Customer Experience Matters: How Businesses Can Audit Their Process

According to a recent report from Salesforce, customers are placing a heightened sense of importance on their experience with a brand now more than ever before. In previous marketing generations, what mattered most was the product or the service being sold and the value a customer received for their purchase. Now, however, marketing has become a more vital part of a customer’s life cycle with a brand and the user experience can no longer be considered outside of marketing’s hands.

Several factors have influenced this shift towards the favor of quality user experiences. For one, we now live in a world in which instant gratification has become somewhat of a norm and competition can be cutthroat. In order to have a hope of gaining traction in an increasingly crowded consumer market, a brand must offer the quickest responses, the best prices or value, and the best marketing campaign intent on capturing new audience members. This is far from an easy process.

In an effort to combat the competition, more brands are turning to user experience to make themselves stand out from the crowd.

Apple is a pioneer of this concept, helping shape the idea of experiential marketing well before other mainstream brands caught on to the effect. Visiting an Apple store is an experience — the minimalist store design is soothing, even in the most crowded spaces. There’s a lot of tactile feedback, customers are able to see, touch, and use the devices they’re considering. Everything is visually appealing and pleasant, so much so that the concept has become what Apple is known for. Soon, Apple was opening flagship stores with even more amenities and features for discerning shoppers. Shopping for Apple products became a destination event.

For this and other reasons, it’s no surprise that Apple consistently ranks near the top for customer experience. Other businesses can take pages from Apple’s book, learning ways to appeal to customers in a way that leaves them with a memorable experience.

Often, soliciting feedback from those outside of a brand’s organization can help paint a picture of what the user experience is for a customer. In many cases, those within the company are so close to their products that it can be difficult to pragmatically assess the scenario from a consumer’s perspective.

A brand may miss simple opportunities to connect with customers, such as the persona with which the brand’s platforms speak to consumers. Or perhaps the customer service team needs to take a more pleasant tone when they’re corresponding with customers. In other cases, perhaps the customer is simply just not having a memorable enough experience with the brand to rank their user experience favorably.

Consider introducing ways that customers can tailor their experience. User testing options such as quizzes or questionnaires can help a brand identify more customized experiences that may appeal to customers. Even giving customers control over what type of communications they receive from a brand can increase the satisfaction they feel with their user experience.

Salesforce’s report shows that 80 percent of customers say that their experience with a company matters just as much as the product or service for which they’re shopping. This is an important statistic for businesses to take to heart as they design their marketing and customer experience strategies for the months to come.

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