5 Steps to Build a Customer Experience Strategy
Unless you are Steve Jobs, your digital enterprise most probably resembles a rival’s business very closely.
Both businesses share a common model, aim at the same demographic, have the same revenue stream, and offer almost identical products.
Nothing to be ashamed of.
In the early days of smartphone design and innovation, Apple and Samsung phones resembled each other closely. So close that Apple filed a lawsuit in 2011 accusing Samsung of copying their design.
What differentiates between brands is the customer experience strategy. It is not the only factor, but the predominant factor. How to build and improve your CX strategy? We take a deep dive.
What Is Customer Experience Strategy?
Given a choice between almost similar products, customers always choose the one that offers the best user experience.
Otherwise, why did Yahoo Mail fall into a ditch (even though it offers 1 TB of storage) while Gmail grows every hour (despite charging through the nose for 1 TB)?
Do you really want a big, colorful banner ad from Amazon in your peripheral vision while composing a challenging cold-call email to a prospective client as Yahoo favors? Or would you prefer the austere look of Gmail, that works like a dream even over a slow connection?
But a great experience is not to be left to chance or serendipity.
It has to be the result of careful strategy and planning, which has a single point aim to make the customer have an enriching experience while using the product.
The CX strategy design team has to delve deep into the customer psyche, comprehend what the customer wants and deliver these expectations.
It might require a degree of prescience since the customer is often not aware of what they want. Think of the iPod with its click wheel and how it changed the way we consumed music.
How to Create a Customer Experience Strategy
- Segment the clientele
Any idea how many users buy from Amazon daily? They have 300 million active users and 1.6 million packages are dispatched daily. That is millions of users daily, who browse, choose, and maybe buy.
And the customers are from here, there, and everywhere—from Dallas to Djibouti.
How did they succeed? By intense focus on customer segmentation. That is a big word which means dividing the customer due to some shared traits.
There are three basic types of segmentation:
Segmentation according to age, gender, occupation, income, and education. A 70-year-old retired dentist and his 21-year-old college-going granddaughter differ widely in their spending habits, needs, and desires.
Dividing customers based on where they live. Geography has a powerful influence on what customers buy, how often, and what type of products they might need in the future (as the market matures). Since geography is often closely tied to economics, the segmentation pays dividends. The market for gaming laptops in Europe is undoubtedly going to be higher than in South Asia.
Psychographics are the attitudes, interests, opinions, and lifestyles of your target market.
Psychographics is a study of the mental makeup of an individual—is he more likely to listen to a classical music CD or would hip hop be more suitable, vacation in Paris or Jamaica, and things of a similar nature?
2. Create a customer journey map
How does the customer behave once he is on your site (or app)?
- Does he/she browse through a lot of items but never spend more than five seconds on any product page?
- Does he/she add products to the cart after long deliberation and back and forth between 2-5 products and then abandon it suddenly?
- Do they enter, buy and leave—all in a space of two minutes?
Customer touch points are important and yield a ton of information.
If you find a lot of customers browsing and abandoning their shopping cart at the last minute, perhaps your checkout page needs a redesign. Maybe you are not offering enough payment gateways or COD.
If they enter the store regularly but leave abruptly, it might be the UX needs tweaking or perhaps the page load needs a look.
You have to know for sure. Guesswork would lead the team nowhere.
Webmaxy can generate accurate website heatmaps through a simple code snippet insertion. Learn where the customers pause and what causes them to turn back and make informed decisions for better customer experience management.
3. Define business mission
It is one thing to understand who the customer is and what he wants. Quite another to redo your business processes to meet his needs. Successful customer experience strategy requires you to align your business to the needs of the customer.
The one thing that many entrepreneurs cannot quite understand—the customer would not change to meet your needs. You must change your business to meet his needs.
Ola, a competitor of Uber in India, came up with an interesting plan. They offered all regular customers post-paid accounts.
The benefit is every time the journey ends, the customer would not have to open his wallet and fork out a $10 bill. Nor would he have to authorize payment through the Ola app to pay by debit or credit card. He can just step out of the car the moment the drive ends.
On the 27th of each month, a bill would be generated and the customer will be given 120 hours to pay.
For this, Ola had to tie up with a bank (because a credit check was necessary and they did not have the permission).
But a brilliant pivot and one which helped them attract more customers than Uber.
4. Analyze competition and market
Your business is aligned with customers. Your product/service is perfectly designed. But have you paid attention to your rivals?
How do they interact with customers? What experience does a customer have? On a scale of 1—10, how seamless is the customer journey?
Even though you are not actively considering the competition, the customer is in constant shift—Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr OR Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV—you get the idea.
There used to be a time when American families would buy washers and dryers from US brands such as Maytag and Westinghouse. Now they would buy Haier and LG if it would save them a few dollars.
The same is true of customers anywhere in the world in any business.
There is nothing called customer loyalty anymore and only a thorough and often analysis of the market and rivals would keep your CX strategy updated.
5. Measure your success
Implementing what you believe is a winning strategy is not enough.
Your product is at a perfect price point. There is brilliant segmentation by the marketing team. And the ads on Facebook and YouTube have brought in thousands of new leads daily—but you do not have the means to measure it.
The first month your sales soar by 5X, the second month by 2X, and the third month it slows down to 1.5X.
Of course, compared to last quarter you are earning a ton of profits but it is increasing at a decreasing rate.
To understand why you need to master the metrics and work with the right KPIs. Measuring customer experience has to be a key part of the customer experience management.This is where a tool such as Webmaxy can give you invaluable information and help in measuring customer experience.
You can set up surveys and polls to know their feedback, track them as they make their way down the sales funnel, and look at recorded sessions of the time they spend on your site/app.
Last but not least…
Developing and refining customer UX is an ongoing process. It is akin to market research and product development.
The longer you do it, the more mature the customer experience strategy.
Go for it and stay in for the long haul.