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A no-coder’s guide to CX a.k.a Customer Experience

February 7, 2024

Get the overview on CX—your guide to no-code customer experience management.

Don't sweat if you're not up to speed on customer experience management. Seems like even big companies are a bit clueless about CX.

Here's the deal with CX

Every time you deal with a brand, that's CX. The CX manager must plan out these interactions. They're thinking about two things. First, solve the customer's immediate needs. Second, leave a good enough impression, so that the customer thinks about buying again, or sticking around.

Getting CX right means thinking customer-first, especially in product development. You have to understand and predict what customers want by putting yourself in their shoes. That's when you start to get what's really useful for them in their daily life.

As CX is an integral part of any software development and product processes, we figured we might as well cover that too. Enjoy!

What is CX—customer experience?

A never-ending chat between your brand and customers. It starts with their first click and keeps going. Even after they stop being a customer, sometimes.

The whole experience must be cool, not just the onboarding. That includes the ads customers see. Or how they talk to your team. The way your website or app works. Even your emails. All these things shape how they feel about your brand.

What is customer experience management?

Every twist and turn a customer takes with a company is part of their CX journey. From first hearing about the brand to becoming a die-hard fan. It all counts.

But in this journey, there's a bunch of smaller parts. They've got names and acronyms. It can get a bit confusing. Here's a quick guide to keep things straight:

  • Customer service is a part of the CX. It happens later in the customer's journey. But remember, not every CX bit is about customer service.
  • Then there's UX, or user experience. It's about how customers feel using your product. UX usually happens when you're trying to keep customers.
  • CRM, or customer relationship management, is about gathering info about customers. CX decisions often come from this data. CX and CRM are different, but they're both important.

CX isn't just about talking to people. Sure, a customer service call is CX. But so is reading an ad or using an app. All these things are part of CX.

Ever seen a new app feature and thought, "Why'd they add that?" Some brands focus too much on what their product can do. They don't think enough about what customers actually need. Sometimes, an app does something super helpful before you even know you need it. 

Why is CX important in no-code?

CX is super important. It affects how much money you make and your company's future.

Here's the deal:

  • More sales and money. Happy customers keep coming back. It's not hard to get. People like buying from places that make them feel good.
  • Better brand rep. People talk. If someone loves what you do, they'll tell others. Soon, everyone's chatting about your brand.
  • Higher customer value. Keep a customer around, and they'll buy more over time. That's just how it works.
  • Fewer support costs. Get CX right, and you've answered questions before they're asked. You'll spend less fixing issues.

Customer experience vs. customer service

Alright, let's set something straight. 

Talking about customer experience and customer service, they're not the same. CX is the big game plan. Customer service is just a piece of that plan.

Customer service is like your emergency crew. It's on-the-spot. It jumps in when problems pop up. It tries to fix stuff. Sure, it's a key part of dealing with customers. But it's not the only way they interact with your brand.

Guess I’ll die in recursion hell!

CX is everything. It's every single time a customer bumps into your brand. From the first ad they spot to the help they get after buying. CX is about being ahead of the game. Making sure every single interaction is a good one, even before any problems show up.

The CX cycle in 5 steps

We might think our experiences are special. But in the customer journey, we're pretty much the same. It's a bit of a letdown. But for someone in CX management, it's a relief. Everyone follows the same five steps.

Here are the stages and what CX managers should do in each:

  • Attract. First up, let people know you exist. Show off what you've got.
  • Acquire. Once people know about your stuff, get them really interested. Don't just sell yet. Make them want to learn more.
  • Convert. After they're interested, go for the big sell. Turn these folks into actual buyers. Push them to buy what you're selling.
  • Retain. Here's where good customer service and user experience matter. Your job is to meet customer expectations. Keep them from going to your rivals. Get them to buy more, stay longer, upgrade stuff.
  • Build loyalty. Finally, turn your repeat customers into super fans. Get them excited about your product. Make them love it so much they tell everyone about it.

Improving customer experience

Building a customer experience strategy? It's pretty straightforward. Here's what you do:

  • Figure out who your customer is.
  • Find out what they need.
  • Make a plan to meet those needs.
  • Listen to your customer.

