What do you think when you hear the words customer experience? For some, it may just be another term for customer service or customer engagement. For others, it’s a lot more. In this week’s episode of ColumbusCast, I sit down with my colleagues Steve Lyon (D365 Customer Engagement Sales Specialist) and Jessica Hall (Global Marketing Manager for Customer Experience and Engagement) to break these terms down.
Tune in to hear us discuss the following:
- Customer experience (CX) defined
- How does CX differ from customer service/engagement?
- How can businesses provide great CX?
- And a lot more!
Customer experience defined
CX is the full customer journey, stretching from the very first engagement to the last, the sum of all contact. It can often be interchanged with customer service and engagement. But they actually mean different things, even if the nuances are slight.
Customer experience taps into an emotional connection with the customer that can boost everything from customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and word of mouth referrals. It’s the key to standing out from your competitors by creating that memorable journey. Learn more about why customer experience matters here.
How does CX differ from customer service and engagement?
Customer service and customer engagement are specific areas that help create the bigger pie that is the customer experience.
Customer service is typically seen as the direct interaction to resolving an issue or enquiry. It can be face-to-face in a store, over the phone with a member of your team or via live webchats. Customer service is a reactive approach and doesn’t encompass the beginning of the journey (perhaps a social media post where you discovered the product/service), or the end of the journey (continual engagement such as product/service recommendations post-purchase).
Customer engagement refers to all interactions with your customer across all channels. This includes social channels, emails, advertisements etc. It’s a proactive approach as you’re engaging with the customer when they aren’t actively browsing or purchasing from your business.
How can businesses provide great CX?
Nowadays, customers expect to access information 24/7. As Steve says in the podcast, customers want to “get what they need or want with the least amount of fuss or waste.” This creates a new challenge that can be overcome with digital advancements.
Thanks to constantly evolving technologies there are now many new ways to improve personalisation. Many digital platforms are available that will enhance your customer's journey from product visualisation, tailored product recommendations and 360-degree views of customer preferences.
These include the following:
- Augmented and virtual reality
- Artificial intelligence
- Integrated systems
Want to learn more about personalisation? Click here to find out more.
Using data through the digital systems now available, it’s important to be analysing the data and using it to recognise customer trends. This way, you can target them with relevant information which they’re more likely to engage with.
- Recommended products based on purchase history
- Tailored search results based on previous interactions on your website
Use of channels
Customers expect to be able to access different channels of communication and receive the information they want quickly. It’s important the message is consistent across all channels and the information provided is detailed and relevant to the customer journey.
Providing integration across all front and back office systems is vital. This ensures consistency and allows the salespeople to always stay up to date with the customer's journey, whether it be pre or post-sale.
Here's where to find out more
Want to hear more about the customer experience and what should mean to your business? Scroll up to the top of this post or search for ‘ColumbusCast’ in your podcast app. You can then listen to the full episode and hear more insights, including:
- Is improving customer experience all about generating new business?
- How can we measure success in customer experience?
- Why should businesses focus on the customer experience?
Improving the customer experience first-hand
Keeping up with rapid advancements in technology and changes in customer expectations can be challenging. How are other businesses adapting?
Download our ultimate guide to customer service and experience to find out more.