaders – but they definitely shouldn’t be.
CX stands for Customer Experience and it’s a critical component of the strategy for any forward-thinking business; investing in your customer experience increases customer loyalty and results in consistent revenue growth.
What really is a “customer experience”?
CX is how customers perceive their interactions with your company over the duration of their relationship. Whether they are calling you, stopping in, interacting with your website, social media, message board, or live chat – on any device, via any touchpoint, CX involves any interaction where there’s an “engagement”.
It’s important to draw a brief distinction between “Customer Experience” and “Customer Service”. Customer Service is actually a subset of the Customer Experience. Let’s take a company’s website as an example. If you land on the website and it’s a pleasant experience - the aesthetics are appealing, the navigation is effortless, the information is spot-on, the shopping cart/payment process is easy, the item is efficiently delivered - then you are having a highly-rated CX (and it was most likely a website designed and developed by Americaneagle.com!). But let’s say that later on you decide to call the company to ask a question about your item and the customer service representative is not very friendly or helpful. That is a poor customer service experience, contributing to a potentially poor overall CX for your business.
In other words, it’s very important to be conscious of every method of customer engagement in your organization – don’t allow a poorly trained customer service representative or receptionist to damage an otherwise awesome CX.
Since Americaneagle.com’s primary area of expertise is with the online experience, the focus of this blog mainly deals with online engagement, but most of what I’m providing here translates over into other aspects of your customer experience operations.
Amazon, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Trader Joe’s are well-known for delivering an awesome customer experience. So what’s the common thread between these and other companies that consistently provide an excellent customer experience? They place CX at the top of their priority list and their company culture and core values are always focused on the customer.
When envisioning CX, consider the following questions:
- Is the product or service easy to purchase?
- Is the overall process clear and painless?
- Is there perceived value, satisfying a need at a fair price?
- Is the overall experience enjoyable – is there any emotional engagement?
When it comes to your sales process, you cannot leave any stone unturned. Every potential channel must be evaluated to ensure that the process is as effortless as possible. At Americaneagle.com, we are constantly analyzing our customer’s websites to make certain that the purchasing process (or a request for information) is as easy as possible.
Perceived value is more subjective, but it all starts with listening to your customers. If some of them think that your prices are too high, that needs to be taken into account. But there are less obvious things that can have a big impact on value perception. From my perspective, both as a customer and a business manager for over 30 years, it sometimes boils down to the less tangible things – like a website’s navigation - that can either push a potential customer to buy or to walk.
Lastly, let’s take a look at “emotional engagement”, a subject near-and-dear to my heart. To illustrate a simple example of this, I’ll refer back to my childhood in southern Louisiana. There’s a Cajun term called “lagniappe” which means to provide a bonus or something extra, an added value. I recall as a kid going to a small grocery store & bakery down the street. Now, I understand that the concept of a baker’s dozen is not exclusive to Cajun country, but it was the first time I’d ever experienced it and I’ll never forget that special, joyful feeling I had as an extra, freshly baked cookie was handed to my Mother when she bought a dozen. That was an emotional engagement.
I’m not saying that a business needs to give something away for free if they want their customers to have an emotional attachment, but there needs to be a conscious effort to go “above and beyond” for your customers. Train and discuss this with your teams so that they are always looking for ways to provide that added level of value.
If you’re interested in having any of our experts, including myself, take a fresh look at your CX, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, shoot us an email, or to even drop by for a visit – I promise that we’ll be ready with some of that good ‘ol “lagniappe”!