Make sure everything matches up, no matter where the customer interacts with your brand. But "understand your customer" can be pretty vague. What does it really mean? How do you do it?

1. Customer profile

Start with building a customer profile. It's not just for CX. Marketers and product people do it too. You create an "ideal customer profile" or ICP.

An ICP includes stuff like:

  • Basic background info.
  • Demographics: age, gender, income, job, where they live, education, family, and so on.
  • Their main problems or challenges.
  • What they're trying to achieve.

ICPs can have different info for different teams. 

2. Empathy map

Think of an ICP as your customer's resume. An empathy map, then, is their personal story. The customer profile shows you who your customer is. The empathy map lets you walk in their shoes. You get what they say, think, do, and feel.

For a CX manager, using an empathy map helps line up your team's talk. Everyone from sales to support can offer a smooth, consistent experience. 

Prime example of how not to do it

2. Customer journey map

A customer's journey starts with a casual interest and ends with them recommending your product. It includes ads, Instagram stories, blog posts, newsletters, website visits, and calls with customer service. A customer journey map is like a visual guide. It shows all the steps and interactions in this process.

An empathy map shows what customers might be thinking at different times. A customer journey map tracks the path customers take with your business.

Let's talk about a mobile phone store. Here's their customer journey map:

  • Awareness. Someone sees an ad or reads an article about the new phone store.
  • Consideration. They look up reviews, get impressed by the discounts, and decide to order.
  • Conversion. They order a phone case online easily.
  • Retention. They have vouchers for next purchases or store visits.
  • Brand loyalty. They get excellent customer service and can rely on the place to deliver.

There are many ways to make a customer journey map. When you're ready, look into the details of making one.

4. Customer feedback

Your customers are the best ones to tell you if you're doing things right.

Make sure your customers can talk to you. Set up different ways for them to share what they think and feel. Just hearing them out isn't enough. You've got to act on it.

Change your services, products, or even how you post on social media. This shows your customers you're listening and you care about their opinions. Doing this not only makes your bond with them stronger. It also makes your brand pop as one that truly values its customers.

5. Unified experience

No matter where your customers find you, the experience should be the same. Scrolling on social media, reading a blog, walking into your store, or calling you up. They should always get the same feeling, the same message, and top-notch service.

Every time a customer interacts with your brand, it should feel like catching up with a good old friend. Easy and comfortable.

This idea of giving a smooth, same experience everywhere is called an omnichannel approach. The aim is to make dealing with your brand as easy as a lazy Sunday morning. This way, customers don't get mixed up. They start to trust you more and it builds a real bond between them and your brand.

CX metrics and KPIs that matter

For anyone who loves automation, here's some news: you can't just set up a CX management strategy and forget about it. CX managers have to pick and track key performance indicators (KPIs). These show how well different stuff is doing. Like features, products, and customer experiences.

Now, if your customers are super happy and it's obvious, that's awesome. It means you're doing something really right. But, and here's the catch, you still need to keep an eye on those numbers because when you roll out new updates, support features, discounts, and other cool CX stuff, you need to know what's actually working. To build on that success, you have to measure it. That's where KPIs come in.

There are four big KPIs for measuring CX:

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Churn rate (no abbreviation for that!)

Customer satisfaction (CSAT)

You've definitely seen those customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. They pop up after you buy something, cancel a subscription, or even after a meal at a restaurant. Just when you're ready to scoot off to the next thing, they ask: "How'd we do today?"

These surveys get customers to sum up how happy they are with a single number. This lets you figure out stuff like the average satisfaction score. Or how many people are super happy versus kinda meh. CSAT surveys usually cover the whole experience, but you can also use them for specific parts. Like checking if a certain feature or service hit the mark.

If you grab some details about who's answering, like their age or gender, it gets even better. Say, you find out your overall score is a 7, but women between 33 and 55 always rate it a 10. That's gold. You can use that info to sharpen your marketing, customer service, and sales strategies. Real feedback from real customers – that's what steers the ship.

