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There is an element every marketing campaign should include if organizations want to maximize customer lifetime value and drive profits.

In 2019, Gartner reported that more than 80% of companies expected to remain competitive by relying almost completely on Customer Experience (CX).

The shocking fact? Many of them are doing it wrong.

Another study reported that 80% of companies thought their CX strategy was effective, but only 8% of customers agreed.

CX encompasses every interaction between a customer and an organization, from discovery and initiation to purchase, customer service, and even advocacy.

Your business needs CX in your marketing strategy and guess what? Customers want it. A study conducted by American Express found that 60% of consumer participants would pay more for better CX.

But what does “better CX” look like?

Wherever a customer is coming into contact with your brand, that’s CX. How available your business is to its customers is CX. CX happens across different channels, employees, products, messages, and devices.

With all of those moving parts, a thoughtful strategy will help organize your approach to providing great CX as part of your marketing strategy. Below are 7 considerations to help get you started or ensure you stay on track.

1. Understand your customers

Who are your customers?

What motivates them?

  • Dig into some data to answer these questions. Profile the customers you interact with every day at different points along the buyer’s journey.
  • Develop buyer personas. Draw on those personas to customize your marketing plans and messaging.

2. Understand the big picture of your business

A successful CX strategy requires a real understanding of your business and its objectives. What are you really seeking to do?

  • Identify new customers?
  • Penetrate a new market?
  • Launch a new product into your current market? Into a new one?

Too often marketing strategies don’t focus on CX because they aren’t focused in the right direction to begin with. Once you know where you really want to go, create long term goals, and integrate CX strategies to support those goals.

3. Begin with the end in mind

Steve Jobs was known for his philosophy of beginning a product strategy with the customer rather than with the technology or the product. It is important to begin with the ultimate experience you want to deliver to your customer and use that to drive every decision you make.

  • Ask yourself what would the ideal CX description be?
  • List the CX process in stages. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes in each stage and identify opportunities to drive the ideal CX one stage at a time.
  • Continue to drill down from larger abstract ideas to smaller practical issues within each stage.

4. Hire the right people

To deliver the ideal CX, team players who are invested in their jobs and the business are essential. Team players understand that the customer is king and treat them accordingly using interpersonal skills and principle-based guidelines. They pay attention to the little things.

Have you ever checked into a hotel on your birthday to find flowers or cupcakes in your room?

The only way to customize an effective CX is in the details.

5. Research best practices

What are others in your industry doing to deliver excellent CX?

Look in your market and outside your market. Look at your competitors.

What are they doing that you aren’t?

Identify some gaps in your current strategy based on what you learn. Based on that gap analysis, redirect your focus, and redesign your plan.

6. Leverage AI

According to Gartner, 60% of consumers would rather resolve issues on their own than with an audio or video call.

Do you have options to address this trend?

Options for online tutorials on your website or mobile app should be made available and should be easy for customers to find and use.

Tapping into all of the AI capabilities provides countless benefits within and beyond CX:

  • Auto-responses to expected customer queries guide customers with carefully curated messaging.
  • Agents avoid routine queries and spend time more effectively.
  • Personalization can be achieved by segmenting users and digging into data like email browsing history and past interactions.

7. Recommit to customer service

Moving from a marketing mindset to a customer service mindset may be the most important element of CX. Today’s digitally educated consumers already know a great deal about your products and services and want to be supported during the purchase process rather than pushed toward it.