The How-To: A Guide To Building An Excellent Customer Experience Strategy Businesses need to focus on customer experience to set themselves apart from their competitors.

By Ahmed Rashad

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As information becomes more available and for free, thanks to the Internet and social media networks, product differentiation in one category is becoming more and more difficult.

As a result, businesses need to focus on customer experience to set themselves apart from their competitors. Customer experience is defined as a series of interactions between a customer and an organization throughout their business relationship. The interaction begins from the moment the customer hears about the business all the way to making a purchase of the product or service.

Bloomberg Businessweek survey revealed that "delivering a great customer experience" has become the new imperative: 80% of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective. White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that 80% of US consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience.

Building a great customer experience has shown to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue and sales, build strong customer relationships and generate more referrals and word of mouth marketing.

Look at your business with the customers eyes
Firstly, you need to define your customer persona- who is your customer? Your customers might help you answer the following questions: What are your main habits and what do you want from this business? What are the pain points they might face dealing with it and thus what are your main priorities?

Secondly, map out what type of experience you want your customer to have. Define exactly the feeling that you want the customer to experience when dealing with your organization, write it clearly and use it as the strategy for making your decisions moving forward.

Focus on customer touch points
If you want to provide excellent customer experience, you need a deep understanding of how your customers interact with your business at each of the individual touch points as well as across your entire organization. Touch points are the points that the customer directly or indirectly deals with your business. From advertising, social media, website, call center, service delivery and follow up. To gain this understanding, you must map your customer's journey and the touch points they interact with along the way. This analysis provides you with a clearer understanding of your customers' experience with your organization.

Restructure your customer journey
Once you figure out all the touch points the customer will have with your business and the feelings and impressions you want them to have about you and your business, start redesigning all the touch points to build the experience you want in each step.

Track your progress
The best way to create consistent brand experience is to turn the feelings you want your customer to have into rituals and habits that are quantifiable. This takes a lot of testing and experimenting. You should set your strategy, then pick the actions you think will help accomplish these goals, and then start tracking how your customers or followers respond. Their feedback will tell you if you are doing the right thing or not, but always be flexible in your approach and encourage feedback.

Highlight success stories
Highlighting success stories is not just an entertaining practice but it's always a very important act that solidifies the actions and practices that you want your team to emulate. People need to see examples and actions to explain your words this more examples they see, the better understanding of what you want your brand to stand for.

Related: Infographic: Marketers Are Investing In Customer Loyalty And You Should Too!

Ahmed Rashad

Business Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

Ahmed Rashad is a Business Development Consultant and Leadership Coach focused on helping fast growing innovative organizations in the MENA region avoid the curse of the one-person show by strengthening their business development and leadership capabilities. Ahmed has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and specialty chemicals companies in the United States and the Middle East. He can be contacted via email on ahmed.rashad@jeiwar.com. 

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