Customer experience is not just the experience a consumer has when purchasing from your company, but the experience a person has when they encounter your brand across all channels.

In today’s digital world, the consumer has more power than ever before. People now have access to a wide range of tech tools (such as apps that allow for instant product delivery and real-time support chat bots that can answer questions) that allow them to get what they want, when they want it. However, now that we live in an “on-demand” culture, consumers have come to expect an extremely high-quality customer experience. Your business can create the most elaborate, impressive product in the world, or offer a service that people really need, but if your potential customers don’t enjoy or find it easy to interact with your company, there’s a good chance that they will not return.

What Is Customer Experience?

Customer experience seems pretty straightforward, but it’s actually more all-encompassing than most marketers might realize. Customer experience is not just the experience a consumer has when purchasing from your company, or when directly interacting with a representative of your business, but the experience a person has when they encounter your brand across all channels — from watching your mobile video ads to surfing your social media pages to browsing your website and more. Customer experience is shaped by the feelings customers have and the perceptions they build about your brand.

What Is Customer Experience Optimization, and Why Is it Important?

Because customer experience shapes buyers’ perception of your brand and influences purchasing decisions and loyalty, optimizing the customer experience can ensure higher revenue and better brand ambassadors. Here are some telling statistics:

  • Customer experience studies show that customers are more than five times more likely to purchase from a company that offers a great customer experience as compared to one that does not.
  • A study by Harris Interactive found that 86 percent of people will stop interacting with a company completely if they have a bad customer experience.

Companies who want to reap the benefits of customer experience optimization can take advantage of marketing technologies and data analytics to offer better, more personalized interactions, as well as stronger, more reliable relationships.

If you’re a company hoping to thrive in the digital age, it’s time to focus on optimizing your customer experience. The below tips can help ensure that potential customers enjoy interacting with you and ultimately decide to make a purchase — and that your current customers continue to remain loyal ones.

1. Make Sure Your Company’s Online Presence Is Optimized for Any Device

There’s no denying it — the age of mobile is here. This means that you need to ensure your company’s online presence is responsive and optimized for a variety of different devices. Consumers should be able to access your website or e-commerce store from anywhere, and it should not only look good when they do, but be easy to use. Updating your sites so that they work in the mobile digital era, and also offering a variety of ways to access your brand (an omni-channel brand experience), is a good first step to ensuring your customers enjoy their experience.

2. Start Using Data Analytics

If you want to understand what is working for consumers and what isn’t, you need to look at the cold, hard numbers. One great tool for analyzing your customers’ data is data analytics software, which can crunch a huge amount of raw data and give you insights that are actionable and intelligible. According to a survey by Forbes Insights, more than 25 percent of executives across the globe saw significant improvements in their ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience once they started using data analytics.

3. Take Advantage of Predictive Marketing

Using data analytics is helpful for creating outstanding customer experiences, but you can take it one step further to make your interactions even more effective by using predictive analytics. Predictive marketing can use both marketing and customer behavior data to detect patterns; it can then help you to contact customers both how and when they prefer to be contacted. Predictive marketing will also help you predict the outcomes of your marketing efforts before they happen, and tweak as necessary.

4. Gather Customer Feedback

Software is helpful for understanding what customers think. But the best way to figure out whether your customer experience is working or not is to go straight to the source: the customers themselves. Begin gathering customer feedback in real time with post-interaction surveys, calls or emails. You may not get answers from every customer who does business with you, but the ones who you do gather will help you make changes based on what customers liked or didn’t.

5. Don’t Forget Your Employees

The digital stuff is really important for a customer experience optimization process — but so are the people involved. Your employees should be trained in customer service, so that every time a customer interacts with someone from your team, they experience not only an outstanding level of customer service, but also one that is consistent. Also, ensure that your employees are trained for email and phone communication, too — not just in-person interactions.