Customer Experience Guide 2020

Get an overview or deep dive into sub-topics that affect your customer experience.

Resources overview
Introduction

Everyone talks about improving the customer experience - are you?

Today’s marketplace, both online and offline, and in all industries, has grown exceptionally competitive. Consumer expectations have also undergone a rapid reshaping — no longer does having the best product at the best price guarantee sales and customer loyalty. Rather, it’s providing a positive and memorable customer experience that ensures the success of a brand.

Organizations and businesses have had to alter their marketing strategies to better fulfill the current climate of consumer needs and wants, focusing firsthand on CX and how best to deliver it.

So what exactly is the customer experience? Is it all just marketing hype?

The simple answer to the second question is a strong “no.” The answer to the first question is not so simple. Sure, you can easily ascertain that a customer experience is comprised of the emotions, encounters, and occurrences that a customer will experience when dealing with a particular brand.

But that explanation doesn’t fully enable you to grasp the importance of the customer experience, and how a single negative or positive experience can dramatically impact your capability to achieve your goals.

customers purchasing behavior

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.
Source: HubSpot

Two important and eye-opening points about CX

Consider these two important and eye-opening points about the customer experience:

Now, the importance of providing a good customer experience becomes clearer. And as business owner or manager, or the marketer responsible for the success of a brand, it is up to you to ensure that a customer or client has a good customer experience from the very first point of the customer journey to the very last, or you risk losing their business forever.

But maintaining your customer base isn’t the only positive that comes from providing good CX. Consider these additional benefits garnered by a brand that focuses on a CX-driven marketing strategy.

Benefits of Providing Good CX

Nearly 70% of marketers tailor their marketing strategies to be CX-focused. The main reason is simply that satisfied customers remain loyal customers. But delivering positive customer experiences results in much more than the ability to maintain your customer base. These additional benefits of good CX make the endeavor extremely worthwhile.

1
Use Positive Reviews as Free Marketing

An American Express study reveals that American consumers post more positive reviews (53%) than negative ones (35%) on social media and review platforms. Consumer reviews play an exceptionally large role in purchase decisions, so obviously, the more positive reviews the better.

2
Improvements in Brand Recognition and Brand Loyalty

A positive experience serves to improve brand recognition and brand loyalty much more than simple good prices. On the flipside, a brand that offers great prices on products but has horrible customer service will likely be recognized more for the negative than the positive.

3
Differentiate Your Brand From Competitors

As mentioned above, price is no longer the most important factor, especially in such a competitive market. What matters more is how you treat your customers and showing them that you value their business. Great CX can truly propel you toward success and enable you to maintain a strong edge over your competitors.

4
Increase Your ROI

Delivering great customer experiences will result in a massive increase to your ROI. Simply making sure your customers are as happy as can be may be all that is needed when devising your marketing plan. Focus on customer service and fulfilling the wants and needs of your target market, and you’ll create a team of consumer advocates that will assuredly grant you a strong ROI.

Read the in-depth article: "Why is customer experience (CX) important to a  business?"

CX Trends and Statistics You Should Know

Like many other marketing strategies, customer experience trends have also shifted from one year to the next as consumer needs and wants have also changed and evolved. Keeping up with the latest CX trends is a critical component to ensuring continued success and garnering a larger share of the target market.

Some of the most popular and growing customer experience trends marketers are seeing and utilizing this year include: 

Like many other marketing strategies, customer experience trends have also shifted from one year to the next as consumer needs and wants have also changed and evolved. Keeping up with the latest CX trends is a critical component to ensuring continued success and garnering a larger share of the target market.

Some of the most popular and growing customer experience trends marketers are seeing and utilizing this year include: 

The Omnichannel Customer Experience

An omnichannel customer experience supports interaction with a brand via multiple channels at the same time, such as text, email, social media platforms, messaging, and others. This enables a consumer to choose the channel of their choosing, at any point along the customer journey, to communicate with a brand without a break or loss of quality of service.

Advanced AI in Customer Service

Chatbots in 2020 have grown more sophisticated and are capable of delivering excellent customer support and guidance. Along with chatbots, virtual assistants also serve to provide an interactive voice with customers seeking help. Adding a chatbot or virtual assistant support to your website enables you to provide improved customer service in real-time.

The Mobile-First Approach

Since many parts of the customer’s journey are actually completed on mobile devices, many marketers have adopted a mobile-first approach, placing their focus on aligning your website, customer support platform, product videos, and other parts of your marketing mix to offer a seamless delivery on mobile devices.

