7 Companies That Do Customer Experience Right (Updated 2022)

With customers expecting more and more out of the businesses they interact with, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing the customer experience process.

But who can really blame them? We all want more – and you can’t hate someone for wanting to get the most out of their customer journey.

However, as a business owner, you may feel as though there is more pressure than ever on you to improve customer experiences and boost your customer satisfaction ratings.

After all, the companies that perform the best are the ones known for being the most attentive to the overall customer experience – and to creating the most positive customer experience possible.

But how exactly do you do this – and what exactly is the “customer experience”? In this post, we’ll explain:

  • Everything you need to know to cultivate the perfect customer experience
  • How to take your customer relationship management program to the next level
  • How companies who really knock their customers’ expectations out of the park work their magic

 

What Does “Customer Experience” Really Mean?

customer experience components written on sticky notesBelieve it or not, customer experience is not the same thing as customer service. Customer service is just one component of the entire customer experience. Essentially, customer experience is the interaction that gives your company the opportunity to deliver great customer service.

However, there’s much more to meeting customer expectations than just offering good customer service.

Customer experience is the sum of all interactions that a person has with a business over the entire customer journey. It focuses on customer relationship management and encompasses every single interaction, no matter how brief or how small. A good customer experience strategy won’t just focus on interactions that result in a purchase – it considers any interactions at all.

These might include a call to a contact center, viewing an ad, or even paying a bill – any kind of data that goes into the overall customer effort score and helps cultivate customer loyalty if they have a positive experience.

It’s each individual customer experience in aggregate, after all, that helps form customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer service is just one tiny factor.

 

Why is Positive Customer Experience Management Important For Your Business?

The customer experience is important – both to customers and to businesses.

Not only can it increase customer retention, but it can improve customer lifetime value and build brand loyalty. It increases the reputability of your brand and, most importantly, gives your company a competitive advantage over others.

More than half of customers report going out of their way to buy from brands they have some brand loyalty to, according to recent surveys – that’s regardless of pricing and other factors. Therefore, cultivating a positive customer experience should be one of the primary targets in your overall marketing and strategy plan.

Even one small experience that doesn’t quite meet expectations in terms of the overall customer experience can crush your chances of a long and lucrative customer journey. You could easily find yourself missing out to rivals who know that customer interactions are key to their business’ success.

After all, with the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find a new product or service alternative if you decide the one you’re using just isn’t suiting your needs. More than half of all customers say they’d switch to a new business after a single bad experience – but after two or more negative customer interactions, that number skyrockets to 80%!

Those odds aren’t in your favor – so having a good customer experience is integral to having a competitive advantage. Customers can easily choose to go elsewhere if they are frustrated or dissatisfied – don’t put them in that position. Instead, work hard to develop a strong customer experience management strategy so you can nurture each customer at any stage of the customer journey.

 

What are the 3 Main Components of Customer Experience?

So what exactly constitutes a good customer experience? There are a few variables that can help create a strong customer effort score. These include:

  • An intuitive, customer-centric product design
  • Dependable customer service that’s live and without long waits
  • Easy access to self-help resources both online and offline
  • Realistic marketing that sets clear and positive expectations about a product or service
  • Clear, transparent sales and pricing

 

A misconception that many people have about customer experience is that in order to knock customer satisfaction ratings out of the park and get the best possible customer feedback, they need to “wow” and shock at every turn. Instead, it’s less about these huge moments and more about being dependable and reliable for customers.

For this to happen, all of the variables listed above need to come together to create positive and seamless customer journeys. All should be integrated in your customer experience strategy.

Let’s narrow things down even further.

Based on recent customer experience (CX) research, there are three important drivers of customer satisfaction:

 

1. Ease of Access and Customer Support Speed

woman paying for coffee Is your customer service responsive and easily available? How long does it take for your customers to get the help they need or to make their necessary transactions?

This doesn’t just include transactions that are related to getting help with an online chat or when a client calls customer support –  it refers to the customer experience when buying products, paying bills, and other transactions.

Remember, customers expect for it to be easy for them to reach customer service teams and to complete all necessary transactions. Make sure these channels are well-developed if you want your customers to have a positive experience.

 

2. First-Contact Resolution

First-contact resolution refers to how well customers find their problems resolved by your company. This is closely related to the area mentioned above, but it’s a separate entity in the overall customer satisfaction score because it deals specifically with conflict resolution for the entire company – and not just transactional ease.

Make sure your customers have all the necessary channels to get help if you want to avoid creating unhappy customers. If their problems can be addressed and solved immediately, they’ll be much more likely to rate their customer experience as a positive one.

 

3. Human Contact

Finally, make sure human contact is a key component of a customer’s experience.

