The customer experience definition is simply what a customer thinks of your brand based on the relationship you have with one another. Each time a customer interacts with your business, they build on their existing opinion.
While customer experience is a straightforward concept, it has complex implications.
Let’s say you have a favorite brand of bread. You enjoy the bread from this brand because the product tastes good, the company is charitable, and the price is affordable. Your customer experience with the brand has been good, leaving you with a positive customer experience.
On the other hand, you may have tried bread from a different brand in the past and did like it as much. You found out this brand has high prices and unethical business practices, and the bread itself doesn’t taste great, either. Thanks to bad customer experience, this brand lost your business, and you’re likely to tell friends and family to avoid it as well.
The customer experience comprises every interaction a customer has with your brand. Your customers use these interactions to form perceptions and opinions about your products, services, and overall brand.
Measuring customer experience and focusing on improvement is an essential step to increasing brand loyalty and customer retention. Use this guide to customer experience to help you understand it and how you can use customer feedback surveys to create a positive experience for your customers.
The process of managing the touchpoints between your brand and your customers is customer experience management (CXM). Good customer experience management personalizes interactions for each audience. Your goal should be to make each of your customers feel important and valued.
As a business owner, you know it’s vital to increase sales or customer acquisitions. However, when you focus solely on sales metrics and pinpointed data, you risk losing ground in the overall success of your brand.
By focusing on the entire customer experience, you build relationships with customers. This ultimately leads to your goals of increased sales and acquisitions, as well as other benefits.
As you learn how to improve customer experience, remember that a good customer experience usually helps:
Sending surveys to customers is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to monitor customer experience. Customer feedback surveys let you capture a large amount of data without the added cost of running in-person interviews or focus groups.
Reasons you should be measuring customer experience with surveys include:
There are several survey features that are recommended for measuring customer experience. This combination of features will help you build an accurate picture of your customer experience.
Once you know how your customers perceive your brand, you can start building a CXM plan and focus on how to improve customer experience.
Net promoter score (NPS) is a single question that helps quantify a customer’s brand loyalty. It also identifies your brand’s advocates. The question asks respondents to rate how likely they are to recommend a brand to friends and family. An NPS survey uses a scale of 0-10, with zero being Very Unlikely to recommend your brand and 10 being Very Likely to recommend your brand.
Customers are categorized depending on their answers. Customers who are likely to recommend your products rated a 9 or 10. These customers are known as Promoters. Those who answered with a 7 or 8 are considered Passive customers. Passive customers usually have a good experience, but not enough to actively promote your business. Finally, scores between 0-6 come from Detractors. Detractors did not have a good experience and, depending on their experience, may recommend that family and friends stay away.
You can customize when you use NPS to maximize its effectiveness. For example, send out an NPS question right after a customer makes a purchase, as it’s a good starting point to help measure brand loyalty and identify your advocates.
The customer satisfaction metric looks at the overall feel a customer has for a brand, product, or service.
Most CSAT questions ask a customer to rate their experience after a specific event, such as a transaction. For example, you own a restaurant and want to know how your waitstaff is performing. You send diners a survey right after their visit and ask them to rate their satisfaction with customer service.
The answers for a CSAT question range from Extremely Unsatisfied to Extremely Satisfied. This data helps you understand where customers are having the best and worst experiences throughout their journeys.
To continue with the restaurant example, if your CSAT scores dip when customers are asked about their satisfaction with your waitstaff, you can use this information to help build customer service training for your waitstaff.
Like CSAT, Customer Effort Score (CES) measures the satisfaction of your customers, or more specifically the ease of completing a transaction with your brand. This could include how easy it was to make a purchase, resolve a customer service issue, or even navigate your website.
Generally, the more effort a customer has to make to resolve an issue, the more likely they are to shop somewhere else next time. However, less effort doesn’t always lead to higher loyalty. This means you should strive to make transactions easy for your customers, but you’ll need to go above and beyond to create a customer experience that increases loyalty.
Adding open-ended questions to your customer experience surveys gives your customers the opportunity to expand on their opinions. Many businesses find that an open-ended question after a customer experience rating helps them pinpoint areas of improvement.
In the restaurant example, you ask customers to rate their experience with the waitstaff. You then ask a follow-up, open-ended question asking them to explain their rating. You learn that many customers feel service was not prompt enough. You can then work with your team to improve efficiency while serving customers.
Question types aren’t the only important part of a customer experience survey. You need to be able to analyze the data you collect. Choose a survey platform that offers analytics reporting and the ability to share reports and data. Report sharing allows you to communicate with other decision-makers and team members to showcase the findings of your surveys.
With a better understanding of customer experience, it’s time to look at how to improve customer experience. A great advantage of customer experience is that you often don’t need to invest a lot of money or overhaul your business systems to improve it. You simply need to take a customer-first approach to run your business.
QuestionPro offers a robust online platform to help you manage customer experience. Take a live tour of the QuestionPro customer experience platform to see how our software can help you increase brand loyalty and keep customers coming back.