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Customer experience, meeting expectations

Make your customer experience worthwhile.

Customer experience means different things to different people

Customer experience can be defined as your customer’s perceptions, both conscious and subconscious, of their relationship with your organisation. The total experience comes about from all their interactions during the customer lifecycle. If you want customers coming back, focus on improving your customer experience. In the past, every business assumed that the keys to success were the highest quality product, the best value for money and the best customer service.

Customer experience is the outcome of an interaction between an organisation and a customer. The personal responses of the customers which should be desirable in any marketing effort. Customer experiences can be either felt directly or indirectly by the customer, and it is their interpretation which counts.

Many communities and their businesses are struggling to define the customer experience to make it more meaningful so it can attract more tourists and customers? If you do not define your customer experience, it will be difficult to measure the impact.  Obtaining additional education about customer experience can also increase your marketability.

Customer experience, or user experience even brand experience have become standard terms in the marketing arena. With so many different forms of customer experience, it can be challenging to evaluate and improve without measurement.

Today, it’s all about providing the best customer experience. It is something smaller organisations can usually do better than the bigger ones. Most successful smaller businesses and not-for-profit organisations have one thing in common. They focus on their customers and provide a better customer experience.

Unlike differentiators of quality, innovation or price, great customer experience is a differentiator which can’t be bought. It’s a competitive advantage that can only be earned by giving customers worthwhile experiences. Keep top-of-mind that a good experience is mostly delivered by your employees and contractors, the people on your frontline.

Improving your customer experience

Improving customer experience provides a means of differentiating your brand. Good experiences lead to greater customer and employee loyalty, satisfaction, and retention. Also, better bottom line results. Research shows it costs as much as 10 times as much in time and money to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer. This alone justifies the need for great customer service, something that is not well done by many organisations, particularly big ones.

Just because you receive many calls about your products and services, doesn’t mean you let things slip. Handle each call well, as if it is the most important call of the day. You should also address the root causes of calls to uncover ideas and opportunities. Good customer experience can help your business grow by increasing:

  • Customer numbers through favourable word-of-mouth by happy customers.
  • The dollar amount spent per customer per transaction will generally increase.
  • The frequency of customer purchases will increase.
  • The improving morale of your employees and contractors and reducing turnover.

‘Customer experience’ is a commonly used phrase in recent years. But, like ‘innovation’ and ‘design’, it is actually difficult to find a clear, commonly-held definition. Even though many businesses see improving their customer experience as a competitive differentiator, indeed it can be critical to your survival.

Every organisation provides a customer experience, including yours, regardless of whether you create it consciously or not. It may be good, bad or indifferent. The very fact that you have customers, you interact with in some manner, means that they have an experience with your brand. It’s up to you whether that experience is exceptional, awful or just average.

Customer experience has many aspects

Businesses have long emphasised touch points. The many critical moments when customers interact with the organisation and its offerings on their journey to purchase. Indeed long after the purchase. Businesses able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards. These can include enhanced customer satisfaction, increased revenue, increased profit, reduced churn rate and greater employee satisfaction.

Components of the customer experience

  • The values customers feel and appreciate
  • How the organisation communicates with consumers
  • How the product is tailored to the consumer’s problems, frustrations wants and needs
  • What channels of communication customers prefer
  • How effective are the systems and processes the business uses?
  • What price is paid, or the value received for the whole experience.

Bring the customer experience into focus. Success comes to businesses who inform, not those who promote. Bring your business environment into play with less emphasis on your products and more about the customer experience. Demonstrate how your business is purpose-driven, focusing on each customer’s frustrations, problems wants and needs.

Harness your past experiences and reflect on the lessons learned through your achievements and disappointments. Bring them into the present and prioritise what’s really important for the future. This will help you plan your next breakthrough in real customer experiences.

In doing this, it is important to align your employees with your brand, which they represent.  Ensure your website, social media and content are also aligned with creating the exceptional customer experience. Marketing on purpose sure beats an ad hoc approach to marketing. Wishing and hoping are replaced with a clear vision for the future. With the right objectives, strategies and actions you can bring about your desired customer experiences.


Quotable quotes

“Customer Service is everything and anything that touches a customer, directly or indirectly. It means servicing customers and it’s so much more than just solving problems or addressing complaints. Customer service is part of a holistic customer experience. It is capable of providing a critical competitive advantage in today’s increasingly cluttered and commoditized marketplace”. Joseph Jaffe

“Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer. The promise we keep to the customer. It’s how we follow through with the customer. It’s how we make them feel when they do business with us”. Sep Hyken


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