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the customer experience at the heart of the company’s strategy

Scanning a barcode to know the composition of a product, reading other customers before choosing a restaurant, or comparing airfare prices, seem like harmless habits prices of airplane tickets seem to be trivial habits. In fact, it is the beginning of a customer experience (CX).

Very often the first step of the customer experience is done online. Consumers tend to inform themselves, verify, and search for information before completing a customer experience at the point of sale or finalizing the act of purchase on a merchant site. Indeed, according to the Ipsos polling institute (2019), 83% of French people prepare their purchases on the internet. There is therefore a real issue of accessibility of the brand online.


Did You Say “customer experience”?
Ray and Sabadie define customer experience as “everything a customer does, feels, thinks, and talks about throughout their direct or indirect interactions with an organization.  The customer experience starts from the moment he or she seeks information about the product and/or brand, through the act of purchase to after-sales services and loyalty. The three stages of the customer experience are: before, during and after the purchase act.


What Are The Stakes Of CX For A Compagny ?
According to a 2019 report by PWC, 32% of customers who had a disappointing experience will not repeat their purchase. So there’s a concrete economic risk here in the form of lower sales and brand reputation/preference. Bad buzz can quickly happen on social networks when a bad experience is shared. Moreover, a disappointing experience can lead to negative reviews on the web that will be read by potential customers. Customer experiences are very often accompanied by a digital dimension and/or a salesperson.
The role of the salesperson is very important because he/she will inevitably guide and influence the consumer’s buying decision. It is therefore essential to train salespeople on the challenges of the customer experience, particularly those of sharing and promoting the brand’s values to consumers.
Moreover, the digital dimension is omnipresent during the customer experience, we speak of SSIT (Self-Service Information Technologies). All these tools (equipped shopping carts, interactive mirrors and terminals, connected booths, etc.) are designed to immerse the customer and ultimately encourage a purchasing decision.  These interactive techniques allow consumers to consume a service without having to go directly to the salesperson. The implementation of these digital devices in stores nevertheless raises the question of their relevance and their use by the customer.


How Can The Customer Experience Be Optimized ? 

Optimizing the customer experience requires a very good knowledge of the target: its needs, its sources of information and its obstacles. It is therefore important to define personas. Personas are representative cards of the target segments, also called prototypes of characters with an identity, characteristics and precise attributes. Moreover, the customer experience will automatically be different when we are “new customer” or “regular customer” of a brand. The multiplication of distribution channels (own store, e-commerce site, distributor, e-retail, application) requires companies to be very agile in their content management, their product offer and the customer service they provide. A coherence of the elements developed by the brand is essential to maintain a strong brand image. All these different elements allow us to list different scenarios and buying paths.

The identification of the different stages of the customer experience makes it possible to define the mapping of the customer experience, also called “customer journey mapping”. This vision provides a precise and detailed view of the customer experience: contact points, purchase decision, purchase act, payment and finally after-sales. The rating by selecting different criteria for each of these stages allows the company to have a clear and precise vision. The company can then have a vision on the consumer’s decision factors and the different objections and/or blocking points. To obtain reliable results and limit biases related to a specific point of sale or a bad interaction with a salesperson, it is important to perform several experiments on the same point of sale with different personas.

In order to obtain an optimal customer experience, the brand must absolutely clarify its discourse and provide the clearest and simplest content possible.  The efficiency and quality of the various interactions with the brand are essential to customer satisfaction. Simplifying interfaces, making the customer experience more fluid at each stage, responding to customer objections, and assisting the user are the first ways to optimize CX.


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