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Decoding Customer Experience For Businesses

Updated: Feb 28


customer experience



Customer experience is probably the most coveted metric in today’s tumultuous times when everything we have known as life, has been disrupted- both as customers and as corporates.


Finding means to get by in an intensely divergent world, customers clamor to experiment with & receive new online products and experiences with brands. Enterprises too, are toiling hard to meet this refreshed consumer with novel mechanisms, to appease and serve them.


Yet, surprisingly so, Customer Experience is oft mistaken for customer service. The truth is far far away from this. In fact, Customer Service begins, where Customer Experience Fails!


What exactly is Customer Experience?


Customer Experience is a series of preordained and orchestrated sets of interactions, a total of accumulated engagements over time, which, when they function seamlessly, with clock-work precision, leave the customer with a unique taste of contentment. Or, at least the distinct lack of dis-contentment! If it transpires so, the consumer continues to maintain his status quo with the brand.


Any severance in the designed process may lead to a feeling of dis-approval – which in turn may trigger a series of different responses, depending upon the plane of patience from which the customer operates.


What is Customer Experience So Important Today?


Most young consumers, Millennials and Gen Z have low endurance for sub-optimal outcomes and 80% may instantly choose to switch brands after just one poor experience! For older profiles, the numbers switching brands after only one bad experience may be close to 50% - but still a very steep risk for businesses to lose customers rapidly, stemming from non-delivery of great CX


More tolerant customers may also choose to exercise the option to reach out to customer service desks in an effort to resolve the “issue”. This second customer service interaction could transpire differently, dependent on a multitude of variables- both human and/or tech, taking the customer higher or lower down the vortex.


Why Is Customer experience more important than customer service?


The important message for business leaders is not just to assuage the customers that reach out to them seeking resolution and service, but more importantly to recognize the fact that much greater loss from customers happens, from those who choose not to even contact them, silently meandering away from the brand!


It is the iceberg effect of customers who choose to simply quit, not even providing a single word of feedback. They may speak, of course, to friends and family warning them with regard to dealing with the brand in future. In a nutshell, by the time we get to customer service, it is probably already too late!


Service is mandatory and universally pursued - this is a no-brainer. However, it is the few that focus on building experience, that truly win the race for the customer - by building great experiences & relying lesser & lesser on customer service to pick up the threads.


Difference between customer Experience and Customer Service


The tasks of experience and service are actually quiet polar and dissimilar. Yet one finds, more often that not, CX heads reporting to Customer Service and Operations leaders. There is a strong rationale for CX owners to be holistic in the width of their capability and report to none other than the head of business.


CX is about accumulated experiences over the lifetime of the customer, across a myriad of brand journeys, navigating direct & indirect touch-points, and online and offline interactions over owned and earned digital assets. Sometimes even completely unrelated online forums or informal “catch-ups with friends” become focal points for brand conversations, sparked by people interested to “learning” from others’ experiences. These too can lead to an immense impact on product perceptions and brand purchase decisions. How may a brand manage to control such a wide plethora of conversations and impact them positively?


How can Businesses Improve their CX?


The ability to conceive great CX involves wide-ranging subjects from Customer strategy, Product differentiation, and Brand promises… to Technology tools that provide access to the right data at the right point at the right time. Often enabled with AI/ML intelligence and delivered through customized UX & UI designs. To make the customer offering, “feel” relatable, comfortable, clear, and transparent and enable ease of transaction.


This brings digital transformation front and center. Not merely the creation of digital pipes that somehow connect customers to companies, through the world wide web, that enable purchase and transaction. But beyond that, to the “how” these pipes deliver the results, in a neatly packaged fashion.


This is an age where we, as consumers, are spoilt by the likes of Netflix, Uber, and Amazon, where just a few simple clicks in a well-laid-out interface, allow any and every concern to be settled within seconds. Moreover, they empower us with moment-to-moment information regarding our query, flowing seamlessly to our devices, placing us in demi-control of what we desire at all times.


Suddenly every brand, irrespective of category and size, finds itself competing with Amazon & Netflix today. Much to their dismay, that is the benchmark customers have come to accept and expect from all brands. Living up to that is not easy since it takes years of capability around people, processes, and technology to orchestrate the results.


Corporations are hustling to invest in digital installations. CFOs approve project after project, despite budget cuts in the overall environment, in an effort to play catch up. Steadily but surely the progress is mounting as the industry has risen to the occasion magnanimously. Let’s remember though that digital investments are the Means towards achieving the End objective of providing great CX.


Conclusion


Increasingly now, more than ever, it has become mandatory to ensure that your customers stay content, if not “delighted” after each interaction with your business. In a time when product and operational efficiencies have tapered, CX can be the big competitive advantage for your brand.


If you think this post was helpful, then check out the upcoming CX trends. So, that your innovation department can innovate around them to elevate your business.


Also, if you need any help regarding your business’ customer experience connect with us anytime at anjali@c-xcel.com or call us at +91 9599496661.


You can also listen to us on our C-Xcel podcast!



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