The Underrated customer experience

customer experience

The customer experience is not to be confused with customer service. Customer service is what we do and customer experience is the sum of multiple touch points which result in how we make the customer ‘feel’.

We are living in an era where the customer experience plays a significant role in the success of a brand/business. It is now a topic of discussion in many boardrooms and has become a strategic measure of most business plans. If not, it should be!

With the rapid development of technology, our digital and physical worlds are merging:

  • The social influence and increased channels of constant communication are making Customers more demanding and Customers want their problems/needs solved faster. There is a shorter time lag between Discovery and Purchase, between Desire and making the Choice.
  • As soon as Customers get the idea, they want instant gratification. It’s about Now or Never!
  • Brands such as Amazon, Deliveroo, Netflix, Uber are raising the bar. Consumers are now spoilt with instant services. At a push of a button, they get a taxi, movie or meal! Even our local Takealot is keeping up with the pace to offer speed and convenience with its opening of their innovative Collection Hubs.

However, despite the Consumers wanting more, faster and better, the reality is that all Customers really want, is the same things we ALL want – to simply be TAKEN CARE OF. A global study with 1620 consumers reported that when receiving great service; 63% said that their heart rate increased and 53% said it was the same cerebral reaction as feeling “loved”. (Trendwatching.com)

Franchise companies invest significantly in brand development but does the message match the customer journey when engaging with the brand? Brands are now exploring ways of making Customer Experiences even more desirable, more irresistible and more relevant. Brands are innovating to deliver unique customer experiences that ensure a sustainable competitive advantage

The Franchise Firm hosted a Customer Experience workshop facilitated by Val Nichas and George Bourdos of VBN Consultants. This was the first of a series of workshops in the ‘Art of Franchising’ sharing local and global best practice ideas and trends. It was an interactive session with franchisor executives from various industries looking at their Customer Experience Journey mapping from their Customers Point of view. The objective of this was to highlight and acknowledge the moments of truth and the moments that matter. The lowest points being the nuggets of opportunity to re-evaluate process or engagement with our customers.

Blake Morgan, a customer experience futurist, compiled a list of statistics proving the value of customer experiences for your business. The value of customer experience is not as easy to see in black and white as the ROI of other investments. However, the value of customer service cannot be underestimated. Executives often won’t invest in customer experience without “proof”. Here is actual proof you can share with your teams. Morgan says without a customer focus, companies simply won’t be sustainable.

Stats Proving The Value of Customer Experience For Your Business

Companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industries.

Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.
84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors.

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.

Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than less customer-focused companies.

Companies with initiatives to improve their customer experience see employee engagement increase by 20% on average.

Companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%.
81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator.

Companies that use tools like customer journey maps reduce their cost of service by 15-20%.

Companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers.
Offering a high-quality customer experience can lower the cost of serving customers by up to 33%.

71% of the companies say the cloud has influenced the customer experience.

65% of companies say improving their data analysis is very important to delivering better customer experience.

Companies that provide an emotional connection with customers outperform the sales growth of their competitors by 85%.

52% of marketers adapt their strategies and tactics based on customer interactions and feedback.

75% of marketers say they will be responsible for the end-to-end experience over the customer’s lifetime.

What do customers say? (or don’t say but rather do)

  • 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
  • 73% of consumers say a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties.
  • 68% of customers say the service representative is key to a positive service experience.
  • 77% of consumers say inefficient customer service experiences detract from their quality of life.

Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.

Consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service.

The top reason customers switch brands is because they feel unappreciated.

77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they seek out and apply customer feedback.

Customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience.

69% of U.S. consumers shop more with brands that offer consistent experiences in-store and online.

Two-thirds of customers will share personal information with brands, but only in exchange for some kind of value.

Customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report negative experiences.

87% of customers who say they had a great experience will make another purchase from the company, compared to 18% of customers who had a very poor experience.

80% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.

It has been rough operating seas with our economic and political climate and economists don’t paint a peaceful horizon in the near future.It is interesting to note that in the current mindset of contraction a 2% increase in customer retention is the same as profits as cutting costs by 10%.

The future of the customer experience lies in making informed decisions based on the environment in which we operate and simply satisfying human needs.

As an extension of thought, Franchisors are a support service provider to their franchisees. Perhaps franchisors should also be mapping the touch points of their franchisee experiences which also have a direct impact on the art of maintaining good long term franchise relationships.

“50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience” by Blake Morgan Senior Contributor, Forbes. Author of the “The Customer Of The Future.”
Val Bourdos Nichas, VBN Consultants. Customer journey mapping and Service Strategy Specialist. The developer of “The VBN end2end™ Customer Journey Mapping Tool”.

 

The views and opinions in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Association.
Lindy Barbour
Latest posts by Lindy Barbour (see all)