It is no secret to anyone that, in this new digital era, businesses have been affected in many ways, both negatively and positively in terms of changes in their business processes, both for B2B and B2C-type companies. New ways and perspectives have emerged with which we try to understand our clients' behaviors, if years ago we saw your process of buying products or services from a traditional way. Today customer experiences or better known in English as (customer experience) are of high importance for the future of our brand.
- What is the Customer Experience?
- How dowe understand the customer experience in our business?
- In what ways can we improve the current customer experienceof our clients?
- What are the benefits of Customer Experience?
Years ago, we thought, "the client will perform the following 3 steps."
- First step: You will contact us to check schedules, our location, and ways to send the products.
- Second step: You will come to our physical or virtual store to look for a product or service of your interest.
- Third step: Make the respective purchase.
What can we understand by customer experience?
At first glance this sounds simple, doesn't it? Our customer will come to our store or online shop, look for the product they need and buy it... At least that's how we used to think it would work, but the truth is that nowadays it's not so simple. And why is it not so simple anymore? Because nowadays we still think that our customer continues to buy products and services in the same way they did 5 or 10 years ago and the truth is that customers change, their decision-making changes, their tastes and preferences are different, the whole customer experience has changed in recent years. What we thought was our buyer persona a few years ago has been changing a lot, hasn't it!
It is at this point that we must ask ourselves: How well do we know the customer and the experience they have with our brand...?
Let's start by defining the Customer Experience and properly speaking, the B2C and B2B customer.
It is true that we can find many definitions, but in a simplified way we can understand the B2C customer experience as follows:
Customer experience can be understood as the process of satisfying all our customer's experiences with a brand, regardless of the channel or business process being executed.
For the B2B customer, we can also find different definitions, but in short, the B2B customer experience can be understood in this way:
Customer experience is understood as the objective of satisfying marketing, sales, customer service and operations processes in order to achieve customer satisfaction.
An outstanding customer experience is critical to the continued growth of any business. A positive customer experience promotes loyalty, helps you retain customers and encourages brand advocacy.
Importance of understanding Customer Experience and Customer Purchase Decision Analysis.
Our customers can be businesses (B2B), customers (B2C) or in some cases both. These two types of customers care about their experiences being excellent, even though they are different in nature, they follow the same buying process, but it is important to categorize our customer through a buyer persona in order to distinguish them from any consumer that is not relevant to our business.
Customers also follow the same path or better known as the customer journey, so it is of utmost importance that we understand the customer journey before purchasing our products, during the purchase process and after purchasing our products or services.
Es importante considerar que en la actualidad los clientes tienen más poder que los vendedores, no es a la inversa. La toma de decisiones que, al final, los hace llegar a nosotros con el objetivo de querer recibir experiencias satisfactorias es crucial, y es también una ventaja para nuestro negocio poder entender estos factores que caracterizan, distinguen y diseñan a nuestro cliente B2B y B2C ideal. It is important to consider that today's customers have more power than salespeople, not the other way around. The decision making that, in the end, makes them come to us with the objective of wanting to receive satisfactory experiences is crucial, and it is also an advantage for our business to be able to understand these factors that characterise, distinguish and design our ideal B2B and B2C customer.
We can dimension our customer, their way of thinking, the way they are informed about us and their decision making, very simply in 4 steps:
- Today's customers are more informed, because they have all the social networks and channels at their disposal.
- They have their interests clearer than before.
- They have no problem buying from the competition, whether it is B2C or B2B, as they have many options at their fingertips and can interact with them very easily.
- We will also be able to identify where our customers tend to have problems and thus identify at which points of contact an optimization is required to streamline sales, marketing, operations, service, etc. processes.
- Encouraging the improvement of Business Process, which are focused on customer satisfaction in all areas of a business. They have greater access to information and are cooler when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
The customer is not only more empowered, but also more appreciative of the experience they receive, and it is for this reason that it is of utmost importance that they receive an extraordinary experience, because the customer is the best element to increase awareness of the company and brands in a positive way. A customer who promotes you, who is loyal and who by word of mouth shares the products and services offered by a brand is the most profitable way to market your business. All this is possible by applying customer experience in a good way.
Implementing strategies to improve the customer experience
Now that we have a broader understanding of the definition of the B2C and B2B customer experience, let's look at the implementation of customer experience strategies. Today, we have seen how many businesses around the world have failed to adapt to a new digital era by not having implemented clear and well-structured business processes, businesses that have not yet defined their buyer personas or focused their marketing, service, sales or operations efforts.
It is important to understand that by improving customer experience processes, through our different channels, departments and business activities, we can deliver memorable experiences in a holistic way to our customers, why? Because a customer does not receive the same satisfactory experience in one process, be it customer service, support, sales or marketing, this can distort the customer's experience with our brand.
Therefore, we should focus our efforts on improving the customer experience at all touchpoints where our customer interacts with us.
Some aspects and tools that we can implement in strategies to improve the customer experience are:
- The development of Buyer Personas. Without a Buyer Persona a business cannot claim to have an improved customer experience because the Buyer Persona is the semi-fictional representation of the target customer to whom all the efforts of a business are directed and is the reason for its existence. A well identified Buyer Persona will simplify the efforts of a business. Instead of selling to all consumers in the market, our business focuses on selling to those customers who are relevant to our brand.
- Identify the map and the customer journey or better known as the customer journey and the customer journey map, these strategies and stages are responsible for describing all the consumption habits, the map and the journey that each prospect makes with our brand before, during and after the purchase process of our products and services. By implementing these tools in our customer experience improvement strategies, we can personalize and identify where in the buying process we are able to identify opportunities with our prospects.
- The implementation of a customer relationship management platform or better known as CRM, this platform helps us to manage the registration, activity, statistical data and in real time of each customer from the first moment they interact with a business and through the omnichannel that this tool has, our business will have the ability to manage each process of contact with the customer in the same system in an agile and efficient way.
Customer Experience Benefits
Once we were able to understand what customer experience is, the series of processes that lead to understanding how important it is to our customer, the processes involved in giving our customer that memorable experience so that they can fall in love with our brand and the experiences we provide through our products or services, through all our touch points, channels, social media, shops, online sites, through our departments etc.
This is where we really understand how important experiences are and how they are defining the current business and consumption of our B2B and B2C customers. With the help of strategies, we understand that several of their benefits are:
- Loyalty building, in a day and age where we have more and more competitors, where we see that our customers relate to so many types of business, it is of utmost importance that our customer is aware of our value proposition and how important our brand is to them and their loyalty process with our brand.
- By needing to implement strategies that focus on our customer's experience, we foster innovation in our services. We omnichannel the efforts of the different areas of our business.
- We manage to better understand the needs of our customers, if necessary, we redesign the way they experience our brand, redesigning the way we sell, the way we provide services, the experience they have on our portals, social networks, campaigns, 1 on 1 contact, among other aspects.