Customer Experience/
E-commerce

Customer Experience Management - In pursuit of better customer service

 

Customer Experience (CX) is a set of experiences, emotions, and impressions encountered by the customers during their holistic interaction with a brand. It pervades the entire customer lifecycle, from the first contact through the purchase and on to customer service and other interactions.

It is this value delivered to audiences in their interactions with the company at each stage that builds brand appeal and competitiveness. A high quality of experience allows customers to perceive the company as innovative and worthy of their recommendation. It also diminishes the number of complaints, boosts the number of self-service users, and enhances customers’ brand loyalty.

Transformation of customer behavior

Today's consumers highly value the quality of the customer service they receive. According to Oracle’s Customer Experience Impact Report, by 2011 as many as 86% of consumers were prepared to pay more for a better customer experience during the purchasing process.

The current pandemic has not changed this approach. In a survey run by the PZU Group, 77% of private medical care users agreed with the statement "I believe that increasingly more people are prepared to pay more for better experience and higher quality service".

To convert this trend into real profit, many organizations have started implementing Human 2 Human (H2H) strategy, which highlights the significance of feelings, human relations, and personalization in defining and satisfying needs. In this approach, the B2B and B2C marketers must bear in mind that the end user for all company actions is a human. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and the resulting evolution in customer expectations towards digital customer service.

Source: Omnichannel CX 2021 Conference

Also, it’s been proved necessary to implement an effective Customer Experience (CX) strategy through a personalized, multi-channel, and consistent brand experience.

Consistent brand experience throughout the customer journey is a must

A consistent (and therefore credible) company image is at the core of any CX strategy. Failure to deliver a consistent brand experience results in lower conversion – just think of all the situations causing user confusion and dissatisfaction:

  • A discrepancy of information at different journey stages and/or touchpoints.
  • Requiring multiple logins or multiple user accounts.
  • Different product pricing in bricks-and-mortar and online stores.

A client who feels misled will not return to use the company's services again. They will not pay a premium for a product or service or recommend this brand to friends.

While interacting with a company, a client becomes a part of its ecosystem. Their experience is built during the process known as the customer journey. The process involves three main stages: 

  • Engagement 
  • Onboarding
  • Self-service 


For a customer to continue on their journey, brands must deliver a consistent experience at every stage. It’s important to help customers find clear information quickly and easily and to facilitate a speedy purchasing process.

This is the stage at which a long-term relationship between the company and the customer is formed. The goal of self-service is to combine education with sales. It can be achieved through the creation of a self-service application that allows customers to independently satisfy their own needs. Other popular tools include:

  • Questions and Answers (Q&A) tabs. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages. 
  • Knowledge bases (i.e. manuals or user guides). 
  • Instruction videos / video tutorials.
  • Brand YouTube channels. 

This stage requires us to determine the most frequently occurring problems and customer needs and to provide easy-to-use and clear tools that let customers independently locate the necessary solutions.

We discussed consistent brand experience in the digital world more extensively in this article:

Omnichannel’s key role

Modern customer service is non-existent without an omnichannel strategy. A multitude of mutually complementary, interwoven, and integrated channels constitutes a foundation for a positive customer experience.

Diversification of customer service channels builds long-term relationships, boosts customer trust, and enhances company credibility; together, these offer an effective competitive edge.

1. Omnichannel during the engagement stage

Many of the available products/service information channels are visited by users in the first stage of their customer journey - the awareness stage. Users searching information are not clients at this point; they’ve just begun to identify and determine their needs and expectations, which will later be compared against the final outcome. At this stage, the following should be ensured:

  • Numerous and diversified communication channels. 
  • Channels match target groups.
  • Customer can obtain information outside of traditional Customer Service business hours.

At this stage, consumers tend to use more than the official channels controlled by the company. They frequently resort to other clients' reviews, which means that the quality of service received by previous users is directly translated into prospects’ experience. According to Deloitte’s “Polish CX Drivers” customer experience survey, customers ranked the most frequently-used search channels like this:

Source: Polish CX Drivers 2020, a report by Deloitte

2. Omnichannel at the onboarding stage

A professionally-conducted onboarding increases the chances of a client's positive decision to choose a given product or service offered by the company. In order for the consumer to move on to the next stage of the Customer Journey, the process should be: 

  • Fast - Having made their decision, customers want to start using their purchase as soon as possible. Any delays will affect customers' assessment of the service. 
  • Functional - Customers should be able to intuitively use key functionalities without any additional instructions.
  • Personalized - Onboarding should be adjusted to the needs and competencies of the client (e.g. taking into account their digital savviness) to avoid any misunderstandings and problematic situations.

The Deloitte survey also showed which onboarding channels received the highest scores from particular industry representatives:

Źródło: Raport Polish CX Drivers 2020 raport Deloitte

3. Self-service during product use

Long-term use of a product or service  means the client will sometimes need support – e.g. by having some questions answered or doubts clarified. Often, these situations do not require interacting with company personnel; the user should be able to quickly sort them with self-service channels. At this stage, customer satisfaction is determined by the client's ability to choose an effective channel that facilitates self-service.

According to this Microsoft report, as many as 66% of customers use at least 3 channels to contact customer service. In the Botwise survey Challenges and trends in Customer Care departments - 2020 , 84% of respondents admitted to searching information on the website prior to contacting a company employee.

Total Experience: A joint and comprehensive effort and approach

Total Experience (TX) is a comprehensive way of combining all experiences across the entire organization. This approach embraces the employee experience (EX), customer experience (CX), and user experience (UX) so that all of these parties can have the best possible outcome.

At the heart of the Total Experience strategy lies a human being playing different roles in different situations (such as a user or an employee). The idea of H2H places emphasis on human emotions, feelings, and personalized needs at each stage of consumption. In order to account for them, generate positive customer impressions, and stay ahead of the competition, organizations must analyze the entire experience – employees as well as consumers. The ability to succeed is rooted in company culture. Competent, well-trained employees who share and represent their company's values and mission have a positive impact on the customer experience.

Source: PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey 2017/18

To ensure a consistent digital experience throughout the entire customer journey (from the first contact, through research, purchase, after-sales service, and building loyalty) a vital role is played by technological tools. They help us achieve measurable business results and establish our organization’s market position, which can be easily seen in leading companies’ success stories.