What is a Customer Experience Strategy?
A customer experience strategy is a blueprint of the customer experience (CX) that you want to deliver to your customers.
What is customer experience and what are some examples of customer experience strategy executed? Be sure to read my recent blog post where we review Anthropologie’s online and in-store customer experience strategy.
Creating a strategy to improve your brand’s customer experience is a process. To kick start creating a customer experience strategy, first consider these ten initial steps:
- Define What Sets Your Brand Apart?
Your company already has a brand positioning statement in place, defining what makes your products and services of unique value to your customers.
For example, Anthropologie’s brand profile reads:
“Anthropologie is a lifestyle brand that imparts a sense of beauty, optimism and discovery to our customer. For her, Anthropologie is an escape from the everyday; it is a source of inspiration and delight, where innovative merchandising, customer centricity and a curated array of products come together to create an unimagined experience.”
Having a clear understanding of this statement will help you write your CX Mission Statement, as it is the fundamental story that the company is based on.
- Write Your CX Mission Statement
What’s your vision for your brand’s customer experience? Summarize your customer experience mission in one succinct statement. This will help guide you as you start to develop your CX strategy.
For example, Anthropologie’s corporate creative director Missy Peltz shares the brand’s in-store customer experience vision:
“We have this romantic notion that people still want to be inspired. Not only by a garment or gadget, but by an experience…”
If you read Anthropologie’s brand positioning and customer experience mission statements, you’ll see the connective thread: inspiration and experience.
- Create Customer Personas
A persona is an imaginary profile created to represent one or a variety of your customers. Identify a few personas from your current customer base. To bring your personas to life, here are a few questions to answer about them:
- Demographics – Age? Male or Female?
- Location – Where do they live? What devices do they use?
- Info Preference – How did they discover your brand? How do they like to research? How do they like to engage with your brand?
- Problems – Why are they interested in your product or service? What solution are they searching for to solve their problem?
- Consideration – Are they ready to purchase your product or service?
- Obstacles – Price? Timing? Have they had a previous bad customer experience?
- Expectations – What do they expect as a customer?
- Establish Your Brand Voice and Tone
Think about your brand as a person. What would they look and feel like? How would this person express themselves through digital channels? Take a step back and determine how your brand is currently represented across online and offline channels.
- Understand Your Customers
What inspires your customer? What do your customers need / want to know? What can you provide your customers with to minimize their pain points?
- Identify Customer Touchpoints
A touchpoint is a message that “touches” a customer in some way. Touchpoints collectively create the customer’s experience. Think about the service or product from the customer’s point of view. Ask yourself what the current offline and online experience is for the customer – from initial discovery, to purchase, to customer service.
- Map the Customer Journey
Before you can start to design new customer experiences, you’ll want to create a customer journey map. The goal of customer journey mapping is to improve your customer experience. This map helps provide an overview on how customers are currently interacting with your brand and identifies opportunities for improvement.
Work in progress customer journey mapping excercise with initial touchpoints outlined.
- Evaluate Your Customer’s Perception
How do your customers perceive each touchpoint? Does it do what they expect? Does it deliver in an appropriate amount of time? Does the customer feel satisfied after using it? Social Listening tools like Hootsuite provide invaluable real-time insight into your customer’s experience.
- Establish Structure to Execute and Oversee CX Strategy
In order to activate and manage your customer experience strategy you need a governance structure in place. This is a plan for how your resources will carry out the strategy. Here are several questions to consider:
- Who will drive efforts and how?
- How will we listen to customers and use the data?
- Who will use the data?
- What process and policy is established to execute these efforts?
- How will we measure success?
- And most importantly – how does it all work together to meet our desired business goals
- Rally Executive Commitment
Creating a customer experience strategy isn’t a one-time activity – it’s a continuous and evolving process that requires commitment from all key brand stakeholders. Ensure buy in from your executive team to help secure the right resources as well as execute and optimize the strategy ongoing.
These are only 10 ten initial steps to help you start exploring CX Strategy for your brand. Interested in learning more about Customer Experience Strategy? Visit these great resources and follow Kobie’s blog.