CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY BEST PRACTICES

There are clear advantages to adopting customer experience strategy best practices in your company.

When companies use these strategies successfully, they get the following benefits:

  • Higher customer retention
  • Lower cost of customer acquisition
  • Accelerate revenue growth 

In other words, when you create a great experience, customers start coming to you based on organic referral and positive word of mouth from existing customers.

And it gets even better!

These practices also lead to more engaged, dedicated employees. Here’s why.

Companies that adopt best practices for customer experience are dedicated to excellence. Clear purpose and a well-articulated customer journey also means employees who understand how they contribute to the company’s overall goals. They know how and why their work matters, which gives them a sense of meaningful purpose.

Satisfied employees beget satisfied customers. 

What are the best practices for customer experience strategy?

Apply A Cross-Functional Framework

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Some companies approach customer experience as if it’s a department. They give the department a name like Customer Success or Customer Service. In reality, customer experience is not a department. It’s a philosophy that guides every department in a company. 

When companies become trusted advisors they are more likely to earn highly profitable, long-term customers. That means the customer’s experience has to be consistent, no matter what department they’re interacting with. 

Product teams need to listen to sales and customer support teams to influence development priorities. Sales needs to understand how new product features work and how marketing is positioning them. Even the IT department has an opportunity to reinforce the company’s brand. All of these teams work together, along with leadership, to present a singular, unified, trustworthy experience for customers.

Best practice companies are aligned across every department to build trust and deliver customer experience excellence.

Adopt a Company Mantra

When companies create their foundational principles, they often develop a Mission, Vision and Values. 

These can be useful tools, but they’re about the company. Not about the customer. Missions, Visions and Values don’t function effectively as guides for customer engagement.  

Companies need to guide employee interaction with customers. 

They need a mantra.

A customer mantra is described in Ali Cudby’s book Keep Your Customers as, “an internal message that gives your people a focal point. It is both a catchphrase and a rallying point.”=

The most famous example of a mantra is probably one of the worst: “The customer is always right.” 99.9% of the time, this mantra is wrong! The customer is not always right, and companies that bend to the whim of every unreasonable customer are in for a world of hurt. It simply isn’t sustainable.

Instead, consider the mantra adopted by Indianapolis-based ClusterTruck, a vertically integrated, delivery-only restaurant business. When ClusterTruck launched, CEO Chris Baggott told his staff, “Don’t Ship Maybes.” ClusterTruck uses “Don’t Ship Maybes” in every department at the company, from the kitchen to HR. 

“Don’t Ship Maybes” empowers employees to make decisions in tough customer-facing situations. Employees know if they can justify a decision by relating it back to the mantra. “Don’t Ship Maybes” is baked into the DNA of ClusterTruck – literally! Baggott tattooed the phrase on his arm. 

Every company should develop a unique mantra as a consistent guide for customer interaction.

Understand Your Company’s Customer Loyalty Drivers

Every point of interaction a customer has with your company is a test. Here’s the question: Is that interaction going to build loyalty? Or block it. 

Sometimes you don’t know the answer until it’s too late because that moment in your customer’s journey happened without you. For example, let’s say a software customer buys your product, but struggles when they sit down to use their purchase. They’re all alone with their computer, and their frustration will be your problem if you don’t have a good solution.

Best practice cx strategies build experience maps with those moments in mind. They think through the challenges customers might face at a given point and thoughtfully design the customer’s journey accordingly. Experience maps minimize interactions that might block loyalty while doubling down on opportunities to build loyalty.

Ask yourself how your company builds – and blocks – customer loyalty. 

Prioritize Emotional Connection

People tend to think we’re rational creatures. Research says otherwise. 

McKinsey & Co has determined that a whopping 70% of a purchase decision is actually made based on how people feel they’re being treated in the buying process. Feelings – not logic – rule the day.

But emotion doesn’t just drive buying behaviors. We are wired for connection. We want to feel seen, heard and valued. Best practice companies recognize this fundamental human need and know that people are loyal to organizations that appreciate them. 

Appreciation occurs when companies can articulate customer needs and challenges. Companies that take the time to authentically understand their customers at that level can teach employees the empathy needed for connection.

Build-in opportunities to demonstrate appreciation for both your customers and your team. 

Use Customer Experience Strategy Playbooks

Companies must give employees the tools to be successful so they can deliver the best-in-class customer experience you design. That means playbooks. Playbooks clearly delineate step-by-step processes that incorporate all of the best practices we’ve outlined here.

  • Playbooks deliver cross-functional action steps to ensure consistency across departments
  • They align with your company’s mantra for customer experience
  • Playbooks enhance the moments that build customer loyalty and minimize or eliminate anything that blocks loyalty
  • They are optimized to make people feel seen, heard and valued.

With Playbooks, employees know what to do and how to be successful in their jobs. Customers get consistent excellence from their experience with your company. 

Implement these five steps to deliver best practices for customer experience strategy.

Want the handy cheat-sheet?

Click here to download the infographic as a customer experience strategy PDF.

Want help developing your company’s customer experience strategy?

Learn more about ways Alignmint Growth Strategies can help you apply these practices in your company.