What is customer experience? 8 CX experts share their definitions and best advice

Customer experience can make or break a brand.

If buyers have a positive experience with your company, they’ll turn into repeat customers, and generate steady referrals for your business.

The opposite is true, of course. Providing a poor customer experience earns you a reputation that could sink your business in a hurry.

The important thing to note is that customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand through all aspects of the buyer’s journey. That means it is a continual process that can be improved in any channel where you interact with prospects and buyers.

We asked eight professionals to share what customer experience means to them and their best examples of what CX looks like in the real world.

Reduce friction, add value

Customer experience is an umbrella that covers all the interactions that consumers have with your company. This includes how they feel about products you offer and any interactions they have with your brand, as well as with representatives of your company. Customer experience thinks about the full journey of a customer’s lifecycle and how to optimize each touchpoint to reduce friction and maximize revenue per customer. 

An ideal customer experience might look something like this: they purchase your product or service to solve a pain point that they have. Along the way they contact your customer service team, get a question answered and learn about another way that your product adds value to their life or business. Based on that value, they become a repeat customer and recommend you to their network. 

Katherine Mays, VP of Customer Experience at Nutshell

Provide a consistent experience

The customer experience is the accumulation of each interaction a customer has with your brand. That can include their experience in your store, on your website, and even scrolling through your social media channels.

I often find myself getting frustrated when I shop with small businesses with attentive social media managers but careless customer support. You must ensure that interactions across the board are consistent to retain your customer base!

Nikitha Lokareddy, Director of Client Services at Markitors

Listen first, then find a solution

I spent nine years working as the consumer advocate for a local TV station. It was a great education into what works and what doesn’t work in the way of customer experience. I found that people would call us looking for help when they felt the company wasn’t listening. And it wasn’t enough to have someone listen and then pass off the problem. The customer needs to know that someone will both hear what they have to say and find someone to create a solution.

Rick DeBruhl, Communication Consultant

Turn negative experiences into positive ones

Bad customer experiences are inevitable. When a customer leaves a bad review of your business, they are really just looking for help. Companies have to be all ears, listen hard, and understand where they’re coming from.

That’s especially true if you’re the business owner. If a business owner can make the time to call frustrated customers directly, that outreach can go a long way in turning a negative experience into a positive one. 

Brian Greenberg, CEO/Founder at True Blue Life Insurance

First impressions matter most

Customer experience is simply how a customer or client interacts

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