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Customer Experience Excellence Takes 4 Best Practices

Employ 4 best practices to improve customer experience excellence

Customers notice–the ease or hassle of doing business with you. The more touchpoints you have, the more opportunity for breakpoints. There’s more to understanding the customer experience than examining a specific transaction. To create the best experiences for your customers you need to understand the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company. It means taking an outside-in view and stepping into you customers’ shoes.

Addressing customer experience requires data and a customer-centric approach. Seems simple enough, right?  So why do only 8% of customers feel great about their experiences?  Unless you work in one of the rare organizations where customers rate their experience as great, improving customer experience needs to move to the front burner.  According to a Forrester study, by 2020 customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator.

Employ These Four Best Practices to Achieve Customer Experience Excellence

Customer experience is an opportunity to increase your competitive advantage. Marketers serving as value creators for their organization understand that there is a direct connection between customer experience and market leadership. In their pursuit of achieve customer experience excellence, they employ these four best practices:

  1. Connect customer experience and associated metrics to business outcomes
  2. Map key customer touchpoints and identify potential breakpoints
  3. Capture perception and expectation data for each interaction point
  4. Develop systems, tools, processes, skills and content to deliver a differentiated experience

The first two, Connecting Customer Experience and Business Outcomes and Mapping Touchpoints and Breakpoints provide the starting point. Why? Because you can’t achieve business outcome goals such as market share, category ownership, and customer lifetime value, without addressing customer experience. Repeat purchase, advocacy/referrals, faster adoption rates for new products/services, brand preference, and increased footprint/share of wallet among customers are also dependent on offering and providing a great experience.

Best-in-Class Marketing organizations understand that impacting and contributing to these business outcomes is affected as much by what happens “after the sale” as what happens “before the sale”. They think beyond the buying process and customer acquisition working from specific quantifiable targets for outcomes and create measurable marketing objectives associated with customer retention and growth. This means they match touch points to each and every point along the customer journey, from awareness to discovery, from contact to each buying interaction, from consumption to usage, and from cultivation and advocacy to community.

Take A Customer-Centric View

Make mapping the customer journey, identifying all the interaction touch points (and therefore the potential breakpoints), and assessing expectations versus perception your plan to tackle and accomplish sooner than later. We can help. 

For marketers to achieve business outcomes and own objectives and metrics you need to take a customer-centric view of the entire experience. It will take work and you will want to validate the map with customers; the good news is that this provides you with a great opportunity to interact with your customer advisory board.

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