Can I make an informed guess?
The economy is terrible and you are staring across at the competition, sitting pretty on a pile of cash.
On the surface, things don’t look good.
But what if I told you that the economy and competition can do diddly squat to you if you can figure out a crucial element directly connected with your customers?
No, it’s not customer service, quality of your product or service, or the prices you charge.
It’s all of that and more, wrapped together in a nice little package labeled Customer Experience.
Customer experience is not a difficult concept for businesses to grasp. If you are running a company, you know at a fundamental level that you need to deliver great customer experience to stay in business.
Then again, at a fundamental level you know that you need to exercise and cut down on junk food to lose weight.
But we don’t always eat healthy or exercise, and sometimes companies ignore small things which blow up and provoke customers to raise hell on Twitter.
So here are seven reasons you should really care about your customers’ experience with your brand.
1. You will have a loyal customer base
Deliver a great customer experience and you will gain the loyalty of your customers, often for life. This translates to increased lifetime customer value and lower marketing costs.
For example, a survey carried out by the Temkin Group which analyzed the responses of 13,000 customers in US and UK found that companies investing in good customer experience have around 19.5% more loyal customers compared to industry average.
2. You will gain the benefits of word of mouth
All those loyal customers are going to talk about their experience with your brand. That buzz is going to translate into word of mouth marketing that will drive more sales, increase profits, and give you a good feeling when you Google your company’s name.
3. Your brand will stand out from the crowd
Look, let’s get real here.These days it’s getting increasingly tougher to differentiate yourself based only on product quality or price. To the customer the difference between you and your competition is the same as two brands of salt or sugar — both taste the same.
But throw in customer experience and the odds are suddenly in your favor. And here is the proof — U.S. companies who cared about customer experience netted up to $382 million in three years. Nice number, eh?
4. Your employees will be happier
If you are a good manager you will know that you are up the creek without a paddle if your employees hate their jobs.
So when you decide to focus on customer experience, you will have to start by taking care of your employees. That starts off a chain reaction which will result in lower staff attrition rates, slashed training costs, and a hyper motivated work force.
5. Your customer feedback quality will soar
If you get an email from your favorite restaurant requesting you to fill up a survey on ways to improve customer service won’t you take out some time to fill it up?
Loyal and emotionally engaged customers are more likely than apathetic customers to share their experiences with your brand. Properly asked, customer feedback can be detailed and will help you in gathering comprehensive business insights.
6. You can cut down on innovation costs
For Indiana Jones, a leap of faith was stepping on that invisible bridge across the canyon. For hard nosed executives, a leap of faith is deciding to invest millions of dollars on R&D and re-branding.
A loyal customer base earned by delivering on customer experience can come through for you in such situations. Ask them what they want, and how much they would like to pay for it, and then deliver.
7. You won’t be blindsided by errors
With loyal customers, you will be given a lot more leeway to correct your mistakes than you will get with customers who are ‘meh’ about you.
Keep your customers close, give them what you promised and you will hear about potentially damaging incidents directly from them instead of finding about it in an angry review on a third party website.
Can you think of other reasons why good customer experience can be valuable for your brand?