Customer experience (CX) design is the foundation of great customer experiences. But once you’ve implemented a CX strategy, how do you continue to create new experiences your customers will delight in?
Read on to understand how to build an effective customer experience design program, and how to implement experiences your customers will love.
Customer experience design: the basics
We’ve already covered how to design a customer experience strategy, but it’s worth remembering the basics.
What is customer experience design?
Customer experience design is aimed at creating an integrated and engaging brand journey for customers. A customer experience strategy ensures that your customers have the greatest possible experience interacting with your brand. It should incorporate all the touchpoints a customer might encounter, like advertising campaigns and customer service moments.
Unlike user experience (UX) design, which is focused on how users smoothly interact with your platforms, customer experience design is about the overall view customers have of your product or service – and ensuring the experience meets customer expectations.
Why is customer experience design important?
Customer experience design is vital for capturing the attention of those who encounter your brand. Not only that, it helps to shape the perception of your services or products, helping to engage customers in a way that they like and meeting their needs in a way they can appreciate.
By focusing on a customer-centric approach for your customer experience design process, you can create amazing experiences that will bring your customers back time and time again.
Creating a customer experience design program
Ensure your principles are still relevant
To create the most effective strategy for creating new experiences, you need to ensure that you are still meeting your customer experience design principles.
These are based on your brand’s CX vision, its mission, and its promises to its customers. Your principles guide how your products and services are designed and delivered, and how your customers should feel.
Once you’ve established what principles will guide you – such as “all customer experiences should feel motivating” – you can start designing and implementing customer experiences, and have confidence that they will resonate.
When creating new experiences, you should always refer back to these principles – and if you’re finding it hard to engage your customers, consider updating them to match new needs.
Update your customer personas
To understand how your customers will interact with your brand, you should have created customer personas. These can be for customers you have already, or customers you’re aiming to bring on board.
These are fictional characters based upon customer research, encapsulating the most common attributes of a particular group of customers.
When initially creating these personas, you will have gathered the data you needed through interviews and analysis for themes and insights. To create new experiences your customers will enjoy, you need to ensure that these are updated on a regular basis. How has your customer persona changed? What are their new needs? How have external factors changed what they respond to?
Plot out customer journey maps and create new touchpoints
Once you have your updated personas firmly in place, you can start to map customer behaviour and find gaps. These gaps can help you provide a more seamless experience, or help you decide where to create a new customer experience touchpoint.
When plotting out the customer journey, you can see how a customer interacts with your platforms, content, products and services. Having a continually updated awareness of your customer journey channels and touchpoints within your brand, from your website, social media, to phone calls and more will help you make decisions – and create experiences – your customers will appreciate.
Purchasing decisions and other actions taken by your customers should always be linked to their customer persona, and changes should be noted. This will help you to build a deeper understanding of who is interacting with your brand and what they are doing. Once that’s clear, you can start linking it to why your customers are reacting well to your customer experience design strategy.
Adjust your empathy mapping and understand new pain points
Customer experience shouldn’t just revolve around problem-solving, though that can be a strong part of why a customer enjoys your products or services. They can also center on fulfilling emotional needs.
Empathy mapping, as described by the Nielsen Norman Group, is a visualisation of what we know about customers’ actions. It shows what customers say, think, do and feel, and simplifies complex emotions for better understanding of customers’ needs and wants.
Though you might have already mapped out your customers’ empathy, ensuring it remains current is vital. Run surveys or interview sessions on an ongoing basis to continually flesh out or narrow down the why behind customer actions.
As for pain points, above all else, measuring the results of your CX design is vital for understanding where these are. With customer journey maps that accurately pinpoint where customers might be leaving your platforms, you can narrow down the gaps where customers might be losing interest.
With empathy maps and pain points measured, you can then tweak the messaging, change the calls to action, and present customers with different options to test what works better for customers who might otherwise be lost.
Ensure your organisation is on board and experiences are uniform
Customer experience design isn’t just a task for design teams, and customer experience management isn’t just for customer service. It’s important to make sure your entire organisation is design-oriented and management-minded to provide a holistic customer experience.
Developing a quality framework to work to, based on your design principles, helps to ensure that your customers’ experiences are uniform.
Even with the best customer touchpoints in the world, one bad experience can put off customers quickly. Make sure your social media channels live up to the same standards as your customer service, and your strategy will be more likely to delight and engage.
Implementing new customer experience strategy
Once you’ve revisited your data, confirmed your customer personas, adjusted customer journey maps, completed further empathy mapping, and understood any new pain points, you can implement your updated strategy.
Designing new, exciting customer experiences requires inventive thinking to take all the knowledge gained on your customers and applying it in a way they will find engaging. Reviewing what has worked and why it has worked is the best method for creating satisfying new experiences.
Test your program and repeat
Effective customer experience design is tested, and tested regularly. Add in live chat tools, follow up emails, and implement post-interaction surveys to get live (or near-live) feedback on how your strategy is working. Repeat what works, and adjust what doesn’t. Look to continually improve.
Customer feedback is the easiest way to get real insights into your CX design program, and with it, you can continue to delight your customers with an integrated journey and a seamless experience.