Real CX means taking your customers with you
Ever taken a step back to reflect on who you’re working for?
Hint: it’s not your boss or your company…
You work for the people buying your products or hiring your services.
If you’ve ever participated in a 6-week fitness challenge, you know the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it…until a few weeks later when you fall back into mid-day cake breaks. Staying fit is a forever thing, and so is customer experience (CX).
It’s not about the occasional smile or 20% discount, but the way you integrate the customer into your brand’s DNA. Permanently.
Let’s get emotional about customer loyalty
How do you measure customer loyalty? Do you count the loyalty card swipes or use your annual turnover for reassurance?
Sure, these figures reveal a lot about company performance, but we tend to forget that loyalty and CX are about how successful your customers are. It’s the “Not everything is always about you” narrative. Determine how your customers feel about the company before evaluating how you feel about it.
Don’t get us wrong: your loyalty and rewards programmes may attract dozens of customers, but not for the right reasons. You see, if you rely solely on loyalty programmes to grow your customer base, you’re forcing loyalty through cost-savings – not preference.
Loyalty is when customers drive an extra kilometre to buy from your business, not your competitor, even if the latter is more convenient.
An app in shining CX design armour
Mobile apps are genius CX tools for building loyalty (if designed and used properly). You can intensify your loyalty programme and schmooze customers into having your business on their most-used devices.
But, once your app has infiltrated their devices and populated cache histories, it’s time to do the actual work.
“Wait, but isn’t my job done? After all, digitisation exists to automate customer experience and make my life easier.”
Not even close.
Remember, you’re not the only one with a sophisticated app, and all you did was give your target audience another tool to manage and update. The next step is to humanise your glorious digital creation. Ask yourself:
- Do my digital efforts make life simpler and more convenient for customers?
- Are my digital assets designed from a customer’s perspective?
- Did I ask customer service staff for their input?
- Do my customers know how to use these systems?
- Did I digitise only because my competitors did?
- Is my CX design part of a well-considered CX strategy?
Here’s the deal: customers with an emotional connection to the business have a lifetime value of 306%. Up to 73% of customers prefer brands that address them by name, and 63% have stopped purchasing from brands with poor personalisation (Voxco).
CX, loyalty, and business experience (BX) are all about humanisation. Without it, you’re a modern business with flight-risk customers waiting for the next best bargain.
Customer service vs customer experience
Flight attendants are always friendly. It’s almost as if they are thrilled to have aching ears, jetlag, and demanding customers. But guess what? Flight attendants are excellent at faking it to make it. Does that make them masters of customer experience? Not really, because – guess what? – that’s not their job.
Their job is to make customers as comfortable as possible using snacks, drinks, and never-ending smiles. But it’s the airline’s job to create CX through comfortable seating, seamless boarding, functional lifejackets (NB), and prompt service.
Customer service, digitisation, and discounted flights are only a portion of the CX, but they don’t rule the show. Here’s what does:
- Customer-first approaches
- Involving all departments in the digital CX
- Understanding common pain points, lifestyle changes, designs, and user-friendly navigation
- Personalisation in every step of the customer journey
- Fewer robotics, more humans
- Putting feedback into practice
- Injecting CX into the brand identity
Effective CX can ignite every sense
You think tech is automated? Try being a subconscious mind for a day… Songs, food, photos, textures, and events create brain paths that remind us of experiences. In other words, our senses subconsciously determine how we feel about situations, giving each experience a “good” or “bad” rating.
BX is the catalyst for effective or ineffective CX that triggers customers’ senses. Sell someone a bad pie, and they’ll never buy a pie from you again. In fact, they’ll think twice before buying anything else from you, never mind suggesting you to their friends.
It’s not just the pie that determines the experience, but the food quality, presentation, and level of customer service. Every part of the process contributes to the overall outcome. So, don’t rely on great products or services to deliver the champion badge; it’s evoking emotions that make or break CX.
Senses trigger emotion, emotion triggers preference, and so on…
Aligning brand promise with brand output
Customer loyalty is the outcome of your brand promise. Think of it as a balancing scale between promise and action. Just like you can’t overpromise and under-deliver, you can’t under-promise either – because that’s how you create brand awareness.
Look, no one is saying it’s easy to maintain the perfect balance, which is why a BX Blueprint is the holy grail of guides. It includes the how, why, and what process that reveals the problem, past reactions, and existing trends.
And because markets change often, you can re-evaluate your BX to stay relevant. Before you know it, the promise-output alignment is a force of habit.
Our advice? Consider CX, EX, UX and BX!
It’s entirely possible to become the go-to, but you need to ingrain CX into every inch of your business while proactively improving other elements, such as employee experience (EX) and user experience (UX).
Why EX? Simple: Happy employees, happy customers. People can smell a bad company culture from miles away.
Try these tips to turn consumers into loyal fans:
- Focus on the outcome customers experience after making a purchase. You can’t gain loyalty through deals, rewards, and discounts alone. So try making the entire experience meaningful, relevant, and customer-based.
- Guide customers when implementing new CX techandget to know them to personalise their experiences accordingly.
- Reflect on your brand promise and output, and create a BX Blueprint to balance the scale. And remember to get your whole crew involved in the process.
- Understand the common pain points customers experience with your brand and its competitors.
- Customers don’t buy products; they buy the experience and outcome. So, create personas of your target customers and remember to be relentless human each time you engage with them.
- Ensure your BX Blueprint includes CX, EX, and UX and use tech to personalise more, not less.
Before leaving the dock, remember to invite your customers and employees onto the metaphorical company yacht. And if the party gets overwhelming, break the process into manageable steps until everything comes full circle.
Or get in touch with experts to help you create a holistic brand with all the bells and whistles.
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