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What customer experience (CX) is, why it's important for your business, and how you can improve it for your customers.
PX insights and behavior analytics
23 Feb 2023
Great CX requires a customer-centric mindset... and a lot of careful work.This guideisyourintroduction to the basics: whyCX is important, how toimproveit through customerfeedback and surveys, plustips from 100+ CXexpertsand a reportwith plenty ofCX trends and stats—so you have everything you need to start delivering an exceptional experience foryourcustomers.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience, also known as CX, is your customers’ holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand.
CX is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigatingthe website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not—so a great customer experience isyour key to success.
Why is CX important for your business?
Delivering agreat customer experience is hugely important for any business. The better experience customers have, the more repeat custom and positive reviews you'll receive, while simultaneously reducing the friction of customer complaints and returns.
The benefits of delivering agreat CX include:
increased customer loyalty
increased customer satisfaction
better word-of-mouth marketing, positive reviews, and recommendations
All business models can benefit from improving the customer experience: subscription businesses can increase retention and reduce churn, ecommerce marketplaces can increase repeat custom and reduce returns, and service industries can gain recommendations and reduce complaints.
In fact, we challenge you to think up a type of business thatdoesn'tbenefit from providing agreat customer experience.We believe that putting customers first isalwaysgood for business(and we also havethe data to prove it inthe 'CX stats and trends' chapter).
What is the difference between customer experience and customer service?
In short, customer service is just one part of the whole customer experience.
As we mentioned, customer experience is a customer’s overall perception of your company, based on their interactions with it. Comparatively, customer service refers to specific touchpoints within the experience where a customer requests and receives assistance or help—for example, calling an operator to request a refund or interacting via email with a service provider.
In other words: CX is larger than customer service. It includes every touchpoint a customer ever has with your company, whether it's the moment they first hear about you in a blog post they found on Google, all the way through to the time they call your customer service team to complain about your product (and hopefully get a prompt response).
What is a good customer experience?
There is no single universal checklist to follow to guarantee good customer experience: your business is unique and so are your customers. However, we've found a number ofcommon principlesby polling 2000 CX professionals across many industries. You can read thefull results of our survey here,but we've included some of the key takeaways below.
In short, good customer experience can be achieved if you:
Make listening to customers a top priority across the business
Usecustomer feedback to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers
Implement a system to help you collect feedback, analyze it, and act on it regularly
Reduce friction and solve your customers' specific problems and unique challenges
It's not rocket science: a good customer experience comes fromasking your customers questions, listening to their responses, and actioning their feedback.
6 things that cause bad customer experiences
Bad customer experience comes in many shapes and sizes, but we noticed a number of commonly-reported issues in ourcustomer experience stats.
Bad customer experience is primarily caused by:
Long wait times
Employees who do not understand customer needs
Too much automation/not enough of a human touch
Service that is not personalized
If you need any more ideas, just think about the last time you were frustrated as a customer—it's quite likely that one (or more) of the above was the cause.
Ultimately, though, what counts as poor customer experiences in your business will be unique—and you'll only learn aboutit by opening the door to customer feedback, then working to minimize the impact of factors that cause a bad experience for your them.
→Check out the chapter with all theCX stats and trendsor learn more aboutimproving your CX strategy
Why you should use customer feedback as part of your CX strategy
You may know some theory behind what makes good and bad CX, but for it to make an impact on your business you need to have a reliable method of collecting insight from your customers so you can take action and make impactful changes.
Customer feedback is information you collect from your customers about their experience with your product, service, website, or business as a whole. You can use this feedback toimprove customer experienceby removing or reducing areas of friction and increasing positive touchpoints.
You're probably already collecting customer feedback without realizing it: when a customer sends an email, calls customer support, or leaves a review, that's feedback. The problem is, if that feedback is not measured and analyzed, you're missing out on the opportunity to use it to improve customer experience and leverage its growth potential.
