Try to remember a time when you had a positive experience with a business. What did you like about that interaction? How did it leave you feeling? Now, what about a negative experience you’ve had as a customer? Think about the things you disliked that stand out to you.
Creating a seamless, pleasant customer experience is vital to the success of a brand. If a customer has regular positive interactions with your business, they’re more likely to become loyal customers—regardless of how expensive a product or service is.
In fact, according to Forbes, 86% of customers are willing to pay more to receive an amazing customer experience.
Customer experience isn’t just helping your customers out about an issue with your product or service. That’s customer service, and we’ll discuss this in more detail later on in our blog.
Customer experience encompasses all corners of what your business offers—the quality of service, product features, advertising, packaging, and transparency. The more you focus on providing and improving the interactions between customers and your business, the more likely you’ll be able to build brand loyalty (especially if you build on digital customer experiences).
Here is an in-depth look at the customer experience, ways to analyze it, and how it’s different from customer service.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience, or CX, is how your target customers view their experience with your business. Essentially, it revolves around their overall feelings and perceptions surrounding your business or brand.
You can view it as the total result of all your customer’s interactions and experiences throughout their relationship with your business. This includes short interactions like a session on your website and even interactions that don’t result in a conversion like a purchase or a newsletter subscription.
From exposure to an ad or a phone call to your business’s call center, every exchange between your customer and business impacts how they view your business and their relationship with it.
Based on their experience with your brand, your customer will decide whether to continue interacting with your business or to find an alternative that can better meet their needs (in many cases, it’s usually a competing brand).
As such, it’s crucial to keep the customer experience in mind across every aspect of your business—and yes, this includes little details like how fast your website runs or how timely a customer’s payment is processed.
What are the benefits of customer experience analytics?
There is never a wrong time to collect, track, and analyze data when it comes to your business. This same principle applies to customer data.
Customer experience analytics involves the collection and analysis of all data from your target customers, such as their perspectives, needs, feedback, and experiences about your products, services, and brand as a whole.
Some essential benefits of focusing on customer experience analytics include:
- Understanding key issues and their impact on your business
- Recognizing opportunities for improvement or growth
- Reviewing customer touchpoints and trends
- Learning the best course of action to increase ROI
- Developing an effective customer journey map
Your customers aren’t the only group that benefits from having a seamless customer experience. By collecting and assessing data from your target customers, you take the first steps to building business growth.
Your customers will feel like their needs are being met through their experiences with their brand. As you exceed their expectations, they’re likely to become loyal customers to your brand, buying your products or services over rival brands as well as recommending your business to friends and family. This is how you turn your customers into advocates.
Make sure you’re receiving and listening to feedback from your customers. According to SurveyMonkey, around 85% of customers provide feedback for positive experiences with a business while 81% of customers give feedback for any bad experiences.
Your customers are likely providing their thoughts and feelings about their experiences with your brand online so pay attention as you enhance your customer experience.
How do you analyze customer experience?
There are a variety of methods to effectively measure and analyze customer experience. To get started, you need to focus on three important factors: your target customers, their needs, and most importantly, their feedback or opinions about your business.
Once you have these three things in place, you can explore internal issues and patterns within your business operations and implement actions that improve customer experience.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you analyze the customer experience for your business.
Identify your target customers.
Your target customers are the most important individuals in every facet of your marketing efforts. These are the individuals who derive value from your products or services, and if provided with a seamless, positive customer experience, they will return to your business for more.
However, pinpointing your target customers is easier said than done. If you’re not sure who your target customers are, don’t fret.
You can find out who your target customers are by launching a survey on your website for your visitors to fill out, analyzing your respective market, or reviewing the results of your SEO tools. Once you have this data, you can then focus on specific customers, such as those who had higher frequencies in purchases or spent the most money.
Make sure to develop buyer personas to guide you in creating amazing customer experiences as your target customers interact with your business.
Collect data on customer feedback.
While you can run surveys for visitors to your website, there are plenty of other effective ways to collect your customers’ feedback—all of which can provide you with valuable insights about your business.
Some methods you can use to collect data on customer feedback include:
- Customer experience surveys
There are three common customer surveys that many companies use to collect and measure data on customer feedback. These include:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): the Net Promoter Score or NPS is a calculation that measures your customer’s experience with your brand. It specifically tracks the likelihood of customers recommending your business to their friends and family.
When you calculate NPS, you group different customers into specific segments based on how they scored a key question. These segments are promoters (scored 9-10), passives (score 7-8), and detractors (score 0-6).
- Customer Effort Score (CES): the Customer Effort Score or CES is a metric that evaluates the effort that customers have to undergo to perform an action or achieve a goal, such as getting an issue resolved, a question answered, or a request followed through.
