Guide: What is Customer Experience Optimization?

Customer Experience Optimization

Customer Experience Optimization can help you grow your brand, reduce churn, increase customer retention, and ultimately upsell. 

In the hyper-competitive world of today’s online market, a customer’s experience during their journey with a brand is more important than ever. Consumers remember bad experiences for much longer than good ones.

People are twice as likely to share a bad experience as they are a good one. 

When 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great experience, ignoring opportunities to improve the overall experience is a mistake. 

In this post, we’ll look at:

  • What customer experience optimization is
  • Who needs to be implementing it
  • Why you should incorporate it into your digital strategy
  • How to create circumstances where your customers love your business just as much as you do. 
  • PLUS We’ll also give you a breakdown of the three steps you need to achieve an awesome customer experience (we’re nice like that). 

What Is Customer Experience Optimization?

Customer experience optimization is the continual process of using data to improve your interactions with customers across all channels.

You can automate the live chat on your:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Customer service
  • App
  • And more!  

Improving customer experience comes in many forms. 

  • Focusing on better flow 
  • Meeting expectations 
  • Increasing customer engagement
  • Surprising users (in a good way)
  • Individualized or personalized experiences
  • Helping users navigate to where they want to go more quickly
  • Providing novel or new experiences
  • Speeding up the monotonous side of the transactions 
  • Reducing confusion

The results of improving customer experience are more conversions, more revenue, and more growth. 

A chatbot helps users to find what they are looking for on e-commerce website.

Why is optimizing the customer experience important?

Staggeringly, 52% of Americans think that the customer experience at most companies needs improvement.Companies that stand out from the crowd in this regard will reap the benefits.

Given how much competition there is in the online market, it’s essential that brands utilize technology to gain an edge.

Chatbots, for example, have changed the way companies think about customer success; from their first experience (before arriving on the website- in many cases) to rewarding people for becoming an advocate.  

More brands are competing for the same customers

To an extent, brands and businesses have been trying to perfect the customer experience for decades. The entire existence of customer service departments is an attempt to improve how people feel about a brand. 

Customer experience optimization requires companies to ask the question: “How can I make every interaction I have with my consumers better?”.And as we continue to become more digital, the answer is “By using data to create better and more customized consumer journeys, brands create happier customers“. 

Happier customers equal more repeat business, more referrals and brand ambassadors, more positive engagement, and ultimately more sales. 

All of which will merely hasten a brand’s path to world domination… or at least to become a successful business.  Examples of customer experience optimization by industry

There isn’t an industry that can afford to ignore its customers’ wants and needs.

Customer experience optimization is particularly crucial for industries that rely on a large volume of interactions.There is a diverse range of factors where e-commerce customers’ experience can be improved dramatically.

A conversational website can provide an excellent user and customer experience.

E-commerce Industry:

Increase your total revenue by giving customers a better user experience.

Improvements to automated communication and using conversational commerce can result in upsells and prevent customers from leaving.

Additionally, there are always improvements to be made for cart abandonment emails.

Building referral programs results in repeat purchases and referrals.

Adding reward programs can boost customer lifetime value and average order value.

Media Industry:

A/B testing of different messaging can play a major role in incremental improvements.

Tracking metrics can improve site metrics like engagement, shares per post, and even reduce the bounce rate.Travel Industry:

Improvements to metrics across the board such as more:

  • Bookings
  • Referrals
  • Engagement
  • Sign-ups
  • Sales
  • Repeat customer rates

Two-sided rewards and loyalty programs are proven to increase revenue.

Business to Consumer (B2C):

Monitoring thousands of engagements can be overwhelming. Using customer experience data, you can focus your attention on the stuff that is causing the most distress. 

Making consistent improvements to processes and trying to boost the customer service KPI and metrics such as:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Retention
  • Net Promoter Score

Business to Business (B2B)

Streamlining the user journey and focusing on the measurable customer data is crucial. 

There are endless possibilities for optimization on metrics such as:

  • Conversions per activity
  • Number of help tickets solved per hour
  • Brand value

AI chatbots are so much further along than most people imagine. With natural language processing , chatbots continue to get better over time.