This one might be obvious – how many times have you called a company’s customer service team and been directed to an automated system? It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with a robotic voice, especially if you have a more challenging or unusual issue that needs to be addressed.

Make sure people are at the heart of your customer experience strategy – not robots.

 

7 Companies That Do Customer Experience Right – and What We Can Take Away

In 2022, providing top-notch customer experience management should be at the heart of your business plan. So how do you zero in on your customer experience strategy to make sure it checks off all the boxes?

If you want to enhance the customer experience and develop a new customer experience management plan, start by taking a close look at these seven companies who know exactly how to do things.

 

1. Southwest Airlines

stewardess improving customer experiencesFirst on our list when it comes to greater customer satisfaction is Southwest Airlines. This brand is known for its quality service and outstanding customer interaction abilities.

It has happy, outgoing employees who are trained specifically to provide warm service to customers. It’s part of the brand’s mission statement!

Not only that, but the Southwest Airlines’ customer experience involves tech tools that take things to the next level. The Guided Conversations tool, for instance, will guide customers through a sequence of questions to give them the information they need to answer their questions.

This way, customers can get the help they need without having to call in to a customer experience team and stay on hold for hours at a time.

 

2. Costco

Costco is a large industrial warehouse store that specializes in low prices on products bought in bulk, like groceries and toiletry items. It might not be the first company you think of when you’re trying to analyze customer experience done right – but it should be high on your list.

This brand regularly tops the list of companies that are known for attending to the most important customer values. It does this by focusing on the employee experience in particular – by making sure its employees are happy, well-trained, and well-cared for, it ensures that they will interact positively and transparently with customers.

Costco is also unique in that it doesn’t advertise heavily, nor does it place a lot of emphasis on trying to attract new customers online. It focuses instead on customer acquisition and retention in-house, making sure it’s easy to offer a quality customer experience in stores so that they don’t have to track down help or speak to a chatbot online.

 

3. Zappos

heeled bootZappos is an online clothing and shoe retailer that knows that excellent customer experience management is at the heart of any successful business. If you’ve ever done business with Zappos, you probably know that customer experience is stellar here.

When you shop with Zappos, you’ll have a year to make returns, always enjoy free shipping, and receive kind, friendly interactions with customer service agents over the phone.

The customer service and attention to detail here really go above and beyond – and it’s the main reason why Zappos grew so popular so quickly. This company knew that in order to stay competitive, it had to cultivate the ideal customer experience.

After all, you have lots of places to choose from when you’re buying apparel online – the customer journey had to be outstanding in order to set this business apart.

 

4. West Community Credit Union

West Community Credit Union might not be a business you’ve ever heard of – but when it comes to customer experience, it’s one that you need to pay attention to.

This business is a Missouri-based credit union that’s been in business for about 80 years. In just the last three years, it has managed to increase its overall asset holdings by 50% – all just by improving its customer experience management system.

One of the main components of this company’s customer experience management plan was to implement a Capacity AI-powered chatbot that made it easy for customers to get immediate answers to their questions without having to stay on hold.

By making it easier for customers to get answers in a short period of time, it improves customer feedback scores and streamlines the customer service process.

 

5. Trader Joe’s

apples and bananas in trader joe's bagAnother brand to recognize when it comes to improving customers’ experience is Trader Joe’s. This grocery store is known for having some of the best customer relationships around – it does this solely by relying on friendly, outgoing employees, convenient store layouts, and a relaxing atmosphere.

So much of the customer’s experience is left up to chance by businesses – but not Trader Joe’s. This company creates an environment that ensures its customers will want to come back again.

An easy way you can mimic the customer experience offered by Trader Joe’s is to employ an AI-powered chatbot that offers a seamless experience via human-in-the-loop technology. That way, customers can connect with an actual human when the chatbot doesn’t have an answer – it utilizes the human kindness that Trader Joe’s is famous for while also seamlessly integrating technology for superior results.

 

6. Rackspace

Rackspace is another company known for an awesome customer experience. This cloud infrastructure company has exceptional customer support because is yet another business that recognizes that for a great customer journey, the employee experience also needs to be outstanding.

It’s also fanatical about supporting its customers – whether that means ordering them a pizza in the middle of troubleshooting sessions or by getting outstanding customer feedback from big names in business like Aeromexico and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

 

7. Ritz Carlton

white and pink roses in a vaseLast but not least is Ritz Carlton. As you probably know, the customer experience is especially important in the hospitality industry, and nobody takes the customer experience more seriously than Ritz Carlton!

