What is Customer Experience?

online marketing tips Oct 24, 2022

The other day I was talking with someone about marketing strategy and lamenting the state of many businesses I’ve worked and/or interacted with and their focus on acquiring customers but not doing much to keep those customers interested and loyal (beyond sending periodic coupons or sale emails which, quite frankly, is not exactly a “customer experience strategy”).

I declared to her – “Customer experience is the new frontier in business!” and I really, whole-heartedly meant it.

It made me realize, though, that customer experience strategy, and the whole concept of “experience” in building a business, is such a huge deal that maybe the reason many businesses drop the ball is because, well, the ball is pretty overwhelming.

Customer experience is a lot more than how your website looks, whether or not you send emails, and what you post on social channels. It’s a mindset a business has to adopt holistically – from top to bottom. Customer experience is approaching business from a retention-focused mentality. It requires business owners to examine their why behind what they do, and build an overarching growth strategy around that…. then roll that strategy out to every member of their team.

It means abandoning the typical silo’ed way of doing business (“my job is X so I can’t help you with that”) in favor of a work culture that has each team member focused on service.

It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done, but the payoff of implementing a stellar customer experience strategy makes the effort more than worth it.

But before you can dive in, you have to know what you’re getting into. So let’s take a closer look at what Customer Experience actually is.

What is Customer Experience?

The best and most succinct definition of Customer Experience (aka, CX) I’ve found recently was from a Hubspot article 

The best way to define customer experience is as the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey.


This is why CX is so difficult to wrangle – it comes down to the intangible feelings a customer has about your brand before, during and after their interaction with you. It’s very closely tied to every single aspect of your business: your cold prospecting leaves an impression, your website leaves an impression, any customer service interaction before/during/after purchase leaves an impression, your follow-up leaves an impression – you get the point.

It’s also why CX is so incredibly important to the health and longevity of your business.

If you have a poor customer experience strategy, your entire business could tank. But if your CX strategy is cohesive and authentic, the result is increased affinity and brand loyalty – at a lower cost than continuing to throw money at an acquisition campaign. In fact, long term, highly loyal consumers become ambassadors. The dollars spent acquiring those consumers pays off in the form of referrals.

Customer Experience Strategy also extends to your internal organization

I’m sure you already had an understanding of the importance of the impression you give to a customer from their first interaction with you and beyond.

What you may have not considered is how that is impacted by the organization of your team internally.

In order for a customer experience strategy to be executed well, every member of the team must be on board and must be crystal clear how their role fits into the overall why behind the CX strategy.

For example, if you sell a physical product, every person in your company, from the President to the person picking and packing the item to ship must understand the feelings that the brands wants a consumer to have around the product. This influences marketing messages, website copy, email copy, any inserts put in the box as part of the unboxing experience, the manufacturing of the product, the packaging of the product, the checkout process, the follow-up process, etc.

If a team member doesn’t understand this, it will show up in how the strategy is executed. If the President doesn’t prioritize CX, their attitude will trickle down and impact the attitudes of those who are building the strategy – and this will result in a lackluster experience. If the person picking and packing the order doesn’t understand the overall strategy, he or she may not have as much motivation to ensure the unboxing experience a customer has is on brand.

This is why Customer Experience Strategy can make or break your business.

It’s also why many businesses ignore it and consider their customer service agents synonymous with their customer experience strategy. To be sure, customer service is a huge part of CX but they are not the same thing.

Customer Experience Strategy is your secret to longterm profit

And it’s because of what I just mentioned – many businesses consider their customer service agents as their customer experience strategy.

But CX is truly about the experience a customer has in their arc with you. If you’ve spent any time figuring out the lifetime value (aka LTV) of your customer, then you understand how profitable it is to look at business from a retention-focused viewpoint.

If you’re not familiar with LTV, it refers to the value a customer has to a business over time. In other words, as a customer builds a relationship with a business, they take action over time (maybe they continually purchase the product you sell, or they refer people to your service). These actions have a monetary value over a specific period of time and, all together, that makes up the lifetime value of that customer.

This is the true power of CX, because CX is your vehicle for achieving a high retention rate and seeing that LTV come to life.

This is also why I’m incredibly passionate about customer experience. In the age of connectedness, smart phones, social media, etc CX is more important now than ever.

So what are your next steps now that you know what CX is? It’s time to examine what you’re already doing and where you have room for improvement. Then take that information as the cornerstone while you build out a strategy that’s going to rock your customers’ world.

If you haven’t already grabbed this, I do have a free checklist that can help you narrow down places you may need to work on with crafting your CX strategy. You can grab it here – I want the 5 page checklist!

Happy strategizing! 


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