Back in the day, companies relied on the quality of their products and word-of-mouth marketing to bring in new customers, but things have changed dramatically in the last few decades.
The mechanics of business-to-customer interaction have become more complex and diverse. What used to be the extra mile ten years ago has become an average feature of a customer’s experience with a product or service.
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This ever-evolving landscape underlines the importance of customer experience design. While this discipline’s goal is to increase conversions and the company’s bottom line, it does that by creating fulfilling experiences for a brand’s clientele by leveraging empathy and purpose.
What is CX design?
Fundamentally, CX design is a discipline that attempts to optimize a consumer’s interaction with a brand. It’s worth mentioning that customer experience doesn’t start when a person begins using a particular product or service—to create a cohesive, recognizable, and enjoyable experience, it’s important to be mindful of how a company interacts with its clientele both before, after, and even during the consumer’s use of the product. The totality of all these interactions is usually referred to as a customer journey map.
So it’s fair to say that CX isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s not an ad campaign or a marketing strategy; it’s an attempt to ensure a seamless and meaningful end-to-end experience that will keep customers engaged with a brand.
Plus, it’s worth mentioning that customer experience isn’t an exclusively digital endeavor. A business that commits to improving its customers’ interactions with its brand should also look to make the necessary adjustments to anything from packaging and print-outs to how staff communicates with clientele, or how a manager phones a customer. To achieve this, businesses should leverage data and strong cross-functional collaboration.
So we should think of CX as a means to create near-optimal conditions for your customers that will lead to enjoyable and helpful interactions that will, as a result, lead to their growing satisfaction with your brand.
Why does CX matter?
An essential principle of modern branding and CX design is the fact that people want to connect with their favorite brands. Today, it’s fairly common that competing businesses to offer pretty much the same product or service, and their most important differentiator is the experience they provide. Therefore, in order to compete in the modern business ecosystem, companies must commit to crafting experiences that their users resonate with throughout their entire journey.
Having a good product isn't enough. Quality is taken for granted. People don't choose Pepsi or Cola because of their taste. People choose what they choose because of marketing.
As a result of a well-thought-out CX strategy, you’ll see continuously growing customer loyalty and trust, a significant boost in customer satisfaction, and a considerable improvement in word-of-mouth marketing. All of these things will invariably lead to a better bottom line.
And this isn’t just mere speculation—there’s plenty of research to back these claims up. Here are some CX-related stats we think you’ll find useful:
According to a report published by the International Data Corporation, the global CX technology spending is projected to increase to nearly $650 billion by 2022;
A Gartner survey suggests that today two-thirds of companies compete on customer experience, which is over 35% higher compared to 2010;
Almost 90% of companies today have a CXO or similar position, 25% more than in 2017;
A report published by Forrester indicates that three-quarters of interviewed executives consider CX improvement a high or top priority;
What’s in it for you
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what CX is and why it matters, let’s explore some of the benefits that your business will see once it commits to creating meaningful and enjoyable experiences for its customers throughout the entire journey.
Turn new shoppers into loyal customers
We’re all well aware of how complicated, and expensive customer acquisition is. Bringing in a new customer, on average, costs about 7 times more than keeping an existing one.
Fortunately, investing in a high-quality customer experience will not only allow you to significantly decrease your acquisition costs but also help you decrease your customer churn rates. CX is literally an investment in your customers’ satisfaction, and it’s only a matter of time until you see a massive return on that investment.
Enjoy free marketing
We’re used to thinking that people are inclined to leave negative reviews more often compared to positive ones. This is no longer the case in the US, at the very least. According to a recent American Express study, US-based consumers, on average, publish more positive reviews. This applies to both social media platforms and reviews sites.
Reviews are a critical part of attracting new customers, as it acts as a form of social proof. This is where CX comes in handy. Providing your existing customers with an impeccable experience will only help stimulate your sales and grow your customer base effortlessly.
See your revenue surge
A study published by Bain & Company suggests that companies that invest resources into their customer experience flows see a considerable boost in their revenue growth, which is between 4-8% higher than the average business.
As niches and industries become oversaturated with competitors, providing your clientele with superior CX can and will act as a defining differentiator. As a result, this will lead you to a higher market share and bottom line.
CX vs. UX
CX and UX are often used interchangeably—this is a mistake. These disciplines have a fair share of similarities, but their differences far outweigh them. Let’s untangle things.
The first and most important thing that needs to be mentioned about the relationship between UX and CX is that they aren’t “related” or “overlapping.” UX is a part of CX.
The same goes for UX and CX designers’ focus points. For instance, a user experience designer will typically focus on a person’s interaction with a product, while a customer experience designer focuses on a person’s experience with the organization itself.
In CX, the customer is typically at the center of attention. One of the central goals of customer experience is to maximize conversions and increase sales. UX, on the other hand, also focuses on the feedback received from users that aren’t necessarily paying customers. Nowadays, CX is more prolific in industries like retail and hospitality since there’s typically a very large number of interactions between a customer and a business in these fields.
Focusing on your customers’ experience is an extremely efficient way of increasing your business’s bottom line while also keeping your users happy. More importantly, no product or service is excluded here—whatever industry you’re in, whether you’re in the B2B or B2C sector, approaching experience design from an empathetic and thoughtful standpoint will invariably yield great results.