What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with your brand. It encompasses the emotional response a customer has to all manner of touchpoints in the customer journey, both direct and indirect. For example, if a prospective buyer browses your website, they could have a positive or negative experience. Maybe they find your content easy to scan and understand, and it’s presented in a visually appealing and engaging manner. This indirect interaction with your brand would likely result in a positive customer experience.
Understanding customer experience
Customer experience is a term that’s been around for a while but has recently been attracting more attention. Brands everywhere are acknowledging that in order to succeed in the market – outshine competitors, attract, and retain customers – they have to deliver high-quality customer experience.
Now contrast this with a customer who attempts to contact one of your customer service agents with a question about your product. If the customer makes three attempts to contact but never gets through to an agent, this is almost certainly a frustrating and negative experience with your brand.
Customer experience vs customer service
To put it simply, customer service contributes to customer service. Poor customer service often contributes to a negative customer experience and vice versa.
The importance of customer experience
Customer experience is a differentiator and competitive edge. Consider the various touchpoints your customers have with your brand. Do you think your brand delivers unique or remarkable experiences? Research shows that consumers are willing to pay up to 17% more for a product or service that has a reputation for great customer service, and by extension, a positive customer experience.
If your brand can provide a better experience than your competitors, even if your prices are higher, you’re likely to attract more customers.
High-quality customer experience also leads to satisfied, loyal customers that tell others about your brand. Customers, regardless of whether they are B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) appreciate customer experience initiatives such as free trials, product guarantees, free returns, referral programs, loyalty programs, responsiveness, helpful customer service, and more.
When your business is intentional to create opportunities for positive customer experiences, chances are you’ll see your revenue increase. In fact, 84% of companies that improved on their delivery of customer experience reported increased revenue.
How to measure customer experience
There are several ways your business can measure customer experience, each involving the person or business at the center of it all – the customer. Check out these two popular methods for measuring customer experience:
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a performance indicator that gauges how satisfied a customer is with your product, service, or brand. Customers are asked to rate their satisfaction between 1-5. Here is the equivalent of each number:
1 – Very unsatisfied
2 – Unsatisfied
3 – Neutral
4 – Satisfied
5 – Very Satisfied
This is a useful tool that can be used to ask about a customer’s satisfaction with your company as a whole or with individual aspects of your business (e.g. specific product or service or a certain department).
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Net Promoter Score (NPS), is a calculation of the percentage of customers that are likely to recommend your product, service, or brand to a coworker or friend. Each customer is asked to rate how likely they are to refer by selecting a number between 0 and 10. Here’s how the calculation works:
- Calculate the % of customers that marked 9 or 10 on the survey. These customers are referred to as “Promoters”.
- Calculate the % of customers that marked 6 or lower on the survey. These customers are referred to as “Detractors”.
- Subtract the % of Detractors from the % of Promoters. The result is your Net Promoter Score.
The purpose of the NPS is to understand whether that customer would proactively recommend you to someone else. Once you’ve identified your baseline NPS, you can implement additional customer experience initiatives, then reassess to see if your NPS has increased.