When it comes to business, the old, cliché adage is unequivocally true: the customer is always right. And yet, many companies don’t even have ‘improving customer experiences’ anywhere on their radars. 2018 may finally be the year to rectify this glaring oversight. According to a survey from the Temkin Group, more than half of large enterprises (53%) want to be customer experience leaders within the next three years.
The rat race for customer experience superiority is on, and the enterprises who will inevitably zoom their way to the finish line will make customer experience a primary objective of their digital transformation efforts. As we prepare to ring in the new year, here’s the case for why 2018 could finally be the year businesses prioritize customer experience.
The Business Case for Prioritizing Customer Experience
Showing is better than telling, right? So rather than explain in depth all of the reasons why prioritizing customer experience makes good business sense, we’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves:
- Companies that focus their digital transformation efforts around customer experience outperform S&P companies by 35%.
- 45% of companies that utilize mobile or web self-service report higher site traffic and less phone inquiries.
- 42% of customer service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces or multiple applications.
- 89% of consumers have refrained from doing business with a company after one poor customer service experience.
- 59% of consumers would try a new company or brand in hopes of a better customer service experience, while 55% would actually pay for better customer experience.
- Customers are four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related.
How to Succeed in Customer Experience Without Really Trying
Companies don’t have to sacrifice key business needs to improve customer experience. On the contrary, improving customer service can actually bolster them. Even better – it’s one of the simpler ways to digitally transform a business.
The first step for any company looking to change their customer experience for the better is honing in on how they want to interact with their customers. This tends to boil down to communication. Many organizations are employing digital and mobile technology solutions in order to better communicate, connect and engage with customers. The end goal is creating an innovative, personalized experience unlike any other company.
Amazon is a prime example of a company killing it on the personalization front. Their ability to predict a customer’s wants and needs, and then deliver on those, has made the brand what it is today. Anticipating a customer’s needs by leveraging their past purchases into a predictive service makes customer action an afterthought, leaving consumers with nothing to do but sit back, relax and expect to be satisfied. And why not? After all, this sort of personalized customer experience only requires companies to apply the customer data analytics they already have in order to build out these predictive customer profiles.
Customers today are also more connected than ever, and that has raised their expectations for immediate access to services and information. Something as simple as internet access can make or break a customer’s experience. For example, DaVita Kidney Care reversed their trend of low customer loyalty scores by simply offering Wi-Fi service to their patients, along with some other basic technology enhancements. Satisfied patients result in more patients being referred resulting in the expansion of DaVita’s operations.
Happy Days for Customers and Businesses
The bottom line for companies looking to become customer experience leaders is that whatever the customer wants, the customer should get. This may be a bit of an uphill push in the beginning, but the benefits a business will reap by prioritizing customer experience will eventually outweigh the costs.Harvard Business Review uncovered that companies that successfully provide an optimized customer experience not only see greater customer satisfaction, but experience greater revenues, lower churn and more satisfied employees to boot. When it comes to improving customer experience, everyone eventually leaves with a smile. All that’s left for companies to do is acknowledge the importance of customer experience and go into 2018 with the customer first and foremost on their minds.