VR and AR

Using VR and AR, marketers can create an immersive experience that allows consumers to better visualize how products will look, allowing for both a more exciting and influential part of the buyer journey.

Interactive Sales Tools

Interactive sales tools serve to better convert potential customers into loyal customers and are particularly effective near the end of the sales funnel 

Additional important and growing trends you should be aware of include:

  • Personalized Experiences
  • Data Security
  • Communication Skills
  • Instant Gratification
  • A CX-Centric Approach
  • Measuring Customer Experience
  • Proactive Service Strategies

When applying any of these CX strategies, consider some of the following statistics to aid you in developing your marketing strategy:

  • Companies that are CX-focused drive revenue 4-8% higher.
  • 73% of companies that deliver an above-average customer experience report better profits than their competitors.
  • 96% of customers say customer service is important when choosing which brand to remain loyal to.
  • Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.
  • 68% of customers say the service representative is key to a positive service experience.
  • Companies that utilize customer journey maps as part of their marketing strategy reduce their cost of service by 15-20%.

Read the in-depth article: "12 customer experience trends for 2020 that you  need to consider"

Customer Experience Examples

The following customer experience examples will give you a better idea of how the customer journey has changed over the years and how increased use of mobile and digital devices has played a large role in shaping trending CX strategies. Use the examples as a guideline for creating your own CX strategies or take a deep dive into our article: "3 customer experience examples that improve product interaction".

Example 1:
Place your products in a virtual space

If your company sells outdoor furniture, your best course of action would be to focus on the experiences surrounding the furniture. Rather than putting all your marketing efforts into pricing, features and benefits, you can use 3D visualization to provide customers with a more immersive experience that enables customers to visualize the furniture in completely different surroundings and locations. This is the best way to provide your customers with an idea of what life with your furniture will be like.

Here are a few examples of how BoConcept is placing their exclusive furniture in an exclusive environment that might not be available to them were it not for 3D visualization solutions.

Example 2: Use AR

Your business sells flooring and carpeting. Why be like so many other companies in the industry and hand out small samples that don’t really give the customer an idea of how the carpeting will look in their living room. Instead, you can use augmented reality (AR) to show your customers what the floor will look like in their own homes. And because they can view these images directly from their smartphone or tablet, you will have provided them with a personalized, online shopping experience that brings your product into a relevant context. 

Your business sells flooring and carpeting. Why be like so many other companies in the industry and hand out small samples that don’t really give the customer an idea of how the carpeting will look in their living room. Instead, you can use augmented reality (AR) to show your customers what the floor will look like in their own homes. And because they can view these images directly from their smartphone or tablet, you will have provided them with a personalized, online shopping experience that brings your product into a relevant context. 

Example 3: Using VR in your CX

Your company designs and sells kitchens. You've already provided your customers with an engaging online experience through several points along the buyer journey, but now the buyer is deciding to visit your showroom. You know face the very important job of ensuring the consumer experience remains positive. You can do this by activating their senses and inviting them to interact with their soon-to-be new kitchen. Virtual reality (VR) is what makes this happen. Simply provide your customer with a pair of VR glasses and with a little bit of 3D magic, your customers can walk around in their new kitchen before it even exists. They can even listen to the sounds of opening and closing cabinets and feel the texture of the countertop.

The above examples are just a few ideas of how you can really expand upon the customer experience and create an engaging, intriguing, and truly memorable interaction.

Tips for Delivering a Positive Customer Experience

In order to deliver memorable and positive CX, it is important to remember that every step of the customer journey is a point that your brand can and will be judged on the experience provided. So the customer journey must be specially tailored to your audience. Follow these tips and tactics and you’ll be in a much stronger competitive position to successfully grow your share of the target market.

 

Ideas for improving your customer experience

  1. Know your audience

    Collecting data on your customers and subsequently analyzing that data to determine their needs and wants is an important step to better knowing how to market to your target audience. With enough information, you can develop buyer personas, enabling you to fine-tune your marketing efforts.

  2. Understand the Buyer Journey

    The buyer's journey, from start to finish, is your chance to impress the customer, make them aware that they have a need, and showcase how your products or services will fulfill that need. By knowing your audience you can better craft a buyer journey that delivers a more personalized experience, touches on buyer pain points, improves awareness of your brand, and provides valuable information.

    This is a process that requires lots of planning and a good amount of content. The more informative, engaging, and interesting your content is, the more you will provide good CX and improve your chances of converting new leads.

  3. Build customer relationships

    Whether you do so online on social media platforms or via sales representatives on the showroom floor, interaction with the consumer is key.

