CX for Smarties, A Beginner’s Guide to Customer Experience

We’re often asked to help people who have recently taken on new responsibilities in customer experience (which is commonly abbreviated as CX). Since it’s important for anyone in the field to understand the core principles of CX, I’ve put together this post and called it “CX for Smarties.” Anyone who cares enough about CX to read this post is not a dummy.

What is CX?

This video shows the definition of CX (the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization) as well as three elements of an experience (success, effort, and emotion).

Why Is CX Important?

When we examine the relationship between how customers perceive their experiences and loyalty measures, it’s clear that customers who have better experiences are more loyal to those companies. Customers who have good experiences with a company are more likely to buy from the company again, recommend the company to friends and colleagues, try new offerings, and forgive the company when it makes a mistake. On the flip side, a bad experience can push customers to cut back on their spending or completely stop doing business with a company. You can find a lot of content about ROI of CX on this blog, including data like this:

 CX ROI: Better Customer Experience = More Purchases

CX ROI: Better Customer Experience = More Recommendations

How is CX Different From Customer Service? 

Customer service is an organizational function, like marketing or sales, that manages some of interactions with a customer. In most companies, customer service is an important component of CX, because it deals with some key “moments of truth” for customers like answering questions and solving problems. That’s why companies can’t just focus on customer service interactions or off-load responsibility for CX wholly to the customer service department. Everyone in an organization is responsible for customer experience.

Customer Experience (CX) Versus Customer Service

How Do Organizations Affect CX?

To understand how companies create customer experience, you need to understand The Six Laws of CX, which are described below in the short video and infographic.

How Do You Build A Customer-Centric Culture?

The customer experience that an organization delivers is a reflection of an organizations culture and operating processes. To consistently delver great customer experience externally, you need to build a set of capabilities internally. Temkin Group’s research shows that customer experience leaders demonstrate Four CX core competencies:

  1. Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
  2. Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to customers.
  3. Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
  4. Customer Connectedness: Infuse customer insight across the organization.

The details of the Four CX Core Competencies can be seen in a free report and in this infographic:

How Should You Measure CX?

Measurement is an essential part of any CX program because it helps companies identify improvement opportunities and track progress towards achieving CX goals. When organizations are starting their CX journey, they typically create metrics that fall into two broad categories:

  • Relationship Metrics: the customer’s overall perception of or loyalty to an organization. Typical metrics include likelihood to recommend/Net Promoter Score, overall satisfaction, likelihood to repurchase/renew, brand preference, and perceived value.
  • Transactional Metrics: the customer’s perception of individual interactions with an organization. Typical metrics include satisfaction with interaction, customer effort score/ease of use, and customer emotion.

Here are five steps for creating a strong set of CX metrics:

How Do You Get Started?

Organizations don’t become customer-centric overnight. Temkin Group’s research shows that they evolve through six different stages of customer experience maturity as they gradually master the Four CX Core Competencies.

Six Stages of Customer Experience (CX) Maturity

Temkin Group’s Customer Experience (CX) Competency & Maturity AssessmentA great place to start your journey is by completing Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Assessment. It’s a FREE online tool that will provide you with specific recommendations and resources based on the results.

You should also orient yourself with the extensive resources that Temkin Group provides. We offer a lot of free content as well as services and training to help you accelerate results and avoid mistakes along the way.