7 Customer Experience Secrets for Marketers

Elevate your brand with unforgettable customer experiences. Learn the secrets to stand out in the business world.

01
January 2024
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CX

In the bustling world of business, standing out is not just about offering the best product or service. It's about creating an unforgettable customer experience (CX). This is the magical ingredient that can elevate your brand above the rest.

Exceptional customer experience is like a secret sauce, a blend of subtle nuances and bold flavors that, when combined correctly, leave your customers coming back for more. Let’s dive into the seven secrets that can transform your CX from ordinary to extraordinary. Are you ready?

1. Knowing Your Audience Inside and Out

Understanding your audience is like being a detective in a world of ever-changing trends and preferences. It's not just about gathering data; it's about interpreting it to truly understand what makes your customers tick.

Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party. You wouldn’t serve the same dish to everyone, right? Similarly, each customer is unique and your approach should be tailored to match.

Engage with your customers as if you're building a friendship. Pay attention to the small details. What are they saying on social media? What kind of feedback do they leave? This level of attention shows customers that you're not just another faceless brand, but one that truly cares and listens.

For example, if you notice a trend in customer preferences for sustainable products, incorporate that into your offerings. It’s these small, yet significant, adjustments that can make a world of difference in how customers perceive and interact with your brand.

2. Consistency is Key

Think of your favorite TV show. You love it because you know what to expect, yet it still manages to surprise and delight you. That's the kind of consistency you want in your customer experience.

Whether it's the tone of your emails, the layout of your store, or the quality of your products, maintaining a consistent standard is crucial. It reassures customers that no matter where or how they interact with your brand, they're in familiar territory.

But how do you keep things consistent without being predictable? It’s all about having a strong brand identity and ensuring it’s reflected in every aspect of your business. From your website design to your customer service scripts, every element should sing the same tune.

And when it comes to training your team, make sure they understand not just what your brand stands for, but also the role they play in bringing it to life. A team that's aligned with your brand values is key to delivering a consistent and harmonious customer experience.

3. Embrace Technology, But Keep It Human

In an age where technology is at our fingertips, using it to enhance customer experience is a no-brainer. But there's a fine line between helpful and overwhelming. The trick is to use technology to make interactions smoother and more efficient, without losing the personal touch that customers crave.

Think of technology as a backstage crew in a theater production. It should support the performance, not overshadow it. For instance, use CRM systems to keep track of customer preferences and purchase history. This allows you to personalize interactions in a way that feels thoughtful, not invasive.

And when it comes to chatbots and automated services, remember they're there to assist, not replace. The goal is to free up time for your team to engage in more meaningful interactions with customers. After all, it’s those genuine human connections that leave a lasting impression.

4. Feedback: The Gateway to Improvement

Imagine your customers as your coaches in the game of business. Their feedback is more than just comments; it's a roadmap to excellence. When a customer takes the time to provide feedback, it's a golden opportunity to evolve. But here's the catch: it's not just about collecting feedback; it's about what you do with it that counts.

Create a culture where feedback is celebrated, not feared. Encourage your team to actively seek it out and make it easy for customers to give it. Whether it’s a suggestion box, a follow-up email after a purchase, or a quick poll on social media, every piece of feedback is a puzzle piece to a better customer experience.

And when you make changes based on what you've learned, let your customers know. It shows them that you’re not just listening, but actively improving. This builds a relationship of trust and respect, turning customers into loyal fans.

5. Exceed Expectations

In a world where customers have endless options, meeting their expectations is just the start. To truly stand out, you need to aim higher. Think of it like adding a pinch of magic to the mundane. This doesn't necessarily mean grand gestures or huge discounts. Often, it’s the small, unexpected touches that leave the biggest impact.

For instance, if you’re an online retailer, surprise your repeat customers with a free sample of a new product. If you’re in the service industry, follow up with customers to ensure they’re happy post-purchase.

It's these thoughtful acts that show customers they’re valued, not just as a source of revenue, but as people. Remember, exceeding expectations is not a one-time act, but a continuous effort to go above and beyond in every interaction.

