Customer Experience, (abbreviated CX), refers to the overall perception and interaction that customers have with a company or brand throughout their entire journey. It encompasses every touch-point and interaction a customer has with a business, from discovery, before they buy, selecting your product or service, and post-purchase experiences.
CX focuses on understanding and improving the customer’s satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy by providing a seamless and positive experience at every stage. It involves various elements such as the ease of navigation on a website or app, product or service quality, responsiveness to customer needs, and overall customer support.
Companies strive to deliver exceptional customer experiences because they understand the impact it has on customer loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. A positive experience can lead to increased retention, higher customer lifetime value, and improved brand reputation.
To enhance the experience, businesses often employ strategies that include personalization, anticipating needs, optimizing touchpoints, gathering and analyzing feedback, and continuously improving processes based on customer insights and interactions.
In today’s digital age, this experience has become increasingly important as customers have more choices and higher expectations. With the dominance that ratings and online reviews can have in the decision making process, a single negative experience can quickly spread and have a significant impact on a company’s reputation. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in—many place significant emphasis on providing excellent customer experiences to differentiate themselves from competitors and foster long-lasting relationships.
This excerpt from McKinsey & Company is a great summary of what CX is. McKinsey is a highly respected, global management consulting firm.
Basically, CX refers to everything an organization does to deliver superior experiences, value, and growth for customers. And it’s crucial in an age when how a business delivers for its customers is just as important as—if not more important than—the products and services it provides. In a digital world, where customers review and share their experiences with a company in public forums, it has become vital for companies to connect with customers across their journeys at an emotional level.
Not only is customer experience the right thing to do for customers but it also results in 3x returns to shareholders.
See their article, “What is CX“, for a deep dive.
Why CX matters for you, your company, and your clients
People do business with people. What you provide is very important. How you provide it is what retains clients.
Defining CX is the first step to understanding why it’s important to you and your clients, if, your intent is to put the customer first. Customer Experience is critical to both companies and their clients for several reasons:
Customer Loyalty and Retention
A positive customer experience fosters loyalty and encourages customers to stay with a company for the long term. Satisfied customers are more likely to continue doing business with a company, leading to higher customer retention rates. This reduces customer churn and increases the lifetime value of customers, contributing to sustainable business growth.
In today’s competitive marketplace, where products and services can be easily replicated, CX has emerged as a key differentiator. Providing exceptional customer experiences helps companies stand out from competitors and creates a competitive advantage. Customers are more likely to choose a company that consistently delivers excellent experiences over its rivals, even if the products or services are similar.
Reputation, Referrals, and Positive Word-of-Mouth
Happy customers become brand advocates and spread positive word-of-mouth recommendations. They share their positive experiences with friends, family, and online communities, which can significantly impact a company’s reputation. Positive reviews and recommendations can attract new customers, expand the customer base, and enhance the brand’s credibility.
Satisfied customers are more likely to be happy with their purchases, leading to increased customer satisfaction. When customers have a positive experience, it strengthens their relationship with the company, builds trust, and instills confidence in future interactions.
Delivering exceptional CX can have a direct impact on a company’s financial performance. Satisfied customers are more inclined to make repeat purchases, spend more, and even be willing to pay premium prices for products or services. By focusing on CX, companies can drive revenue growth through increased customer acquisition, retention, and up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.
Customer Insights and Continuous Improvement
CX initiatives provide valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and expectations. By actively listening to customers and gathering feedback, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their target audience and make data-driven decisions to improve products, services, and processes. Continuous improvement based on customer insights helps companies stay aligned with customer needs and preferences.
Case in Point:
Have you ever stayed at the Ritz Carlton?
We got to attend a brilliant workshop, led by a mentor from another life, Aaron Kwittken, who happens to run and have built several amazing PR agencies. Founder and CEO of PRophet, Aaron, hosted our partner firms, teaching our tech startups how to communicate with writers to get our stories published.
While our sessions were brilliant, and included a reporter from Fast Company, I bring up this story because of the amazing experience we had, staying at this hotel in Sarasota.
It’s not the gorgeous beaches, immaculate venue, or even the career-making content that I speak of. The people at the Ritz made everyone feel like we were royalty. Our takeaway was that the staff were so nice—they made our stay special. I’d never experienced anything like it and in college I worked in the hospitality industry.
It had never dawned on me, the importance, and the impact that stellar service can have on another human being. Since then, I strive to be that good, not only in the quality of our work, or the effectiveness of what we do, but in how I treat clients.
In today’s world, where people skills seem to be the last thing on our minds, I know, that if I give a memorable experience in our service, good things will come of it.
Visit Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, if you ever get the chance.
Wrap it up, Eric
To bring it home, prioritizing CX, benefits both companies and their clients by fostering customer loyalty, differentiating from competitors, generating positive word-of-mouth, increasing customer satisfaction, driving revenue growth, and enabling continuous improvement.
To grow your business, you have to retain clients, while adding more. By focusing on delivering exceptional experiences, companies can build strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers and create a sustainable foundation for success.
I’d love to hear your take on this and please, let me know if we can be a resource.