#Allthefeels with great CX

Nathalie Schooling : CEO nlighten

You’ve heard the term and may even use it loosely yourself. It gets tons of lip service in sales and marketing meetings and it’s all the rage around the company water cooler. CX…. it just sounds sexy, doesn’t it?

But how much do you really know about it? It seems simple, and on one level it absolutely is, but the Customer Experience is a little more complicated than just getting a positive review or a few Likes on a company social media post.

At the core, CX is not about action, but rather about feeling. It’s about the journey that customers go on when interacting with your brand, and involves every single touchpoint, from first seeing your marketing message to buying your product or using your service, to the after-sales assistance. It is fundamentally about how you make your customers feel through every step of this journey.

Does CX really matter?

The aforementioned lip service surrounding CX, while counterintuitive, is somewhat understandable when you consider how little managers know about it and its power to transform a business.  I’m talking real power! Customer experience has a tremendous impact on how your brand is seen. When your business is perceived positively, then you can expect that to be reflected in your sales and growth. Offering great CX doesn’t just provide a temporary sales boost. Instead, it has a direct impact on customer loyalty and retention.

It has long been accepted as a fact that it is much more cost-effective to retain customers than attract new ones. In truth though, CX can do both. Good CX keeps your customers loyal and encourages them to share their positive experiences with others in their circles, which in turn brings you more customers.

Delivering on brand promise 

Delivering on your brand promise is the golden ticket to great CX and making your customers feel good about their purchase. Breaking this promise is where many brands go horribly wrong. What they don’t realise is that breaking a brand promise is akin to the betrayal one feels when they put their trust in a person, only to be let down. Add money into the mix, and it’s extra eina!

So where to start? Staying true to your word (that’s your brand promise if you haven’t already picked that up) starts with two fundamental steps. The first is to ensure that all the company stakeholders (including ALL parts of your supply chain – I can’t emphasise this enough) have a full understanding of your brand promise so that you can work collectively to keep it. The second step involves making things as easy as possible for your customer or client. In essence, every brand claims in some way or another to be the solution to a problem, but when your product or service is not easy to use, this leaves the customer feeling frustrated. There are those ‘feelings’ again! By definition, frustration refers to the feeling of wanting or needing something, but your action is blocked. CX 101 – you should never be adding to your customer’s problem by missing the mark on ‘ease-of-use.’

Are you starting to see just how much goes into CX? And this is only step one and two. A lot of effort is required to consistently deliver on CX, but when it’s done right, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. People will continue to do business with a brand if they experience those ‘feel-good’ chemicals when interacting with it or as the kids say ‘all the feels’ – can you tell I’m a mom to a teenager?

Rome wasn’t built in a day 

Before I sign off and let you get on with brainstorming a master CX strategy, I must mention one of the biggest misunderstandings about CX – that it’s a quick fix. Really good CX does not happen overnight. It is planned and purposeful and requires investment from your side.

You can’t get by on providing a few good experiences here or there or delivering on great CX in one department and not another. This is why it’s important to get your hands dirty and dig deep, really deep, to understand every touchpoint of your customer’s journey. Ask yourself how you want your customers to feel through each step and take the time to build a strategy that achieves this. It’s going to take time and even money, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race.