6. Training and Empowering Your Team

Your team is the frontline of your brand’s customer experience. Think of them as ambassadors of your brand's values and mission. Investing in their training isn’t just about improving skills; it’s about building confidence and pride in their work. When your team feels empowered and knowledgeable, they pass that positivity on to your customers.

Focus on training programs that are interactive and engaging. Role-playing customer scenarios, workshops on communication skills, and sessions on product knowledge are great ways to build a well-rounded team.

Also, encourage a feedback loop within your team. Let them share their experiences and suggestions. This not only improves their engagement but can also provide valuable insights into improving customer experience.

7. Creating a Community

The final secret is about turning transactions into relationships. It's about creating a community where customers feel they belong. This goes beyond loyalty programs or regular newsletters. It’s about creating a space where customers can connect, not just with your brand but with each other.

Social media is a great tool for building this community. Share behind-the-scenes content, and customer stories, or host live Q&A sessions. Organize events or workshops that align with your brand’s ethos.

For instance, if you’re a fitness brand, host virtual workout sessions. This not only engages your current customer base but can also attract new members to your community. Remember, a strong community not only supports your brand but also fosters customer-to-customer interactions, creating a network of brand advocates.

Conclusion

Exceptional customer experience is an art and a science. It's about blending the right ingredients, as you saw in this post. By focusing on these areas, you can create an experience that not only satisfies but also delights your customers, turning them into lifelong fans of your brand. Remember, in the realm of customer experience, the little things make a big difference.

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Customer experience can make or break a business. That’s because the experience you provide to customers ultimately decides how they feel about doing business with you.

Never mind that you offer a great product or service at an attractive price, when customer experience is wrong, nothing else will seem right.

Think of a time when you’ve had a great experience in a restaurant compared with a not so great one. Which restaurant would you go back to, or recommend to friends and family?

What is CX?

CX (Customer Experience) is the feeling that a customer walks away with after any interaction with your brand, product, or service. It covers every touchpoint that a person has with your business, from their initial awareness to making a purchase. A positive CX increases customer loyalty, advocacy, and repeat business, whereas a negative CX results in customer churn, negative reviews, and a damaged reputation. 

Negative perceptions of your business drive people away to a competitor in search of a better experience. This means companies can no longer compete on price and product alone. CX is a way to differentiate your business from competitors. For that reason, many companies focus on improving their CX by mapping out existing processes and identifying and implementing ways to streamline and improve them. 

“I like that CX is a viable system I can apply to help develop a strategy for increasing our effectiveness in inspiring, integrating, and retaining newcomers to our church. In particular, unchurched people. I found the CX mapping system incredibly insightful and intuitive in teasing out some of the blind spots.” — Pastor Noel, Chilliwack Alliance Church, Chilliwack 

(after going through our CX Workshop at Khula)

CX has moved to the forefront of many businesses. Large enterprises even create roles for CX champions and CXOs (Customer Experience Officers). These advocates monitor and continuously improve customer engagement, customer journeys, and the customer experience online and offline.

Why is CX important?

CX drives differentiation. This is particularly important in competitive markets where it’s hard to stand out from competitors. Here are some of the main reasons why CX is important:

  • Customer retention and loyalty: A positive CX increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and a higher customer lifetime value. In contrast, a negative CX can result in customer churn and lost revenue.
  • Brand reputation: A remarkable CX enhances a brand's reputation, leading to positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Negative CX has the opposite effect – negative reviews and damage to a brand's reputation.
  • Competitive advantage: Engineering a remarkable CX gives a company a competitive advantage, differentiating it in the marketplace. 
  • Customer insights: CX data and customer feedback help businesses understand their customer’s needs, preferences, and behaviours. This helps a company to improve its products and services, and align its marketing and sales efforts to meet customer needs.
  • Cost savings: Providing a positive CX helps to reduce the costs associated with customer complaints, returns, and support, and increase operational efficiency. It can motivate employees and drive a higher return on investment for shareholders.

