What Is CX & Why Does It Matter

CX – or customer experience – defines how people feel about brands and businesses. It’s the impression a brand leaves on a person. It encompasses every stage, conversation, and interaction that takes place across a variety of channels. CX ultimately informs and drives customer acquisition, retention, loyalty, and advocacy.
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Last updated: July 7, 2023

Just like life, CX is a compilation of moments. Not to be confused with UX, which describes the ease and overall intuitiveness of an interaction, such as performing a task on an app or finding content, CX design decisions are done so in a more holistic, long-term, and enduring way that fosters trust and goodwill. When done right, it drives differentiated value and results in thousands of touch points over the course of a lifetime that empower meaningful bonds with customers.

Often measured by NPS, CSAT, or repeat purchases, CX is ultimately about making people feel good. It’s the subconscious driver of behavior and decisions. With so many options and more power than ever to choose, customers can be more discriminatory about who they spend their time with and reward their money to. Simply put, if they don’t like you, they probably won’t continue to support you. On the other hand, if you give them an experience that is personal and memorable and connects with them on a deeper level, you’ll win more than just their wallet share.

Simply put, if they don’t like you, they probably won’t continue to support you.

What does good CX look like?

Good CX aligns purpose with value, is consistent, builds trust, and adds ease and enjoyability to every touchpoint and stage. It creates lasting impressions that drive customers – and employees – to shout your praises from the rooftops.

Crafting experiences is less about designing and controlling every single interaction. That’s not possible. It’s more about crafting the conditions in which certain types of interactions – ones that result in a positive and feel-good impression – can happen consistently and reliably over time. That type of work takes data, commitment, and, perhaps most importantly, strong cross-functional collaboration.

Also read: 8 Signs Your CX May Be Headed for a Heartbreak

Good CX starts with your customer

You can’t have a great customer experience without understanding your customer – not only understanding what they think, feel, and value, but why they think, feel, and value those things. It’s this type of data gathering, analysis, and segmentation that enables brands – despite legacy or industry longevity – to personalize their entire customer journey and satisfy their customers’ unique needs.

Using both qualitative and quantitative strategies to gather information and compiling psychographic and demographic profiles can give you powerful insights into what your customers value most. The energy you invest into getting to know and truly serving your customers is reflected in the energy they’ll give back to you.

It’s more about crafting the conditions in which certain types of interactions – ones that result in a positive and feel-good impression – can happen consistently and reliably over time.

Customer experience is a human experience

CX encompasses both internal and external stakeholders – in other words, employees, and customers – and when crafting CX, brands must prioritize human needs before business needs and work from the inside out. That means taking a hard look at the culture and experience provided for employees and mending areas of friction, breakdown, or inconsistency with the brand’s core values.

Also read: Crafting Employee Experiences that Improve Customer Experiences

Part of cultivating a positive culture is empowering cross-functional collaboration, a crucial component of integrated success that directly impacts your CX. Each person and team must understand the goals and play towards the same result. Aligning stakeholders and teams who impact CX is like conducting an orchestra – each player contributes to the final product. No singular team can be the designated driver of CX. It takes collaboration between different functions to provide a holistic experience from the surface to the core that stays true to the brand’s purpose and delivers consistent messaging and predictability across all touchpoints, channels, and platforms for the end user.

Core Messaging Framework | Tallwave

Great CX never stops evolving

Just as people evolve and grow over time, so should your CX. Doing so requires a commitment to establishing feedback loops and signals that tell you how you’re doing, as well as a commitment to iterating and improving the areas of your business that impact CX. These include your personas and customer segments, content, design language, marketing channels, products, and your employee-customer interactions. Doing so will ensure you will continue to deliver unforgettable moments that increase loyalty, build community, keep competitors at bay, and plant seeds for future growth.

Investing in excellent customer experiences is just that, an investment, but if done right, it can create a snowball effect of success.

Also read: Prepare, Survive, Thrive: CX Strategies to Recession-Proof Your Business

The impact of strategic CX

Many studies have been completed around customer experience and sentiment through the years. Here are a couple of stats that prove just how much a good CX strategy can impact business:

  • A PWC survey found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that deliver positive customer experiences.
  • A recent survey found that 86% of shoppers will pay more for a product or service if the brand offers a great customer experience.
  • Out of 15,000 surveyed, PWC found that 1 in 3 consumers would abandon a brand they loved after just one bad experience; 92% would abandon after 2 or 3 bad experiences.
  • Customer service is dictating purchasing habits. A Salesforce survey reported that nearly 90% of people say a brand’s CX matters just as much as their products and/or services.

And with more and more companies investing money into improving their customer experiences each year (79% of surveyed executives told Simpler Media Group that improving digital CX is a very or extremely high priority for 2020 and on), some are already leading the way. Companies including Apple, Trader Joe’s, and Lululemon continuously set the pace and expectation standards for their markets and are always looking for the next best way to personalize journeys to their customers’ needs.

The bottom line: good CX works

Not every business or brand needs an altruistic mission but it does need to connect with its customers and be cognizant of how it makes customers feel at each stage in the user journey. “Experience is everything” is not just our rallying cry at Tallwave, it’s where we see consumers moving and consequently where brands need to move, as well. Companies that deliver exceptional experiences and make consumers feel good about their interactions will be the ones who become and remain relevant. It takes work and it requires continual commitment, but if the relationship with your customers matters to you as a brand, then it’s a commitment that should be fun and well worth it.

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