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Definition: Customer experience

What is customer experience?

The definition of customer experience is the impression your customers have, and the emotions they feel, when interacting with your brand. This includes every engagement and touchpoint throughout the customer lifecycle, encompassing your products and services, and the people that represent your company.

The way that consumers perceive a brand is central to customer experience. When developing an effective customer experience strategy it is vital to consider every aspect of your customer journey. This spans everything from the levels of satisfaction people get from your products and services to how your staff build rapport with customers in a physical or virtual space.

Your marketing communications are key to your success when it comes to customer experience. The content you share with your audience must be relevant and valuable, and should address their needs and desires at their precise stage in the buyer journey. Brand consistency must be assured throughout the customer experience. From the chatbots that answer customer’s FAQs to the personalized content assets you send at the awareness stage of the buyer journey, all content must be on-brand and perfectly targeted at all times.

Want to find out more about creating a memorable customer experience? Check out our blog on the importance of brand consistency.

Delivering a good customer experience strategy means taking the time to build a website that is responsive, intuitive, easy to navigate, and has relevant information that is easy-to-find. From publishing a blog that addresses your customer’s desires and pain points—and then promoting the content in the right place, at the right time—to designing collateral such as courtesy cards that are consistently in line with your brand identity, a well-planned customer experience strategy spans all areas of marketing.

Customer experience management is important for all brands, regardless of size and sector. It affects every area of the business and can be the difference between achieving long-term success, and driving customers into the arms of competitors.

The benefits of delivering a great customer experience

Boosts customer satisfaction
Consumers can tell straight away if a brand is genuinely committed to customer satisfaction. Making sure your customers feel like you care, and that they are your priority is key to your success when delivering a great customer experience. Whether it’s speedy query resolution from your contact centre to delivering personalized content that solves your customer’s problem, paying attention to what makes them happy and fulfilled should result in higher satisfaction levels, increased sales and conversions, and loyal advocates.

Helps build brand awareness
In an interconnected world, consumers look to each other for recommendations and guidance. Every time you deliver a great customer experience you create an opportunity to encourage brand advocacy. You could anticipate the customer's need to look for reviews by showcasing them on your website and/or include a link to a review aggregator. Or you might invite a loyal customer to take advantage of a special offer, or send them a gift based on their purchase history to inspire them to tell their friends that you’re a great brand to buy from. All of which build brand awareness and promote brand recall.

Helps to reduce customer churn and increase loyalty
Generally, consumers don’t want to chop and change suppliers for the sake of it. We are trusting creatures at heart, and prefer to form long lasting relationships with brands who satisfy our needs and know what makes us tick. Listening to your customers and doing all you can to ensure you deliver a great customer experience means you stand a greater chance at winning their loyalty.

Famously, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. There’ll always be some churn in your customer base, but far better to keep it to a minimum. Delivering a great brand experience can help you with this.