As the technology gets better, the use cases continue to multiply. 

Ways Chatbots help to streamline businesses:

  • Solving repetitive questions automatically and quickly
  • Free up time for customer service representatives to interact with customers
  • Direct customers to items they’re asking about
  • Encourage customers to purchase rather than abandon the cart
  • Recommend products that other people with similar purchases have bought
  • Increase cart totals with incentives, coupons, and up-selling

Digital Experience Platforms

These are a variety of platforms that play a role in the overall customer experience. 

Each of these digital experience platforms has a function and plays a part in guiding the user, collecting data, displaying information, and providing navigation throughout the experience. 

Customers are the lifeblood of any company. A quick “Thanks for the money, come back and give me more money soon” won’t cut it. Not when other companies are taking the time to get to know their customers and make their lives easier. 

Types of Digital Experience Platforms

When systems talk to each other, the process gets smoother.

These are types of digital platforms that help improve the digital experience:

  • Client relationship management platforms (CRM)
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  • Knowledge Management Systems and helpdesk centers
  • Content Management systems (CMS)
  • Marketing communication platforms (inbound)
  • Support, Chat, and Automated response platforms
  • Behavior monitoring and tracking
  • Integration tools and systems 

Why is customer experience optimization important?

Customer experience optimization is crucial because it increases customer satisfaction and improves KPIs for businesses. Happy customers and better KPIs usually means more revenue and growth.

Along with price and product quality, providing a great customer experience is a key factor in customer retention and acquisition. 

Customers’ data gives businesses opportunities to spot new ways of serving their customers.

Failure to use data to improve processes is ultimately a failure to maximize profit.

For example, if cart abandonment continues to rise, there may be deeper issues.

Isolating the issue can require A/B testing of images, product descriptions, and even adjusting pricing.

Learn how one company reduced its abandonment rate by 17%. Here’s a hint, they used a chatbot to send messages. 

Brand´s online reputation

You can learn everything from your customers

It’s worth pointing out; the most successful customer experience optimization strategies came from incorporating customer data and testing it against a hypothesis. 

Historically, in-experience surveying like Qualaroo or behavior recording like hotjar are ways companies can gain insights. 

Current industry trends in customer experience optimization are taking the data analysis out of the hands of humans altogether. 

Sentiment analysis chatbots is the contextual meaning behind a question. Those chatbots which are most advanced are able to accurately understand and instantly suggest a response based on previous conversations that were solved correctly. 

The result is that more and more questions are answered automatically and accurately. 

Over time, the users and customer services reps are helping to “train” the chatbot. 

Customers are telling you more than you think. Either by asking direct questions or by their behavior. 

These sorts of things are relatively easy to implement and effectively run themselves once they’ve been set up.

How is customer experience optimization done?

Customer experience optimization can be undertaken by following a simple process. 

Start by asking the right questions:

  • What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? 
  • Do you have a high conversion rate? 
  • What do people most commonly ask Customer Service?
  • Where do people drop off or leave the site? 
  • Are users returning to make future purchases? Why or why not?

If you don’t have enough user data on these areas, it’s time to start collecting more data.

Ways to get more customer data: 

You should stir up some “feelings” when doing this exercise. We often have blind spots for things we’ve gotten used to ignoring.

If those feelings are frustrations, you’re probably doing the right thing.

Defining Stages in the Customer Journey

Start with breaking the customer journey into segments. Defining the steps within each stage of the user journey will help you optimize everything in the future. 

Pre-Purchase Stage

The pre-purchase stage focuses on the beginning of a consumer’s journey with a brand. 

In order to gauge the effectiveness of customer experience optimization in relation to the pre-purchase stage, a brand needs to look at how effective their advertising and website are. 

Many brands will already be keeping track of these metrics, but a couple of useful KPIs to make a note of are click-through rate and pages per visit. 

Purchase Stage

The purchase stage encapsulates the period where potential customers are signing up to the service you provide or buying your product. 

