Customer Experience – How to Compete on

How To Compete On Customer Service

It’s been several years since Gartner reported that 89 percent of organizations planned to compete on customer experience. Since then, the importance of this has proven itself many times over. Studies show that customer experience impacts the bottom line. Including one  by Temkin Group that shows a positive correlation between good customer interactions and future purchase intention. According to a Harris Interactive study 88 percent of customers prefer doing business with a company that offers quality customer service over a company that has the latest and most innovative products. What’s more, 69 percent of customers switch brands due to real or perceived poor service. Quality being cited as the reason by only 13 percent of respondents, according to a Michaelson & Associates study. Obviously, customer experience is the new battleground. But what does competing on in this realm entail?

Customer Journey Map

Before you can understand your competitive differentiation in terms of customer experience, you have to understand your customer journey. This entails stepping into your customers’ shoes to see what it’s like to interact with your brand over time and across different channels. A journey map is the best way to get a clear picture of all the interactions or touch points customers have with your brand. Both the exercise of mapping, as well as the final visual, will reveal opportunities to implement improvements to the customer experience. What’s more, journey mapping ensure you and your team keep the customer’s needs the focus of your decision-making process.

Drivers of Experience

Drivers Of Experience

To compete on customer experience, you need to differentiate using the drivers of experience. These are emotion, differentiation and simplification. Focus on the things that impact customers’ behavior and attitudes.

After examining your customer journey and identifying major touch points, ask:

How can you make the experience more emotionally resonant for the customer? We remember our experiences based on the most significant emotions we felt during it.

What makes your customer experience more memorable than your competition? If your competition offers X, offering X + 1 doesn’t mean much, but offering Y or Z makes you stand out.

Is your customer experience simple? If it’s a hassle, points one and two will become obsolete. And although low customer effort may not be the differentiator that skyrockets you beyond the competition, if ignored, it can easily be a major competitive disadvantage.

Touch Points as Pressure Points

Touch Points As Pressure Points

Once you have strategically considered emotion, differentiation and simplification, identify and examine the key pressure points in your customer journey. These are the touch points that most resonate emotionally with your customers, the points that can make or break their experience. The goal is to make these pressure points the most incredible experiences in your industry.

Understanding your customer’s journey, the drivers of experience and their pressure points is only the beginning, however. In order to be able to deliver a great customer experience – and thereby differentiate yourself – you also have to employ empathy. According to Henry Ford, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” This means creating a company-wide focus on serving customers through concrete, measurable improvements and an overarching customer experience strategy that dictates not only CX initiatives, but all business decisions.

Ansafone can help you determine how to best arm yourself for the new battlefield of customer experience. From creating strategies aligned to your specific goals to outline and implementing the tactics that will drive lasting improvement.

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