Again, there’s not really anything about customer experience here that’s high tech or unusual. Ritz Carlton focuses on improving the customer journey by making sure its employees are taken care of. They are trained to be generous, warm, and inviting, which helps them form an emotional bond with guests, making it hard for them to consider what the customer experience might be like anywhere else.

While you might focus on high-tech machine learning tools that offer a superior customer experience, Ritz Carlton proves that it’s not really necessary – friendliness and attention to detail are really all that’s needed for a great customer journey.

 

How Do You Develop a Good Customer Experience?

employee building customer loyaltyNow that you know some ways to improve the customer experience, here are a few ways to make sure you get the best customer effort score possible.

 

Know How to Measure It

Collecting customer feedback is important – but only if you know how to actually measure the customer experience data you collect.

To measure customer experience data, you need to gather it from a wide variety of sources. Most companies measure customer experience data from things like customer surveys, but there are plenty of other customer touchpoints that can provide valuable information, too.

Start by delivering customer surveys on a regular basis. Make sure these surveys are conducted across multiple channels, including phone, email, web, and in-person.

Also, identify the reasons for customer churn. Customer churn is a natural part of doing business, but a regular and repeated analysis of churned customers can help you figure out your churn rate as well as potential reasons for churn.

Another easy way to upgrade your CX strategy is to make customers feel valued. Ask for their opinion! Make a forum where your customers can request new features or products. You can share the forum via your social media channels, an email survey, or anywhere else – just make sure that your customer needs are reflected throughout the entire development and sales process so they feel valued.

Finally, pay close attention to customer support ticket trends as part of your overall CX strategy, too. While customer service and support isn’t the only part of the customer experience, this interaction is what customers will remember the most, and one bad service call can destroy their loyalty to a brand.

Take a look to see if there are any recurring issues among tickets that might reflect poor customer experience. You may be able to decrease the total number of tickets that your representatives receive while also leveraging the data in other ways.

 

Attend to Online Customer Experience

Don’t forget customer journey mapping as it occurs online, either. Poor customer experience is common online because it eliminates the human interaction that a customer needs. But remember – the customer experience encompasses all aspects of the customer journey, not just that which occurs in prison.

Make sure your website is as responsive and user-friendly as possible, and remember that your CX strategy should cover your site across all channels and not just a desktop.

 

Create Feedback Loops

analyzing customer dataCustomer feedback can provide valuable insight into what your key customer expects. Create a strong feedback loop with customers that actually acts on what your customers are telling you – otherwise, collecting this data is pointless.

Don’t leave your employees out of the loop, either. Make sure you’re paying attention to employee feedback so you can address any issues with your workers to improve the overall customer experience.

 

Create an Omnichannel Experience

An omnichannel customer experience strategy goes one step further and offers a consistent communications journey for the customer. It reflects any communications you’ve had with your customers across all channels, including email, phone, and in-person connections.

 

Have a Content Management Strategy

A great content management strategy is also essential when it comes to cultivating the ideal customer experience. Customers often prefer to solve issues on their own rather than having to reach out to a live agent. You can let them help themselves with data-driven content, usually in the form of help articles, chatbots, and other resources.

Make sure this information and these resources are readily available – and updated frequently – to make sure they are as helpful as possible.

 

Offer Personalization

Customers expect data to be personalized – whether that’s engagement over a preferred contact method, product recommendations based on search history, etc., it’s important that you tailor support and the overall customer experience to each individual to make sure that customer effort score is as high as can be.

 

Use AI, Data, and Analytics

customer experiences graphed on a screenMore customer interactions than ever before now involve machine learning, chatbots, or mobile messaging. These can be helpful for quick and repetitive tasks – and while they reach their limit when it comes to providing some types of customer support, they can be helpful in streamlining your processes and offering a consistent and reliable customer experience.

 

Be Proactive About the Customer Experience

Finally, if you really want to boost your customer effort score and make sure you are attracting and retaining customers the way you want to, you’ve got to consider things from the customer’s perspective.

Do you want a brand to just care about you when you have a problem – or throughout every step in the researching and buying process? Chances are, it’s the latter.

Considering your entire business model from the customer’s perspective is essential if you want to create a solid customer experience. Just reacting to a problem is no longer enough to stand out in a competitive market – you have to take it a step further and be there to help your customers at all times.

Consider the businesses above as you go about cultivating the right customer experience strategy – you’ll be glad you did.

Gordon Tan

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Gordon Tan is an entrepreneur based in Australia who has started and sold multiple technology companies with a combined value of $150m. This included a client satisfaction benchmarking platform which gave him first hand insight into the best practices of over 6,000 businesses. After retiring at 35 he is now a recognised thought leader on winning and retaining clients - His two passions: making clients the heartbeat of a business no matter what the product or service and this blog.

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