How to create a good customer experience thumbnail image Published on 23rd July 2021 by Gemma Harding

A report from Microsoft claimed that as much as 96 per cent of consumers would class a customer experience as an important factor in choosing whether or not to stay loyal to a brand. With the help of modern technology, customers can now interact with a business in a multitude of ways, spanning from social media to live chat, email communications to phone calls. Many of these processes don’t even require the customer to speak directly to another human, and while physical high street shops still exist, all of these features play a part in the customer experience.


However, as there are so many ways of communicating with customers, it’s important that businesses approach it in an effective manner. As cloud technology experts SuperOffice point out, 86 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more based on a positive customer experience. But what exactly is a customer experience and how can businesses ensure that they’re offering a positive one?


What is a customer experience?

A customer experience is the reaction and impression a customer has throughout every stage of an interaction with a business. In any customer experience, the two primary factors are people and products. The people factor is based on the effectiveness and approach of customer services or a sales assistant, for example. The product factor, however, is based on the quality and appearance of the product or service as well as how impactful it could be to solve a problem or fulfil a purpose.


Depending on the nature of the business, customer experiences can vary greatly.. For instance, with an e-commerce business, the customer’s experience would be based on their journey typically starting on a  business’ website and any communications they’ve had with the business through email, live chat or social media. In a traditional bricks and mortar setting, however, a customer experience could be far broader and may include what the customer sees, hears and smells in a physical shop, as well as standard factors such as how they were treated by staff and how seamless the purchasing process was.


What is a positive customer experience?

When a customer experience is effective and leaves the customer satisfied, it is known as a positive customer experience. Although a positive customer experience is a general feeling a customer will feel after being engaged properly by a business, it is often made up of a number of characteristics including when a business exceeds a customer’s expectations, pleasantly surprises them and leaves a strong impression on the customer. A negative customer experience, however, could completely tarnish a customer’s perception of a business, with engagement expert Ruby Newell-Legner claiming that it could take as many as 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one.


What is a customer experience strategy?

For any business, leaving customers with a positive experience will likely mean creating loyalty and generating more business in the future, either through the same customer or the people they speak to. However, creating a positive customer experience takes planning. A customer experience strategy is the planning behind delivering a positive experience to customers by analysing and implementing effective actions in every stage of a customer’s interaction with a business. And as computer technology company Oracle claim that 84 per cent of companies have increased revenue since actively improving their customer experience strategy, it’s clearly an opportunity worth exploring.


How to create a customer experience management strategy

Creating a customer experience strategy could mean making a stronger connection with the target audience, growing it and generating loyalty. As such, it’s important that a customer experience strategy is thoroughly formulated.


Tips for creating a customer experience strategy include:

  • Developing a persona of what the average customer looks like
  • Forming an understanding of the average customer’s wants and needs
  • Mapping out the customer journey, whether online or in-store, and enhancing any areas that could deter them from completing a sale
  • Breaking down each step of the customer journey and considering ways to improve it
  • Identifying goals and aims from the customer journey
  • Utilising data to understand what current or previous customers think and feel about the product, service or company

Once every area of the customer experience strategy has been covered, you should continually measure the performance of the strategy. You can do this by using data to compare activity before and after the strategy was introduced and, if you see any opportunities for development or improvement, you can implement them and continue to gauge the potential impact it’s having.