CX Blog Series: Understanding Customer Experience through the Lens of the Customer

In today’s age, customer experience is extremely important to the success of brands both in the digital and physical realms. We often discuss CX from the vantage point of the business, however, a lot can be learned by looking through the lens of the customer. As part of our ongoing CX Blog Series, Stratigent Solutions Consultant, Laura Sulkin, discusses the benefits of testing, personalization, and customer feedback from the view of the customer…

Before joining Stratigent, I would have described myself as a plain, garden-variety, customer. I was a chronic Googler and made a majority of my purchases from eCommerce websites, due in no small part to the harsh Chicago winters. I utilized the digital experience to take care of everything from shopping for baby gifts, wedding presents, clothes, and shoes, to making travel reservations and taking care of my finances.

Over time, I encountered an incredibly wide variety of customer experiences, running the gamut from awful to exceptional. Some experiences have been frustrating enough that I have abandoned my customer journey at one location to pursue at another; while other experiences have been so enjoyable that I could not wait to return. While I knew of and was familiar with marketing analytics, I was unaware of how they could be utilized to help locate customer pain points to make the customer experience as enjoyable as possible.

My Personal Anecdote

We’ve all had subpar customer experiences. From a web page with a slow load time to not knowing or understanding where to go or what is needed to complete an action, there are almost countless potential CX pitfalls. Typically, these frustrating experiences would simply result in me abandoning the current business in favor of another that offered comparable products or services with an improved customer experience.

However, there is one customer experience in particular that proved to be especially frustrating for me. I frequently used my bank’s website to pay bills and, over time, I had gotten used to the look and ease of use of my bank’s website. It was an uncomplicated process and one that I had come to enjoy, at least as much as one can enjoy paying bills. Then, without warning, the site completely changed and I had no idea where to start. The process was so completely unintuitive and frustrating that I eventually called customer service. In time, I became more familiar with the new layout and processes, but I couldn’t help but feel alienated by the entire process. Ah, the simple hassles we face in life as customers.

Fast forward back to earlier this year, I was excited to accept a position with Stratigent as a Solutions Consultant. I had been in sales and marketing for most of my career but had yet to work with a team of highly skilled data scientists that could construct customized strategies to help brands understand their entire customer experience across multiple stages and channels. Now, I could see behind the curtain and how it was possible to stitch together the various pieces of the customer experience into actionable data that a company could act on to improve the experience of their customers.

With this new-found knowledge and appreciation of the various tools available for optimizing the customer experience, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own unsatisfying customer experience. Did this bank conduct any A/B tests with a select group of customers before releasing the update? Did they attempt to survey their most frequent users to see what features and attributes were most needed and desired? Could they have utilized an email campaign to help alert their customers about the upcoming changes and not have had the change appear so suddenly? What we can be sure of is that my experience was not uncommon as 72% of businesses have identified improving their Customer Experience Program as their top business priority.

Concluding Thoughts

Little did I know that my various clicks and paths to purchase provided valuable intelligence to the purveyors of products that I sought out in my relatively low-key life. Every step that I took helped to provide insights for brands as to my experience and the critical factors that led to a purchase. Stratigent’s unique combination of strategy, implementation, and insight helps brands optimize their customer experience. Ultimately, this process serves to help customers like me enjoy a much better online experience with less frustration; allowing me to be able to simply enjoy all the stuff I buy!


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By Laura Sulkin
About the Author:

Laura Sulkin is a Solutions Consultant at Stratigent.

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