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For great CX, what truly matters to customers?

What makes a great customer experience, and what turns customers off?  How can you create a winning CX strategy?

May 03 2022Tasin Siddiqi

The hard truth of customer experience

Experience. It’s a popular word in business. We use numerous acronyms and terms, like CX (customer experience), UX (user experience), PX (product experience), service experience, the experience economy, experience mapping, and a new cool kid — immersive experience. The list goes on, and these things matter: 32% of customers break up with a favorite brand after one poor experience and 70% of online businesses fail because of bad usability.

Unpicking the customer experience

Person holding a tablet with a customer review showing s smiley face in green

To paraphrase a Michael Jackson hit song, experience boils down to just one thing: it’s about the way your organization makes people feel. Whether they are interacting with your website, app, employees, services, or products – each interaction or touchpoint shapes their view of your brand. While researching for this blog, I’ve come across some fascinating insights. Who knew, for example, that wrap rage was a thing? And speaking as a Gen Z-er, are we too fixated on generational differences? I believe most people, regardless of their age, share the same baseline expectations of organizations.   

Diagram with circles explaining the differences between UX and CX

Image source: Digital.gov.

It’s helpful, however, to understand the distinction between some elements that might appear a little blurred, like CX and UX. For a good explanation, we can turn, no less, to an official website of the United States government, which states:  

  • CX – all interactions someone has with your brand
  • UX – the experience of people interacting with your product 

What turns customers off your brand?

A PwC survey offers an insightful view of what people most value in their customer experience. So, what causes it to go wrong? I believe this can involve several factors, but typically comes down to five things:

  1. Insufficient customer engagement and feedback leading to a disconnect between what customers want and what organizations think they want
  2. Being hard to do business with — too many friction points, complexity, or a lack of transparency
  3. Sub-standard customer service – e.g., agents may be poorly trained or lack empathy, customers left stranded waiting to speak with someone, or forced to repeat themselves   
  4. A lack of human touch through over-automation  
  5. Insufficient personalization — because we all want to feel loved!  

While it’s crucial to know your audience and have a big picture view of their CX, it’s important to manage the ostensibly ‘small stuff’ too. For example, fix your website’s broken links, which is often where your potential customers gain their first impressions.   

Organizations need to transform the customer experience to achieve full flexibility between services and systems and create intuitive experiences that adapt to user needs instead of forcing them to adapt.


So, how can you delight your customers?

As you’ve read this far, I expect you’re already getting at least one thing right; you care. And that’s great news for your customers. Sadly, some organizations are too fixated on the bottom line and don’t value their customer base sufficiently. We need only look to the sorry tale of Ratners, a well-known jewelry business in the UK in the 1980s. The owner destroyed his multimillion-dollar company in seconds by disparaging its products and, by association, anyone who bought them.

So, how do you improve the CX? Firstly, you can only go where you need to go by measuring where you are now, e.g., through customer satisfaction surveys. You could also appoint customer experience champions, and what better than to invite your customers to be part of their discussion groups?

Another focal point is your people. As the adage goes: Happy employees mean happy customers. Get that right, and the CX almost takes care of itself. And technology, done well, helps deliver modern experiences that are in tune with customers’ needs.  

How do you create a winning CX strategy?

Here are six tips for developing a strategy:  

  1. What is your vision for your customers? This will help you define your goals. 
  2. Establish a customer success team. Select those with soft skills and ensure every customer-facing dept. in your organization is represented. The team’s role is to fact-find and make recommendations for improving the CX. This demands a long-term commitment, not a ‘set and forget’ approach. For example, they should regularly review the success of CX initiatives.  
  3. Know your strengths. If you’re short on in-house expertise, consider involving external specialists to help get you started.
  4. Make it easy for customers to give feedback. To avoid survey fatigue, keep questionnaires short, and understand what you want to achieve from them. If the information is not actionable, what’s the point? 
  5. Empower your people. What do they need to deliver a brilliant CX? Is it more autonomy, better systems, training, or employee wellbeing programs?
  6. Stay humble and drop your defenses. Believe that your customers know best and learn from them.

Wrapping up

According to PwC consumer intelligence CX is the sum of many parts: people, technology, services, products, UX, and customer service. Doing it superbly well pays dividends — 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, 43% would pay more for greater convenience, and 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. 

Modern technologies play a central role in improving the CX and empowering customer-facing employees to do their best jobs. But it’s vital to create a balance between technology and humans – the human touch nurtures authentic connections and builds loyalty. We can help you identify technologies with purpose by focusing on their value and relevance to your customers. If you’d like some advice, you are welcome to contact us today. 

About the author
Picture of Tasin Siddiqi

Tasin Siddiqi

Former Chief Tomorrow Officer, T-Systems International GmbH

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