Building a successful business is no longer just about having a quality product and a competitive price. Times have changed. Customers have set down a new challenge in the shape of customer experience. Now businesses have to step up to the mark.
Here’s why customer experience is the only way to make your business stand out, plus 26 expert stats and insights that show why CX is so important.
Customer experience means more than just a product
“Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation and the new competitive battleground.”
Tiffani Bova, Gartner
We operate in a highly competitive global marketplace, where most products are now commoditised and customer experience has become the only true differentiator for business success.
Today’s consumers are looking for the added value and support that turns a simple purchase into a real connection with the company they’ve chosen to do business with. If they don’t get it, they’ll walk away. After all, there’s no shortage of other companies waiting in the wings to offer what they need.
Advances in digital, and the technology to access it, have created a ‘want it now’ environment. Customers have more choice than ever before and more ways to buy what they need.
What’s more, today’s consumers are much more savvy in understanding what information companies have access to. With the increasing use of data to personalise interactions, comes an expectation that companies should anticipate customer needs, before they even come up.
How’s that for a challenge?
Superior customer experience is the key to success
When you look at the global marketplace, we can all name at least a couple of brands that stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of customer experience. Take Apple and Disney for starters. Why are they so successful?
Because they’ve long understood the importance of delivering the superior customer service that consumers now look for. They’ve built their brands around creating a fantastic customer experience, that customers are willing to pay top dollar for.
These customers are not just buying a product. They’re buying into the brand and the experience, and how it makes them feel. And how a customer feels about their experience, influences their loyalty and whether they’ll recommend your business to others.
Customer experience is...
‘the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization.’
CX is the biggest opportunity for business growth
That’s why leading consultancies and research organisations now see customer experience (or CX) as THE main opportunity for business growth.
In fact, for the last two years running, respondents to Econsultancy’s annual Digital Marketing Trends survey have said optimising the customer experience is the most exciting opportunity for their company in the year ahead.
So, if you want to get ahead of your competitors, customer experience is an aspect of your business strategy that you just can’t afford to ignore.
And, if you need a little more persuading, here’s our selection of key stats and insights from CX experts and thought leaders, that might just swing it for you.
Why customer experience is so important
- "Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer. It's the promise we keep to the customer. It's how we follow through for the customer. It's how we make them feel when they do business with us." - Shep Hyken
- 22% of companies rank optimising the customer experience as the single most exciting business opportunity for the year ahead.
- “If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” - Jeff Bezos
- 76% of UK adults say a positive customer experience is more important than the product.
- “Every day we’re saying, 'How can we keep this customer happy?' How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this, because if we don't, somebody else will.” - Bill Gates
- 74% of UK adults will spend more on products and services from a brand they love.
- “Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti
- Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 7x as likely to try a new offering, and 4x as likely to refer.
- “The easiest and most powerful way to increase customer loyalty is really very simple. Make your customers happy.” - Kevin Stirtz
- By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
- “Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” - Lauren Freedman
- 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service.
- If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” - Jeff Bezos
- 85% of customer churn due to poor service was preventable.
- “The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” - John Russell
- Organisations that optimise an emotional connection outperform competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth.
- “The power of service lies in its ability to create an emotional connection rather than a purely rational connection.” – The Disney Institute
- 75% consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person).
- “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” - Steve Jobs
- 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
- “In the world of internet customer service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” - Doug Warner
- 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalise communications to them.
- “It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.” - Seth Godin
- 50% consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs.
- "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." - Steve Jobs
So what’s number 26? Probably one of the most important of all. Read on to find out.
The future of customer experience
The future of business success lies in making CX more than just a 'nice-to-have'. It can’t be an add-on to what you offer on a day-to-day business. It needs to be a part of your organisation’s culture and processes.
The term ‘customer experience’ won’t exist in the organization of the future. It will be so deeply entrenched in a company’s product, process, and culture that it will be synonymous with the brand and represent the only way to do business.
This may sound like an ambitious concept. But it’s one that companies must look to adopt and actively deliver, if they’re to grow and thrive in today’s customer-led marketplace.
Customers now have more control and influence over how, when and who they spend their money with. This shift in power has transformed the way businesses interact with customers, making customer experience more important than ever.
26 reasons why customer experience is vital to business success: the takeaway
With the commoditisation of products and services, it’s never been more important for companies to differentiate their offering in order to stand out in an ever-crowded, increasingly competitive market.
Experts and thought leaders in the CX community are increasingly advocating customer experience as the only way successful companies will achieve that cut through. That’s why we believe customer experience has to be the number one priority for businesses to focus on if they want to achieve growth.
We’ll leave you with one last thought. It’s number 26 on our list, and makes a powerful statement about the disconnect between what businesses believe they offer and their customers’ perception:
- 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of customers agree.
When it comes to how your customers feel about their experience, do you really know how your business stacks up?
All statistics compiled from research by: Econsultancy, Harvard Management Update, Walker, White House Office of Consumer Affairs, American Express, Temkin Group, thinkJar, Salesforce, Disney Institute, Adobe.