In the world of customer experience (CX), content, timing and loyalty can make a huge difference.

Businesses are competing for the same slice of pie (in their respective markets) in a crowded market place with educated and demanding customers.

Laying on a great CX can be the difference between customers sticking around or heading for that place where the grass is greener - your competitors. In fact, one in three customers would be willing to leave a brand after one bad experience.

With customer experience becoming the number one brand differentiator there's no time to waste. Keeping those customers happy needs planning and strategising.

To help, we've compiled a short list to point you in the right direction:

  1. Define your vision
  2. Know your audience
  3. Connect with customers
  4. Train your team
  5. Listen to customer feedback
  6. Set benchmarks and measure ROI

1. Define your vision

What’s your business about? What does it represent? Your business principles, values and ethos need to filter through to the CX. If let's say your business believes in delivering an 'above and beyond' experience, then you must deliver that promise through the entire digital journey and beyond.

2. Know your audience

There are some businesses out there that haven't got a firm grasp of who their audience is - on a deep level.

Nowadays, knowing your customers goes beyond just demographics. You need to fully understand what makes them tick.

Why are they choosing your product or service? What's their intent when they're searching the web? What do they expect from your company?

Segment customer types into personas. Give them a personality. Add flesh to the bone!  A car dealer for instance could create a persona called 'Environmental Eve'.

Who’s Eve? She’s environmentally conscious. Between 25-35 years old, single, and is an ambitious mid-level professional. All the content produced along her journey must resonate, otherwise Eve will seek pastures new.

This type of segmentation gives your audience a personality. It makes them 'real'. It helps improve the experience. And it's a lot easier to do business with a perceived person than with a one dimensional demographic.

3. Connect with customers

Creating personas helps make an emotional connection. Achieving this connection can be done by defining user journeys which show hyper personalised content that reflects your audience personas. This can include using data from organic search, previous visits, or purchases to make that all-important connection.

Customers need to feel wanted. Special, even. To achieve this you should be on trend and have your finger on the pulse both during and after an online experience.

What's the point of sending an email communication promoting something that a particular customer has already bought? This may sound counter productive but it happens a lot.

A simple miscommunication like that isn't really making a positive emotional connection. A mis-step of that magnitude could be enough to lose that customer.

Enjoying this article? Sign up to our newsletter

4. Train your team

Your teams need to be 'all in' on what your business represents. After all, they're the ones selling and dealing with customers.

Organising regular training sessions and courses is a great way for your team to understand best practices and how to use them in the real customer centric world.

5. Listen to customer feedback

How do your customers feel? The voice of the customer must be heard! Surveys shouldn't be done just for the sake of it. They should be done for a purpose - to let you know what your customers want, what their expectations are, and what you're failing at - in real time.

With all the will in the world you won't get it right all the time. But through surveys, issues can be identified and resolved by listening to feedback, no matter how brutal.

Striking while the iron's hot will put you ahead of the game. How about pinging out a 'How did we do?' questionnaire shortly after a purchase?

This Voice of Customer (VOC) approach is essential to keeping on top of things. You can use VOC findings to not only provide a better customer experience, but to also offer better products and services in the future.

6. Set benchmarks and measure ROI

Before you embark on your CX journey you should benchmark your current metrics. Doing this will show whether you've improved in CX, sales, customer churn etc.

Comparing benchmarks every quarter will show you how well your business is doing (or not). It will show you which areas you need to improve on and what your ROI is.

If you have a project that needs some expert advice on CX strategies, then get in touch with our digital experience team whenever you're ready.