Customer Experience – Why does it matter?

A consistent and predictable customer experience is the most important thing for any company or organisation to get right. In this episode I explain what customer experience means and why it matters.

One Minute Digital Podcast

Key takeaways:

  • Customer Experience is how you interact with your customers or prospects through the whole purchase journey (awareness, discovery, purchase, advocacy and service).
  • It also includes how you interact with your customers through different touch points for example, point of sale, websites, social media, customer service and other touch points.
  • There is a GAP between what companies are delivering in terms of customer experience and what the customers are getting. According to a survey done by Bain in 2005 80% of companies asked believed they were delivering a superior customer experience, but only 8% of the customers thought they were getting a superior experience.
  • The internal structure of the company to be more customer centric is important in terms of delivering a superior customer experience. Many companies are merging marketing, sales and customer service.

TIPS FOR CREATING A GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

  • Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Test-buy from your company, and understand what it’s like to own a product.
  • Never leave the customer hanging in the customer journey, always be clear on what the next step is. Predictability and consistency is important to create a good customer experience.
  • Ask yourself what changes are needed in your internal ways of working and organization to create a more customer centric approach.
  • Measure and define KPI: s for the customer experience, and ask your customers.

TRANSCRIPT

Hi everyone and welcome.

Today I’m really, really pumped because we’re going to talk about ‘Customer Experience”.

First of all because Customer Experience is a really worn out term in terms of Marketing and Digital Marketing, but still it’s really one of the most important elements to get right for any company or organization having an online presence or both online and offline presences.

Customer Experience is how you interact with your customers or prospects through the whole purchase journey. And you know the purchase journey; awareness, discovery, purchase, advocacy and service.
But it’s not only through the purchase journey, it’s is also how you interact with your customers through different touch points for example, point of sale or at events, if you are selling online, your own website, social media, there are all these kind of different places.

That’s the components that makes customer experience really, really difficult. The biggest enemy of a good customer experience is the internal structure in your organization and the ways of working in your organisation. I think is easy to see if a company is good at putting the customer first and that they have a good organization to do this, or if they’re really bad. I mean there are good and bad examples if you look around.

You know the really famous management consultancy firm Bain, they asked a lot of larger companies to rate themselves how they perceive the quality of their customer experience, and you can find this report online. I will add a link to it from my website as well. Anyway, 80% of the companies believed that they were delivering a superior customer experience to their Customers that’s really, really interesting. 80% that’s a lot of good customer experience out there. When Bain asked the customers of the companies about their perception of the customer experience, only 8% of their customers believed they were getting the superior Customer Experience. So, there is a disconnect between what companies believe they are delivering and what the customers are actually getting.

I don’t really like to mention bad examples of customer experiences but would like to do it anyway just for educational purposes. Say for example if you’re a T-shirt company, you’re selling a lot T-shirts online and you have just onboarded Jason Isaacs to be your brand advocate. You’re doing a huge TV campaign with Jason Isaacs and for those who don’t know who Jason Isaacs is, he’s the guy playing Captain Lorca in Star Trek Discovery, which is one of my favorite shows. OK, so you have a great TV commercial coming out today and it’s just going to be awesome, people will see the TV commercial and you’re going to sell a lot of T-shirts.

So, you are running your TV commercial and everything is great the only downside is that maybe you forgot that people will then go to Google and Google your company name and when they come to the website, there will be no Captain Lore on the website, there will be nothing that is remotely connected to the TV spot that they just saw. Check the TV commercials on air today and go into the websites of the companies and see how many companies who actually just manage to sync their TV commercials with their web presence, it’s not that many to be honest.

Let’s talk about good customer experience. What is a good Customer Experience? I think one of the best companies is Apple, they are really good at customer experience. When you buy an Apple product, you know that it’s going to work the way that all other Apple products works, and then you know that most of the accessories of the thing that you have is going to work with your Apple product. You also know for example that if you have the Ipad Pro you can easily connect it to the Apple TV and that kind of stuff. So, you know as a customer what to expect.

But that’s not the only thing that makes Apple good at customer experience, you will also see that there is the same type of communications, the same sort of visual communication throughout all of their touch points and this is a pretty big thing for such a big company to be able to do that. I think another thing that is interesting with Apple is that they know their customers very well. They have the AppleID, they know when a customer who has the Apple store app installed enters one of their Apple stores. So they will know what the customer bought, what kind of Apple devices they own and likely interested in.
And that’s also very important for creating a good customer experience that you gather data about your customers and use that data to provide good offers to the customer.

