“The Customer is the King“, said John Wanamaker, an American merchant and marketing pioneer, who lived between the 1800s and 1900s. This slogan has been a mantra for decades, but especially in recent times it has become an integral part of every business: all strategies, organization, processes and assistance now revolve around the customer.
The Customer eXperience (or CX) has thus become synonymous with success (or failure) for a company.
But what is the customer experience specifically?
What is customer experience?
We can define customer experience as the overall interaction/relationship between the customer and a company. It is the sum of all the phases of the purchasing process, from an initial need to its transformation into a final sale through to customer loyalty.
The CX is more than set of actions, it also concerns the emotions experienced by customers throughout the purchase process. In fact, if well-structured, it allows you to offer the customer a real experience within the company, built on their needs and requirements.
The customer experience is made up of two fundamental elements:
- the Customer Journey, that is the entire customer path in the relationship with a brand. It is a journey that begins when the customer searches for goods or a service to satisfy their need and ends with the purchase;
- the Touchpoints, or rather the various points of contact between customer and brand, every little moment to be taken care of because it could potentially influence the customer’s perception of the company.
On one side, designing and creating a good customer experience certainly has a cost for the company but it is also an investment (economic, also including the human resources involved); on the other side, over time the economic benefits will certainly outweigh the initial costs.
If well-structured, the CX will not be limited to purchasing as the entire journey but it could lead to improvements in several ways. For example, it can improve the perception and evaluation that users have towards the company. A satisfied customer will return to choose that particular brand again in the future. In this way customer retention, or loyalty, leads the user to establish a relationship of trust with the brand and reduces the churn rate, feeding word of mouth and making the customer a promoter of the brand itself.
The importance of the customer experience
The customer experience is not a new concept, but over the last few years it has changed and gained importance. For example, previously the goal was exclusively to conclude a sale. Now the priority is to monitor customer satisfaction after the purchase in order to try to improve the customer experience more and more.
The quality of the customer experience offered is therefore becoming one of the main indicators of success for companies. In fact, according to a Salesforce research, for 84% of customers the experience offered by a company is as important as the products and the services (which shows an 80% increase compared to last year). Furthermore, in addition to declaring that positive experiences raise expectations towards other companies (73%), even 66% of customers would be willing to pay more for a tailor-made and customer-friendly experience.
The customer experience helps people decide between the various purchasing options available. Among the most important elements indicated by consumers for a positive customer experience, there are speed, convenience, a competent and friendly service.
The customer experience between digitalization and AI
The digitalization with the web and the mobile devices, and mainly after the significant digital push imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, has turned consumer behavior upside-down. So companies had to change their marketing strategies to meet the needs of a consumer who is no longer the same.
The customer journey has become unpredictable because there are so many factors and variables that can affect the buyer’s final choice. Today, modern consumers know almost everything about a product, from prices and features to the main ways of using it. From a linear path we have passed to a twisted and hardly predictable path.
But despite the great interest in the customer experience, according to Forrester only one in five customers is fully satisfied with the experiences offered by the brands they interact with.
The pandemic has accelerated our use of technology, and right the latter can be the solution to reinvent the customer experience. In particular, the automation of business processes it can prove to be a very useful tool for answering a variable question as efficiently as possible. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI), in fact, empathic and valuable experiences can be created in order to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Personalization is the key
Marketing expert Seth Godin says that “personalization is an opportunity to offer people exactly what they want and, more importantly, what they need”. In fact, most customers today expect a customer-centric experience from companies, that they understand their personal needs and expectations. Personalization is therefore a very current issue and is becoming a priority for companies.
Thanks to the support of Artificial Intelligence, the customer experience can be adapted and tailor-made: products and services relevant to the needs of individuals can be offered, interest in the individual customer can be shown or even to know the history of the interaction.
In this way, the customer will feel appreciated and important and all of this results into a strong loyalty, with many advantages for companies such as, for example, the growth of purchases, the reduction of customer management costs and the increase of probability for related purchases.
Do you already know that with AI it is possible to improve the customer experience?
Thanks to the Klondike algorithms you can eliminate manual and repetitive tasks, save time and offer your customers a better experience.
Contact us to find out how.