To judge the effectiveness of your customer experience in relation to the purchase stage, you need to look at your cart abandonment rate and your conversion rate. 

Post Purchase Stage

The post-purchase stage is arguably one of the most important for Customer Experience Optimization, as it allows you to keep your customers! 

There’s plenty of data out there that supports customer retention, with some studies suggesting that just a 5% increase in retention rates can lead to a 25% increase in profit. 

The following KPIs are considered some of the most revealing for understanding your customer experience.

Audit Your User Flow

Wireframe on a whiteboard or use a digital tool to see how many steps it takes to get to the desired goal. 

Finding some user journey examples as a baseline is a starting point.

Wireframe out each step for how people engage with your website or platform. 

There are flows dependent on where a user starts and the end-goals.

Examples of specific user flow:

  • Navigation to specific products
  • Purchasing a product
  • Getting in touch with customer service
  • Asking a question and responding
  • What happens after the conversion
  • Email flows
  • Retargeting across channels

When optimizing later, you want to keep it to as few steps as possible. 

Pro-tip: Using Figma or Draw.io is great for this exercise.

Prioritize the biggest issues 

Using your best judgment (and data if you have it), decide which areas are the most important focus of the business. 

Make a list of the improvement areas (be as specific as you like): 

  • Messaging
  • Product
  • Web experience 
  • Post sale 
  • Support 
  • Automation
  • Data and integrations
  • And the list goes on.

Set up Optimization Sprints

Examine the effectiveness of implementing new features, integrations, and general development.

You should be able to schedule out on a weekly basis what is possible per “sprint.” 

Solving problems on a schedule is far more effective than trying to do everything at once. 

Of course, nothing is set in stone and you will continue to discover new areas of optimization. 

Warning: A key component of customer experience optimization is the use of data to inform decision-making. Don’t give up on this because it’s too hard. 

The earlier you institute data tracking and have a way to measure growth, the easier life gets. 

For example, with Certainly’s Platform, you can build chatbots which deliver on average a 98% reduction in user waiting time, while increasing conversions four-fold.

Delight in Customer Success 

As you continue to optimize your user experience, it’s easy to forget one of the most important areas of CX. 

‘Delighting’ customers is crucial, but not at any cost. ‘Delight’ is the last stage of the sales cycle, where customers are converted into brand ambassadors. 

This is often done with a personalized follow-up with customers, or with free gifts and discounted products. 

It’s worth noting though that there is a fine line between maximizing profit and increasing customer retention.

Creating happier customers at the lowest possible cost is a key challenge in customer retention rates. 

List of Customer Service KPIs

In order to measure the quality of customer experience, a variety of KPIs are helpful.

Measuring customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of customer service can happen throughout the user journey.

This list is not exhaustive, but collating the following KPIs give you an overall picture of your customer experience:

Net promoter score (NPS)

Working out your net promoter score is a good way to discover how much brand loyalty your customers have. By extension, it also gives you a good indication of whether you have a good customer experience. 

The NPS is meant to uncover a customer’s feelings towards the support and product or service. 

Usually, the NPS is calculated from surveys and on a scale from 1 to 10.

Promoters (9 – 10) 

Incredibly enthusiastic and happy customers that will cheer on your brand and recommend it to others.

Passives (7 – 8)

People that are satisfied with the product or service but not excited enough to be a promoter. 

Detractors (0 – 6)

The customers are not happy. These people are less likely to buy and will probably be a tough sell on an ongoing basis.

An example of an NPS question:

“On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely likely, how likely would you be to recommend (company name) to others?”

You can work out your net promoter score by surveying existing customers. It’s useful to ask a couple of different questions.

So what would a good score be?

Well, this varies from industry to industry, but a positive score is a reasonable start! Anything around 20-40 would be considered good, and anything over 50 plus is exceptional. 

If your score sucks, keep in mind that it’s worth researching what the average scores are for your sector. People are never going to be as enthusiastic about life insurance as they are about craft beer, for example. 