→ Read more about theCX surveysyou canrun to collectfeedback from yourcustomers
How to measure and analyze customer experience
From what we wrote so far, customer experiencecan look like a subjectiveconcept that's difficult to measure. That's why you need to rely on a number of different CX metrics that can be usedindividuallyortogether to get an indication of customer experience in your business.
By having a measurable indicator of CX, you can track how it improves (or worsens) over time and use it to evaluate the success or failure of changes you make that might be affecting your customers. Here are four top metrics used by CX professionals to track customer experience over time:
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Net Promoter Score® (NPS)
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Time To Resolution (TTR)
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Customer Effort Scoremeasures the experience with a product or service in terms of how ‘difficult’ or ‘easy’ it is for your customers to complete an action.
CES surveys are usually sent out after an interaction with customer service, with questions such as ‘How easy was it to get your issue resolved today?’ and a rating scale going from ‘1: very difficult’ to ‘7: very easy’. They also work well after customers reach important milestones in their journey (for example, after they sign up for a free product trial or after they successfully concluded a transaction).
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Scoreis a customer loyalty score that is derived fromasking customersa simple closed-ended question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”.
You can choose to adapt the question slightly to better suit your business and use afollow-up NPS questionto get more insight, but the point of NPS is to get a simple numerical score on a scale from 0 to 100 that represents customer experience.
We useNPS as a primary CX metricat Hotjar, too.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT surveysmeasure customers’ satisfaction with the product or service they receive from you. They can be expressed with a 5- or 7-point scale (where 1: very unsatisfied and 7: very satisfied), or through binary yes/no answers.
Unlike the Net Promoter Score, which asks customers to consider their overall feeling towards the brand (and thus, their likelihood of recommending it or not), CSAT focuses the customer’s attention on specific touchpoints they were satisfied or dissatisfied with.
Time to resolution (TTR)
TTR is the average length of time it takes customer service teams to resolve an issue or ticket after it’s been opened by a customer. It can be measured in days or business hours, and is calculated byadding up all times to resolution and dividing the result by the number of cases solved.
In ourCX stats and trends, we found that the leading cause of customer frustration is a long wait/response time. For that, TTR is a crucial metric to track and improve: the shorter your TTR, the higher the chances your customerswill not experience frustration when they reach out for help.
A great customer experience example using NPS
Here is a practical example of what tracking a CX metric and acting on the insight can do for customer experience.
One of our customers, jewelry ecommerce Taylor & Hart, specializes in bespoke engagement rings—not the kind of product people usually think about buying online, and also not the kind of product customers would want to buy more than one of.
The company’s goal was to turn reluctant visitors into one-time buyers, and one-time buyers into lifelong promoters who would recommend the same service to their family and friends. After choosing Net Promoter Score as their primary CX metric, Taylor & Hart identified two essential customer milestones and set up NPS surveys at each point:
The moment a customer places an order
The moment the customer receives their order
The resulting NPS numbers were kept visible on metrics dashboards in the office, and everyone's focus was on keeping the scores improving. It wasn't an easy feat, but the team used each piece of negative feedback to fix parts of their business, from manufacturing to shipping methods, to give customers the best experience they could(ifyou're curious about the logistics, you canread afull write-up of thisNPS case study).
With customer experience kept very much front-of-mind, Taylor & Hart grew their NPS scores to over 80 (the highest in their industry) and annual revenuefollowed suit and grew to €4.5M.
→ Find more inspiration in thesetips from 100+ CX expertson whatelse you needto deliver a great customer experience
The remaining chapters of this guide cover:
CX stats and trends
Useful CX trends and stats from a survey of 2000 customer experience professionals.
Survey questions, step-by-step instructions, and templates to get feedback from your customers and improve CX.
Analyze and measure CX
3 things you need to get started measuring and analyzing the customer experience, and make changes that lead to growth.
Improve your CX strategy
The three elements you need to get started with a CX strategy that helps you improve your customer's experience.
CX tips from 100+ experts
100+ CX expert answer the question: "What's the ONE thing you recommend companies do to deliver an outstanding customer experience?".