Customer experience, often shortened simply to CX, is the relationship that a customer has with a business.
It’s multi-dimensional, including everything from overall satisfaction with your product or service to satisfaction with how you respond and communicate. And it’s exceptionally important.
Across the consumer pool, 86% are willing to pay more money for a great customer experience. And increasingly, they’re expecting it whether they pay a lot or not.
Meeting the needs and expectations of today’s (and tomorrow’s) customers requires that a business places a high priority on not just what they’re selling, but the entire experience that takes place before, during, and after that sale. If you don’t, you’re going to have a tough time competing.
The Value of Leaving a Good Impression
You have an opportunity (and more importantly, a responsibility) to make a positive impression with your customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey. More so than boosting your five star reviews or getting more social media shoutouts, prioritising the customer experience and doing everything you can to make it a good one turns customers into brand loyalists and advocates.
80 per cent of your company’s future profits will come from just 20 per cent of your existing customers. And bringing new prospects up to the same level of a loyal customer can cost 16 times more. So how do you stop the outward and unprofitable flow of customers in the wrong direction? You give them an experience that’s worth their time and money.
Putting customer needs first sounds intuitive. But although it’s usually touted as a business’s main priority, it doesn’t always play out that way. By making a concerted effort to put your customers first and doing everything in your power to increase customer satisfaction and service, you reduce the out-flow of customers and strengthen the bonds between the ones that stick around. There’s a lot of profit in that, and a lot of profit loss in not doing it.
Boosting Brand Advocacy
Commerce has always relied heavily on social influence. People trust the recommendations of their peers, and they rely on them for insight into what’s worth their money (and what isn’t). And when you provide an exceptional customer experience, you create customers who are eager to spread the word to their networks.
Brand advocates — i.e those highly satisfied customers who want the people they like and love to be just as satisfied as they are — tell 2x as many people about their experience as non-brand advocates and are 2-3x more effective than non-advocates at persuading others to make a purchase. They also spend more money, encourage more growth, and bring in more qualified leads.
No one starts out as a brand advocate. Rather, they become one based on the experience that they have with your brand. The better customer experience you provide, the more advocates you’ll have touting your name and your product or service solutions to others.
Is Your Customer Experience a Great One?
There’s only one way to know if you’re hitting it out of the park with customer experience, and that’s to look at the data. Check out our article on how to measure customer experience, and then pull up reports and analytics to see how you’re doing.
Keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement, so if you’re not performing how you want to on key customer experience metrics then head back to the drawing board to figure out what changes you can make. Likewise, if you are doing a great job already, look for ways to improve even further.
Customers are in the market for experiences as much as they’re in the market for goods and services. Lead the pack in the experience you provide and you’ll succeed in more ways than one.