How to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy?

In 1997, Starbucks introduced a great customer experience strategy that transformed the way people enjoyed their coffee. Every aspect of the Starbucks experience, from the store ambiance to the personalized beverage orders, led to a unique and welcoming atmosphere for customers. Despite the evolving coffee and retail landscape over the past 26 years, one thing remains constant that is their priority of providing an exceptional customer experience. While the strategies for Starbucks' success may be well-kept but the aim of delivering a remarkable customer experience is universal and attainable.Customer demands are on the rise at a pace that often outpaces a company's ability to enhance its customer experience. Nowadays, customers anticipate that each and every interaction will surpass their best experiences with any other company. It is no longer about just meeting customer expectations but exceeding them at every turn, ensuring they not only stay loyal but also become your brand advocates.In this article, you will learn about what customer experience exactly means, its components and significance. Not just that, you will have your own plan to build a great customer experience strategy.

What is a customer experience strategy?

A customer experience (CX) strategy serves as a comprehensive plan for delivering positive interactions at every point of contact with customers. This makes it crucial in enhancing long-term customer relationships. The customer experience can differ between individuals based on their level of interaction, the specific staff they engage with, and their general expectations within your industry. Yet, there are numerous measures you can take to consistently elevate its quality. This is where the customer experience strategy becomes invaluable.This strategy provides a holistic perspective of the customer experience, containing both online and offline aspects. It explains the customers’ persona, identifies pain points encountered throughout the customer journey, and outlines solutions. In essence, a customer experience strategy represents your company's approach to delivering exceptional customer experiences tailored to your specific circumstances.

Components of a CX strategy

To build your customer experience strategy, start by assessing your existing approach and optimizing each component. However, the key elements of CX strategy include:Evaluate: Before creating a new CX strategy, evaluate your current customer experience processes. Analyze customer support data, metrics, and engage with your support team to identify areas needing improvement. This becomes more important if your benchmark metrics are low like NPS score, CSAT score, CES score, etc.Customer Journey Map: Develop or update your customer journey map to outline all touchpoints where customers interact with your business. Include pain points at each stage to pinpoint areas for improvement and reduce churn rate.Customer Expectations: Understand your customers' expectations by engaging with them. Reliability and a positive attitude should be consistent, but other needs may vary. Connect with your customers to uncover their specific expectations.Customer Success: Focus on problem-solving and enhancing customer service. Anticipate issues and address them before they impact your brand's image, with the assistance of your customer success team.Crisis and Issue Management: It involves having predefined plans and processes to handle customer complaints and unexpected problems. Resolving issues promptly, learning from them, and preventing recurrences demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction.Measurement and Analytics: Monitor KPIs like customer satisfaction and response times to measure the success of your customer experience initiatives. These metrics provide data-driven insights, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and assess the impact of changes to your strategy.Omnichannel Strategy: It ensures a consistent and unified experience for customers, whether they interact with your brand online, offline, or through mobile devices. Customers expect seamless transitions between channels and consistent messaging, which enhances their satisfaction and loyalty.Feedback Loop: Actively gather and act upon customer feedback to fuel brand development and growth. Ensure customer feedback is valued and acted upon promptly, as it can significantly influence customer perception.Now that you understand the components of a customer experience strategy, let's explore how to create a great customer experience strategy.

Steps to build a great customer experience strategy

Business leaders aiming to deliver exceptional customer experiences must take deliberate actions. If you want to create a customer experience strategy or looking to enhance your current approach, here's a clear roadmap to start with:

Develop Your Customer Experience Vision

Begin by formulating your customer experience vision, envisioning how you want to impact the customer journey. For instance, if your website experiences a high bounce rate or abandoned cart rate, consider revamping the website experience. If in-store sales have declined, explore ways to boost traffic by enhancing customer service, incorporating more in-store technology, or streamlining the checkout process.As you plan your strategy, consider creating experiences that:

  • Align with and reinforce your brand identity.
  • Cater to your target audience or customer base.
  • Simplify and smoothen the customer journey.
  • Enhance convenience.
  • Deliver friendly and knowledgeable service.
  • Make the payment process quick and convenient.

