Beyond the Bottom of the Funnel: Understanding the Impact of CX at Every Stage
You know customer experience is important, but do you know the tangible business impact of CX? Do you have a full understanding of how customer experience infiltrates every stage on your customer’s journey?
Customer experience never used to be part of the conversation when it came to new customer acquisition. It was always seen as a bottom-of-the-funnel priority. But ask yourself: How do people discover your brand? What does the buying journey look like? Although the buying cycle for a B2C customer varies vastly from a B2B customer, they both have one key thing in common: What people say and feel about you carries more weight than any awesome marketing campaign you put in place. The power of persuasion is stronger than ever, and it’s easier than ever to share brand experiences with the entire world.
This is why it’s critical to focus on perfecting the customer experience. You can do this by identifying customers that adore your brand, learning from them, and then activating them. Once you find these fans, create easy ways for them to engage with your brand and share their positive experiences. When their network sees how much they love your brand, they’ll be more likely to purchase or engage with you. That one power-user that always answers your mobile surveys? Find a way to activate them and tap into their network in order to amplify your reach and get you even more new customers.
The bottom line is this: If you don’t provide the best customer experience possible to your current customers, you’ll have a hard time seeing any growth. Ideally, as you prioritize customer experience, there will be exponentially more evangelists for your company.
Loyalty + Retention
The cost of acquiring a new customer is substantially more than retaining a current customer. That’s why customer loyalty and retention is so critical to the health of your brand. Converting customers into fans is the only way to sustainably grow your business, improve customer retention, and reduce churn. To do this, you must understand why customers feel the way they do – especially when their feelings change over time.
Without a quality customer experience in place, it’s difficult to build enough trust to gather feedback from customers. Data shows that customers expect brands to interact with them, and those interactions heavily influence retention. Customer experience is all about relationship building but without a strong CX, lasting relationships are difficult to form.
The best way to give your customers a positive experience? Communication. Reach out, engage with them, and make them feel valued. And in fact, we’ve found that simply interacting with customers, proactively and respectfully, can increase three-month retention by as much as 400 percent.
On the flip side, understanding and optimizing customer experience can help you win back customers at risk for churn. When you seek their feedback, make appropriate changes, and then close the loop, they’ll feel valued and heard. They’ll be more likely to shift from hating you to loving you when you put in that extra effort. These people who have made a shift oftentimes become superfans because they’re more intimately acquainted with your CX and the iterative nature of your brand.
When you gather customer feedback, understand why customers feel the way they do, and then take action fixing problems and fostering relationships, you’ll be on your way to providing better customer experiences and therefore improving loyalty and retention.
How do you build products people love and use? How do you architect that stellar customer experience that acquires new business and increases lifetime value? You have to make data-driven product decisions.
Thinking about feedback and new feature development in the context of identifying your fans first, and then learning from them, is an accelerant to roadmap development. Consider using surveys to gather feedback on a new feature, open-ended text fields to learn more about your customers’ engagement experiences, or proactively reach out with messages to encourage customers to engage. The insights you gather should inform your product roadmap and rally your development team around a single point: the customer. If you allow customers to help you prioritize, you can bet you’ll be closer to delivering a great experience than you would be doing it on your own.
If you want to take your business to the next level, check out our recently published Guide to Customer Experience. In this comprehensive e-book, we break down how each department is responsible for different customer experience KPIs and reveal key strategies to improve CX throughout the customer journey. Get your free copy here.
Ready to get started understanding your customers better? Schedule a demo of Apptentive and chat with us today!