This metric is great for tracking customer loyalty over time. We highly recommended calculating CES alongside NPS for a better understanding of your customer’s experiences.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Customer Satisfaction or CSAT is a calculation that measures whether a customer was satisfied with a specific aspect of their experience with your company. This can range from the customer service support they received or their dissatisfaction with a product feature.
The CSAT is one of the heavily relied upon metrics along with the NPS. This metric provides you with quantifiable results about your customer’s satisfaction with your business that is backed with valuable feedback that explains why.
Unlike setting up surveys, conducting interviews offers an intensive but personal look into your customer’s experiences, thoughts, and perceptions about your brand and its offerings.
Through interviews, you’ll be able to empathize with your customers and learn about needs, motivating factors, and obstacles you likely would’ve never known about.
Be sure to include other members of your team to sit in and listen to the interview process so that they can have a better understanding of each customer’s pain points and overall business objectives.
- Web analytics
Web analytics is the process of collecting, tracking, measuring, analyzing, and reporting all of your website data. Think of it as a way to review every activity that has taken place on your website.
Although you can’t collect data on customer feedback through web analytics, you can definitely receive key insights about how your online content is exceeding customer satisfaction (or not).
As you assess the page views, traffic source, and drop-off rates, you’ll notice key patterns occurring in specific pages on your website. For example, if one customer reports how difficult it was to check out their order on your website, you can look into your website analytics and see the drop-off rate for the order page.
Address the smaller issues first.
Remember: always start small before going big. According to a study from Forrester, customers “are 2.4 times more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved quickly.”
As such, if you’ve received a complaint from a customer about your business, have a representative speak with them about their situation. Listen to their story and allow your customer to vent (if needed), then work towards helping them find a suitable solution.
In some situations, the issue is caused by an employee. They may not have sufficient training in dealing with customer support or handling work equipment. A supervisor or manager can dedicate time to training and educating their employees to improve their approaches.
Other issues stem from internal policies within a company. If that’s the case for your business, have a manager or high-level supervisor investigate the policy and explain the rationale for keeping it.
You and your management team shouldn’t be quick to change company policies on the spot. However, you can discuss areas for improvement and even develop alternative options that would allow customers to have a seamless experience with your brand.
Investigate issues with higher business impact.
As soon as you’ve reviewed smaller issues, take a look at the issues that have a bigger impact on your business. Start by identifying where many complaints are coming from your target customers.
To ensure that these issues are high-impact, make sure that it’s common and serious. Does it affect the majority of your target customer base? Is it preventing them from making a purchase?
When you’ve recognized the common, high-impact issues, you can move forward with addressing them. This may include implementing new company policies, training staff at all levels, changing your website’s design or copy, or designing methods to enhance the customer experience.
We also recommend gathering feedback from target customers who almost didn’t convert. Discussing the rationale behind their conversion will help you gain insight into what you need to do to win those target customers that didn’t convert.
Review and track all trends.
Customer experience analytics is not just a one-time measurement. You need to ensure that the changes you’re making to your company policies and other internal processes are improving customer experiences.
Whether you want to review trends and patterns on a weekly or monthly basis is your call, but it’s important to continue analyzing customer experiences so that you can see if your efforts are paying off.
If your efforts aren’t effective, you can explore any root causes and work towards making the necessary changes. Use all of the resources available like website analytics, survey results, and other tools to see how your efforts are faring.
What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?
Customer experience and customer service are two words that are often used interchangeably in business circles. Although they share similarities, there are differences that are important to understand.
Investopedia defines customer service as a direct interaction between a customer making a purchase and a representative making a sale, usually for a company. To put it simply, customer service is one distinct moment where a customer is reaching out for help on a specific issue from a company.
Customer experience relates to the entire journey a customer goes through, including their awareness of your brand from exposure to an ad to the email survey they receive after making a purchase.
Customer service is one piece of the customer experience journey. Many customers may not end up engaging with customer service representatives at all. It all depends on who initiates the process: the customer or the business.
Businesses typically lead customer experiences by ensuring that their target customers don’t encounter any problems throughout their buying journey. It is a holistic approach to help foster great customer relationships.
Customer experience (CX) is not going away any time soon. With the advancements in technology, it is vital for a business to provide exceptional omnichannel customer experiences that fulfill customer needs.
By identifying your target customers, their needs and pain points, analyzing trends, and maintaining a seamless experience, your company can ensure customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty. This turns your customers into advocates willing to refer their friends, families, and colleagues to your brand.
Check out our blog, How To Advertise on Instagram in 2022 to learn the best tips on advertising on Instagram.