In today’s competitive marketplace, a war is being fought, not only for a customer’s buying power, but also for their loyalty. And guess what? Winning customer loyalty is proving to be the bigger challenge.
So, how do you win customer loyalty and convert customers into partners, advocates and eventually your business evangelists? Very simple, by making their purchase journey positively memorable!
The way you perceive customer experience management has a massive impact on your business growth. A positive customer experience is crucial to ensuring business success, because we all know that a loyal customer boost’s revenue and advocates your product. But given the scale of businesses, sometimes it’s impossible to ensure a positive experience for every single customer, but this should not stop you learning from each interaction and working on improving it.
The above may seem impossible, given your business has thousands of customers accessing products at different touch points and going through different journeys. But don’t give up yet, this is where technology comes into play! Customer experience (CX) management solutions are very savvy, AI driven systems that learn and analyse different customers, their journeys, the pain point, the strengths and other data before presenting an overall picture.
What is Customer Experience?
Before we delve into customer experience and journeys, we need to be clear on what customer experience is.
In very simple terms, customer experience is the customer perception of your business across their information gathering or purchase journey. The perception is formed through the primary touchpoints of advertising, people and products. CX is what creates a lasting good or bad impression of your business that impacts your bottom lines.
As you read on, you will realise that each of these touchpoints have multiple components that play an integral part in creating that magical experience. Some of these could be customer service, advertising, packaging, convenience of availability, the company’s stand on social issues and others. Hence, it becomes first to understand your customer and what matters to them.
Why need to invest in customer experience?
In today’s competitive global market, the true power lies in the hands of the consumers, not the businesses.
As mentioned earlier, a war is being fought for the customer’s spending power as well as their loyalty, and a great customer experience is the great differentiator. A great CX is not only what makes the customer buy from you, it also ensures that the customer recommends your brand to their circle of influence.
Today, customers are inundated with options, and the means to compare, educate and purchase, all at their fingertips. You, as a business, need to ensure that the customer is so impressed with your brand that they want to keep coming back.
So, if you want your business to grow, you must measure your customer experience and determine how you are going to continue doing what you are doing well and what you are going to do about the opportunities to improve.
Need some more convincing? Well, here is what happens when you invest in the customer experience
- Customers grow from first time buyers to brand evangelists: Research has shown that not only customers are willing to pay a bit more for a good experience backed by a great product, AND they will talk to others about it and encourage them to experience it too. I mean, personally I don’t mind buying that extra 25 cents for my coffee everyday rather than waiting in a long line, and as the coffee is good, I tell all my colleagues about it, and now more than 50 of us buy coffee from them multiple times a week.
- Increase in customer spend: A great customer experience is a high that most customers want to come back for. And, as you continue to provide a great experience, they will keep increasing their spend with you.
Long-term financial gains for the business result from customers that have a high CLV and are more loyal. The key is to invest in developing and solidifying that relationship.
Comparing businesses with a good customer experience strategy to those with a bad one, the likelihood that they will grow steadily yearly increases by 17%.
Boost your brand image
Businesses with great online customer experiences have a 68% likelihood of improving their internet reputation in less than 5 years.
Customers who have a positive experience are more likely to suggest your business to others. This favourable word-of-mouth and brand endorsement are crucial in raising brand value. More focus on CX would result in happier consumers and a more well-liked brand.
Happier and hence more effective employees
Employee engagement is 1.5 times higher in companies that provide excellent CX than those that don’t.
Employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) go hand in hand. The customer experience is positively impacted by staff who are highly engaged.
If you want an example of a brand that is doing the above really well, think of Apple, their phones are more expensive than other phones, but you have people queuing up for the devices. Not only that, but they also get their friends and soon exchange all their devices for Apple devices. What keeps them hooked is the great customer experience backed by a great product.
Invest wisely in Customer experience
All of us who interact with customers know that the adage, “the customer is always right”, is not true. Given the sheer amount of information a customer is bombarded by, they can sometimes misinterpret things, have unrealistic expectations or ask for products or services that are simply not part of your business.
But, given how customer obsession is something we value, we try to go that extra mile and try to provide the best experience for everyone. This can come at a great personal and business cost. Yes! My dear CX Managers and business owners, there is something as too much effort.
What you need to do is understand the customer and the journey they take, bring it together with the customer’s lifetime value (CLV) and the cost of maintaining the customer.
Finding a balance between fulfilling your client’s expectations and relating them to the value associated with that customer is the key. Not trying to please everyone at any cost.
So, before you jump into the world of CX Management solutions, get some clarity on the business objectives and what you hope to achieve.
My recommended CX tools
Of course, Resonate will always be my first choice! But here is a selected list of some of the finest
We have carefully selected a short list of what we consider to be the finest customer experience solutions. This is, of course, a shortlist and there are many additional CX solutions that are worth trying.
- Salesforce Service Cloud
- HubSpot Service Hub
- Adobe Experience Manager
- Qualtrics XM
- Genesys Cloud
- SAS Customer Experience
It’s a brave new world, and the time to invest in your customer’s experience is now! With a little bit of planning and proper execution, you will start seeing results very soon. If you want to know more, contact us, I would love to have a chat.