AI tools improve e-commerce customer experience

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction rate has similarities to Net promoter score. It’s based on surveying customers after an interaction with a brand. 

These surveys can happen before, during, and after transactions or an experience.

You’ve probably taken one without realizing it. 

An example of the customer service questions is, “How would you rate your recent experience with our customer service team?”

  • Very unsatisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Very satisfied

The Customer satisfaction score is really useful for pinpointing a specific issue with your customer experience. However, as it’s generally focused around one particular interaction, it doesn’t give you an “overall picture”. 

Your customers may have had one good interaction with your brand, but might actually be ambivalent toward you overall. 

Customer Churn rate

Put simply, it’s the customers who’ve said “It’s not me, it’s you” and gone on their merry way to one of your competitors. 

This metric is more common with a subscription service or software as a service (Saas). 

Customer churn rate is the rate in which consumers stop subscribing to your service or stop shopping with you. You want to do as much as possible to reduce your churn

This is usually measured as a percentage of customers that cancel the service within a designated period of time (monthly, quarterly, and yearly).

There are countless reasons customers will “churn.” 

It likely comes down to expectations not being met and customers not given enough attention over time.   

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

FCR is the percentage of customer support queries successfully resolved in a single response. Think about it, if support agents are having to write long-form responses to the same customers regularly, something is off.

Of course, there are conversations and questions that require more information to provide enough feedback. This is justifiably why it’s unlikely to get a first contact resolution of 100%.  

It is also where chatbots are extremely effective. Chatbots improve FCR significantly by providing responses automatically. Automatic responses can be anything from navigational links to generic answers. 

Referrals

When people love your product they tell everyone. Yet whenever someone recommends your product or service to someone else, it can be difficult to track.

You should be getting a minimum of 2% of your sales via referrals

In a digital world, you are able to track the unique ID hidden inside of URLs to see how many people are actually being referred from users in your referral program. 

Referral campaigns can be relatively inexpensive and can be easy to set up and run. 

Positive Interactions 

Capturing interaction when people are talking directly to you or about you can be powerful. 

Positive interactions are the number of measurable positive experiences with a customer on your platform, via chat,  email, social media, etc.

Having a strong response and compliance for handling a variety of these can push a good experience into a story someone tells everyone about for years.   

Negative Interactions

Learning from a bad experience is powerful. Negative interactions tell us where we can improve and give insights into our blind spots. 

Negative interactions are individual instances of a complaint against how the company handled a situation or a product. 

Address every negative experience when possible. But remember, sometimes people just have a bad day. Sometimes we make mistakes just like anyone else. 

Try to build out response templates to handle negative reviews and get out in front of bad experiences early. 

Resist drawing drastic conclusions and learn to discern the difference between unfortunate and unreasonable claims. 

Pages per visit 

Pages per visit are pretty self-explanatory. It tells you how many different pages people visited when they went on your website.

What if most people leave your site after only visiting one page (this is also known as your bounce rate)? This could mean that your website interface is not very user-friendly, or that you’re not creating content that’s keeping your users engaged. 

The great thing about pages per visit is that it tells you whether you have a problem, and also tells you roughly where that problem is. 

Internal clicks and visits across numerous pages can show a positive experience and “browsing” which (usually) denotes a good shopping experience.

You can find your pages per visit on Google Analytics or other tracking software

Average shopping cart size

Using techniques like upselling and setting free shipping thresholds will actually increase the total amount of items users purchase. 

Average order size will depend on the nature of your business, products, and audience. Adding more items to the cart prior to the check-out is clearly a good thing. 

Higher overall transactions are an indicator of a good user experience. Keep it up. 

Shopping cart abandonment is a common problem of e-commerce websites

Cart abandonment rate

Your cart abandonment rate could be an indicator that your website usability is not up to scratch (though there can be other reasons for a low score). 

A useful tip if you do have a low score is to send cart abandonment emails or notifications, which can recoup up to 11% of lost sales. 

Conversion rate

Put simply, conversion rate tells you what percentage of people who are interested in your product go on to buy it. 

