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Loyalty and Rewards

Expert Tips for Building a Customer Experience that Drives Loyalty


Janelle Estes

Chief Insights Officer, UserTesting

Janelle Estes, chief insights officer at UserTesting

How has the digital transformation impacted the approach businesses take towards their CX strategies?

When it comes to customer experience, the most important trend isn’t digital transformation or technology. It’s the customers themselves. Technologies, strategies, and how we interact with them will change, but it’s a timeless truth that to stay relevant to customers, companies must keep their finger on the pulse of consumers’ evolving needs, preferences, and expectations by engaging with them often and incorporating those insights into their offerings.

How can businesses focus on building customer empathy throughout the entire customer experience from start to end?

One of the most powerful tools for developing empathy and understanding your customers lies in the simple art of spending time with them or observing them. If you want your organization to fully commit to being customer-centric, it should consider the benefit of immersion hours. This concept is about empowering employees to spend time with or observing their customers (be it virtual, in-person, or through recorded conversations or experiences) to help them better understand what their customers think, feel, or say, and why they do certain things with your brand. The more they can relate to and empathize with their customers, the more equipped they are to build customer experiences, products, and offerings that are loved.

Why is it so important for brands to be constantly improving the customer experience?

Customer experience is a competitive differentiator. In a noisy marketplace where consumers have many options, they gravitate toward organizations that provide best-in-class experiences. In fact, according to research by Capgemini, more than 80 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a great experience. Creating an end-to-end experience that is seamless and consistent, and that exceeds customer expectations, ensures that your customers remain engaged, happy, and loyal.

What kills customer loyalty?

Experiences that don’t meet customer expectations, leave bad impressions, or are simply not enjoyable kill customer loyalty. These “misses” are caused by a lack of knowledge around customer attitudes, behaviors, needs, and beliefs. Companies must be knowledgeable about the compelling events that led the customer to buy in the first place and what retains them, and use that insight to better message, brand, and build experiences that continually delight and solves for their needs.

How can businesses build loyalty from their first interaction with the customer?

As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That is true in the world of customer experience. Creating a seamless, easy-to-use, and delightful first interaction is key to building customer loyalty at the onset. To provide a meaningful connection, companies must invest time in understanding their customers’ motivations, desires, behaviors, and intent. With this level of understanding, they can then create and customize offerings – including that first interaction – that exceed customer expectations.

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