Customer Experience

What Is Customer Experience?

Customer experience refers to the totality of a customer’s encounters with a business and how those interactions make the person feel about the company.

Several departments across an organization will communicate with customers at different points in their journey. Since each department affects the customer, it’s important to be aware of which teams to involve. These teams include:

  • Product
  • Customer success
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Sales

Customer Experience vs. User Experience?

The customer experience (sometimes called CX) is not synonymous with user experience or product experience. Those are specific aspects of a customer’s interaction with a business and are part of the customer experience. Customer experience describes the entirety of the customer relationship. Everything a company does or says that can affect the person’s perception of it.

Why Is Customer Experience Important?

It’s essential to know why creating a great customer experience is a critical investment.

It can lead to lucrative word-of-mouth marketing.

According to research cited by DemandBase, 91% of all B2B sales happen due to word-of-mouth marketing. This could be a personal endorsement from a trusted colleague or a positive review online.

A business can increase recommendations by creating an outstanding customer experience.

It can lower a company’s average customer acquisition cost (CAC).

A study cited in Forbes found that it can cost a business 5x more to get a new customer than keep an existing one. The study concluded increasing customer retention rate by 5% can increase profits between 25% and 95%.

Thus it’s important to the business to keep customers longer. You do this by improving a customer’s experience.

What Does a Great Customer Experience Strategy Look Like?

Companies can’t create an outstanding customer experience without the right strategy. Here are a few best practices to make it happen.

1. Make it a company-wide goal.

A business cannot create an excellent experience with a single department. The customer experience represents the customer’s interactions with all areas of a business. This means all teams need to coordinate their efforts to make those interactions positive. For example:

Sales:

Are the materials you’re presenting to prospects addressing their top-priority concerns?

You need to coordinate with product and marketing to make sure you know what these issues are. This way, you have the right conversations with your target market.

Marketing:

Are you developing collateral that best reflects the solutions to your market’s challenges? Are you making accurate claims about your products or services?

Coordinate with all departments to make sure you are presenting your company’s solutions in the right way.

Product:

Have you learned enough about your user persona’s needs, goals, and frustrations? Are you confident the solutions you’re developing will solve significant problems?

Coordinate with your customer success team to learn what customers have questions on. Then work with your sales team to understand what prospects are requesting. Learn if and why they’re objecting to your products.

2. Gather customer feedback from as many channels as possible.

You can’t learn how users feel about your customer experience if you’re not asking them.

  • Embedding live-chat and real-time surveys into your digital products.
  • Sending out the single-question Net Promoter Score survey. Find out how likely existing users are to recommend your product to others.
  • Monitoring customer reviews and forum discussions about your products to learn what users are saying about them.

Download Product Success Metrics ➜

3. Look for ways to improve your customer journey continuously.

Are you making the customer journey is as streamlined and intuitive as possible?

  • Could your “Demo Request” forms be shorter?
  • When a prospect downloads your free trial, are you sending enough helpful onboarding tips by email? (Are you sending too many?)
  • When existing customers reach out to the customer success department for help, are those team members able to quickly and successfully handle those requests or questions?

Look for ways to improve all touchpoints with prospects and customers to create a better customer experience.

Related Terms

 customer journey map / customer empathy / user experience / customer development / Customer Advisory Board (CAB)