Why Customer Experience Should Be (Almost) All You Think About
Successful companies have satisfied customers. Although every executive will tell you they know this, customer experience is often side-lined and resources are handed to product development or other areas. As more and more top businesses reveal that their “obsession” with the customer is the reason for their success, this decision seems increasingly misjudged.
High quality customer experience (CX) minimises friction, maximises efficiency, and leaves people feeling appreciated. It is the new gold standard on which companies are judged by an ever-demanding consumer base. In the midst of a global recession where making the right business decision has never been more important, companies are starting to realise this.
Adobe's 2020 Digital Trends report showed that the majority of companies viewed customer experience as their key marketing focus for the year, even outranking social media. As CX has such a significant effect on a company’s earnings, this should be unsurprising. A Temkin Group research report found that companies with annual turnovers of $1 billion can expect to earn an additional $700 million within three years when they invest in CX. This significant boost comes from customers, as 86% of them are willing to pay more for a great customer experience according to the same report.
CX let’s you focus on how your customers feel
Buying decisions are ruled by the emotions a customer experiences when they interact with your brand. This is nothing new. As far back as 2006, a McKinsey study found that 70% of buying decisions were based on how the customer felt they were being treated. A further study found that 49% of customers reported making impulse buying decisions simply because of a brand’s touchpoints having a more personalised feeling. Statistics like these define why your company must consider the customer experience at every touchpoint.
The best way to optimise your brand touchpoints is through using CX technology. This can include simple tools such as dedicated landing pages and customized emails, as well as more complex ones such as intelligent chat bots and AI-based algorithms. Smart brands will identify that consumers don’t use digital, they are digital. As a result, tech that morphs the online buying journey around them is the key to success.
Employing tech that is built around the customer’s moment to moment experience of your company improves your business proposition in two main ways. Firstly, the emotional responses that your brand receives will be far more positive and will lead to higher sales and happier customers. Secondly, CX analytics will allow you to better understand your customers and will provide you with the necessary insights to improve your touchpoints and even your product.
CX technology is accessible to companies of all sizes and allows any brand to truly understand how to satisfy their customers. These happy buyers will then become advocates of a brand as they spread the word about a company’s quality services.
Customer Experience in Big Tech
Between 2016 and 2020, Netflix doubled its number of users worldwide. This was possible because the company was obsessed with providing excellent customer experience that encouraged continued subscriptions and attracted new subscribers.
Netflix’s CX technology includes AI data mining that gathers valuable information from its 180 million strong subscriber base. The insights gathered from this data means the company can provide highly personalised experiences for all viewers.
"We own the Netflix customer experience from the moment they sign up, for the whole time they are with us, across TV, phone and laptop," stated Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation, in an interview with The Guardian.
The company also revealed in 2016 that it uses hundreds of A/B tests each year to see how subscribers respond to recommendations. These experiments have allowed Netflix to create a superior content-delivery algorithm that is built around improving customer satisfaction.
Similarly, Amazon is a company that is famed for delivering unmatched customer experience and making its clients happy. The world’s top online retailer has been innovating in the industry for more than 20 years using advanced technology to create the ultimate shopping experience.
“Internet Schminternet - if there’s one thing Amazon.com is about”, Jeff Bezos said in a 1999 CNBS interview, “it’s an obsessive attention to the customer experience, end to end.”
These words from the world’s richest man should be heeded by every company wanting to grow and succeed.
CX will be the battlefront of the future
According to a recent Gartner study, two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete mostly on the basis of CX. This trend is only set to continue as online buying experiences become more refined and consumers become more demanding. Companies can no longer rely on the strength of their product or commodity within traditional understandings of value.
Customer experience technology is developing at rapid rates as AI tools and analytics allow companies to serve and understand their customers better than ever before. Brands that shy away from employing these cutting-edge strategies could soon find themselves falling behind.
In this new world - experience is becoming a new product and low customer satisfaction a new price that companies cannot afford to pay. If your brand understands the importance of this shift and can give CX the resources and attention that it deserves, the future could yet be yours.