The Importance of Customer Experience

Customer Experience is a complex process of understanding the relationship with your customers. When done effectively it eases customer acquisition, drives loyalty, and improves retention. Customer Experience is not just about how quickly your web site responds, the presentation of your products, promotions, and the flow of your checkout. In fact, more than 50% of the Customer Experience is subconscious, or how the customer feels about your company. More importantly, Customer Experience is not focused on what you do, it is focused on how you do it.
 
Poor customer experience accounts for $83 billion of lost revenue every year, and how much your company contributes to this number depends on how well you manage your Customer Experience. Let’s explore why this is the case.
 
Customer Experience as a value driver 
Optimizing your customer experience, on both the conscious and subconscious levels, helps drive value, reduce costs and builds a competitive advantage that ultimately increases customer loyalty and the long term success of your company. In fact, a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
 
Customer Experience should be a reflection of everything that makes up your brand, not just the products or services, but its attitude, values, and key differentiation. The experience you provide is a reflection of your entire business, not just the point at which a customer makes a purchase.
 
Service wins the Customer Experience game
Customer experience correlates to loyalty and this, in turn, correlates highly to repeat business, and recommending your products and/or services to others. In other words, if you want the next sale, good word-of-mouth, and repeat customers, it is unlikely that anything else you do will matter more than delivering superior customer experience. With good Customer Experience, here’s the ideal outcome:
 
  • Raving Fans- Excellent customer experiences are still so novel that, when we have one, we talk about it. This kind of viral phenomenon creates buzz in the marketplace and generates more revenue than traditional marketing
  • Premium Pricing- Customers will gladly pay more for an experience that is not only functionally but emotionally rewarding. Companies skilled at unlocking emotional issues and building products and services around them can widen their profit margins.
  • Differentiation- The degree of choice in goods and services is bewildering. A history of sustained positive customer experiences increases the chance that a new product gets chosen over its competitors.

Companies that deliver exemplary customer experiences share a set of integrated business disciplines that drive their success.

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it
Having a powerful Customer Experience tool that can deliver results and grow with your organization is critical to delivering a memorable experience to your customers. You must be able to measure all aspects of the customer experience to manage it and improve.
 
Two of the heavy hitters in the Customer Experience space are IBM’s Tealeaf and UserReplay. These tools provide a wealth of information by capturing the entire request and response of every page the customer visited, allowing you to gain a deep understanding of the experience you are delivering to your customers.
 
In the past, being able to determine what happened on your site was enough. However, with Customer Experience, we can answer a much more difficult and important question of why something happened. Understanding why customers are failing or succeeding removes guess work and leads to measurable, meaningful improvements to your site.
 
Finding the right Customer Experience tool can be a difficult process, which is why we have a Multi-Channel Partner Network with a number of vendors. Every company has unique needs and goals when it comes to optimizing their customer’s experience, and having the right tool is critical in ensuring success.
 
What do you think about the Customer Experience? For more information, please contact us at info@stratigent.com
 
By John Butler
About the Author:

John Butler is a Customer Experience Team Lead at Stratigent.

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