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Design A Better Customer Experience

Exceptional service offering

In order for your business to survive, you need customers. It’s not just about getting customers through your door, but to ensure you maintain a loyal base, while still attracting new followers. This is why it’s important to create a customer experience strategy.

What is a customer experience strategy

A customer experience (CX) is the number of activities that a company undertakes to deliver a series of positive interactions. Together, the result is an exceptional product or service offering. Creating a customer experience strategy is important because you get the chance to deliver more and also ensure efficient productivity.

The CX should consider the following:

  • Reachability
  • Purchase convenience
  • Service convenience
  • Personalisation
  • Simple processes
  • Flexibility

Difference between customer experience and customer service

While the two are often assumed to mean the same thing, there are differences. Customer service is the interaction with customers while customer experience focuses on the customer’s journey with your company.

Why you should have a customer experience strategy

While it sounds like a lot of work, developing this strategy has numerous benefits including:

Increased customer engagement

Customer engagement builds loyalty and in today’s consumer climate, people care more about what brands have done to make their experience a positive one. With an effective customer experience strategy, consumers will keep coming back for more.

Customer conversion

A good customer experience strategy creates a life-cycle of feedback that will increase conversion rates. By prioritising relationships with customers, you’ll start growing your customer base. You’ll also have a better chance of buy-in when you start launching new products or expanding.

Word of mouth marketing

When more and more people are experiencing positive customer engagement, it could lead to word of mouth marketing. This is basically the best type of marketing for your business – it’s free and comes from a reliable source (a satisfied customer).

What to include in your customer experience strategy

According to a study by consulting firm Walker, by next year, customer experience will be the most important factor customers consider when it comes to a brand differentiator. Look at the following when designing your customer experience strategy:

Know your customer personas

The first step in the process is researching your customer’s persona. You should create a group of 1-5 personas that usually frequent your store. The idea is to determine the needs of these customers and to make sure you’re always offering what they want. You want to empathise with them if they face a challenge and provide the ultimate support.

What is your customer experience vision?

You need a customer vision that needs to be embedded within all facets of the organisation. What is a customer experience vision? It’s basically a mission statement. The statement could be something along the lines of “Always be humble” or “Provide innovative service”. These statements should be immersed within the company and should reflect when you’re interacting with customers.

Rely on customer feedback

How else will you know if you’re doing right by your customer? Feedback helps you determine what you’re doing well and where you could improve. Capturing feedback could be in the form of a survey or customer email. If you have the capacity, outbound calls could work too. You could review the feedback monthly, weekly, or yearly.

You can enhance your customer management experience on the job or by looking at short courses that will help you develop these skills. The great benefit of the courses is that you can use the skills on the job. Develop core principles to set your brand apart from the rest.

Why you should calculate your customer lifetime value

Your customer matters more than a single purchase. But how much more? The ‘how much’ part is called the ‘customer lifetime value’. Not knowing this important calculation is no better than lacking an appreciation for the value of the service you’re offering.

Customer lifetime value (LTV)  is the monetary value that a customer can offer during the entire span of their relationship with your brand. There are many ways that this can be calculated  but the following method is the most easily obtainable measure of LTV:

(avg. value of sale) x (avg. number of repeat purchases) x (avg. retention time)

Let’s break this down even further:

Average value of sale is the monetary average of an individual sale. This is determined by calculating the total sales revenue for the year and dividing it by the number of sales for the year.

Example: R 5 000 000 sale value / 50,000 sales = R 100 per sale

Average number of repeat purchases is the amount of times a customer is likely to purchase goods from you. To calculate this, take the total number of sales for the year and divide it by the total number of unique customers for the same year.

Example: 30,000 sales / 10,000 customers = 3 sales per customer

Average retention time can be defined as the number of years a customer shops with you.

Calculating retention time in two easy steps:

Step 1: Calculate the churn rate. Churn rate is the drop-off percentage of customers from one year to the next (the percentage that you keep is your retention rate).

Example:

15,000 customers (2015)

10,000 customers (2016)

Retention rate = 67%

Therefore, Churn rate = 33%

Step 2: Once you have your Churn rate and Retention rate, calculate your average retention time using this formula:

Example:

Retention time = 1/churn rate

i.e. 1/33%

= 3 years

Now, with these results, you can calculate LTV = R 100 x 3 x 3

Therefore: LTV = R 900

Knowing how much value you can expect of your customers, means you can strategise accordingly. An effective approach is to create ‘value segments’ based on the current spend of your customers, and design multiple strategies that suit each specific segment. You’ll also be able to maximise your marketing budget with a firm grasp of what your target CPA and return on investment should be.

Operating without an understanding of your customer lifetime value will disorganise your business and engage you in constant analysis of your budgets and targets. Run your business skillfully and carefully, with direction and ambition. Success is about more than just a single sale.

By Yazeed Osman, CRM Specialist

Yazeed has helped many companies improve their customer experience by implementing data led initiatives. He’s also founded, Usfl, a local UX design & Behavourial Marketing company focused on customer relationship management.