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What is customer experience and what does it take to create strong, lasting customer relationships?
A company’s customer experience, or CX, is the sum of all the interactions they have with their customers over time. This includes interactions with their websites, apps, social media handles—even the news articles where they’re referenced.
Too often, the customer experience is not a defined strategy, but an accidental result of a company’s culture, process or technology. This leaves customers with interactions that feel meaningless, inconsistent or frustrating, like having to recite the same story to a customer service agent multiple times, or being rushed through an on-boarding process without getting important questions answered. Interactions like these leave customers questioning a company’s commitment to their relationship and send them looking for alternatives.
As competition increases and customer empowerment continues to grow, CX may be the only way to help your business stand out.
frog Strategy Director, CX Co-Lead Geoffrey Schwartz and Executive Creative Director Anthony Pannozzo talk about the importance of loyalty in creating a quality customer experience.
Making Memories Builds Trust
A great customer experience, like a great relationship, is based on trust and meaningful, consistent interactions. Memorable moments created by the company, and the willingness to commit to developing that relationship are what builds trust. Just like a great personal relationship, a great customer experience requires a company to truly empathize with and get to know their customers, as well as be just as committed to serving their needs as they are their own. After all, how can you build a relationship with someone you barely know?
There is a relationship framework we use at frog to help define and evaluate great CX. It’s based on three factors: breadth, depth and consistency. First off, a great CX has breadth, which involves many interactions across the end-to-end customer journey. Secondly, it has depth, which is the quality and meaning behind those interactions. Thirdly is consistency, the cohesive feeling and promise driving each interaction. Take Apple, for example. Their breadth includes a myriad of products and services; there is a meaningful level of depth to the quality and experience associated with each, leading to an experience that is consistently Apple.
Overcoming Internal Hurdles to Deliver
Great CX requires a vision that understands customers and their rising demands. Personalized products and services, same day shipping options and hassle-free customer service interactions are no longer simply delightful, they’re expected. A company can create a great CX strategy, but still be unable to make it actionable across the organization. Making it real requires clearly laid out organizational plans that will be necessary to consistently meet those expectations.
Companies who continue to operate in silos, focus on only one part of the customer journey (and fail to consider the entire experience), or let company culture get in the way of customer value, will eventually see a negative impact to their market share.
While it may seem complex, at its core customer experience is really about relationships. The more cohesive and meaningful a company’s customer experience is, the more likely that customers will stick with that brand and build a trusting, long-term relationship. Today, to create and keep customers, companies need to not only understand their customer experience, but proactively design and manage it.
Learn more about Customer Experience Design at frog.