CX, short for customer experience, is all of the touchpoints and interactions any customer has with your brand, from their very first time becoming aware of your company to every subsequent step throughout their customer lifecycle of engaging with your business.
It’s what sets leading businesses apart from the pack. In fact, according to Deloitte, experts predict customer experience is on track to surpass both price and product offerings as the single most important factor that differentiates brands.
And that’s why leading organizations across industries make it a priority to optimize and improve customer experiences.
That’s because, as Gartner reports, most companies (75%) now have the tools in place to demonstrate how increasing customer satisfaction can directly lead to an increase in customer retention and lifetime value, and, ultimately, revenue.
Further, these businesses also recognize that customer experience initiatives can help improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) and key financial outcomes as a result.
In this guide to all things CX, we’ll cover:
- What Is CX?
- Customer Support vs. Customer Experience (CX)
- Top Steps to Improve Customer Experiences
What Is CX (Customer Experience), Anyway?
In short, CX is what defines companies in the minds of consumers.
From their very first visit to your store or website and their first purchase or time trying out your company’s products or services to the following repeat engagement.
From becoming a member of your loyalty program and following your brand on social media to writing positive reviews about your company and getting friends and family to check out your latest offerings.
10+ Top Customer Experience Touchpoints
Consider the typical customer journey, in which potential customers transition from awareness of a brand to considering doing business with the company to reaching the purchase or acquisition stage, becoming customers and eventually progressing from first-time customers to potentially becoming loyal brand advocates.
Below are some of the common customer touchpoints individuals may encounter during these stages.
During consideration, awareness, and customer acquisition stages, some of the top points of interaction with your brand may include your company’s…
- Advertising, direct mail
- Website, blog, helpdesk, FAQs, video tutorials, and so forth
- Brick-and-mortar location(s) or physical presence, if applicable
- Team members/customer support:
- In person
- Over the phone
- Via live chat or SMS or email support
In the phase between becoming a first-time customer, a repeat one, and even potentially a loyal one, some of the top points of interaction with your brand may include your company’s…
- Marketing campaigns
- Transactional emails
- Social media channels
- Text campaigns
- Push notifications
- Loyalty/membership program
- Online community
- Plus, all of the channels from the previous step
Customer Support vs. Customer Experience: What Is the Difference Between CS and CX?
Depending on the company, customer support and customer experience teams may often be part of the same broader division within their organizations, reporting into the chief marketing officer (CMO) or chief customer officer or chief customer experience officer (CCO or CXO). They also often have a common goal and objective—to help their company increase customer satisfaction.
That said, their day-to-day functions and responsibilities look different. Here’s an overview of what each team is usually responsible for and held accountable for:
What Are Customer Support Responsibilities?
Customer support teams help organizations:
- Solve problems
- Address questions and issues
- Monitor comments and complaints
- Manage handling incoming inquiries individual customers submit via a company’s support channels:
- In person
- Over the phone
- Via the company’s website, live chat, email or SMS support or social media channels
- Are responsible for winning customers back with service recovery
What Are Important Customer Support Success Metrics?
Some customer-support team specific KPIs include lowering customer service costs, decreasing the Customer Effort Score (CES), increasing the company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), boosting First Contact Resolution (FCR), and keeping average resolution time low.
What Are Customer Experience Responsibilities?
Customer experience teams look at the holistic customer journey:
- Capture the voice of the customer and other key customer data via surveys, social listening, and more
- Map the customer journey across touchpoints
- Create a single customer view by unifying data sources and streamlining the customer experience
- Set the vision and strategy for delivering exceptional customer experiences
- Find ways to improve the user and customer experience
- Improve collaboration between teams that impact the customer experience
What Are Important Customer Experience Success Metrics?
Some customer experience-specific KPIs include minimizing churn, boosting retention, and increasing revenue.
Steps to Create Best-in-Class Customer Experiences
To deliver great customer experiences and see CSAT improve, brands need to:
- Recognize that CX is cross-functional and requires working across teams to improve customer interactions and outcomes.
- Leverage customer feedback to directly improve customer service, agent performance, products, and more.
- Prioritize service recovery to ensure every customer with a negative experience has the chance to have their issues heard and resolved.
- Hire, train, retain, and reward individuals who are committed to customer-centricity.
- Provide the right resources and information to customers when they need it.
- Solve customer problems when they ask for help (and even when they don’t).
For even more successful strategies, check out our guide: How to Improve Your Customer Experience in 5 Steps.
Want to Get Better at Customer Experience?
Ready to take your customer experience to the next level? Download our guide, Understanding the Increased Role of Service Agents in the Modern Customer Experience, for insight into into the modern customer experience, and the role that customer service agents play in ensuring a positive, seamless, and on-brand experience.