How to create a powerful customer experience strategy?

rykov media cx strategy

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You had an idea. Check. Product-market fit. Check. You found your first adopters, tested out your product/service. They liked it. But, this is not enough. You need a customer experience (CX) strategy to help you retain customers, build up new products for them and improve the customer journey. So, how do you do that?

What is a CX strategy?

A CX strategy means understanding every step of your customer’s path and learning from the customer’s experience in order to improve that experience. It is a never-ending cycle.

Along this path you want to:

  • Identify any obstacles that are or may prevent your customers from completing their journey.
  • Understand what makes the journey hard.
  • Understand what could make the journey easier to complete.
  • Identify how you can make the journey shorter.
  • Understand how to make the journey enjoyable (which is really, the cherry on top of the cake).

Killer obstacles

If the customer can’t complete their journey, you are also in trouble.

These are usually resolvable during the early stages of your business development, as angry customers would normally tell you that something is not working. The tell signs are there for anyone looking, but we will get to this further down the line. Here are examples of such obstacles:

  1. Your customer cannot access the content they need to go to the next step in their journey.
  2. Your customer is guided by your system to the wrong step that they were not looking for or wanted to avoid.
  3. Your customer does not understand how to access your solution to their problem.
  4. Your solution is not what your customer is looking for.
  5. Too many steps to the finish line – the customer gets tire/bored and quits.

Obstacles on your customers’ way

If the customer are completing their journey, but it’s taking them a long time and it is just too difficult for them, you are also in trouble. The moment a competitor comes along and offers a more convenient solution you will lose your client base.

Too many options is one such obstacle. Ex) An online store that sells shoes. You open their page… and drown in hundreds of options. All you wanted were some cheap white sneakers, and you instead are facing new Air Jordans, converses and some really depressing looking shoes that you wouldn’t buy for your grandfather.

Not quite the solution they were looking for. You may have guessed right in terms of what your customers might want, but you haven’t hit the nail on the head yet. Ex) You want to offer marketing data to marketing professionals. You create sets of marketing data from all kinds of industries… Even though 80% of your customers are only interested in advertising numbers from the markets in USA and UK. They now have to sort through other hundreds of reports and they are not too happy about that. Less is more.

Too many distractions. Similar to point one. OK, we get it. Anna from London bought the same item just now. Jordan from New York followed. Justin from Washington… STOP WITH THE ENDLESS POPUPS. You are distracting your customer from finding the right solution, and completing their journey.

Too many steps. Your customers may be completing their journeys, but they are getting very close to that line where too many steps could mean that they won’t finish “walking the path” next time.

Make it easy, make it fast, make it fun

How do you solve all of the above?

Feedback and alterations, feedback and alterations.

YOUR NUMBER 1 PRIORITY. Find out WHAT the customer is looking for. What is their ultimate solution. Here is a paradox for you: they won’t always know an answer to this themselves. However, through other users’ behaviour and through continuous alterations you can identify the solution that YOU can offer them, and so target only people who are looking for that specific solution, so you avoid bringing in irrelevant traffic.

If you want to offer other services, that’s not a problem. Create that service, advertise, and…begin collecting feedback (see below).

Identify potential obstacles at each step. If you are running an e-commerce store, which of the above obstacles might your customer face on their way to checkout? Is the price a problem? Are you showing too many products to them? Or maybe you run an online publication – why couldn’t the customer access certain articles on your website?

Collect customers’ feedback at each step of the way. You can:

  1. Ask for it directly, by collecting feedback on the same page (most effective), or by sending a follow up email/calling the customer (less effective, but still a good way to bring in the necessary information).
  2. Ask for it indirectly – i.e. through analysing time spent on page, visits per page, number of users that bounce per page, and any other data you can collect through each user session.

Alterations

Make improvements based on customers’ feedback. Is feedback unclear? Go back to the questions you ask your customers, and tailor them in such a way that you receive a more precise answer. Do you think there are more than one solution to this problem? Offer multiple solutions, and based on further user feedback, remove any that are merely distractions.

Through such improvement and alterations, and LISTENING to your customer, you will: a) shorten their journey time by showing them more relevant steps along the way, and helping them get to the finish line faster, b) make the journey more convenient.

Make it fun

I called this a cherry on the cake earlier. It’s not. This is the crux of any successful business. The journey will become more fun as you eliminate all the unnecessary options and make it more straightforward for anyone visiting your business/website. It will also become more fun as you personalise this journey.

Understanding what makes for a good individual customer experience will make your business invulnerable to any foreign attacks by competitors. There are many ways that you can make your product very personal and even addictive.

But that is a topic for another article.

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