Customer Experience is everything. When you create and sell a product, it’s easy to get caught up in that specific offering. You can quickly fall into the trap of focusing so much on the item that you forget about selling something that matters just as much, if not more, than the actual product — the experience around the product.

It’s not enough to just sell a product. You also have to sell a great customer experience if you want to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

What Is Customer Experience?

Customer experience (or CX) is the perception a customer has while interacting with a brand, product, or service. It’s the way an offering makes a customer feel and think.

These experiences exist at every branded touch-point. They happen in-person and online. They happen before, during, and after purchases. And, they are becoming more and more important to customers.

Why Does Customer Experience Matter?

Customers care about experiences more than ever before. They are spending less on buying “things” and spending more on buying experiences. According to Eventbrite’s The Experience Movement: Research Report, “For Millennials, experiences continue to trump things: 3 out of 4 Millennials would choose to spend their money on an experience rather than buying something desirable.”

If you can tie your products to unique, fun, and interesting experiences, you can connect with more customers, connect more deeply with those customers, and sell more products.

Providing an excellent experience doesn’t just benefit shoppers. It also helps consumer brands. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that delivering a great customer experience:

  • Increases customer loyalty. The study found that subscription-based customers were more likely to remain a customer if they had a positive experience. There was only a 43% chance a customer would remain if they had a poor experience versus a 74% chance for customers to stay after having a positive experience.
  • Encourages customers to spend more. When customers have a great experience, they come back for more. The study found that customers who had the best experiences with a brand spent 140% more than those who had a bad experience.
  • Reduces customer service costs. Being proactive and providing a great experience from the start also helps save money down the road. The study explains how Sprint was able to reduce their customer service costs by 33% when they started focusing on experience from the start.

How to Create An Exceptional Experience

With benefits to both consumers and brands, it’s easy to see why you should prioritize customer experience. So, how can you deliver an improved experience for your customer as they interact with your brand and products?

Identify touch-points. To improve experiences, first pinpoint the places where consumers have experiences with your brand. This could be at any phase of the buyer stages or any time a customer:

  • Visits your website
  • Visits your store
  • Engages with you on social media
  • Browses your product displays
  • Goes through the purchasing process
  • Receives a product
  • Interacts with a representative of your company

Make improvements to existing touch-points. Once you outline all of the situations where a customer comes in contact with your brand, decide how you can improve those experiences. Brainstorm ways to improve what the customer:

  • Sees
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Hears
  • Physically Feels
  • Emotionally Feels

Create situations for even more experiences. After deciding how to improve existing experiences, see how you can develop creative ideas for building more opportunities for offering consumers something special. Consider how you can create strategic plans for:

  • Event-based experiences: that welcome guests for a class, seminar, webinar, or training.
  • Staff-based experiences: that improve the connection between your team and your customers.
  • Product-based experiences: that add something extra to the way customers engage with the items they purchase.
  • Loyalty experiences: that reward customers for being long-term brand fans.
  • Bonus experiences: that uplift a brand interaction by offering something unexpected and memorable.

Focus on both improving existing touch-points and creating new moments that will leave your customers feeling good, rewarded, and special.

Remember: This Is an Ongoing Effort

It’s important to note that this begins the second a prospect comes in contact with your brand. From the moment a consumer becomes aware of your company, you should start offering a positive, powerful experience. And then, you should never stop providing it.

But this doesn’t have to be an end-point. It’s your job to continue to provide uplifting, interesting, and excellent experiences through every single branded touch-point.

Don’t make customer experience a one-time branding campaign or effort. Let customer experience drive your entire marketing strategy. And, grab our free ebook to see how you can tie it into your digital experiences from start to finish.

 

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Also published on Medium.

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