What is CX?

What is Customer Experience?

When a customer engages with a business in any way, through a product usage, a query, an information search on the website, a survey request, an mobile app, attendance a sponsored event, reading an article in the press – these can all be classed as experiences a consumer or customer has with a brand. Everyone will impact how that customer feels, some more so than others. How a business manages the customer’s experience will be one of the most influential factors over the customer’s commitment to that brand.

Customer experience is the discipline that ensures those touch points are recognised and the experience delivered in a way which works for the customer against their expectations and emphasises the distinction of the brand against its competitors in order to increase the profitability of the business.

Where did CX come from?

For a number of years, marketing, sales, product, service, brand and technology have all been jostling for top spot as the biggest contributor to the business performance. The true indicator as to whether a business is successful or not has been until recently potentially overlooked; THE CUSTOMER. The business needs customers to function and be successful.

Customer Experience is rethinking how a business can offer their product or service in such a way that it impresses its customers and encourages them to use / buy from them more regularly, create brand loyalty and contribute more of their discretionary spend to that brand making the business more profitable. A positive Customer Experience is where all points of contact (Touchpoints) are positive and either meet or exceed the customers expectations. Of course sales, marketing, customer service etc. all contribute to that end, but a customer doesn’t look for a ‘slick sales process’ or want to be ‘marketed to well’ or even have a ‘customer service’. From a Customer’s perspective, they choose a brand because they understand the product/service they provide will fulfil a requirement in their lives and the experience they go through in choosing and using it should meet their expectations to a quality and standard that promotes loyalty to the brand with its customers and encourages them to  recommend it to others.

So, who owns the customer?

That is what a focus on customer experience ensures is delivered. In most business the customer is not owned. Compliance owns the risk, customer service own the conversations, finance only the profitability, marketing own the reputation and sales own the revenues. But no one takes ownership of the customer. If any of these do state a claim, few of them look at the customer objectively so they are unlikely to see beyond their own performance targets what is right for a customer. Customer Experience provides this missing ingredient.

When it’s structured correctly, customer experience can demonstrate where business performance is impacted. And once you can demonstrate the connection between a customer’s experiences and the impact on the profit of the business, everyone from the CEO down can see the benefit of the business becoming more customer centric.

Organisations are beginning to move fast to set up new ‘Customer Experience’ or ‘Customer Engagement’ functions. The key questions they should pose at this stage are:

Which commercial drivers can customer experience influence?

What will customer experience deliver to achieve this?

Which skill sets are required to achieve this?

Customer Experience programmes focused on customer satisfaction or loyalty will not last. But, if the business embeds a philosophy built on a “get it right for customers, and we get it right for the business” principle or similar it will.

All areas of the business are impacted and will benefit from the customer experience activities; performance measures improve, loyalty increases, brand saliency scores rise, complaints drop, cost to serve reduce etc.

A well-structured and brilliantly executed customer experience, managed by a team with the right skills (and customer experience) can help a business become focused on the most important and only constant of all factors; the customer. For a glossary of CX terms - please check out the Glossary page where you can download a copy.

Customer Experience is here to stay and business are looking to equip themselves with the right approach and the right people to achieve success. If you have any questions about who the right people should be or how to find them, then please contact CX Talent Ltd dedicated to helping recruiters and candidates progress their Customer Experience opportunities.

Email: jovr@cxtalent.co.uk or kateb@cxtalent.co.uk or call 01279 550102.

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