3 Reasons Why Customer Experience is Key to Your Success
Customer experience, or ‘CX’, is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot.
It’s one of those terms that we instinctively understand, but it can end up taking on different meanings for different people, based on who you are and, frankly, how seriously you want to take it.
CX is crucially important because the opinions a customer forms about your brand as they interact with you during the entirety of your relationship will affect future purchasing decisions, and whether or not they refer more business to you as well.
Here are 3 reasons why customer experience is the foundation of success and how to use the consumer’s voice to inform your CX strategy.
Reason #1 – Consumer Standards are Higher Than Ever
We’re currently living in what’s being called, “Age of the Consumer”, for obvious reasons. In our new digitally empowered society, there are new digitally empowered consumers.
Customer experience means customers are forming opinions about you. Now remember these opinions are from people whose expectations, as a whole, have increased. They are also more aware than ever that their opinions do matter. They can have a ripple effect across the internet, and, in turn, across your business.
Based on a study done by Econsultancy, 89% of customers expect to have great customer experience when they interact with a brand if they are to consider brand loyalty. The demand for quality couldn’t be higher. Successful brands are shifting more and more to accommodate the finely tailored needs of the individual customer.
Reason #2 – Consumers Know They Have Choices
Our society is more connected than ever. This means consumers know they have choices, and they know how to find third party validation for the choices they have (ie: reviews, testimonials and social posts). The Customer Experience Impact Report found that 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. This report is a little dated, but I can only imagine this number has only increased over the years. Great customer experience is a non-negotiable!
This might be a funny analogy, but the statistic above reminds me of Netflix’s Daredevil. In season two, The Punisher claims that Daredevil is just one bad day away from switching up his moral code. In a similar way, most of your customers are merely one bad experience away from never using your business again.
Customer experience is so important because great customer experience has become the standard. And if you don’t provide it, believe us, they’ll be moving on.
Reason #3 – Consumers Have Voices, So Listen Up!
In order for your business to be successful, you can’t just plan to provide customer experience. You need to prepare to deliver great customer experience consistently, and be agile in your business practices to accommodate your customers’ needs. This means having a customer experience strategy in place.
In recent years, many companies have even invested in a specific position for an individual, or a team, whose sole responsibility is customer experience. A CX specialist is responsible for keeping track of every aspect of the customer journey and their interactions with the company at every turn.
But you don’t need to have a dedicated team of CX specialists to consistently deliver solid customer experience. Instead, simply focus on the various ways you can take advantage of interactions with your customers and gather customer feedback.
There is a reason 83% of consumers trust brand recommendations from their peers over what brands advertise about themselves. Consumers value the opinions of their fellow consumers, and your business should too!
After all, consumers are the ones actually using your products and services. Moreso, they often have a less biased judgment than you or your employees. Use the power of customer feedback to open your eyes to problems and opportunities you may not have noticed otherwise.
How To Use Customer Feedback To Inform Your Business
The beauty of the internet is the freedom people feel to be honest about their opinions, since they can somewhat ‘hide’ behind the screen. Sure there are a lot of instances where this is definitely one of the biggest downsides of the internet, but not in this case. Right now, you want open and honest customer feedback.
Through online surveys, follow up questions, and reviews, including reviews on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your business, you can gather intel and customer feedback to inform your business, and better your customers’ overall experience.
Using the Right Questions to Solicit Feedback
When asking questions to get feedback from your customers, try to avoid broad yes or no questions since it’s hard to get valuable takeaways from these.
Ideal questions have specific qualifiers and number limiters. They might start with, “Name one thing,” or “Think of one product.”
Or it might involve the customer choosing a number or star rating on overall performance or on a specific KPI. The more specific a question or request, the more specific an answer you’ll receive.
“Do you like our brand?” is not as helpful as, “What is one thing, in particular, you like about our brand and why?”
Some additional questions might be:
- What’s one thing my company can do better/improve on to more effectively meet your needs?
- What’s one pain point that is preventing you from having the best experience possible with us?
- What is the main benefit you get from doing business with us?
- In what way can we help your business or you as an individual achieve your goals?
You don’t have to use our questions, but remember the purpose of the question should be to draw out the thoughts and opinions of your customers.
Harnessing the Power of Reviews
Establishing a reputation (or reviews) strategy will also help garner customer feedback on a regular basis.
Online reviews are the most common way customers express their feedback. These can be positive, negative or fairly neutral reviews. It has become second nature for consumers to leave reviews after doing business with someone. And remember they are ALWAYS checking reviews before choosing a product or service provider.
Use this to your advantage!
They are expressing what they love about your business and what could be improved upon.
Additionally, the way you engage with their review (whether positive or negative) is a crucial part of their customer experience. 52% of customers expect a response to their online reviews within 7 days (RevLocal)
Combing through every review, responding to negative ones, and deciding if reviews are fake or not might seem like a time consuming process. And it can be (unless you have a reputation management and marketing system in place, that is!). But it’s necessary, well worth it, and most of all, customers expect it!
If you don’t want to spend all of your precious time asking for, responding to and marketing reviews, you can use a powerful, low cost service to do it for you!
Customer Experience, Summed Up
Delivering great customer experience is vital to your success in the Age of the Consumer.
Consumers expect it, they have choices and will vote for the best choice with their dollar, and they have a voice they aren’t afraid to use!
Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” So if you care about how customers perceive you, then do things differently.
Take advantage of the interactions you have with customers by asking for and listening to their feedback. Furthermore, you should develop a powerful reputation management and marketing strategy to harness the power of the reviews you could be receiving.
Focusing on these things will only serve to benefit you long into the future of your successful business!