cft

What is customer experience and why does it matter?

Relationships as a customer experience strategy


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Curtis Savage

2 years ago | 2 min read

An organization’s customer experience, or CX, is the summary of all of the interactions they have with a customer over time, including the company’s websites, apps and social media handles, their stores and the in-person conversations we have with them, even the news articles where we see them referenced.

The cumulative impact of these interactions over time is what organizations refer to as the customer experience. While it can seem complex, what we’re really talking about is much simpler, relationships.

A customer experience is what determines a customer relationship. The more cohesive and meaningful the customer experience is, the more likely we as customers are to stick with a brand, to be loyal, to form a relationship.

It’s why some walk the extra mile only to stand in line at Trader Joe’s and why others are willing to pre-pay a thousand dollars for the Tesla Model 3, sight unseen, and why the number one tattoo in the world is of the Harley Davidson brand.

But for many companies, the customer experience is an accidental result of their culture, process or technology which can leave us as customers with interactions that feel meaningless, inconsistent or frustrating, like when you have to recite the same story to a customer service agent multiple times, or when you’re rushed through an onboarding process without getting all of your questions answered, or when you get a sale email a few weeks after a big purchase.

Interactions like these leave us questioning a company’s commitment to our relationship and send us looking for alternatives. Today, to create and keep their customers, companies need to not only understand their customer experience, but proactively design and manage it.

Relationships as a customer experience strategy

More and more companies today are designing their customer experience with the goal of meeting customer expectations. These expectations shaped by some of today’s market leaders like Amazon, Zappos, and Facebook, are pushing organizations to update their offerings, to include things like personalized products and services, same day shipping options, or even hassle-free customer service interactions.

But companies who optimize their customer experience only to support customer satisfaction are selling themselves short.

To create real customer loyalty, a company can’t just meet expectations. They must look beyond satisfactory interactions and consider how to provide delight, connection, and meaningful memories. And for those who do, the payoff is rewarding.

If an organization isn’t delivering what we need, then we’ll find an alternative solution. But more importantly, this shows us the value of relationships. No different than a human relationship, surface level interactions alone do little to create deep relationships.

Relationships emerge over time, through meaningful interactions which require businesses to be just as committed to serving customers needs, as they are their own. As competition increases and customer empowerment grows, companies who focus on their customer experience will be rewarded with loyalty. While those who don’t, risk the chance of seeing their customers leave them for another.


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Curtis Savage

Product Leader based in Toronto, Canada https://medium.com/@curtis.savage https://twitter.com/CurtisSavage https://linkedin.com/in/curtissavage


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