6 emotional drivers for CX excellence

The key to delivering CX excellence is to build emotional bonds between customers and your company, creating deeper relationships. Here are 6 emotional drivers to make that happen:

  1. Build trust: People want to do business with companies they can trust. It’s that simple. Becoming a trustworthy brand in the eyes of your customers makes you reliable. This creates loyalty.
  1. Speak to individuals: Whether you’re B2B, B2C or D2C, people do business with people. That’s why it’s important to treat customers as individuals — getting to know their needs and pain points as people.
  1. Make it easy: If it’s easy and effortless to do business with you, customers are more likely to buy from you, and give you repeat business. 
  1. Walk in their shoes: Understanding and empathising with customers lets them know you understand their problems. You become a trusted guide that helps solve a key problem.
  1. Deliver on your promise: Whatever your promise to customers, make sure you deliver on it by managing, meeting, and exceeding their expectations — going above and beyond. 
  1. Put things right: From time to time something will go wrong. The important thing is to put it right quickly, making the customer a priority. 

Doing all of these things well creates a real bond with customers, and that’s what keeps them coming back. Customers do business with companies they trust, and to earn their trust you need to understand your customers, and walk in their shoes. 

How CX works

“It was so nice to have someone objectively break down each step of my client interactions and help me improve all aspects of my communication and service! It’s so easy to keep doing something because that’s how you’ve always done it, but there are so many benefits to continuing tweaking and improving the customer experience. I would highly recommend this to any business owner!” — Jete, Founder, Urban Fig Photography

(after going through our CX Workshop at Khula)

To be successful, CX has to be a top-down initiative. The founder, CEO, or management team needs to filter it down to the rest of the company — employees and other stakeholders. That’s because staff involvement helps everyone understand their role in creating a remarkable customer experience. It also helps moderate over-promising and under-delivering.

Happy staff — who understand their role in consistently delivering a remarkable customer experience — in turn create happy customers.  This creates opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, and increased spending. In fact, research by Deloitte shows customer spending increases 140% after a positive experience. Here’s how to make it happen:

Step 1: Create buyer personas

How well do you know your customers? Knowing who your customers are makes it much easier to direct your marketing and CX efforts. From your website copy to social media captions, remarkable CX relies on understanding your customer's pain points. Mapping out detailed buyer personas makes this possible. Without buyer personas, any marketing effort will simply be a ‘best guess’ with limited success. 

Step 2: Map the customer journey

The next step is to map out the existing customer journey. This could be across the entire company — each and every touchpoint — or a particular part of the business, such as a department or a stage of the journey. Customer journey mapping sets out what the journey’s like today and how the customer feels at each stage. It then looks at what can be done to improve the experience — the opportunities for making the CX better.  

Step 3: Close the gaps and create an action to-do list

These opportunities become a to-do list of actions that help close the gaps and create a remarkable CX. If your customer journey has never been mapped out before — or not been explored for a while —  adding delightful ‘wow’ moments for your customers helps create a memorable and positive experience that they’ll share with others. 

How a CX workshop can help your business

“One of the most significant areas was looking at our processes and the experience that customers have going through those from a perspective of the outcome, but also how, when, and who delivers each step in the process. This gave me a lot of clarity in how we can improve our processes to support our clients and improve customer experience.” Toby Trimble, Founder and CEO, Trimble Group

(after going through our CX Workshop at Khula)

Some companies have never given much thought to CX, and they might not have a firm grasp on their customer journey. Others might not even be aware of the process customers have to follow. In some cases, businesses know there’s something they could be doing better to improve their CX — maybe after negative feedback from a customer — they’re just not sure how to fix it. 

For most businesses, a CX workshop is a great way to get to grips with CX, take a deep dive, and properly understand how to make it better. Khula Design Studio founder — Jamie Windell — provides both in-person and online CX workshops tailored to your specific business model and business needs. 

Let’s get mapping

Simply choose a slot and book online today. Book a CX workshop 

How To Create A Remarkable Customer Experience (CX)

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CX