By comparing the number of people who visit your website with the number of people who make a purchase, you get a rough idea of how effective your website and product are. 

Of course, there are many different reasons why people visit a website but then don’t purchase anything. 

It may be because your product wasn’t as good as they were hoping, or it may be that your price is too high. 

Therein lies the limitation of conversion rate: it tells you if you have a problem, but not what that problem is. 

Average resolution time

Average resolution time is the average time it takes for your customer service team to resolve customer issues. 

Although Average resolution time is not a great KPI to use in isolation, it does give you insight into other customer experience metrics. You might, for example, have a high churn rate because your average resolution time has gone up. 

As with most metrics though, there are drawbacks. 

A customer service agent that spends longer working through one customer’s problem may be giving a much better service. But they may also end up delaying the response to others waiting to get help.

Speed is a major consideration when it comes to fixing the problem while still keeping the customer happy. 

Customer effort score (CES)

Customer effort score tells you how much effort a customer feels like they expend in interactions with your company. Like most post-purchase customer experience metrics, CES is survey-based. 

The idea is that customers will like you more if you make their lives easier, which totally makes sense. 

There’s a couple of different ways of formatting your questions for this survey, but the most straightforward would be: 

“How easy was it to get your issue resolved?”

  • Difficult
  • About average
  • Easy

As with customer satisfaction rate, CES has its limitations in that it focuses on a specific interaction rather than on an overall experience. 

It also doesn’t give you information as to why customers may be struggling. For example, your customer service team may be great at dealing with 18-25s responses. The longer the wait, the more frustrated the customer.

Click-through rate (CTR)

This metric is usually applied to ads and getting people to your website. 

However, in customer success, you can use a CTR to gauge whether customers are actually clicking the links you’re sending over. It will help you determine if you’re actually helping them to navigate.

Depending on the nature of the question, a click may not be as important as just providing the information. 

The Process To Optimize Customer Experience in just 3 steps 

Everything boils down to a plan and process for getting something done. 

If you have any ambition of making real changes in how your business is run, you need to scale up.  

Customer Experience Optimization

Step One: Identify your problems using data and surveying

Once everything is measurable, you can set a baseline for improvements.

Using a variety of tools, you can start getting the metrics we talked about in the “How to measure customer experience” section.

Setting a baseline measurement from week-to-week or month-to-month will give you a starting point for improvement. 

You can’t know how far you’ve come if you don’t have any way to measure it. 

If you missed the section above, some of the metrics you want to be looking at are:

  • Clickthrough rate
  • Pages per visit
  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Net promoter score
  • Customer churn rate
  • Customer satisfaction rate
  • Customer effort score 
  • Average resolution time

Don’t only rely on surveys.

It’s worth pointing out that some of these metrics rely on surveying and sometimes the data is misleading. 

The fact of it is, people lie on surveys. While incredibly useful in many ways, don’t rely solely on user self-reported data. 

Step Two: Identify who your customers are 

You can’t start improving your customer experience if you don’t know who your customers are. 

Most businesses will already have a pretty good idea of who their customers are based on who is currently buying whatever it is that a company sells. 

It never hurts to talk with your customers. 

A customer will tell you everything:

  • What language they use  
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Pain points and problems.  
  • What they want from you

Getting in front of customers just to see if your assumptions are outdated is always recommended.

Times change and demographics shift, sometimes without you realizing it. You could be advertising your products to completely the wrong demographic. 

Use Google Analytics and other platforms to give you a breakdown of the basic demographics like the age and sex of your customers. At an absolute bare minimum, you have more information about the people coming to your site. 

After that, you want to be doing your research to see what motivates and interests your target customers. 

You want to find out more about your customers:

  • Where do your customers live? 
  • What’s their education level? 
  • What are their interests?
  • What’s your ideal customer’s financial situation?

Information like this will give you a clearer picture of who you’re speaking to when you develop advertising, the copy on your website, and your brand’s tone of voice throughout all communications. 

If your ideal customers are wealthy 50-year-old males, you’re probably not going to get through to them if your comms strategy is geared towards millennial females. 

