More and more, our clients ask us, “Should we be investing in customer experience?” The short answer: “Yes!”
Customer experience (CX) is a strategy with a set of proven methodologies designed to provide—you guessed it—a better customer experience. It’s defined by the interactions between a company and its customers throughout their business relationship, taking your customer service—and your CRM tactics—to new and higher levels. This essential cross-channel activation is on track to become a key differentiator for brands, beyond price and product, by 2020 (Walker).
Depending on your business goals, CX can improve customer satisfaction, retention, and sales. According to Forrester Research, customer-centric organizations are 38% more likely to report greater profitability than competitors. Conversely, Accenture puts the estimated cost of US customers switching due to poor service at $1.6 trillion. In addition:
- 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. (Defaqto Research)
- According to a Price Waterhouse survey, customers would pay up to 16% more for a better experience, citing speed and efficiency, knowledgeable and helpful employees, and convenience as what matter most to them.
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey)
- Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above the market. (Bain & Co.)
So what is customer experience? And where does it live in a company or brand?
“Many company leaders struggle with where CX resides in their organization,” says Kevin Harding, BNO’s VP Customer Experience, “in part because it is sometimes erroneously viewed through the prism of customer service or marketing—but, although it might incorporate those elements, it’s bigger than that. Following the CX methodology can lead to or affect any or many departments by going through the process.”
BNO’s customer experience team can guide clients through the CX steps that uncover where or how their customer experience deliverable is falling short and execute the tactics needed to achieve their CX goals.
“Decision makers may be surprised to discover that in spite of having great customer service and the best product on the market, their packaging is what’s leading to a negative experience and a downturn in sales,” says Harding. “The brand managers would never have known that—nor been able to take steps to improve—without following the agile methodology that helps them thoroughly understand their customer and their customer’s journey. And, because CX is an enterprise-wide issue, this is a major reason why it is helpful to have buy-in from senior-level management.”
The drivers at the core of every CX iteration are:
- Deep understanding of your customer and your brand – From your target customer to your value proposition, understand who your customers are, what they expect from you, how they perceive your brand, where and how they interact with your product/service, and how you can not only meet but exceed their expectations.
- Lots of cross-channel listening – What do your customers need and want, and where are you getting the feedback? Whether it’s social listening, customer surveys, online reviews, call center logs, or comment cards, listen for the problems so your team can respond in meaningful ways.
- Alignment with business strategy and mission – CX drives business growth but your business strategy must support your CX activations. As an example cited in a previous post, USAA’s adherence to its mission and model resulted in an 82% growth in membership over 8 years.
Harding advises that CX is not about chasing the next big thing, developing an app, or implementing large-scale solutions “Very often, it’s the sprints—tweaking the existing model, then testing and course-correcting along the way—that can make the difference between the dissatisfied and the delighted consumer.” Is your team ready to transform your brand’s relationship with your consumers? Are you looking for a solid CX strategy to boost sales and improve customer loyalty? Read more about how BNO can help at bnoinc.com/cx or contact Kevin Harding, VP Customer Experience at (908) 685-1510.