Another interesting thing about Apple is that, they also managed to have the same experience in touchpoints that they don’t own themselves. This is one of the more harder things to do in customer experience. For example, there are Apple stores that sell Apple products obviously, but there are also non-Apple stores that sell Apple products and you will see that in most of the stores, Apple will be displayed in a specific way and you will instantly recognize the Apple-ness or whatever it’s called in that store, and that is also a huge kind of contribution to what makes Apple really having a good customer experience and a consistent brand.

Of course I’m not the only person who has discovered this and importance of customer experience all companies are talking about it, all consultancies are talking about it, some companies are also starting to restructure themselves. You know as I mentioned before, one of the biggest enemies for a good customer experience is really in terms of structure of the company. If you have been reading Adweek lately, you will notice that Coca-Cola has for example hired a CGO which is the Chief Growth Officer so what they have done is that they have replaced their global CMO Marcos something who have retired after 35 years of the company and now they have merged sales, marketing and customer care into one unit, headed by a Chief Growth Officer. This is kind of interesting I think you see a lot of other companies doing the same thing.

Because in order to have a good customer experience, you really have to have a unification internally on how you approach the customers and that is something that has to do with sales, commercial side but also marketing, but also in customer care after the Customers actually bought the product, which is more important.

We have established now that customer experience is pretty important, and a lot of big companies are rallying behind it, trying to understand how they can become more focused on the customer experience.
The first thing that you need to be more focused on the Customer Experience, you need to understand who your customers are and I would advise any company that have not already done so to create personas, based on your customer segmentation and then it’s about understanding the forecast journey between what touch points your customers go through? What state are these touch points and what do your customer want to achieve in these touch points? I think it’s also important to get out there, I don’t know if you have read, ‘The Toyota Way’ it’s like an old management book, but in the book, they will outline how the Toyota CEO was sitting in the production plant, looking at the production processes going on, trying to figure out what to improve.

Similarly, I would recommend companies to actually put your customers shoes on and try to see the company from the customer point of view. For example, do test purchasing, if you have stores, go into the stores and see what it’s like to be a customer, try to complete all the steps online, try to understand you know what it’s like to own your product, how it’s like to service it, what the customer support is like and all those kind of stages. This will really help you when you’re making decisions further on when it comes to prioritizing in the customer experience.

When working with the customer experience, it’s important to capture the Customer Feedback, services, requests and other requests quickly act upon them and change the Customer Experience accordingly. Otherwise, you will end up with a Customer Experience that looks good on a … or something like that but doesn’t really work in the real world. So, I think all Customer Experience needs to be adapted to do the real world really, when you’re rolling it out. Furthermore, I think it’s important to think about the 4Ps and it’s not the traditional marketing 4Ps that you will read in Phil Kotler’s ‘Marketing Principles’, this is more the 4Ps that I think is important and they are PREDICTABILITY PREDICTABILITY, PREDICTABILITY and guess what? PREDICTABILITY.

And it’s important that you never ever leave the customer hanging in the customer journey during experiencing your company online or offline for that matter. So, the Customer shouldn’t have to wonder, “What happens next?” You should already know whether the Customer’s taking a purchase decision or making decisions to enter your store or go to your website or Social Media.

Never ever leave the customer hanging, I think I talked about this one before but let’s mention it again and that’s the importance of having a good internal structure to meet the customer when they interact with your company. So, think about that, what makes a good internal structure? What kind of departments makes sense that they work more together to create a good customer experience?

Another important part is to think about the products and services you’re offering as one eco system towards your customers. I think the best benchmarking company that you will find doing this is Amazon, I was listening to their CTO a year ago, he said that “Basically every new product that is made by Amazon needs to add an additional value to the end consumer but also, adding additional value to other products or services that are in the same eco system.” He of course mentioned Alexa for example, you know the voice control thing that you have in your house that you can talk to. It brings that extra value to the end consumer but also to Amazon as you would obviously shop through the usage of your voice.

Last but not least is measuring. You should ask your customers if they are happy with the experience and would recommend your company product or service to a friend, that’s the net promoter score. This way you can continuously improve the Customer Experience and you also understand a little bit on where you are in terms of delivering a good Customer Experience.

That’s it for today, I’m sorry this was a not a minute, this was maybe the longest episode I’ve done so far, I’m also sorry about the background noises that have been throughout this Podcast, let me tell you, it’s not easy to be a Podcaster in the middle of a construction site but I think it went pretty good today.

Thank you so much for listening, it really means a lot to me. If you want to contact me or if you want me to advise you on anything when it comes to online marketing or social media or e-commerce, then visit my website on www.dbyd.co thank you very much and see you next time.

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