To start with, this is an effort that entails the sum of your organization’s attention and commitment and a sound, crystal-clear customer experience strategy that will position, align, and orientate all the stakeholders in the same direction.

To be successful in creating a great customer experience journey, you will need to make sure that you have covered critical angles, such as setting a clear customer experience vision, making sure that you can understand who your customers are while building an insightful, empathetic connection with them, as well as getting your customers’ and employees’ feedback in real-time and acting upon it.

Now, let’s wrap it all up by having a look at the basics, the critical factors, the ways, and some tips to cover these angles to build a great customer experience in your business!

Back to basics

So, what is the difference between customer experience and customer service? Customer experience is about a customer’s overall perception of your company, based on their interactions with it, while customer service refers to specific touchpoints within the experience where a customer requests and receives assistance or help, for example, calling an operator to request a refund or interacting via email with a service provider.

To put it plainly, CX is larger than customer service. It includes every touchpoint a customer ever has with your company, whether it is the moment they first hear about you in a blog post they found on Google, all the way through to the time they call your customer service team to complain about your product. 

The keys for a great CX

Things are pretty simple to start with, as there are two single factors to drive your customer experience strategy; customer satisfaction and customer happiness. Happiness can be achieved when the customer experience journey flows perfectly and the customer service offered is exceptional, while customer satisfaction occurs when your product or service meets your customer's needs, so it is about knowing their needs in the first place.

Check these steps below that will help you get closer to your customers and build relationships that can last.

Build yourself a strategy

A customer experience (CX) strategy is the sum of your plans, actions, and guidelines designed to create a customer experience. Your strategy needs to involve at some point different functions of your company, across all levels, as customers' experience spans across the entire journey, from the moment they discover you, to sales, customer support after sales, referrals, etc. Make sure that your customer experience strategy considers a number of important factors, including competitive insight, consumer research, marketplace data, mission & vision.

 Be customer-driven 

It’s as simple as that, you can only treat customers the way that you want to be treated. This is a mindset, a company culture that should manifest from the top in a customer-first mindset so that the rest of the company will follow suit; a culture of one-to-one interactions and continuous improvement of product, service, and operations will provide an intimate, successful experience for every customer. 

Let customer feedback lead the way

Figuring out what your customers want, can have a huge payoff and these are the right tools for gathering your customer feedback.

- On-page surveys and website feedback tools. 

- Customer interviews: customer interviews won’t give you the volume of data that surveys will, but they can help you empathize with your customers by hearing their stories.

- Net Promoter Score® (NPS): NPS is a measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction that has been shown to correlate with business growth. You can track this metric by using NPS software that asks customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others.

Be human-centric 

Offering a human experience is a differentiating factor for your customers and you should organize your business around this, that is to offer a friction-less, effective, and empathetic customer experience that could win their loyalty. Here are some tips to make it happen:

- Speak your customer’s language; find their pain points and do your best to tell them how you can address them, by testimonials, use cases of FAQ, making sure that you use your customers’ actual words wherever you can.

- Listen up; train your people to listen first, so they can resonate with a prospect’s emotional state. Then, and only then, can they work to turn the prospect into a customer?

- Don’t keep people waiting; communicate and ship information immediately, offer quick delivery and easy returns and give easy access to customer support.

The ways 

Here are some great ways to improve the customer experience offered by your company: 

Optimize your touchpoints

Select the right touchpoints along with the right language and message to reach people at the time when they need you the most to create a seamless customer experience journey. Here are some ways to effectively improve your communication:

- Find the right communication channel between your team and their customers, using tools that can help you track the communication between different stores, offices, and the field and get the right information in the right way.

- Keep the communication proactive across all levels of the customer journey.

- Keep your employees and customers happy with tools that allow you to communicate and share news, live videos, and chats.

- Track the traffic sources coming to your website to see which channels are most effective. 

- Send emails to your customers to help move them through the customer journey and keep them engaged. 

Leverage AI’s processing power 

At many modern businesses, virtual agents like chatbots are already managing sizable chunks of customer interactions that could reach up to around 85% in many cases. AI empowers you to use chatbots and insights that can transform the customer experience by:

- Minimizing the query resolution time and effort.

- Being seamlessly integrated into your website or app, so people can start interacting with them directly, as though they are communicating with a real human.

- Offering a 24/7customer service that can handle an unlimited number of customers.

- Becoming a valuable assistant for educating your customers more about your products and services, as accessed directly from your knowledge base.

- Being aren't driven by human emotion (sentiments), so customers will always receive a polite and well-mannered response.

- Gaining access to proactive insights based on your customer's behavior and optimizing the customer journey.

Open up to your customer needs

Getting the right tools is one thing, knowing what to do with them is quite another. And if there is one thing you should aim first, is to listen well to their needs. Here are some ways to do this:

- Request customer feedback often and actively seek the positives and negatives that could help you further improve the customer experience.

- Open up, as people take action when they trust someone; make sure that you openly share information about your company and its values in an honest way, while addressing the needs of your customers.

- Deliver the products/services timely and say thank you every time a purchase is made; this is a great way in improving the customer experience journey and making them feel valued.

- Keep the customer experience journey straightforward and simple, in an adaptive, user-friendly environment. 

- Find the right metrics to assess the true performance of your brand's connectivity with your customers.

The tips

And here are a few tips that could help you accelerate your customer experience transformation.

- Develop empathy through customer feedback: gathering voice-of-the-customer feedback and sharing it throughout the company will help everyone create a good customer experience.

- Ensure that all new hires understand your company’s mission, values, and commitment to creating a seamless customer experience.

- Offer continual training and support: making customer-centricity a core feature of your business requires regular training to reinforce its principles.

- Encourage transparency. Transparency is important when it comes to your improvement efforts because it unites everyone and pushes them toward the same goal. 

- Talk to your customers; it could mean polling, surveying, or hopping on the phone; if you want to create an excellent customer experience, you need to understand your customer on a deep level.

- Be efficient; the faster you help someone, the more impressed they are with your service; scale your support operations with a focus on getting back to your customers as fast as possible and wow them with timely, helpful replies.