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What is CX? Understanding the Customer Journey

Customer experience, or CX, is the sum of all cognitive, emotional, sensory, and behavioral responses a customer has with a brand. Quite literally, it is how your customer feels about what you sell, how you sell, and why you sell. To deliver a great customer experience, businesses must go beyond simply grouping customers through customer segmentation. What your customers experience throughout their buying journey, before and after they make the purchase, contributes to the overall CX.

The Phases of Customer Experience

The stages of CX can be separated into three different stages, the pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase stage. All stages have different phases within them, marked by changes in the customers’ behaviors. The customer experience is a totality of responses from the first point of contact to post-purchase follow-up.

Pre-purchase

The customer journey begins when a potential customer learns about a product or brand. This is the awareness phase. When intrigued about a product, customers will go through a consideration phase. In this phase, customers measure the pros and cons of all different options.

The pre-purchase stage, consisting of the awareness and consideration phase marks the first stage of sales. This stage lasts from when customers first encounter your brand’s products to when they start comparing them to your competitors. The easier it is for customers to engage with your brand, the better they will understand your products’ benefits. Marketing teams, sales teams, and other roles play a big part in creating the best first impressions of your company.

Purchase

When a customer decides to purchase your product, they will convert from a potential customer to an actual customer. This is the conversion phase, or the sales stage. The customer decides whether to purchase a product or service based on the experiences during the pre-purchase stage.

The essence of the sales stage is making the purchasing process easy, giving consumers the final nudge to purchase your product.

Post-purchase

After purchase, it is necessary to keep customers returning regularly. This is the retention phase. When customers are satisfied with the actual product and your customer service. This encourages them to make purchases with your business again in the future.

If all stages of the purchase end successfully, the customer will go through an advocacy phase. Happy customers will act as indirect advocates of your products and encourage acquaintances to make purchases via word-of-mouth.

Friendly customer service and quick responses to follow-up questions act as the main factors of the post-purchase stage.

Creating a customer journey encompasses every customer touchpoint. All teams and tasks of your business are all a part of creating a good customer experience. For a business to grow, it is crucial for a brand to create a comfortable, enjoyable customer journey.

The Different Types of CX

Customer experience is not only divided into phases but into different types of experiences according to the factors they appeal to.

Emotional customer experience: Positive customer journeys inspire positive emotions. These experiences should feel friendly, understanding, and supportive.

Cognitive customer experience: Efficient customer journeys allow customers to quickly find information or products without too much thinking.

Sensory customer experience: Stimulating customer journeys that engage the customer’s senses can increase customer satisfaction.

Behavioral customer experience: Consistent customer journeys ensure a trustable and stable experience and live up to the consumer’s expectations.

When planning your customer experience strategy, note that consumers do not make decisions based on emotion or logic alone. Effective customer experiences should capture both the minds and hearts of your target consumers.

Why is Customer Experience Important?

Finding touchpoints that encourage retention and customer loyalty will allow you to maintain great customer satisfaction that results in revenue. Happy customers are the main drivers of long-term growth. Good customer experience not only leads to word-of-mouth advocacy, but also shows valuable customer feedback.

In today’s competitive landscape, management of customer experience is often what sets you apart from other competitors. Businesses with better CX will do better at acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. Good customer experiences build brand identity and gives you a competitive edge that brings customers back. Returning customers left with a good experience are more likely to engage in further purchases, and cost much less to maintain.

What is Good and Bad CX?

CX refers to the overall satisfaction of your customers. Most of the time, good customer experiences are identified with an easy process and a good product. A positive customer experience has high customer interaction and engagement. Quick responses, user-friendly touchpoints, seamless interactions, and easy payment systems are all examples of easy processes.

A good product literally means the quality of your product. Some factors may include easy use, instructions, warranties, and support systems. Having a product that delivers exactly what is expected is the most important part of creating a good experience.

Bad CX can be identified as uncomfortable, slow, unfriendly experiences that make the customer hard to proceed with their purchases. This may be vague data, bad marketing, lack of touchpoints, and few interactions. If the product fails to deliver what was promised, the customer may feel disappointed at their purchase.

How to improve your CX

How do you create a better customer experience? As given in the examples above, businesses should focus on improving their product or the process that leads to customer decisions.

1. Put customers first

Customer focused approaches work better when selling a product or service. For example, site search using keywords may be useless for consumers that are not aware of what they want to buy. Using context aware search units that reflect sentiment can be more welcoming than dull labels. Allowing your customers to find what they want with better product navigation can play a critical role on a successful CX.

2. Use AI to leverage data

AI speeds up work processes and increases efficiency among your employees. Valuable data provided by customers (such as social media reviews) are not always used to its potential. It takes a lot of work to go through their responses and analyze them according to type and category. With AI, you can study customer behavior through data and further leverage that insight to create a better customer experience.

3. Increase engagement and track customer feedback

Increasing engagement on online platforms boosts brand awareness. With so many options available today, it is important to keep visitors interested. Engagement allows users to be a part of the brands they love. By tracking engagement, businesses can make strategic decisions that effect brand identity and marketing based on this information.

4. Retain existing customers

Keeping existing customers is even more important than acquiring a new customer. Retaining existing customers cost less and also has a higher rate of follow-up purchases. Increasing customer loyalty through faster responses and a trustable platform can do wonders for user retention rates and increase interaction with your brand.

5. Create personalized options for better satisfaction

Personalization is a new trend in e-commerce and web services. Besides giving curations like “Trending”, “Latest”, or “Favorites”, all businesses are focusing on bringing the right products to the right customers. With online sources, people are now bombarded with endless possibilities. The key to capturing customers in a vast sea of options is to match relevant results to the right target audience through effective search engines.

Using AI Keytalk to improve CX

Keytalk provides quick and easy navigation for products and services in all sectors. It is a product recommender that lets your customers find what they need, when they need it.

By providing an engaging and relevant site search, your business can increase conversion and provide your team with valuable customer feedback. With Keytalk, your business will be able to retain returning customers and keep them interested. Help your customers find their next personal favorite through better search results.

Find out how Keytalk’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms capture contextual meaning and create a wonderful customer experience through AI. Request for more information on Mycelebs Keytalks.

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