You can then incorporate that information when you’re working out who your customers are and discovering their desires and problems in relation to your brand. 

Facebook advertising is a good way to find out more information on your customers. By casting your net wide to begin with, you can then narrow your search based on who engages with your advertising. 

Step Three: Identify a strategy for improving your customer experience

Based on what you learn from tracking customer data and talking with customers, it’s now a matter of prioritization. 

Pin down some solutions. 

Here are 20 different ways to improve your customer experience. 

  1. Invest in a good chatbot 
  2. Create a knowledge center
  3. Improve the FAQ section
  4. Invest in digital experience software that integrates with other solutions
  5. Create a consistent tone of voice across all channels
  6. Optimize your copy for the target audience
  7. A/B testing
  8. Act on customer feedback
  9. Buy something from yourself (walk through the journey)
  10. Set up a customer loyalty program
  11. Combine discounts and offers with your surveying 
  12. Optimize copy across all channels to target your desired customers 
  13. Streamline your UI/UX so it’s easier to use
  14. Respect your consumers time, don’t ask for too much
  15. Embrace technology and innovation
  16. Force meetings between departments
  17. Invest in additional training for your team
  18. Listen to the concerns of every level within the company
  19. Implement the strategy. Don’t put it off
  20. Optimization is an on-going process

Select the most important fixes that will have the biggest results and try to do them first.There are countless solutions to optimize your customer service performance. These are just a few of the opportunities in detail. 

Get a chatbot… a good one 

Technology is pretty amazing, and nowhere is this more apparent than with chatbots. AI has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Smarter chat solutions now offer a way to smash your customer satisfaction out of the park. 

You will reduce repetitive tasks in customer success with a chatbot.

Take Certainly, for example, who solved 40% of customer service tickets for Tobii. 

Chatbots allow you to dramatically reduce the amount of time customer service agents spend on mundane and repetitive requests, and also save you a heap on your customer service budget. 

Customer Service Psychology

Create a knowledge center and repurpose help center solutions

Any time you encounter a challenge from a customer, document it and prepare it to be used later in the form of a help section. This is the whole purpose behind building out a knowledge center

Your agents are spending heaps of time interpreting and solving easy requests. That’s inefficient and extremely wasteful. 

The long-form answers to similar problems can be repurposed to help answer future queries. 

Over time many of the same themes can emerge in customer support. Use these responses moving forward and save hundreds of human hours. 

By using a chatbot, you’re giving your customer service agents more time to focus on customers with difficult problems.

Your customers will feel valued because they assume a real person is speaking to them. There aren’t lengthy delays requiring customer success reps to figure out the answer. 

And you’ve freed up your customer success team to deal with twenty other unique tickets. 

Improve the FAQ Section

As mentioned earlier, FAQs have their flaws when compared to chatbots, but they’re still a useful tool to employ. 

There’s nothing worse as a customer though when you look on an FAQ page and the answers are out of date or just plain wrong.

Make sure you regularly update your FAQs to ensure you have accurate information and that you’re not missing any important questions. 

Nobody wants to burn time trawling through long lists of frequently asked questions only to end up with an outdated answer. 

Build a better tech stack for the future with digital experience platforms

Digital experience platforms allow you to seamlessly build and manage customer touchpoints across a variety of channels.

By providing you with synchronized data, you gain greater insight into your customer’s needs, wants, and desires, and you streamline your entire operation. 

Think of digital experience platforms (DXPs) as the natural successor to content management systems. 

Create a consistent tone of voice across all channels 

Creating a consistent tone of voice across all channels is crucial for branding and customer success.

Think about the last time you spoke to an elderly relative or acquaintance. Did you use the same language and talk about the same things with your friends over a drink? 

Probably not. Communicating with your customers is exactly the same. You need to know who you are speaking to and targeting before you start talking. 

Any business wants their customers to feel the same way on their website as they do on your Facebook page. 

It’s also important to allow customers to move seamlessly between channels, so make sure your website has clear links to your social media pages and vice versa.

