"Customer experience" is a relatively new term and there's some confusion as to exactly what it is. Sometimes, businesses think its the same as "customer service" or branding - wrong!
"Customer experience" encompasses everything. It's any interaction between the business and the customer for the duration of the relationship. You can assume customers are paying attention all the time, not just when they’re waiting on the phone for customer service, exchanging emails with your sales team or reading your blog posts.
There’s no singular department in your company that’s in charge of customer experience. It’s the responsibility of everyone in your company, even the teams that don’t have direct contact with your customers and clients.
This means that the small details that you don’t think are a “big deal” could be negatively impacting your customer experience. Here are the places where you want to make sure your customer experience holds up to what you’re creating.
MISTAKES AND BAD DESIGN
Customers are generally willing to forgive a few errors here and there, especially if your online presence is so enjoyable that they want to spend more time on your site.
Too many errors, however, can erase those good feelings pretty quickly. Combine the spelling and grammatical errors with other problems, and your customer experience could take a big hit.
The same goes for what your account dashboard looks and feels like. Customers who are accustomed to logging in to an account and spending a lot of time in there can’t be distracted by a button that says ‘Save canges’.
This is the reason why you can’t ignore how your web pages, blog posts and emails look and feel. As marketers, we understand the importance of having communications that are easy to read on any device.
But the same care that we apply to the pages we control needs to be applied to the pages and content that are controled by the dev team.
Consistency across your teams is essential to your customer experience. If a potential lead talks to a sales rep at a trade show, they should get the same answers if they call your customer service department, or reach out to the sales team a week later.
This means more than making sure everyone in the company says the same thing to potential leads and current customers. It also means everyone in your company has to want the same thing for those customers.
Let’s say you have a lead who absolutely loves your blog posts and whitepapers. The content your company’s marketing creates truly helps them and they’ve moved through your funnel with enthusiasm.
But they get to having conversations with your sales team and something feels different. They don’t feel like they’re actually being heard and even though they’re not really sure if your company offers the solution they need, your sales team keeps pushing.
Now that they’ve interacted with another part of your company, their experience is different, and not necessarily in a good way. You could argue that they’re technically not a customer yet, and so this isn’t a customer experience. But if one lead has this series of encounters, you can assume it’s an experience your paid customers are familiar with.
USING ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL TACTICS
There are other places where muddled or mixed messages can impact how customers feel about your company, like with your emails.
Sending the same message to all of your customers and clients is another area where it’s easy to manage the customer experience. Here’s where segmentation can help you create and cultivate great emails and landing pages that really speak to your leads.
Personalization is another key to buidling your customer experience. If your potential customers don’t feel like you know or care about who they are, it will be much harder to turn them into actual customers.
One-size-fits-all tactics can be just as bad as targeting the wrong buyer persona at the wrong time with the wrong offer. Unknown leads might be okay with a blog post that is really a long landing page for a downloadable white paper or PDF, but your leads further down in the funnel.
While you and the rest of the marketing team might be good at this already, your sales and success teams need to know who your buyer personas are and what level of service they expect.
Anything can impact a customer experience: a partnership with a company that holds controversial political opinions, a distasteful tweet sent out by someone on your design team, or a bad call with your customer support team. Any of these can impact your customers differently. You have to make sure you have completely visibility on every client-facing aspect of your business.