“Customer experience” has become a pretty common term over the past decade. At eVOC our focus is on the online customer experience. According to Wikipedia, a customer experience (sans the online aspect) is “a customer journey which makes the customer feel happy, satisfied, justified, with a sense of being respected, served and cared, according to his/her expectation or standard, starting from first contact and through the whole relationship.”
In simplified terms, a customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company.
When looking at the online customer experience definition, the experience is focused on your website - it is the intersection of your site visitors’ expectations and how well those expectations are being met. Nowadays, the online aspect melds into the mobile realm as well. Social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) is also intertwined in your brand’s overall expectations and experience.
What’s interesting about considering the online dynamic of the customer experience is how much deeper impacting a negative experience can be. Do you remember the last time you decided to ditch your favorite clothing store because they were too slow at the cash register? However, you may have decided to skip visiting an e-commerce site because it was too slow. The threshold for the less personal online interaction is much lower when it comes to service, selection and efficiency. People do not mind being rude online, or impatient. Also, they can very quickly spread negative word about or post something that gets picked up and viewed by others. It can be a nasty, downward spiral. Usually more downward than upward. Most internet users have an invisible standard that they hold for how any site should perform. If it meets or exceeds the standard, then usually little happens. However, if it falls short, the consequences can be painful.
So, no pressure(!), but just remember how important the online customer experience is for creating, defining and nurturing the relationship with your customers.