Optimize copy for your target customers

After you’ve worked out who your target customers are, make sure you optimize all your copy so that it relates to this group. 

Use the same verbiage and expressions as your target customers. You never want to come off like an outsider to the audience you’re selling to. 

Obviously, this is tricky if you’re targeting multiple different age groups, but try to find a middle ground that’s friendly and relatable at the very least. 

A/B Testing

If you’re not A/B testing already, start now. A/B testing is the process of releasing different adverts, marketing emails, landing pages, and other marketing touchpoints simultaneously. 

Basically, this allows you to see which one works best! By doing this, you can continually optimize your messaging so that it appeals to your existing or desired customers. 

And don’t just stop at one test. A/B tests all of the important things. You might be surprised at what you can find out. 

Not sure where to put your Call to Action button? Try two different places and A/B test it! Not sure if this copy or that copy is better? Try both and A/B test it! Not sure if…you get the idea. 

Act based on customer feedback

It sounds obvious, but if lots of your customers are complaining about something, fix it!

If your customers have helped you out by telling you what you need to improve, don’t just ignore it even if the solution is hard to find. 

Work with different departments to get the issue resolved and improve your Customer Experience Optimization. 

Gift from AI chatbot

Buy something from yourself

It sounds crazy, but sign up for your service or buy something from yourself. Better yet, get different people at the company to do it too. We develop blindspots to things that we work too closely with over time.

In most cases, customers manage to figure stuff out themselves when things aren’t working perfectly. 

Without you ever knowing about it, there may be larger issues or changes that never went live. 

You’ll consistently find “hidden” problems when you go through the buying process as a customer. 

This not only gives you a clearer idea of what your customers are experiencing when they interact with you, but it also allows you to pinpoint any problems. Get honest feedback from your team as to what they thought of your service. 

Set up a customer loyalty program

Pretty much everyone has experienced the “Et tu, brute” levels of betrayal when a brand they’ve been loyal to for years has an amazing new offer…that’s only for new customers.Obviously, brands are always looking for new customers and offers are a great way to entice people to sign up. But don’t forget about your existing customers. 

Whether customer acquisition or customer retention is more important depends a lot on what type of industry a company is in. But there are stats that suggest customer acquisition is five times as expensive as retention. Ouch. 

If you have existing customers and you want them to shop with you again, some form of a loyalty program is a great way to do this. 

Discounts, free products, or first access to new products are all ways you can say thanks to existing customers. It’ll make them feel more valued and may even encourage them to buy from you again. 

Combine discounts and offers with your surveying 

If you’re undertaking any surveying to get feedback from existing customers about their experience with you, consider offering an incentive

Discounts encourage customers to give you feedback, leading to a larger and more useful data set. It’ll also give you a chance to make more sales if you provide offers to some of your most popular products or surveys. 

Consumers are increasingly aware of the value of their opinions and experiences to brands, so providing an incentive for them will make them feel like you value their time. 

UI/UX is the design and layout of your website. It might seem inconsequential, but creating a convoluted website that’s tricky to use is a great way to encourage people to head elsewhere. 

If you run a shop selling food, you wouldn’t put fresh fruit next to the detergent and breakfast cereal with the vegetables. So don’t do it with your website. 

There’s an element of common sense here, but to really fine-tune your website you can use incentivized surveying and A/B testing, both of which are mentioned above. 

Sometimes just adding breadcrumbs and a similar product section can do wonders. 

Don’t forget to pay particular attention to your landing page and homepage as well. They’re the “shop fronts” of your business. There are some great resources out there for what to include if you’re struggling.

Respect your customer’s time

You may well think your business is the most interesting thing in the world, but your customers probably don’t. 

Don’t constantly spam them with needless messaging and emails. It’s better to email more valuable content less frequently than spam them with meaningless drivel five times a week. 

In fact, 43% of consumers want to be emailed from companies less frequently. Of course, there’s a fine line between spamming and being silent, and the exact balance will depend on a number of variables. 

