Customer experience (CX) refers to all the experiences a customer has with your business. This could be during one transaction, or over several years.
A company’s ability to deliver a positive experience each and every time that someone does business with it sets that company apart in the customer’s mind. Research shows that customers do business with companies they like, so the more positive experiences a customer has with your business, the more they’ll continue to do business with you!
Defining the customer experience
To define your customer experience, it’s important that you know what your customers want and need. The best way to find this out is to ask, through primary market research. Make sure you know what customers are looking for, what their pain is, what’s missing, how you can solve their problems, and where you can fill a gap in the marketplace.
Once you know what your customers need, you can visualize the best ways to satisfy those needs through customer experience. Start by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes – revisit our earlier posts about the Empathy Map here and here to get started.
Delivering a great customer experience
Once you’ve got a good handle on what your customers really want and need from you, it’s time to deliver on that experience. Then, ask the customer if they had the experience you wanted them to have. A Harvard Business School study of large companies in the US found that over 70% of business executives believed their companies delivered a good customer experience. However, when the researchers asked the customers of those businesses, the story was quite different. Only 8% of customers felt they had the experience they were looking for. Not good!
Why the difference? To us, it seems like the big companies weren’t communicating with their customers — either they were designing the wrong customer experience, or they weren’t delivering the experience properly. In any case, the customer walked away with a less than positive impression and the business loses future sales potential.
So, how do you measure customer satisfaction?
Common metrics to measure customer satisfaction
Net Promoter Score (NPS): The NPS is an index that ranges from -100 to 100 that indicates how willing a customer is to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It divides customers into three categories: Promoters (loyal + satisfied), Passives (satisfied + unenthusiastic), and Detractors (unsatisfied + unenthusiastic).
First Contact Resolution (FCR): FCR gives an indication of how well you resolve customers’ support requests the first time by tracking the number of interactions in a case. Tracking your FCRs helps you see what you can do to keep the average number of interactions low.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT is the average score awarded to your brand according to customer answers on a survey. Small businesses use CSAT scores to determine how satisfied customers were with specific products or services.