Deciphering the Customer Experience to Empower Your Enterprise
Do you remember the time when you really needed a customer service rep to be responsive to you at that moment? The time when he was not only able to help you with your current problem, but also took the extra step to help you avoid a future issue? Do you remember how you smiled from relief? Do you also remember how you became a loyal customer in that moment?
Brands are starting to take notice of the importance of being there for customers during these make-or-break moments, and how to shape the Customer Experience by tailoring it to the individual’s critical decision-making moments.
Customer experience is composed of the emotions felt by customers and potential customers from the beginning to the end of their journey with a brand. This experience includes feelings, such as satisfaction with accommodations and friendly staff, as well as thoughts, such as “pushy salesman,” “what a life saver,” “not worth the wait” or “worth the money.”
The variations don't stop there. Different people have different journeys, with some aspects of the experience valued more than others and at different times, and some customers preferring to interact with brands on specific channels. For example, some customers might prefer to initiate contact via phone, while others prefer to interact with a brand via email or on social media channels.
Yet one thing is the same: customers expect a quality experience that is not only effective and efficient, but is also personal, makes them feel special, and turns them into brand ambassadors. Indeed, customer experience is often the deciding factor for many consumers in determining whether to continue using a brand in the future.
Challenge for Providers
It can be tricky for brands to figure out which aspect of the customer journey is of particular importance to each individual customer. It is also tricky to really “see” each journey in its entirety. Companies need to determine how to make each part of the customer’s decision-making process positive and memorable. They also have to get each member of their staff on board with their action plans. But where to start? What solutions would make everything else fall into place effortlessly?
The Science Behind it All
Companies’ focus should be based on biological factors. According to author Simon Sinek in his presentation of “The Golden Circle”, customer experience has nothing to do with psychology and everything to do with how the brain is organized. The part of the brain controlling feelings and emotions also governs decision making and behavior. As a result, customer loyalty arises out of an emotional state of contentment.
Ultimately, it's not only what you say, but also how you say it that is important. Customers aren't moved to react if facts and figures are presented to them mechanically. Rather, a warm and human approach, which taps into customers’ emotions, activates positive responses in customers and entices them to make quick decisions. Once customers are satisfied at an emotional level, they become advocates of the brand. Consumers who feel appreciated because of the personalized experiences they have received will then express esteem and loyalty towards the brand.