Think about how you can incorporate consumer choice. Maybe you can give customers the option of how frequently they’d like to hear from you. If you put this on the same screen as your unsubscribe form, you may even reduce the number of people who decide to unsubscribe. 

Embrace technology and innovate

This one can require a pretty generous budget, but have a think about how you can use existing technology to benefit your customers. 

Take a look at Ikea, for example. A few years back they introduced an app that let customers use AR to place images of objects around their homes. 

Not only did this customize the buying experience for customers, but it also created a massive marketing buzz as the app was so popular

Of course, most companies won’t have the budget to be able to release their own AR app, but think about existing technologies that could be used to improve customer experience. 

Teamwork

Force sales, marketing, and customer service teams to meet

If you have multiple departments, then the chances are there’s a gap in communication. 

Allow for the occasional free-flowing information sharing gives an abundance of valuable insights. 

Unless they’re asked, many of these people won’t naturally engage with one another. 

Find out what sales are saying to stop customers from leaving or close deals. What worked? What did people get excited about?

It can be easy for everyone to get caught up in their own bubble and duties. Take the time to schedule monthly meetings between departments

You can then incorporate these nuggets of information into your messaging and strategy to attract new customers and retain those you’ve already got. 

It’s also worth asking yourself whether you’ve delivered on the promises you’ve made.

Invest in additional training for your team

Providing knowledge to your team to create a more customer-centric environment is a great way to boost your customer experience. 

As your business grows, taking time to reinforce product knowledge and train the team is imperative. 

It’s also a good way to provide your staff with key skills that they’ll be able to use for the rest of their careers. 

Listen to the concerns of everyone in the company

Speak to your entire team, from the interns to the CEO, about what they love about the company and what their issues are. 

This serves two purposes. 

Number one, people like being listened to, and employees are no different

And number two, it’ll give you some new ideas of ways to innovate and provide a great customer experience. 

It’s easy to just work within your own department when attempting to improve customer experience, but great ideas come from everywhere and you might be surprised as to what comes out of it. 

By finding out what issues employees have, you’ll also be able to create a happier environment for them. 

A happy team = more motivated team = more likely to give a great customer experience. Implement your strategy. Don’t put it off.

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do to improve your customer experience, it’s time to implement it. Customer data should be collected at the earliest stages of your company’s growth

Don’t be afraid to invest a bit in customer experience optimization. As we’ve discussed, there are numerous benefits to creating a better customer experience. 

This shouldn’t come at any cost of course, but even a slight improvement should see a return on investment in the long term. 

It’s really important that you get your team on board as well. There’s no point in spending loads of time on customer experience optimization if you don’t tell anyone else about it. 

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Optimization is an ongoing process

Much like cleaning at home, customer experience optimization is sadly something that is never done forever. There’s always scope for improvement as something changes about your company every day. 

Even if it’s just something tiny like one product being changed slightly, lots of small changes every day add up to a massively different experience over time. 

Take a look at Apple. The entire company is almost unrecognizable from the one which was around 25 years ago.

They set the bar for customer experience and their marketing and messaging has grown from that of a challenger brand to a more mainstream one. Which is totally understandable. It’s hard to market yourself as a challenger brand when your company is worth $2 trillion dollars.  

The point is, once you’ve finished improving customer experience, you should be continually going back to the first step to see how you’re doing, find out where you can improve, and implement updates. 

Continue to optimize the customer experience. 

Customer experience optimization is an ongoing process that is increasingly essential in today’s online market. 

Companies should always be on the lookout for new ways that they can improve their offering to increase customer retention, acquisition, and lifetime value. 

There are more and more problems that can be solved with technology, and chatbots like Certainly provide an easy and fast solution to problems relating to Customer Experience Optimization. 

Incorporating customer data, technology, surveying customers, optimizing messaging, and identifying customer issues are all key to creating a better consumer environment. 

Ultimately, the ongoing nature of customer experience optimization provides a challenge for businesses. Failing to put the customer first will increasingly be considered an out-of-date approach in the years to come. 

After all, customers are the lifeblood of every company. When they are so important, can any business condone offering them an experience that’s less than optimal.

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