As Peter Kriss from Harvard Business Review puts it: “Customers who have had the best experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experiences”. True, customers seek out businesses because of their products or services and today, the role of marketing is as much about delighting existing customers as it is attracting new ones.
Technology is making it easier for businesses and marketers to offer the personalized brand experience that modern customers crave. With social media and online reviews, customers can now make educated choices between competing brands, as information is literally at the tips of their fingers.
A recent study by Walker found that by the year 2020, customer experience will take higher priority than price and product as the key brand differentiator. In other words, a customer’s decision to do business with a company will be based on experiences more than any other factor.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience is how a customer perceives the brand through all the interactions across the customer lifecycle. It is a holistic approach that goes beyond customer service. Unlike customer service which focuses on a single specific interaction at a time, CX considers the overall customer journey by building long term relationships with customers and is of critical importance to the sustained growth of any business.
A positive customer experience not only results in making your customer happy, but it can also lead to additional revenue. The best marketing that money can buy is a customer who will promote your business because they’ll refer their friends and family to you, free of charge.
Let’s explore 5 reasons why customer experience matters and what benefits it can bring to your business.
Improves customer satisfaction
Customer experience is key to exceeding your customer’s expectations. Brands must be accurate, dependable and provide the service they guarantee. The main goal is to create a consistent CX across all touch points. By keeping an eye on the entire customer journey, you’re making sure that the promise of a positive customer experience is kept.
Turns prospects into customers
A superior customer experience becomes a valued and unique asset for any type of business. In the words of Simon Sinek: “Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or price to continue doing business with you.”
Customers who have great customer experiences and feel they are valued by the business are more likely to stick with them and exhibit higher brand loyalty than customers who have had a poor experience. Therefore, you can deliver an enhanced customer experience by optimizing each interaction and building an engaged customer relationship.
Increases customer advocacy
Word of mouth is considered to be the most powerful marketing tool and the most effective form of advertising. It can help you attract new customers, engage with existing ones, and strengthen your brand. What every business really wants is a brand ambassador or brand advocate. By focusing on creating amazing customer experiences and embodying the desire for your business to go above and beyond, you’re creating an advocate out of every consumer.
Helps you stand out from competition
CX can be your differentiator. Businesses need to deliver extraordinary service that customers can’t get anywhere else. In this fast-changing environment, no business can afford to let their guard down. Think about how you can offer an extremely extraordinary service that goes far beyond what your competitors are doing. Due to ever-increasing competition, it has become imperative to try and stand out from the competition in whichever way possible.
Builds trust and creates personal relationships
In a world where we are being influenced by hundreds of brands and adverts each day, how can you build a strong relationship with your customers? Engage with your customers, in person and online. As popular as it is to communicate digitally, look for ways to balance it with the human touch. That is why it’s important to deliver a level of CX that delights customers and builds an everlasting relationship with them.
CX is at the heart of success in an increasingly “winner takes all” world. The experience you provide to your customers reflects your entire business. It is not a single moment when they purchase from you but is a culminate of every interaction they have with your company, contributing to a brand image.
Through this understanding, you’ll be in a position to build real value for both your brand and your customers.