The Customer experience is defined as your customers’ perceptions, both conscious and subconscious. Their relationship with your brand resulting from all their interactions with your brand during the customer life cycle.
'Customer service is an essential part of the overall customer experience, but it’s just one piece of a very large equation. Forrester Research vice president and research director Harley Manning defines customer experience as “how customers perceive their interactions with a company along each step of a customer journey, from discovery, to purchase and use, to getting service.” Notice the last two words in that definition: “getting service.” This reinforces the idea that customer service is one part of the customer experience – a small part, but still a pretty significant one', writes Selwa Luke of goinstant.com
BeyondPhilosophy.com says 'a customer experience is a blend of an organization’s rational performance, the senses stimulated and the emotions evoked and intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact.' They go on to elaborate on what the experience is and is not:
- A customer experience is not just about a rational experience (e.g. how quickly a phone is answered, what hours you’re open, delivery time scales, etc.).
- More than 50 percent of a customer experience is subconscious, or how a customer feels.
- A customer experience is not just about the ‘what,’ but also about the ‘how.’
- A customer experience is about how a customer consciously and subconsciously sees his or her experience.
Here are four tips from Lee Polevoi, who writes on the customer's experience, to make sure each customer who walks through your door has a memorable and positive experience:
- Exude a positive attitude. Being greeted by a smiling employee makes a terrific first impression. So does the business owner’s willingness to actively listen to a customer’s needs or concerns.
- Understand how your business is different from others. If you don’t already know, take time to identify what sets your company apart from your competitors. What’s your niche in the industry? How well do you know your target customer? What kind of service do you provide that no one else does?
- Empower your employees. Each of your employees, whether they work behind the scenes or interact directly with customers, should have a clear grasp of your company’s goals and values. They should also have first-hand knowledge of your product or service, including its features and benefits and, most importantly, how it can enhance the customer’s life. Employees should be given the authority to make customer-friendly decisions on the spot, without always having to consult you or some other supervisor.
- Keep your operations simple. Whether customers visit your business online or in person, your interactions with them should be straightforward, efficient, and friendly. Remember the emotional component to the customer experience: We all want to feel welcome, appreciated, and — if only for a few minutes — the center of your attention. Making it easy for customers to purchase your product or service will strengthen your relationship with them and encourage them to return again and again.
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