Westfield World Trade Center, Manhattan, USA
People nowadays often toss around the term “customer experience,” and some companies have even claimed to make the customer experience their crucial differentiator. But do you know what customer experience means?
Customer experience is ultimately how a customer feels about a brand.
Let’s assume Linda, an imaginary customer, is trying to purchase a new desktop to replace the desktop at her place. Although this may seem like a relatively straightforward process, she will go through a quite complicated process, starting from online search to the actual purchase and even after-sales purchase. Linda will first go online to browse through different models from different brands to compare their specification, design, and price. After narrowing down to a few choices, she might decide to visit a physical store to take a look at some of the products. At the store, she will ask the staff about the features of the laptop model and services provided by the brand. Only after having gone through these steps will Linda decide which desktop best suits her and make a final purchasing decision.
There are many points during this process in which Linda may feel satisfied or unsatisfied about the ‘purchasing experience.’ She may have a pleasant experience with the brand if the website could direct her to suitable models, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the products, and the company provides excellent after-sales service. On the other hand, she may think that the official brand website is too complicated to use, the staff does not fully understand her needs, or the company does not provide satisfactory services, such as on-time delivery.
Great customer experience needs to cover all areas where customers and the company interact.
If the company struggles in all areas, Linda will definitely have a poor experience with the company. However, Linda may still develop a negative perception of the brand if the company fails in just one area, even if it is competent in all other areas. That is why customer experience is not about excelling in one area but instead providing a valuable and enjoyable experience holistically, end-to-end.
Customer experience impacts how customers make purchasing decisions and also brings tangible impact to the company, in dollars and cents.
Some companies, especially small businesses, may be reluctant to invest in customer experience management. They are skeptical about the tangible impact, especially given the fact that delivering an excellent customer experience encompasses various areas of the business.
However, customer experience is one of the key factors which determines how customers make purchasing decisions all around the world these days. Since there are so many companies that deliver similar products nowadays, customers care about more than just the product. They take into consideration the whole experience that the company can offer. That is why companies leading in customer experience management area outperforms customer experience laggards in terms of revenue growth during the same period.
Just one bad experience could mean losing customers forever.
Customers are empowered like never before; they have so many options and the tools to search for alternatives when they feel that a brand is not meeting their expectation. If Linda did not enjoy her experience purchasing the desktop with the company, she would opt for another brand the next time she needs to buy a computer. On top of that, she will most likely share her bad experience with friends, family, or colleagues. Thus, just one bad experience for one customer can cost the company tens or possibly hundreds of potential customers.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett
Closing the Gap for Improvement
In contrast to how much companies are trying to prioritize customer experience, not many companies are excelling in the field of customer experience right now. This is evident when you look at the gap between customers’ expectations and the satisfaction which customers are getting. However, this, in turn, could mean that companies have room for improving their customer experience management by closing the gap. Delivering exactly what the customer expects, and perhaps even more, is how companies can stand out from the competition, build personal relationships with customers, and turn customers into loyal customers.
Customer experience is no longer an option.
Customer experience is not a good-to-have anymore. It is now one of the critical aspects of businesses that determines whether the business can manage to flourish in the long run. Only when companies start to transform the customer experience as a priority can they truly thrive in today’s business world.
Cyclops is a retail analytics system that can help retailers generate insights into how their customers shop inside their stores. To understand more about how Cyclops can help retailers digitally transform their stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our website: https://dayta.ai