Tired of investing the time and money to secure your desired customer base? Customer-centric or customer experience (CX) design may be just the element you’re missing. Not only does it increase revenue, but it will also help you maintain long-term customer relationships.
Customer-centric design is the process of framing your product or service around your customers’ needs, wants and limitations. In simpler terms, it’s putting yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand what they might be feeling and thinking.
This is crucial to attain a competitive advantage as implementing customer experience design can increase retention and revenue rates. However, many companies do not make the necessary adjustments for the design process, or even consider CX, until they face a low customer base or an insufficient cash flow.
Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company. By conducting CX research and implementing recommendations, you are giving your customers an experience worth purchasing and showcasing your value, which undoubtedly enhances customers loyalty. Adopting customer experience design does not have to be an absolute nightmare. Keep reading to learn how to easily apply CX principles and practices to gain maximum benefits.
Research Your Customers
Pretty obvious, right? Yet it is surprising how many businesses think they know their audiences and never do the research to understand them.
Put simply, enlisting a CX expert to conduct research will result in a better understanding of your target audience.
The more you understand your customers – their stressors, motivators, wants and needs – the more value you can deliver as a business.
The more value you deliver, the more attractive you are to potential clients and the better their experience will be working with you, because you already know a lot about them before they walk in the door.
And, of course, customers who have good experiences will talk – no form of advertisement is stronger than word of mouth.
Hone In On Your Target Market
One of the most effective (and essential) things you can do to market your product or service is to strategically narrow down your target market.
Ask yourself (and your team):
- Who is most likely going to purchase your product?
- What is their gender, age, geographical location, socioeconomic status, marital status, etc.?
- What are their interests and how does that relate to our business?
- What are their professions? Does that relate to our offering?
- Where are they most likely to get information? Social media? Email? TV?
If you already have a detailed target market, congratulations! You are one step closer to success. Turn your target audience into 1-2 personas to bring them to life, give them a name like “Persuader Penny” or “Bob from Accounting”, give them an age, identify their family details, write down what they do on the weekends. Make this person as close as possible to a representation of your real clients. Hubspot has a great in-depth guide and templates to get you started.
The next step is to identify business challenges that cause problems for consumers. You can achieve this by looking into what you are consistently getting questioned about or advised to change. Make sure to narrow this down to 2-4 key issues. Otherwise, you will just get overwhelmed and potentially focus on the wrong thing.
Once you are clear on the above, you and your team will be able to use that lens to demonstrate empathy and understanding of your customers’ problems. This leads to building a robust, ongoing conversation – and market positioning – focused on how you can help them and improve their lives.
Demonstrating empathy shows that you value and appreciate your customers, which strengthens their emotional bond and reduces the likelihood that they will look for alternative brands.
Take Customer Feedback On Board
You have come this far. It would be a waste not to listen to your customers’ when you are lucky enough to receive their direct feedback. It is important to adopt the mindset that enables your team to be willing to make improvements that further enhance your products or services.
You can obtain feedback through many channels, including:
- Live chats
- Social channels
- Polls and surveys
- Monitor external feedback
- Analyse on site activity
- Direct feedback from clients, teams, and employees
This can help you quickly identify common problems or inefficiencies and improve your business, therefore reducing your customers’ cognitive load and increasing retention. These improvements enable you to earn your customers’ trust and loyalty.
If you do receive input – good or bad – respond to your customers to ensure them that they have been heard. This simple action can build a stronger relationship and customer loyalty.
Using CX Data In Your Business
To successfully adopt customer experience in your business, you should appoint a leader within the business to manage, monitor and implement change. This ensures the customer’s journey is rolled out throughout the business and maintains relevancy.
To get started, you can hire CX researchers and experts (*cough cough* like Persuaders) to conduct interviews and workshops with your team. They will then synthesise the information into tools and documents for your business.
If different teams in your business feel siloed, you’re not alone. 97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment within the team impacts the outcome. The tools that CX can produce, helps align every department to ensure teams are assigned tasks and responsibilities that influence customers and drive business.
Make sure that your CX tools become a part of your every day, and update them as needed. By incorporating customer journeys and personas regularly into meetings, strategies and goals, you’re ensuring that all actions taken by the business are informed and completed with the intent of connecting to your core audience.
Putting CX Into Action
84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
For instance, McKinsey did a case study about a Chinese steel manufacturer that systematically transformed its operations to be customer-centric with the goal of gaining a competitive edge and keeping the organisation afloat through future downturns. The business changed its management and developed an IT plan to address customer problems and established a comprehensive feedback channel, which enabled them to gain a better understanding of their customers. By implementing this approach, this company generated an estimated 4% increase in gross profit and developed a more satisfied and loyal customer based.
This case study demonstrates that by adopting customer-centric design, you can deliver valuable solutions to customers.
This not only increases the company’s profits as sales grow, but could also lead to a wider customer market as your audience recommend your business within their networks.
Love the Idea, But Still Too Much To Process?
Persuaders have got your back! Our team have worked with all kinds of businesses to plan and implement CX practises, adjusting their business communications to drive impactful change and help them connect with key audiences. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.