Customer experience is king – regardless of the industry, business, location, or organization. Excellent customer experience is no longer just a nice addition, but it is a competitive advantage that can even make or break a company.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BEGINS EVEN BEFORE THE CUSTOMER KNOWS THEY ARE A CUSTOMER
Customer experience describes the customer’s experience of interacting with a company throughout their journey. It is the sum of all experiences at all touchpoints – whether it’s browsing a website, speaking with customer service, or unpacking a product. I argue, that creating a customer experience begins well before the actual transactional customer relationship starts. Ultimately, the customer experience is an individual experience that forms in the customer’s mind.
Here’s a concrete example: imagine ordering a book online. Choosing a reliable online store, a smooth ordering process, payment, quick and reliable delivery, and the exciting moment when you hold the book in your hands – all these interactions form the “customer experience.” If each stage delights you, you are likely to return as a customer and recommend it to your acquaintances. That’s the power of a positive customer experience!
HOW TO CREATE A SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
Although the customer experience is individual, creating a superior customer experience does not happen by accident. It requires purpose, strategy, and commitment to continuous development. Here are the key steps:
1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
2 MAPPING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEYThe customer journey is a tool that visualizes the process that a customer goes through when interacting with your business. It allows you to identify critical touchpoints and potential problem areas. Take, for example, a travel agency: a well-crafted customer journey map may reveal that customers have difficulty booking the right hotel, providing an opportunity to streamline the process.
3. PERSONALIZATIONPersonalized experiences make customers feel valued and promote loyalty. Imagine a streaming service like Netflix, suggesting shows based on your previous views. This simple personalization improves the entire customer experience. According to AchieveGlobal (2013), it is more important for the customer to be heard and respected than having their problem solved.
4. ASK FOR AND UTILIZE FEEDBACK
WHY SHOULD COMPANIES PRIORITIZE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
Current consumers and decision-makers are aware, and they have many options available. The only thing that can set your business apart is a superior customer experience. Here’s why customer experience should be your company’s top priority:
1. INCREASED CUSTOMER LOYALTY
A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. According to Oracle’s (2012) report, 82% of customers would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience. PwC’s study shows that unfriendly service (60%) and poor employee attitude (65%) are the biggest factors that drive customers away.
2. IMPROVED BRAND IMAGE
Positive experiences lead to positive reviews. According to BrightLocal’s (2023) survey, 81% are likely to leave a public review when the customer experience was superior. The same study revealed that nearly half of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
3. INCREASED SALES
When customers are satisfied, they not only become repeat customers but also advocates for the brand, leading to revenue growth. One study found, for example, that those who had the best customer experience spent 140% more money on the service than those who had a poor experience. (Kriss, 2014). Forbes recently reviewed 50 different customer experience studies, the most significant finding being that positive customer experience correlates with positive financial performance. For example, 73% of companies with better-than-average customer experience perform financially better than their competitors (Morgan 2019).
THE POWER OF UNDERSTANDING
Creating a superior customer experience is no small achievement. It requires a deep understanding of your customers, continuous efforts, and ongoing improvement. However, the rewards it yields make it worth pursuing. Remember, in the business landscape, those who prioritize the customer experience find the path to success.
Are you ready to take your customer experience to the next level?
AchieveGlobal (2013): Why Your Customers Stay or Stray.
Oracle (2012): Why customer satisfaction is no longer good enough.
Pwc (2018): Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right.
BrightLocal (2023): Local Consumer Review Survey 2023.
Kriss, P. (2014): The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified. Harvard Business Review.
Morgan, B, (2019): 50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience. Forbes.