For decades, the relationship between consumers and brands did not change much. Consumers were loyal to brands they liked and trusted, sticking with established brands through thick and thin. Even if a consumer was interested in switching to a new competitor, there was an alarming lack of documented reasons or evidence to prompt a switch.
Technology has brought about a significant disruption to the consumer and brand relationship. In the past, if a customer wanted to complain or compliment your brand, they had limited options. Today, technology has opened a myriad of different avenues for a customer to immediately let the world know any pleasure or displeasure they had with a brand. This open line of communication between past and future customers has forced brands to up their game, making it necessary to consistently deliver an outstanding product and experience.
If a product does not deliver, technology has made it easier than ever to find a competitor that is just one click away. Research has shown that customers have become far less forgiving.
25% of customers willing to defect after just one bad experience with a brand.
A combination of events has drastically changed the relationship between consumers and brands, putting more and more importance on keeping the customer happy at all times. Brands such as Amazon, Google, and Apple have elevated customers’ expectations of customer service to an extraordinary level, and companies across every industry are now trying to catch up. That is why 89% of companies are expected to invest additional resources into improving customer experience (CX), up from 36% in just 4 years.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience is often used interchangeably with customer service, but they are in fact different. Customer service is just a single touchpoint between a brand and a customer, while customer experience encompasses the totality of how a customer feels about your brand. A good CX means that you are constantly delivering exactly what the customer wants at every phase of the buyer’s journey. That can mean a customer stumbling on a blog post that perfectly addresses their needs, viewing content that is relevant to their interests, getting a recommendation for their ideal product, and much more.
Customers are busy, and they do not want to feel that their time is not being valued or they are not being treated as individuals. Creating a personalized and convenient experience throughout the multiple interactions they have with your brand will increase the customer experience. Some of these interactions may include:
- Navigating your brand’s websites
- Automated chat support and live chats
- In-person visits to a retail store
- Visits to a customer’s home
- Statements and invoices sent either electronically or by mail
- Marketing efforts and communications
- Phone calls and conversations
- The experience of using your products and/or services
- Providing needed support to resolve an issue
- The experience of finalizing a purchase of your product/service
- Interactions on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook
- Channels you support and channels that your customers use
Each of these interactions between your brand and the consumer shapes how they view their customer experience. Just one misstep or inconvenience during any of the above interactions could cause a fracture in the relationship between your brand and the consumer, permanently damaging what could have been a long-lasting relationship. Therefore, companies strive to deliver truly impressive CX at each phase of the customer journey by creating organizations that are customer-centric. They have mobilized every employee and department within their organization to understand the importance of delivering service, experiences, journeys, and interactions that are consistently outstanding. Organizations that can make this change will set themselves apart from their competitors, showcasing why optimizing CX is so essential.
Why is an Excellent Customer Experience Important?
Designing and executing the optimal customer experience can be extremely challenging and time-consuming for any organization, but the benefits of an outstanding CX are colossal. While creating a customer-centric culture poses significant challenges for more established and larger organizations that lack a large digital footprint, new digital smaller brands are now able to disrupt the more established organizations by creating ideal customer experiences. Customer experience allows new companies to get their foot in the door with potential new customers, and that is why CX may be the single most important investment a brand can make in this competitive landscape. Reaching new customers is just one of the many reasons why CX is so important for any brand, and below are a few of the other rewards that come with an optimized CX.
Increased Brand Loyalty
By delivering a consistently excellent CX, customers will be more loyal to your brand. Customers that are loyal will purchase more and more often, increasing their Life Time Value (LTV) to your organization.
Customer Churn is Reduced
It takes a lot of time and effort to attract new customers. If you improve CX and increase brand loyalty, you can reduce the number of customers who leave you for a new business. By reducing customer churn, you maximize the efficiency of your operations.
The goal of any company is to make money, and great customer experience will improve your bottom line. Connected, happy customers will buy more and have a larger LTV, helping your business increase revenue.
Happy customers are compelled to share their experiences with friends, family, and on review websites like Yelp or Google. Nowadays, one of the best ways to drive more customers to your brand is with outstanding customer reviews, with an influx of positive reviews clearly conveying to potential customers you run a trusted, outstanding business.
Depending on which statistics you believe, acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from 5 to 40 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. An outstanding CX increases customer retention, saving you from having to spend exorbitant sums to constantly try to attract new customers.
Improved Employee Morale
The unity and organization of a perfectly implemented CX will make the job of all employees less stressful, including those in customer service, sales, and marketing. This can lead to improved employee morale and job satisfaction.
Lower Marketing Costs
Happy customers write reviews and recruit new customers for you, leading to much lower marketing costs. With excellent CX, your loyal customers do your marketing for you!
A Better Understanding of Your Customers
A perfectly implemented CX will lead to a better understanding of your customer’s needs, as you can see how and when they communicate and interact with your brand.
How Do I Execute an Excellent Customer Experience?
Executing an excellent CX requires organization, and collaboration, with a plan that is defined and understood by every employee in the company. It requires a willingness to examine your customer’s journey through various different interactions with your company with unbiased precision. This can be difficult, as oftentimes executives in a company are so entrenched in the day to day operations that looking at the customer journey holistically can be a challenge. That is why it is often helpful to bring in a fresh perspective, consulting experts who can help create the ideal CX. At DigiGriot, we specialize in optimizing CX, using cutting-edge tools and years of experience to delight your customers from the first moment they reach out to you to every other ongoing interaction with your company. If you are interested in learning more about our past success helping clients reach their goals or about the services we offer, contact DigiGriot today by calling (619) 378-0321.