By definition, customer experience is the sum of emotions felt by customers generated both at a specific point in time and cumulatively through their interactions with the employees, channels, services or products of a provider. Of course, companies strive to make all these feelings positive. In so doing, they ensure their customers’ relationship with the brand is strongly emotional and that they will be all the more attached and loyal.
The pillars of customer experience
A customer-centric approach
Customer experience is not something that can be built by staying locked up in the ivory tower of your office. In fact, it is quite the opposite! It is important to listen to the voice of your customers.
Do they have practices and habits that you do not understand? Do not overlook this! On the contrary… Listen to what your customers have to say, you will learn a lot more about them which will better equip you to satisfy them.
The challenges of omni-channel communication
Today, the customer journey unfolds on both traditional and digital channels. We are not simply referring to the website: behind the term ‘digital channels’ lie forums, social media, consumer association websites, etc. Brands must strive to project a coherent image that is consistent on all these channels. Therefore, it is important to ensure there are no imbalances between the different channels.
Whether your customers contact the After-Sales team, the Sales team or the Community Manager via the brand’s Twitter feed, they will appreciate that the answer they receive is unified throughout. No more silos! This is quite a challenge, especially when you know that, on average, 35% of customers use 4 communication channels to contact their customer service, all sectors combined (Genesys study, 2016).
Why is customer experience so important?
Today, brands over-communicate and are omni-present. Consumers are drowning in information and often find it difficult to make out what’s what. What will make them pick one brand over another?
A preference for a brand will be the consequence of a re-enchanted customer relationship. Of course, your products must offer quality. However, what creates brand attachment, customer loyalty, will be the quality of their experience. Ok, but how do I deliver customer experience in my company?
At the Efficy group, we too are thinking about our customer experience. And here are some of our tips. Of course, if you have other good ideas, we are always happy to hear them!
Who should be involved?
At Efficy, we opted for a Group-wide approach. We decided this task should be entrusted to a person whose position is completely cross-functional (Editor’s note: our Head of Organization). Why? Because this person must be able to have an overview of the customer journey as a whole and be in a position to communicate with the many departments involved in this process.
Clearly define what ‘customer’ means
As you are well aware, Efficy sells complex products, and our sales cycle is quite long. Therefore, when we talk about customer experience, we are, in fact, referring to the experiences of our many types of customers.
When dealing with customers, Efficy faces a great many profiles: typically, for any given project, we will deal with a Project Manager, IT contacts, Sales, Marketing, After-Sales Service (once the CRM project is completed), decision-makers, buyers, etc. In short, a host of profiles which will not all be sensitive to the same arguments, to the same treatment, which do not have the same concerns, etc.
Outline the different stages of your customer experience architecture
The same plurality is applied to the stages of our customer experience: first comes the acquisition phase, then the lead generation phase, followed by a dialogue phase with our sales team and finally, the project phase. However, that is not the end of it! Alongside this, we still need to look after our users (i.e., customer loyalty) and work on the recommendation phase.
At each stage, the customer expects certain elements from us: responsiveness, information, reassurance, etc. Each of these is a key moment in a customer’s life that has to be closely scrutinized in order to re-enchant the customer experience.
How can customer experience be measured?
As with every project, you have to be able to measure your success. Therefore, from the outset, it is important to define measurable objectives. Each stage has to be monitored through a KPI: response time for inbound information request, NPS (Net Promoter Score), Customer Service response time, etc. These KPIs will of course be analyzed in great detail and corrective actions will be triggered if objectives are not met.
At Efficy we are still working on all of this. In a few months’ time, you will be able to witness the practical results first hand. Of course, we welcome any ideas you might have!