Every couple of years a hot, new business trend pops up and we all jump to embrace it. Marketers are all talking about how customer experience is next the solution to a slew of problems. Embrace customer experience and all will be right with the world. Build your customer experience team. Increase your customer experience capacity. Use the Force. Join the Rebel Alliance!
You get the picture.
It doesn't help that Hubspot declared 2017 as the year of customer experience.
Great, but, what does customer experience even mean?
Customer experience defined
In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts: the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with, and the environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience. A good customer experience means that the individual's experience during all points of contact matches the individual's expectations. Gartner asserts the importance of managing the customer's experience.
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Here's my take on CX.
Customer experience is the Golden Rule of marketing
Customer relationships are a continuum, not single, separate actions. Customers establish a relationship with you before, during, and after they buy something. Customer experience is understanding that how people feel during the entire buying process matters.
- If someone can't find the product they are looking for on your website because they are using a smartphone...
- If someone has a question and your representatives can't answer their questions...
- If your checkout process has too many extra steps...
- If after the purchase a customer calls for support and the agent is unhelpful or rude...
All these "ifs" are bad customer experiences. Any of them could derail a purchase. Any of them could lead to someone not recommending you to a friend.
Think about all the times you've said "I'm never shopping there again." or "I won't buy that brand again." What motivated that decision? What could have changed it?
That is the essence of customer experience.
Customer experience is the Golden Rule of marketing—sell unto others as you'd wish to be sold to. If you wouldn't want to be treated that way, why treat customers like that?
It's that simple.
Now your job is to work on your own company's customer experience.
And that is a post for another day.