Ensure your strategy defines what success looks like for you, setting clear objectives such as increased purchases, higher average transaction values, or longer time spent on the website. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor and gauge your progress.

Establish Your Objectives

Begin by determining your ultimate goals and objectives right from the start. Clearly define what you aim to achieve, making sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). This framework provides a structured approach to goal setting. For instance, a SMART goal for enhancing customer experience could involve increasing the NPS by a full point in the upcoming quarter.

Create Customer Personas

Crafting profiles that embody your perfect customers, drawing upon common traits, obstacles, and aspirations. These personas offer an invaluable external lens through which to view your customer experience strategy, allowing for precision in your initiatives. They serve as navigational beacons along the customer journey, illuminating the desires and needs of your customers.

Know Your Competition

To stand out in the market, it's crucial to understand your competition. Research what other businesses in your industry are doing regarding customer experience strategies. Identify your direct competitors and, if necessary, employ tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner to discover top-ranking competitors for relevant keywords. Spend time exploring the customer experience landscape to gauge where your brand and competitors stand in the market. Examine customer reviews, FAQ pages, and the use of chatbots by competitors. Consider engaging with competitors through mock customer service inquiries to evaluate their responses. This competitive analysis helps identify market gaps.

Map Customer Journeys

Map out journeys customers take when interacting with your brand. By understanding your customers and their experiences, you can anticipate pain points and personalize interactions to enhance their journey. For example, a persona could be a busy parent who prefers quick weeknight meal solutions, and the journey might involve mobile grocery shopping.

Conduct Customer Surveys

Gather feedback from your customers by sending out surveys to understand their sentiments about your brand, products, or services. Craft surveys to inquire about their experiences to address any issues or improvements needed.

Implement Your New or Enhanced Customer Experiences

After identifying the types of experiences that benefit your customers and add value to their journey, begin implementing them. Start with small-scale trials. For example, if you plan to introduce augmented reality in your physical stores, test it in one location to learn and measure customer response.Educate customers about new experiences, especially if they involve self-service tools or technology. Your associates can guide customers on using these innovations. Don't forget to promote your new experiences across your marketing channels to generate excitement among customers before they try them. Establish a data tracking system and leverage Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to monitor customer interactions.

Measure Experiences with Data

Evaluate the impact of your experiences on your business by collecting data from your chosen KPIs and analyzing the results. For instance, if you redesigned your website for a better customer experience and notice a decrease in cart abandonment and an increase in purchases, you've achieved one of your goals. Conversely, if the data doesn't show improvements, it's a sign that further adjustments are needed to meet your objectives.Several metrics can be used to assess the success of your customer experiences, including:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Reflects customer likelihood to recommend your company.
  • Customer retention rate: Measures how well you retain customers over time.
  • Customer churn rate: Indicates the rate at which you lose customers.
  • Customer lifetime value: Calculates the total value of a customer's purchases throughout their relationship with your business.
  • Metrics specific to your experiences: Track relevant metrics influenced by your specific initiatives, such as website visits, bounce rate, time spent on pages, and daily visitors for online experiences.

Continuously Improve

Lastly, always strive to enhance your strategy. Solicit feedback from customers, monitor competitors on social media platforms, and collaborate with your customer service team to identify areas for improvement. Implement actions to make your strategy even more effective, such as integrating chatbots into your digital presence to enhance customer service.By following these steps, you can build a robust digital customer experience strategy that aligns with the practices of successful brands.

Build your customer experience strategy today

In today's competitive market, creating a great customer experience strategy is no longer an option—it's a necessity. By understanding your customers, setting clear objectives, mapping the customer journey, and embracing technology, you can craft a strategy that not only satisfies but delights your customers. Remember that an exceptional customer experience strategy is an ongoing process that requires dedication, adaptability, and a commitment to putting your customers first. By following these steps, you can build a foundation for long-term success and customer loyalty.Do you still need help in building your CX strategy? Use the innovative and customer-experience-centric Survey2Connect platform to investigate your business challenges, analyze and explore viable solutions, and devise groundbreaking strategies. Request a Demo today to kickstart your journey to exceptional customer experience.

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