Why Customer Experience is important – the hidden benefits
October sees the end of British Summertime and welcomes the ghoulish fun of Halloween, but did you also know that October features Global Customer Experience Day? It does, October 4th!
So, what better time than now, to refocus our thoughts as to exactly why we should all care about Customer Experience? I’m not going to talk about the huge, (should be) obvious benefits such as customer retention and customer lifetime value (much), instead, I’m going to share some of the lesser-known benefits that a great Customer Experience creates. But first, let’s set the scene…
The impact of bad Customer Experience:
- 59% of UK and US shoppers will abandon their purchase after just a single bad interaction (Emplifi)
- 46% of consumers will abandon a brand if employees are not knowledgeable (PWC)
What does this mean in reality for organisations? Lost customers, lost sales, lost advocacy, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Forget Halloween, these stats are scary enough.
The impact of good Customer Experience:
- 74% of customers are likely to purchase based on purely a good experience (Forbes)
- Over two-thirds of customer loyalty is driven by Customer Experience, which represents more than brand and price combined (CMSWire)
So unsurprisingly, a great Customer Experience means customers are significantly more likely to buy and continue to do so spurred by their lovely, loyalty.
All of this insight in itself should be more than enough to hammer home just why Customer Experience is so important, but if you need a little more convincing, let’s look at some of the other benefits that don’t often make it to the headlines.
Employees, employees, employees
Do you want happy employees? Do you want engaged employees who work efficiently and productively? Do you want employees who stay with you and keep your staff turnover low? Of course, you do! Well, add ‘Amazing Customer Experience’ to your list of employee benefits.
There’s this wonderful thing called the ‘Employee Experience, Customer Experience Loop’. It’s a simple notion that if an employee delivers a great Customer Experience, they create a happy customer, which makes the employee feel happy and thus more likely to be engaged, and productive, do their job well and create more happy customers.
Not only does the data show us the fantastic effect of this phenomenon (Qualtrics found organisations who excel in CX have 1.5 times as many engaged employees as do customer experience laggards), you only need to look at the popular list of ‘Top 100 places to work’ to see the effect in action. At the time of writing this, NVIDIA are the UK (employee voted) top organisation to work for, they have an impressive 4.7 out of 5 Customer Experience rating (Gartner Peer-reviews) and perhaps that’s no wonder when they take the customer-centric approach of making “AI Experts” available via phone for customer support and troubleshooting vs competitor companies who are optimising bots. If you look back at other winners over the last 5 years, you see companies such as Best Buy and Service Now, both known for their industry-leading Customer Experience.
Aside from all the happy vibes, think about the cost saving associated with a productive and efficient workforce.
The personal touch
1 in 5 customers choose companies that offer a personalised experience (UK Customer Satisfaction Index), who make them feel valued, important and more than a number.
There’s a multitude of ways that organisations can boost their personalisation efforts, good data use, smart CRMs’, and targeted marketing, but the one thing that’s harder to do well is to hire and train employees who have the time, energy and empowerment to build trust with customers and deliver personalised customer service interactions.
But there is a way. Yes, you guessed it…become a leader in Customer Experience! OK, so there’s a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation here, but connected heavily to the ‘Employee Experience, Customer Experience Loop’ is the benefit that the more engaged and happy an employee is, the more empowered they are to care, to listen, to demonstrate a real want to support your customers and build the kind of trust that can only come through authentic interactions. Great Customer Experience creates empathetic employees.
When you set out to design your customer experience, did the forgiveness of your customers feature somewhere in your plan? No? It should!
Let’s face it, try as we might, something eventually will go wrong. We may have the best technology, the best people and the best processes but one day that tech will fail, our people will fail and our processes will fail. We can’t control everything and these failures might impact our customers, but that failure can improve your customer’s perception of you if you deliver a great Customer Experience.
That sounds contradictory, right? A contradiction it is, a paradox some might say, in fact, it’s called the Service Recovery Paradox. This is the theory that a customer can experience something bad with you, but if you recover the experience well, they will have an even better perception of you than if the bad experience didn’t happen at all. Amazing.
It relates to the reality that we are all human and we understand that things sometimes go wrong. Where companies in these scenarios show understanding, care and will in recovering the experience, customers feel important and looked after and importantly, they feel the effort you make and trust that you have their interest in mind. So even when we mess up, customers stay loyal.
Customer Experience really is the gift that keeps on giving, the more you cultivate it, the stronger the benefits you will reap. This October, enjoy Global Customer Experience Day and may the benefits of great Customer Experience be the only reaping you will see… (sorry, terrible Halloween joke there).