What Makes Good Customer Experience? Here’s How to Make Customers Happy

A happy customer and her dog thank the dog groomer for a job well done.

Based on research, here are six steps top-performing brands use to create good customer experiences and make customers happy.

The secret to winning over customers may very well lie in the type of customer experience (CX) a company offers, according to findings from several research studies.

Research from Gartner indicates that, more than the product or price, the actual buying experience is the single most important factor that influences whether prospective buyers actually buy something or not. PwC finds that 73% of consumers say that experience is an important factor influencing their purchasing decisions. And Forbes reports that nearly all companies (89%) compete primarily based on the customer experience they offer.

It’s clear that customer experience is a powerful force — one that companies need to understand, measure, and optimize. Here we explain what customer experience is, what separates a good customer experience from a bad one, and the steps to take to create a good customer experience and make customers happy.

What is a Good Customer Experience?

Customer experience is the sum total of customers’ perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and opinions about a given brand or organization over time that results from each and every interaction they have with that company, whether that’s in person or online.

Companies collect customer feedback and capture customer signals from social media, review websites, and other data sources to monitor and evaluate the customer experience they’re offering. By unlocking these powerful customer insights, businesses are able to optimize their products, services, policies, and processes to remove points of friction in the customer journey and ensure every individual has a good customer experience.

Defining a good customer experience

Because customer experience should be tailored to the individual, there’s no right answer to the question, “What is a good customer experience?” That said, brands that want to know how to create a good customer experience can get started by ensuring:

  • Customers feel valued and have the chance to share their feedback and express their opinions.
  • The customer experience is seamless — this involves optimizing digital channels for conversions, making self-service easy to find, offering consistent experiences across. channels, and having knowledgeable, empowered, and empathetic employees on staff 
  • Each and every customer interaction is personalized based on individuals’ unique customer history, preferences, behavior, and needs.
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is being tracked and that the team is achieving high ratings on this and other important KPIs, such as NPS®.

Good Customer Experience vs Bad Customer Experience: Examples

Good customer experience examples

Examples of the key factors that set quality experiences apart from poor experiences include:

  • Personalization: Great customer experiences are tailored to the individual customer, based on their specific interests, wants, needs, and preferences.
  • Convenience: Customers want what they want, when they want it. As such, convenience is the hallmark of good — great, even — customer experiences. Savvy brands prioritize efficiency, accessibility, and ease of use to drive conversion rates and streamline the customer journey.
  • Responsiveness: As customer inquiries and issues arise, organizations need to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively, through automation, self-service options, intelligent customer service scheduling and routing, and empathetic human support.
  • Empathy: Above all, organizations need to consider the customer’s needs and emotions when creating experiences across channels. For example, 96% of consumers say demonstrating empathy during customer service interactions is important.
  • Consistency: As customers increasingly interact with brands across channels and devices, it’s up to organizations to ensure continuity across all touchpoints.

Bad customer experience examples

These are some of the top factors that contribute to poor experiences for customers:

  • Limited personalization: Brands fall short of expectations when they fail to consider customers’ unique needs, interests, and behavior.
  • Inconvenience: Inefficient, difficult, and frustrating experiences turn customers away, impacting conversions, retention, loyalty, revenue, and overall brand reputation.
  • Poor responsiveness: Companies let customers down (and lose them) when they take too long to respond or fail to respond altogether.
  • Lacking empathy: Businesses that don’t keep customers’ needs or emotions top of mind end up creating unsatisfactory, frustrating, and stressful experiences for the customer.
  • Inconsistency: When the website says one thing but a company’s employee says another thing, that adds up to trouble for customers — and, ultimately, the business. 

How to Create a Good Customer Experience: 6 Steps to Improve CX

A comprehensive analysis of the customer experience programs of over 580 brands found that leading companies leverage the following tactics to create positive customer experiences and improve business outcomes.

1. Collect customer feedback and sentiment: Top-performing brands are 2.5x more likely to collect enough data to understand their customer experience compared to those at the bottom (“laggards”).

2. Capture insights from as many customer channels as possible: Leaders are 3.3x more likely to prioritize collecting more customer feedback compared to laggards.

3. Get a timely pulse of the customer experience: About half of leaders (47%) analyze their customer experience data on a monthly basis, vs. just 27% of laggards report doing the same.

4. Leverage customer experience insights to advance the company’s strategy and decisions: Leading brands are 3.5x more likely to use their CX data for taking action across the organization, compared to laggards.

5. Democratize access to CX data: Leaders are 1.8x more likely to share role-relevant CX data with employees.

6. Invest in improving the employee experience (EX): Most CX leaders (61%) say that boosting EX is a strategic priority, compared with just 20% of laggards.

The Importance of Customer Experience

The importance of customer experience cannot be overstated. In fact, researchers have found that companies that take advantage of top customer experience strategies are:

  • 26x more likely to experience year-over-year revenue growth of 20% or more
  • 2.8x more likely to meet financial targets and be viewed as a great place to work
  • 3x more likely to achieve high levels of employee satisfaction and retention

Another study from Forrester found that improving CX by just one point could lead to more than $1 billion in revenue gains.

The bottom line: Organizations that deliver good experiences have the power to build customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, which in turn strengthens financial outcomes.