  4. Use the technology at your disposal

    High-quality images, professional video, intuitive sales tools, 3D animations, and even VR and augmented reality experiences can improve brand recognition and differentiate your brand from your competitors.

  5. Analyze and adjust

    Just like any marketing strategy, the CX must also be tested, analyzed, and adjusted according to new data and changing consumer behavior. You can gain valuable insight into how well your CX strategy is working by performing a customer experience audit from multiple internal perspectives. A thorough audit is best left performed by experienced professionals who will be able to efficiently measure the value and effect of the customer experience at every point along the buyer journey.

 

Read the in-depth article: "Tips on how to improve the customer experience"

Developing Your Customer Experience Strategy

Your CX strategy will take time to develop — it must ensure that every interaction a customer has with a brand is focused on providing great CX. To aid you in designing and implementing your strategy, follow these guidelines.

Understand Your Customer

As mentioned earlier, knowing your customer and understating their pain points, wants, and needs is the first and most important step.

Stay Focused

Keep your ultimate goal in mind, and figure out what it is that the customer wants to see and how they will respond in a manner that will help you achieve that goal. Don’t get lost in trying to throw too many things into the mix.

Listen to Your Customer

Customers will leave plenty of feedback for you to review and learn from. Both positive and negative reviews can offer great insight into what is working for you and what isn’t, and what needs to be improved.

Make Things Easier

Make it as easy as possible for the customer to find information, make a purchase, or speak to a customer service representative. More than 50% of consumers state that a single bad experience will cause them to do business with another brand.

Improve Customer Support

One bad experience with customer support could cause you to potentially lose more than a single customer when that individual shares their experience with others. But a customer that is satisfied with their customer support experience is also more likely to tell others how they were treated and valued, subsequently increasing brand loyalty.

Use Technology

From interactive sales tools to AR and VR, high-quality video, 3D images and experience, and advanced product configurations that offer more features and benefits, there simply is no reason not to take advantage of digital transformation tools.

Give Your Customers the Freedom to Choose

Flexibility, such as a choice of payment options and pricing plans to omnichannel support to how a customer views your content is an important aspect of good CX.

Make it Seamless

Keep your brand story consistent throughout the buyer journey and allow the buyer to move seamlessly from one point to the next.

Make it Personal

An experience that feels personal strengthens that bond of trust between your brand and the consumer. Anything from recommendations based on previous purchase histories or personalized messages via email marketing help to foster a personal relationship with the customer appreciates that personal touch and feels more valued.

Make CX Part of the Company Culture

All departments in an organization must be included in the CX mission and they’ll be equally committed to helping you fulfill your goals.

Measure Your Results

Perform an occasional audit of your CX design.

Read the in-depth article: "Customer Experience Strategy: Best Practises and  Guidelines"

Resources

Helpful customer experience resources

We've collected a list of some of the resources out there that we found very useful. If you feel something is missing don't hesitate to reach out to us either on the chat or by email.

List of resources

Marketing Statistics 2020 (HubSpot)

Top video marketing platforms (50wheel)

Video marketing SEO (Search Engine Journal)

The beginner's guide to YouTube marketing (Backlinko)

 

Following are some valuable resources containing additional related information you can use to create great CX. If you feel something is missing don't hesitate to reach out to us either on the chat or by email.

List of resources

50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience

How to Define a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy

How to Create a Buyer Persona

3 Benefits Virtual Reality Can Bring to Your Business in the Coming Years

6 keys to improving your team’s customer service skills

Related content

Additional articles about improving Customer Experience

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Industry specific examples

Go to our industry specific pages where we've collected all the best images, films, and product configuration examples from five different industries: Furniture, Kitchen & Bath, Home Improvement, Industry & Manufacturing, and Prefabricated Houses.

Conclusion

Are you ready to make your digital dreams come true?

Over time, consumer wants and needs will change, competitors will advance their own CX strategy, and new trends will emerge. You must always strive to improve your own CX strategy in order to keep up. Becoming complacent could cause your brand to fall behind others in the industry. Overall, simply make the decision to never stop seeking to provide the best possible service for the customer at every step along the buyer journey, and seek to always meet and exceed their expectations.

Over time, consumer wants and needs will change, competitors will advance their own CX strategy, and new trends will emerge. You must always strive to improve your own CX strategy in order to keep up. Becoming complacent could cause your brand to fall behind others in the industry. Overall, simply make the decision to never stop seeking to provide the best possible service for the customer at every step along the buyer journey, and seek to always meet and exceed their expectations.

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