Understanding Customer Experience is very important for proper implementation. Have you ever been to an offline store or tried to shop online and you were welcomed by an awful customer experience? Or the lasting impression of the experience made you happy and satisfied? I can definitely relate. Nevertheless, this piece is for everyone both retailers, corporate workers and the list goes on. Customer Experience is key to our everyday life and it’s important to understand what it’s all about. A positive customer experience not only results in making your customer happy, but it can also lead to additional revenue. The best marketing money can buy is a customer who will promote your business — because they’ll refer their friends and family to you, free of charge.
The way you think about customer experience has probably had a profound impact on how you look at your business as a whole. This is just one reason why creating and obsessing over a great customer experience is so important.
Before we differentiate a good or bad customer experience, or for that matter, how to improve it, we first need to understand what customer experience truly is.
The best way to define customer experience is as the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey. There are multiple touchpoint factors into the customer experience, and these touchpoints occur on a cross-functional basis.
The two primary touchpoints that create the customer experience are people and product. Are you blown away by the performance of the product? Are you delighted by the attention a customer support representative gives you to help solve your problem? These are some quick examples of what factors are at play when creating a great customer experience.
Customer experience is of critical importance to the sustained growth of a business. It’s important to ensure a positive customer experience so customers build brand loyalty and affinity, evangelize your product or service and refer their friends, and leave you with positive customer reviews that will help your business grow revenue and earn new customers.
Customers have more options than ever (your competitors), greater ease of switching power than ever (with so many subscription and freemium options), and more power to influence your business than ever (using social media and online reviews). But it’s definitely a change for the best. Customers are your best resource for growing your brand awareness in a positive way — because their recommendations shared with friends and family are more reliable than your marketing and advertising channels.
We’ve spoken about how the customer experience is ultimately how the customer feels about your brand. So ask yourself, what happened the last time you had either a great or terrible customer experience? You probably went to a friend or co-worker to tell them the story, or you went to your social networking channels to broadcast your feelings to the world.
As a company, you have to take this personally and obsess over the reasons why people feel the way they do about you — it’ll dramatically help you grow your business.
Nowadays, a global marketplace is at our fingertips. Retailers (and indeed all business) can no longer compete on price or location alone because they are no longer competing against a couple local merchants – they’re up against the whole world! For example, If the wristwatches you are longing for are too expensive at the local mall, you can likely order them from Vidora Luxury or another website, possibly even from the other side of the planet. That’s why customer experience has evolved to become the most important competitive differentiator. Shoppers will often justify spending a bit more if it means that they’ll get instant gratification and an easy, enjoyable experience.
Retailers need to analyze every element that makes up the shopping experience – before, during, and after the sale, to ensure that it meets the demands of the day’s shoppers and goes above and beyond the competition.
Failure to Focus on Customer Experience Could Lead to Major Loss for Retailers – Research Shows.
- A moderate improvement in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. (Temkin Group)
- 59 percent of all consumers feel that companies have lost touch with the human element of customer experience. 82 percent want more human interaction with brands. (PwC)
- 80 percent of brands say their success will soon be mostly or entirely dependent on customer experience, but fewer than half actually have a strategy in place to measure how CX drives ROI. (Gartner)
- 32 percent of customers say that they would stop doing business with a brand they lovedafter a single bad experience. (PwC)
- 64 percent of consumers say they have avoided a brand because of a bad experience they had within the last year. (Medallia/Ipsos)
- 51% of consumers will stop shopping at a retailer after 1-2 poor in-store shopping trips. (BRP)
- Organizations with a cross-functional customer experience approach were nearly twice as likely to have exceeded their top business goals last year. (CMO)
- Brands with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement retain approximately 89 percent of their customers, in comparison to 33 percent of brands with a weaker omni-channel strategy. (Aberdeen)
- 74 percent of internet users said that a disappointing interaction with staff—whether it’s a poor attitude or lack of knowledge—is a leading reason why they would consider a brand experience as a negative one. (eMarketer)
- 80 percent of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly serviceare the most important elements of a positive customer experience. (PwC)
- 46 percent of shoppers said they would prefer interacting with a human even if a Chabot saved them 10 minutes. (eMarketer)
How to Measure Customer Experience?
- Analyze customer satisfaction survey results.
- Identify rate and reasons for customer churn.
- Ask customers for product or feature requests.
- Analyze customer support ticket trends.
Running a customer-focused business helps organizations build a loyal customer base. Customers are more willing to purchase from companies that they feel consider their needs when they create products and services. Customer also are frequent patrons to businesses that place a high value on training their staffs to emphasize customer experience. Also, the more loyal customers are to a business, the more likely they are to refer the products or services to friends, family and business associates. Referrals are advantageous to businesses as they cut down on advertising expenses. Customers who come to businesses through referrals also generally are prequalified, which makes it easier to turn them from prospective customers to buyers.
So, the key questions are how customer centric is your business? What experiences are you curating for your customers? Customer experience doesn’t just happen. You have to deliberately make it happen. It may involve, reconstructing your corporate policy to be more customer focused on the one hand and training of your people on the other. Whichever the case, it definitely requires management commitment as well as that of the whole organization. And the good news is, you can start today.