How do they see you, or what Customer Experience is all about

Service Business

The beginnings can be difficult - this saying also applies to setting up your own store or service point, in a traditional form or online. Before the business begins to bring significant profits, it is necessary to properly advertise it, inform potential customers about its existence, offer something attractive that will attract people. When traffic begins to increase, the first step to success has been achieved. At this point, it is worth taking a look at the customers - are they only new people, or does the company already have regular, returning customers?

Why is the information that customers return to the company important? Regular customers of the store's offer are not only an inexhaustible source of income. A consumer who remembers the brand, its name, logo, place where it is located, and also associates the offer, may become a "virus" - that is, create viral marketing. Such a person transmits information about the store to others, automatically expanding the circle of potential customers. In addition, someone who likes a given store will be happy to help its owners improve it - especially since such commitment is also likely to be good for him. Therefore, an engaged customer is more likely to complete an evaluation or talk to a seller, providing information about what is in the company in plus, but also about what should be improved.

However, in order for a consumer to turn from a one-time customer to a returning customer, and then a regular customer, he must have a good opinion of the company. Such an opinion, resulting from previous experiences with the store, is the common definition of the concept of Customer Experience.

What is Customer Experience?

The concept of Customer Experience is becoming more and more popular in Poland, but it is difficult to find a detailed definition for the time being. In free translation, it simply means customer experience.

Indeed, in line with pioneering foreign publications, Customer Experience can be defined as a way of perceiving by the customer the interaction that takes place between him and his supplier (store, service point, etc.). Such experience consists of many elements - price, service, availability, contact, honesty, reliability and many others, basically individual for each client. Importantly, it is not only a matter of factual comparison that in the online store X is 20% cheaper than in Y, but contact with Y is much easier.

Every person, when they perceive something, does it on three levels - cognitive, behavioral and emotional. Cognitive is about facts (price list, waiting time), behavioral is about how an event will affect behavior, and emotional is a subjective assessment of an event that accompanies people almost always, often subconsciously, also in Customer Experience.

Positive emotional evaluation is a really important part of the sum of experiences, often more important than the cognitive one, because it is stored longer and more strongly in memory. Therefore, the most important thing will not always be what the store offers to its recipients, but also how it does it.

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The best time to build Customer Experience ...

… is always. The customer experience, as indicated earlier, consists of something more than the quality of the goods and their price. In order to build a good sum of experiences, you need to consider all the stages that the customer goes through, both before and after the purchase.

Therefore, at the beginning, you should take care of your store in terms of new customers and regulars. The first ones will appreciate the transparency, clarity of procedure, legibility of instructions and regulations, easy product search and contact with the staff. Those already involved may like all kinds of profits, loyalty cards, but also (especially in online activities) the history of purchases and the opportunity to share your opinion.

Although the service has already been mentioned, it is worth putting even more emphasis on it. Vendors or administrators should always be helpful and well-informed. Importantly, the majority of clients do not require miracles from consultants. Even if there is no specific product in the store, the wrong price has been charged, the shipping costs have been overstated or any other mistake has been made that may affect the company's image, it is most often possible to fix it.All you need is a good contact, suggesting a substitute solution, explaining and apologizing for any irregularities. On the other hand, it is always a bad idea to go into denial and refuse the consumer to try to reach an agreement, even if it is the customer himself who is at fault in some way and asks for help. The recipient will remember the reaction of the staff and their own feelings related to it - if it is positive, and the company, despite making a mistake, is reliable in correcting it, there is a good chance that the customer will return and his opinion will remain positive. A company with which it is difficult to contact and with which it is difficult to count on understanding may recover, for example, money for a given product, but it will certainly not gain a loyal customer.

It is also worth remembering about your client after completing the transaction. This can be done, for example, through the previously indicated possibility of assessing the transaction. Thanks to it, the company uses many levels - it gets feedback on what is worth improving and what is a plus and gains a loyal customer with a pleasantly flattered ego, who feels that his opinion counts and that he has an impact on the company's operation. Only advantages.

Customer Experience is impossible to fight

Constantly striving for a client is not an optimistic vision? Perhaps, and in fact, they can be given to oneself by running the company in a correct, non-breaking way. This solution does not mean that the store will fail in a moment, it can function well without building a Customer Experience. However, it should not be forgotten that even the lack of efforts in this direction on the part of the seller does not mean that such experience and customer feedback will not arise. They will arise - independently and without help.

Nowadays, the consumer knows a lot about the company - sometimes more than its owner thinks. Today's customers are already well educated in marketing methods and are not fooled by advertising. The recipient will believe the opinions of other customers, external price comparison websites or other evaluations that can be found on the web faster than the description on the website. Serious purchases are usually preceded by a thorough internet search in order to obtain as much information as possible about the seller, its product range, contact methods or possible complaints.

It is also worth remembering something theoretically banal, and which sellers sometimes seem to forget - customers have their own minds. They know what they are looking for, what they need a given item or service for, and are well aware of how to take care of themselves. This is important because omitting this "detail" can cost the seller very dearly. Therefore, you should never make changes to the store regulations or try to convince the customer that he has misinterpreted them. Important - it is not the recipient who is to blame, if he received the message incorrectly, the sender is to blame, because he formulated it incorrectly. You must not limit the creativity of customers - each thing can be used in many ways, depending on the creativity of the user.

Therefore, it is worth listening to your consumers, finding out how they use something, and not focusing only on one basic method of using elements from their own offer. Probably everyone knows the famous recruitment question about ten alternative uses of a pencil and a paper clip? Exactly.

Customer Experience, i.e. the customer's experience with a given company, can be cared for or not, used or not noticed. No matter how you approach it, it exists and grows as your business grows and your customer base grows. Although this concept is young and poorly developed in our country, perhaps it is worth getting interested in it today?