Net promoter score (NPS)

CSAT data helps you figure out another metric called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Here's how it works. Once you've got your CSAT responses, you label your customers. Those who rate their satisfaction between 1 and 6 are "detractors." They're not too happy. The ones who give a 9 or 10? They're your "promoters." They love what you're doing. Anyone who falls in the middle is a "passive" or "neutral."

Next, work out what percent of your survey folks are in each group. Then, do some simple math. Take the percent of promoters and subtract the percent of detractors. What you get is your Net Promoter Score. It's a quick way to see how many fans versus not-so-happy customers you have.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Imagine you own a bagel shop. There's this intern who swings by every morning. They grab bagels for their whole 10-person team. This intern is way more valuable to you than the folks who just pop in for their own bagel now and then because the intern's orders are bigger and they come in more often. That means they have a higher customer lifetime value (CLV, or customer LTV).

It’s all in the numbers. Pardon the ancient format—still attached to the evergreen days of 2007.

CLV is all about how much a customer is worth over their entire time with your business. To figure it out, take the average cost of what they usually buy. Multiply that by how many times they buy in a year. Then multiply that by how many years you think they'll keep coming back. That's their CLV.

The formula looks like this:

(C x O) x Y = CLV

  • C is the cost of the order
  • O is the number of orders in a year
  • Y is how long you think they'll stay your customer

CLV is just a ballpark figure. It's not super precise. So don't sweat the math too much.

Churn rate

The last CX metric to talk about is a bit of a headache: customer churn rate. It's all about how fast you're losing customers.

Here's how you calculate churn: Take the number of customers you lost in a certain time, like a fiscal quarter. Divide that by how many customers you had at the start of that quarter. Then, multiply by 100. That gives you your churn rate as a percentage for that time.

But here's the thing: churn rate doesn't really matter for everyday purchases. The bagel shop owner we talked about before probably wouldn't use churn rate to check their CX. It's more for businesses that have long-term clients. Losing a big, ongoing contract is a way bigger deal than losing a one-time customer.

How automation enhances the CX process

Without it, doing CX well is pretty much a no-go.

Imagine trying to handle everything yourself. Collecting all the data for those metrics we talked about. Answering every customer call and email. Running the support chat. You'd be toast before you even really started on your CX strategy.

Automation helps you do stuff like:

  • Finding and keeping track of possible customers.
  • Keeping an eye on how customers interact with your business.
  • Gathering what customers have to say.
  • Taking care of easy customer service stuff.
  • Putting all the customer feedback in one spot.

The CX world is all over low and no-code tools right now, after all. They're using them for the usual stuff. Automation, giving recommendations, making predictions. In the future, they could work for every step of the customer journey. From when people first notice a brand, to when they think about buying, to actually buying, sticking around, and then telling others about it. Low and no code could make a big difference in all kinds of support tasks. The best part—just a few clicks and you're set.

The more you automate, the more time you've got for your customers. And the more you focus on your customers, the happier they'll be.

Afterword

No-code is much like any other stuff you use to build something. It doesn’t really matter—it’s all about the customer in the end. If you’d like to tell us something about our own UX - head over to our communities and find us there—would love to hear it. The links are in the footer below.

FAQ

How does Directual improve customer experience management?
How does Directual improve customer experience management?

Directual's no-code setup helps with CX by making customer chats, gathering data, and figuring things out automatically. It's great for tailoring experiences throughout the whole customer journey. Plus, Directual lets businesses quickly tweak things based on what customers say.

Why is managing customer experience necessary for a business?
Why is managing customer experience necessary for a business?

Customer Experience Management is super important for business success. Happy customers tend to buy more and talk up your brand. It ups the value of customers over time—happy folks are more likely to try your other products or services. CX potentially also stops problems before they start.

Can you use Directual's no-code platform for CX automation?
Can you use Directual's no-code platform for CX automation?

Yep, Directual's no-code platform is perfect for making Customer Experience management automatic. It's easy to use, so businesses can set up automated chats with customers, collect feedback, and send personalized messages without needing to code.

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