What is the customer experience?
The term means translated as customer experience and describes the totality of all experiences that a customer has with a brand or a company. This includes the time span from the first contact with the company and its product or service, through many other touch points, to the last contact (conclusion of contract).
- Is the sum of all experiences of a customer with a brand
- Can be controlled by companies and advertisers
- Customer and his needs are always the focus
- Positive customer experiences result in more purchases and a better image
The customer is the focus of the customer experience
Already in the run-up to a possible purchase, the consumer makes experiences with the brand or company that offers a product or service. This can be a first contact through a website or online advertising. The basic idea of the customer experience is that the customer and his needs are the focus of attention. His wishes should be fulfilled or even exceeded at the existing contact points. In this way it can be achieved that the brand ideally becomes indispensable for the consumer and that he or she as a satisfied customer even takes care of its propagation. Satisfied buyers then become loyal customers, and these finally become real fans or ambassadors of the brand. This special area is controlled by Customer Experience Management. If possible, the brand should be (positively) experienced by potential buyers on their customer journey at each of the contact points. In this way, customer relationships are also strengthened (brand loyalty). The customer experience can therefore also be seen as a measure of business success. The aim of management is to get the consumer to deal with the brand and the company on his or her purchase journey in order to ultimately gain the most positive experience possible. The wishes and needs of potential customers must be identified through appropriate interaction. It is all about customer satisfaction, brand awareness and positive experiences with the products and services.
The customer experience and its management
Customer Experience Management (CEM / CXM), an essential component of any business model, deals with all these processes and measures. This includes complaint management, customer relationship management, customer support and social media channels. But there are limits to the CEM, because customer behaviour can never be completely planned. However, one can try to control emotions and opinions. What is important, however, is a certain flexibility to be able to react quickly to changes in the customer experience. Logically, it is in the interest of all suppliers to deliver optimal buying experiences to customers. Positive customer experiences can be created at a wide variety of touch points: for example, when shopping in a store, talking to customer support or travelling. Satisfied customers ensure positive feedback and often beneficial word of mouth by recommending the brand to others. If, on the other hand, negative experiences are more likely to be made, then there is the threat of bad ratings and further harmful actions. The better the customer experience at all touchpoints, the easier it is to win new customers. In addition, the sustained maintenance of positive customer experiences ensures a high degree of satisfaction and thus the retention of existing customers. Occasional negative customer experiences can even be offset if the overwhelming proportion of the customer experience is perceived positively. Especially those companies that are active in industries where it is difficult to distinguish themselves from their competitors (e.g. finance or real estate) do well to provide their customers with positive experiences. Customers should be able to derive maximum benefit from every encounter or point of contact with the company concerned. This can be achieved through customer experience management with appropriate content, marketing and service measures.