How to Build a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy in 2021

How to Build a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy in 2021

Customer experience (CX) has become a main focus of brands as we’ve entered a customer-centric business landscape. Through modern connectivity, customers have access to more products and more channels to communicate with and about the brands they use.

Understanding the customer journey from start to finish, creating personalized customer services, and successful CX are often just as important as the products or services you sell. 

That’s where your customer experience strategy comes in.

What Is a Customer Experience Strategy?

The customer experience is the overall perception customers’ have of a company.

A customer experience (CX) strategy is the process a company uses to evaluate voice of customer (VoC) and CX data and improve the overall customer experience. This includes data from across every customer touchpoint and along the entire customer journey. 

Creating a good CX is key to customer retention, of course, because happy customers are more likely to remain with a company, but let’s take a look at some stats to emphasize why a good customer experience strategy matters:

Improving your CX will increase brand awareness, cut down on customer churn, and increase your bottom line.

Every move your company makes and action you take affects your customers’ perception of your brand. To take advantage of these positive statistics and avoid the negative, your CX strategy should be holistic and consistent across your organization. Take a look at these customer experience strategy steps to ensure your customers’ satisfaction is as high as possible. 

How to Create a Customer Experience Strategy

Follow these tips to create a CX strategy process that will perform at the top of the class in any industry.

  1. Segment your customers and create personas
  2. Map the customer journey
  3. Create a training program for your employees
  4. Invest in the right tools
  5. Routinely collect customer feedback and measure results
  6. Track your teams’ performance

1. Segment your customers and create personas

Analyze purchasing and buyer data to discover distinct customer personas. This will help you understand who your best customers are, who you may be performing lower with, and give you insight into different personas you can target in the future.

You can segment your customers by:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, occupation, education – who are your customers and how do they identify themselves?

  • Geography: Where are your customers located? And do you want to research new potential markets for growth?

  • Psychographics: What are the personalities and lifestyles of your customers? How would they identify themselves? Psychographic segmentation is often quite subjective, so you’ll probably need to follow your customers’ leads to uncover appropriate categories, but because it is tied to personal identity, psychographic segmentation is often the most powerful.

  • Behavior: What are the purchase histories and patterns of your customers? Who are the biggest purchasers or why don’t some customers renew or repurchase?

2. Map the customer journey

Customer experience strategy is about individual customer touchpoints (first contact, purchase, onboarding) and the whole customer journey. Follow the customer lifetime from start to finish. Why are different segments churning and others staying with you? What is the overall view of CX?

Take a look at the template below for an example of how to map the customer journey, and take note of how customers feel at each stage: is their experience positive or negative?

3. Create a training program for your employees

Now that you have some insight into your customers, use it to inform your employees. Don’t be afraid to dive into the negative, here. Negative customer feedback is usually the most powerful because it can teach you what not to do in the future. 

Furthermore, with this step it can be helpful to go beyond VoC and delve into voice of employee (VoE) to uncover pain points internally and inform how your employees’ experience might correlate to that of your customers.

4. Invest in the right tools

Invest in proper tools to analyze your company’s CX and VoC. Machine learning AI tools can offer huge insights and run 24/7 and in real time, to follow customer feedback and data from internal systems and all over the web.

A 2020 survey of leading product managers shows that 52% of PM teams say that their new products and features are mostly stimulated by customer feedback, yet only 10% say that they successfully capture product feedback from all available sources.

Furthermore, customers expect to be able to reach you wherever they care to. According to a recent Zendesk CX trends report, 64% of customers used a completely new support channel in 2020, with a 36% growth on in-app messaging, 75% in SMS/Text, and 110% in social messaging.

5. Routinely collect customer feedback and measure results

Sometimes the best way to elicit feedback from your customers is to simply ask them via email, or in-app surveys. Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys are all a great start and use metrics that are trusted across any number of industries.

You can ask simple True/False or number-rated questions for quick responses, or dive in more thoroughly with open-ended questions that can often provide feedback you may have never even considered.

You can even use machine learning text analysis tools to gather and analyze customer feedback from online reviews, social media, and all over the web. Sometimes unsolicited customer opinions provide the most honest feedback.

Be proactive and uncover customer pain points before they become a huge issue. Use a customer feedback loop to ensure that you’re always listening to VoC and, ultimately, “closing the loop” to let your customers know that you’ve heard them.

6. Track your teams’ performance

Once you have a clear customer experience strategy in place, you need to ensure that employees are following it to the ‘t’ and using all the tools at their disposal. You can perform competitive analysis against online data of other companies in your field. And you should routinely follow employee performance against past performance to see how well your new strategy is working.

Customer Experience Strategy Tips & Best Practices

  • Implement automation and AI: MonkeyLearn is a SaaS text analysis platform with a suite of tools to help you get the most out of your customer experience data. Use techniques like sentiment analysis to automatically read your open-ended surveys and social media data for opinion polarity (positive, negative, neutral, and beyond). 

Then you can run this same feedback through analyses, like keyword extraction and topic analysis to follow new trends in your industry and find out what aspects of your business perform highest and which areas you may need to work on.

Machine learning text analysis tools allow you to integrate with internal tools you already use to automate processes like tagging, routing, and prioritizing support tickets. Improve response times and take care of the most urgent issues right away.

  • Deliver personalization: Use your customer segmentation and individual customer data to provide a targeted, personalized customer experience. Show your customers you care with special offers, unique marketing, and location directed deals they may be interested in. 

And be sure to “close the loop” and let your customers know that you've instituted changes based on their feedback or have, at least, accepted and acknowledged their feedback.

  • Limit customer pain points: Dig into your data to understand recurring problems and fix them. Design FAQs, a knowledge base,and chatbot responses around the most common problems to save time and decrease headaches.

  • Provide amazing customer service: Customer service is often the biggest pain point in the customer journey. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and analyze feedback, wait times, and customer sentiment on phone calls, chats, and emails to ensure you’re providing the best customer service you possibly can.

  • Analyze customer-facing employee feedback: Your employees that work directly with your customers usually know them best. Try out a VoE program and ask employees how you can improve CX.

  • Analyze support ticket trends: Use aspect-based sentiment analysis to track the most common topics and subjects that come up in support tickets, and which are the most painful. There may be a fairly simple product design fix that will take care of the problem, or you may need to further educate employees on how to help customers through their problems.

  • Refine the feedback loop: Designing a personalized customer feedback loop around your CX strategy will guarantee that customer concerns don’t fall through the cracks and will set you up for a best-in-class customer experience. A proper customer feedback loop will gather and analyze feedback from wherever it lives and keep you in touch with your customers 24/7 and in real time. 

Conclusion

Diving into CX with a customer experience strategy promises to improve your overall understanding of your customers and their needs. You’ll improve customer service and your products and services, reduce churn, and increase revenue.

MonkeyLearn is a powerful text analysis platform with real world and real-time solutions to help you get the most from your customer feedback and CX data. Integrations allow you to streamline processes and pull data from wherever it lives.

With MonkeyLearn, you can set up your CX strategy and have it run regularly, 24/7.

Take a look at all of MonkeyLearn’s tools to see how they can help you set up your own customer experience strategy process. 

Or sign up for a free MonkeyLearn demo for a personal walk through.

Rachel Wolff

June 15th, 2021

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