Customer Experience Design: How to Meet Customer Expectations?
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
There was a time when businesses could depend solely on the quality of their products to bring in new business. Success came from a company’s sole focus on delivering a dependable and highly functional product/service to the market. Today, that’s simply not the case.
The majority of large brands have become marketing machines, competing against each others’ hype instead of being user-centric in the design of their products and services. Product differentiation has become a “me too” gimmick and is no longer viewed as the success factor in big business today. Many shoppers often abandon a brand’s website and move on to the competitor due to poor customer experience (CX). And 89% of consumers quit shopping from eCommerce sites after experiencing poor CX.
The best way to solve this problem of high customer churn rate is to develop an effective customer journey map against your brand’s story that features desired CX. Every touchpoint within the customer’s interaction with a product/service is designed to deliver experiences based on the brand’s promise. This requires you to weave in storylines through online and offline experiences that bring the brand to life. The idea is to wow customers or clients at every point of their journey.
Now, let’s learn more about customer experience design and how customer mapping strategies can impact it.
How Customer Mapping Strategies Impact Your Customer Experience Design
Customer experience design often uses a customer journey mapping strategy to gain a comprehensive idea of a customer’s experience with the brand. This customer journey mapping tells the story of different customers’ touchpoints with a brand—as seen from the customers’ points of view. For each customer segment, the customer journey map shows a timeline detailing the customer’s interaction with the brand at various touchpoints, often also describing emotions, motivations, and context.
It can help identify gaps in the customer experience design as well as suggest ways to improve customer service. As such, it is a good tool for placing customers’ experiences and needs at the center of an organization. You can also measure the commitment and loyalty of the customer as an indicator of a positive CX. By measuring your customer’s experience during the stages of a customer’s journey and mapping it, you can develop a blueprint customer journey for your organization or segment of the organization.
Strategies Important in Meeting Customers Expectation
To build a successful, profitable, and sustainable eCommerce business, you have to invest in your customers before they enter the buying cycle, while they are in it, and long after they’ve made a purchase from your store. You can call it to design thinking, you can call it marketing, but at the end of the day, what you’re really talking about is CX. Simply put, a customer’s experience relates to interactions between you and your customer. It is how your customers feel about your brand based on the interactions they ultimately had with you.
Why does it matter you may ask. It does matter because bad experiences felt by customers or potential customers can wreak havoc on an eCommerce business. Good customer service, on the other hand, can lead to boosts in brand awareness, website traffic, social mentions, and sales. If you want to drive more positive interactions with customers and boost sales, you have to work to intentionally improve your customer experience design at your business. An effective customer experience strategy will help you meet your customer’s expectations. Here are some basic strategies every business should implement:
Know Your Customers and Understand Their Needs
Generate customer journey maps to find your customer’s likes and dislikes and what influences their buying decisions so that your company can create the right opportunity for them to get excited about your products or services. This is because journey maps help you to step back from what has previously worked allowing you to step into your consumer’s mind. It will also help you become effective in your business as it reflects your customer perspective. Thus, in order to really understand your customers, you need to dig deeper and learn about their needs and interests, as well as the factors that go into their buying decisions. Try to find out what your customers are buying, why they are buying and the frequency of their purchases.
Also, include any potential customers who have made inquiries about your goods or service. To achieve this, you should apply the technique of design thinking where your products and services should be determined by what the customer wants and not the other way round. Design thinking unique focus on empathy helps to frame or re-frame a problem from the perspective of the customer. By framing problems from the customer’s perspective, you will achieve success as this helps to align ideas and prototypes with the factors most important to the end-user.
Train Your Team to Meet Your Customer Needs
Let’s assume that the product you sell does what it’s supposed to do and the people that deliver it as well as the level of service they give is good. Once it becomes predictable and consistent with a standard slightly above average, you have a chance at creating customer loyalty. Therefore, it is crucial that your agents and representatives are on the same page when it comes to setting and managing customer expectations. In doing this, you empower them with the tenets of clear communication, consistency, and superior service.
Emphasize the customer experience design in your customer journey maps. Formulate a statement describing your intent, reflecting the brand and desired CX. Communicate this statement to your team throughout the different stages of their career, starting with the onboarding process. When onboarding new agents, be sure to include a portion of training that’s devoted to managing customer expectations. Allow your team experience CX and have them meet customers to better understand their experience.
Picture 1. Team training
Develop a Customer-Centric Culture
Every member of your business has to be involved in your customers’ experience with your products and services. It shouldn’t be delegated only to your support team as most businesses do these days. Encourage your employees to keep your customers at the center of each decision they make, whether they’re developers adding new features, or marketers coming up with new campaigns. Build a strong culture that embraces the right systems, processes, and technology to empower staff, ensuring they have meaningful and empathetic conversations with customers. Take a team-based approach to areas such as social media, work with PR and marketing staff to ensure that customer queries never get missed. Make sure your training and incentives reflect the service behavior your customers are seeking. In this way, everything your business does will be done with the end-user in mind — and will be much more likely to meet and exceed their expectations.
Always Engage Customers Throughout Their Journey
With social media customer service on the rise and personalized messaging of the new norm, customers expect quick, convenient ways to contact companies. Active engagement provides an avenue for differentiation and can be attractive to potential customers when they see your responsiveness. That means companies have to choose the right communication channels and provide quality experiences across all of them. At the same time, they need your businesses to actively understand and always follow their needs. To do this, you need to engage authentically on social media channels to delight customers whenever possible. Seek out your customer feedback proactively as it will enable you to catch issues you would have never heard about and as well uncover opportunities to connect with your them more meaningfully. Join the conversation as this is the best way to influence the flow of information about your company.
Picture 2. Active engagement
Create a One-Stop Mobile Experience
We’ve been in a mobile (and digital) world for some time now. So, it profits any organization looking to deliver better experiences to build a branded mobile app for engaging with customers. Moreover, that mobile app should make it simple for customers to interact with the brand directly within the app. All too often, today’s applications require consumers to leave the app to take the next step in customer service, why? The app should be a one-stop-shop for anything a customer needs to resolve their issue. Leverage your customer’s experience by focusing your efforts on mobile – where many customers spend most of their time. Know if these customers are experienced mobile users or beginners, what needs they have that triggered their mobile interaction with your company and what information they need for them to interact with your mobile app. Ensure you also make their experience with your app seamless.
Design the Future of Your Customer Experience
Customer experience design is not about technology, it’s about people. The experience your customer has while buying from you should be at the center of your company’s operations. Get to know your audience, make sure they’re the right audience for your brand, and learn as much as you possibly can about their needs and goals. If you want to grow your business, then be ready to provide customers with an unrivaled experience. Applying specific design thinking customer experience strategy ensures the customers’ needs are always at the center of all you do. Set clear expectations from the start, and make sure that current and prospective customers always have the information they need to make informed decisions. With proper planning, strategy, and by implementing these ideas targeted at delivering excellent customer experience design, your business will be a success.
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