Is there a difference between customer experience (CX) and customer success (CS)? While both these are two sides of the same coin, CEOs are often confused with both concepts and find it hard to draw a line between CX initiative and the CS initiative.
By definition, customer success precedes the challenges of the customer and proactively works towards providing answers and solutions. Customer success drives retention and loyalty. Customer Experience includes multiple elements that are culminated to form brand perception. Both these aspects are critical for revenue growth.
However, monetizing customer experience is hard, and companies, although doing many things right, generally end up quantifying impact with the wrong KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.
If you’re running a business, inevitably, you must invest in customer success. Recently though, acquiring new customers has become more expensive. Therefore, the focus has shifted to advocating experience, keeping existing customers happy.
Exploring Customer Success
Customer success fosters deeper relationships with clients using a platform or application to help them achieve their desired goals. From product development to adoption, customer retention and business growth, customer success spans the entire customer journey. A well-coordinated customer success plan augments company value, which in turn, leads to sustainable growth. The partnership is mutually beneficial.
Customer experience began as a tactic to arrest churns in SaaS firms. It transformed into a growing discipline adopted by other companies too throughout the digital economy. With a gradual and increasing emphasis on the customer, the shift towards customer experience is more than just easy and seamless.
Exploring Customer Experience
In light of the current situation and a highly competitive digital economy, CEOs have come to realise that it is important to win hearts first before consumers are asked to open their wallets. Customers today can gather product information at their fingertips and make purchase decisions on their own. The consumer seems more empowered than before.
This also requires companies to recalibrate and balance themselves for a changing world to deliver differentiated customer experiences to maximise the value of every engagement. However, the present crisis fortified the need for differentiated customer experiences, leaving CEOs with a plethora of questions. The implementation of customer experiences remains a challenge while customer success can be quantified by calculating ROIs, the impact of initiatives and attributing these parameters to revenue growth. To better understand quantification, let’s first look at the components of customer experience.
Strategy and Processes
Leaders must use their power to ensure that the entire organisation is focusing on providing customer experiences consistently throughout their marketing and sales cycles. Customer service plays a crucial role in fortifying the participation of the customers. Besides, customer experience values must be corroborated across the organisation to realise business goals. It is crucial to balance customer experience with departmental resources while setting all priorities right.
Products and Services
Create products and services that meet the customers’ needs and more importantly, expectations. Some of the best customer experience knowledge evolves from need anticipation even before the customer asks for help. Furthermore, if customer expectations are met through innovation, companies can easily save costs on post-sales support.
Customer touch points
Customer service and customer experience are varied, disparate aspects. Customer experience is a result of customer service. There are several touchpoints across the customers’ relationship and the journey, where CX falls last, or just before loyalty. This means there are several triggers and brand considerations involved before the customer actually experiences the product. For customers to derive the complete experience of the product or service, companies must get the right practice across each of these touchpoints.
The Element of Emotion
Some of the most familiar metrics by which customers gauge companies are price, quality, dependability, reputation and expertise – in fact, in that very order. There’s one more thing that drives customer experience. Even with the above highly rational yardsticks, emotion plays a more significant role and is also immeasurable. Customer loyalty and longevity are fostered by company likeability and the sense of shared values.
Balancing customer experience with business profitability
Companies willing to throw a lot of money to create great customer experiences can actually buy happiness. But this is only temporary. Business sustenance would want recognisable and obvious value at little or no organisational cost. For this, ensure that customer services are the driving force of these experiences.
Customer experience is also one of the five key elements of the Corporality Effect. But what really is the difference between customer experience and customer success? And is experience measurable?
Differences and measurements – Customer Experience vs. Customer Success
Companies are persistently arguing about the precedence of Customer Success and Customer Experience. The difference is rather simple – customer success is functionally attached to the organisation, while customer experience is all-pervasive. Customer experience is a complex ecosystem, controlled by several internal owners. Customer success is more of a functional strategy.
Now comes the challenge of measurement.
Experiences are superficial – it is an emotion that is felt by the customer. Then can it be quantified? Here are some steps that CEOs can adopt to measure the impact of an experience.
First, differentiate the KPIs for customer success and customer experience. Thereafter measure the overall effectiveness of the business operations and its efficiency as internal resources are metered.
Achievements in the form of customer-specific business objectives can also be measured. Evaluate them through various touchpoints and how well the company meets all customer expectations. More importantly, gather customer feedback on various interactions as part of the experience.
84% of companies working towards improving customer experience also report an increase in revenue according to Forbes. Therefore, CEOs must understand the strategic importance of customer experience and begin prioritising it.