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What is Customer Experience? And how to improve it?

How to improve customer experience and what were the best brands in 2020.

CX customer experience is a key factor for a brand: without a good strategy, the CX customer experience would be compromised, which would reduce satisfaction and, consequently, loyalty.

A satisfied customer is the best advertisement for a brand and that is why it is necessary to invest in an effective strategy. 

But what are the elements that characterize the CX customer experience? 

The Customer Experience Journey

To achieve a good CX customer experience, it is essential to analyze the customer journey, i.e. the path that the customer takes in his relationship with the company, from the birth of the need to the purchase of the product/service.

This “journey” consists of five key sequential moments:

  1. Awareness: once the need is revealed, the consumer is aware that he or she must find someone who can fulfill it;
  2. Familiarity: the product becomes familiar to the consumer and, therefore, recognizable;
  3. Reflection: the consumer needs to choose between different brands and starts to inquire;
  4. Purchase: it is the transformation of the need into a purchase;
  5. Loyalty: the search for customer loyalty 

Although the steps remain unchanged, the customer profile is constantly changing and, for the journey to reach the final step, additional resources must be put in place. 

Customer satisfaction, in fact, plays an increasingly important role and brands are investing in creating a journey to make the customer happy.

How can we do this? By focusing on the CX customer experience, which must be increasingly accurate and timely in each contact point with the consumer, such as Customer Service and Helpdesk.


KPMG research

Every year in Italy, research on "Excellence in Customer Experience" is conducted by the KPMG Customer Experience Excellence Centre.

The result is a survey of leading CX companies and their key characteristics, through the creation of case studies that each brand can draw on to implement their strategy.

The 2020 analysis not only reflects the evolution of CX within companies but also highlights how brands have responded to the Covid-19 emergency and how it has affected the CX customer experience.

The pandemic has changed the face of the consumer, who is now attentive to new elements: the perception of safety, ethics, respect for protection, and containment measures, in addition to a greater propensity to buy quality products.

Directly related to CX, employee experience is another aspect that has changed throughout 2020 and has led many companies to reorganize internally and design new ways of working.

Only companies that have been able to initiate this change have been able to maintain a strong and attractive brand for customers.

CX Customer Experience meaning and benefits 

What is CX? "Customer experience is the sum of experiences, sensations, emotions, and memories that a customer develops while interacting with the brand. Creating memorable buying experiences that stay with the consumer and influence future behavior is how brands develop a sustainable competitive advantage. " (L’Eccellenza nella Customer Experience 2020).

A well-structured CX allows you to offer the consumer a true experience within the company, built on their needs and necessity.

As a multi-channel strategy, a good CX customer experience will lead to an improvement in various aspects, such as customer loyalty, which will lead the customer to establish a relationship of trust with the brand.

Loyalty is closely linked to brand reputation, which is the set of perceptions, evaluations, and expectations about a company that will improve with customer satisfaction and lead them to choose to turn to the brand again in the future.

A strategy focused on these aspects will bring various benefits such as growth in purchases, decrease in customer management costs, increase in the probability of related purchases.

The Six Pillars

To better understand the research findings and help brands analyze their value and potential gaps in CX management, six metrics are established, the "six pillars":

  1. Integrity: A brand that demonstrates integrity generates trust. Trust can be understood both as the ability of the company to cope with a difficult situation and as the consistency of individual staff actions that, taken together, help create the brand idea.
  2. Resolution: one of the most relevant aspects of 2020, which, because of the pandemic, has made problem-solving skills even more necessary, reducing the time available and adding the unknown factor of an unprecedented global situation.
  3. Expectations: It is important to understand customer expectations and, if possible, to exceed them.
  4. Empathy: to understand the customer's needs, it is necessary to know how to put oneself "in his place", especially in a historical period of difficulty and uncertainty.
  5. Personalization: Offering products and services tailored to the customer's needs provides an experience that makes them feel understood and satisfied.
  6. Time and Commitment: it is not limited to the reduction of response times to requests, but consists of a whole series of aspects that make the process more fluid, such as the acceleration of bureaucratic aspects and the proposal of alternatives to the client. 

These pillars represent the "six fundamental dimensions through which a customer judges the interaction with a brand" and it is important for companies to analyze them and implement their strategy based on them.


Some considerations about CX Customer Experience

Data from the KPMG study shows that the pandemic resulted in a global average increase of 3% in CX customer experience excellence.

In terms of CX, the logistics sector recorded the highest increase in performance (+6%) and the non-grocery retail sector recorded the best performance.

As for customers, on the other hand, 90% are willing to pay more by turning to ethical brands and 56% say they pay attention to social and environmental policies before making a purchase.

Among the major brands that reported having the best CX in 2020, 12 belong to the financial services sector: this shows that even a "traditional" service can be created innovatively, always focused on the customer and their experience, with an emphasis on ethical goals and sustainability.

More generally, we can observe that the majority of companies are newly created, implement flexible policies from scratch, and invest in digital tools.

The importance of Customer Experience

Customer satisfaction is one of the crucial aspects for the success of the customer journey and, for this, the brand must invest in CX.

A good CX customer experience is not only about buying, but also about establishing a loyalty process that will lead the customer to come back to the company when needed, making him a promoter of the brand itself. 

Find out more:

How to improve Customer Service with Knowledge Management

Boost your Customer Service Helpdesk with Knowledge Management

Source: KPMG L’Eccellenza nella Customer Experience 2020