The world has begun to catch on to the importance of great customer experience, and for good reason. Customer experience is the overall impression that consumers have of your brand. Providing a remarkable customer experience is vital to business success. While pleasing the consumer is not a new concept, expectations for companies have grown and changed over the years. How can you know if your customer experience is up to par? Well, according to a 2018 survey, only 49% of US consumers believe that companies provide a better customer experience. With 73% of all people pointing towards customer experience having power over their purchasing decisions, it is important to close the disconnect between the consumers and your business. To do that, you must understand what makes a superb customer experience.
The Importance of Good Customer Experience
Regardless of your industry, good customer experience is the key to increasing retention, satisfaction, and sales. The numbers speak for themselves: companies that worked to improve their customer experience saw a 92% increase in customer loyalty, and 84% uplift in revenue, and a 79% cost savings. Positive service results in happy customers, who can help you boost revenue by becoming loyal to your brand. Further, loyal customers are likely to share their good experiences, not only with their friends but with people online. Around 88% of consumers use online recommendations and reviews to help them decide whether or not to buy a product. So, people who will promote and advocate for your company online will draw more customers to you.
Bad customer experiences can have as much of an effect. Just as people like to discuss their positive opinions of brands online, negative impressions of companies can spread on social media, as well. Some companies have learned this the hard way, such as United Airlines, who, in 2017, lost $1.4 billion in value overnight due to a passenger’s negative experience going viral. Poor customer experience can cause lost revenue, reputation, and even future poor experiences. To succeed, businesses need to measure, decide, and act on the experience for every customer.
How to Measure Customer Experience
To create an incredible customer experience, you have to understand how exactly it is measured. Knowing where your customer experience falls on the scale of good and bad will provide you with valuable information, such as what areas you need to improve and how you might go about doing that. You cannot let yourself be in the dark about the state of your customer experience, but how exactly do you measure customer experience?
Surveys and NPS
One way to measure customer experience is by analyzing customer satisfaction survey results. Customer satisfaction surveys are an easy way for you to know what your customers think of your company. Customers will provide useful insights into their customer experience, which can help you make decisions about your customer experience in the future. For example, surveys are a great way to measure your net promoter score. A net promoter score is “a customer satisfaction benchmark that measures how likely your customers are to recommend your business to a friend.” Your net promoter score will tell you the percentage of customers that love your brand, are neutral to it or dislike it. You can then use those numbers to make changes to your customer experience, focusing on the teams in your company that need the most improvement
Customer surveys can also be a tool to measure your customer satisfaction score. A customer satisfaction score measures a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company. To calculate your score, all you need to do is send out a survey to a customer after they buy a product or interact with your brand. On the survey, you can ask a question, such as “how satisfied were you with your experience,” and then provide a scale for them to rate their experience. The average score of the surveys you send out is your customer satisfaction score. Customer satisfaction is an effective way to know if your customer experience is satisfactory since you get immediate feedback in the form of a metric. Knowing your customer experience score can be your first step in improving your experience altogether if you connect it with real process data from the customer journey.
Identify Sources of Churn
Another way to measure customer experience is by determining your customer churn rate. Churn rate is the percentage of your customers that cancel or don’t renew their subscriptions. Understanding why churn happens will make you more aware of the issues in your company, as well as enable you to reduce your churn rate as much as possible. Calculating your churn rate regularly will let you know whether the number is increasing or decreasing over time, and analyzing the data will give you more of an idea of the reasons why customers are canceling their subscriptions. Your customers may be leaving for many reasons: poor customer experience, unhappiness with the product, or lack of support. No matter the reason, your company can use your churn rate to take action to prevent future customers from walking out the door.
What Makes a Great Customer Experience
Once you understand the state of your current customer experience, you can work towards creating a great one. Great customer experiences come in many shapes and forms, but there are steps you can take to ensure the success of your customer experience no matter the context.
First, you need to define your current customer experience. When a company’s customer experience program lacks structure, it can lead to inconsistent experiences for the customer, which will draw business away from the company. Consumers are not quick to purchase from brands that have mixed reviews or with whom they have already had a negative experience. To avoid losing customers this way, you need to look holistically at your customer journey using journey discovery and journey performance measurement. This way you can begin to plan ahead for certain events, like ad campaigns or product releases, and understand the impact they might have. By looking at both your aspirational and actual customer experience, you can begin to plan improvements.
While it is important to understand your current journey, it is also crucial to understand that customer’s needs evolve over time. The experience that you provide your customer now may not be enough to satisfy them in the future. To keep up with your customers’ changing desires you need to constantly listen to them. Use listening tools, journey analytics, surveys, and social media to collect customer feedback and watch for signs of shifting preferences or trends. Then take the data from your analytics projects to proactively change how you interact with individual customers. Interacting with customers is also a great way to show them that you value their opinion, which will generally provide them with a better customer experience.
Your company must not only provide a satisfactory customer experience but a spectacular one. With the sheer volume of online advertisements, consumers are overwhelmed by choice when it comes to products to buy. Standing out in the sea of competitors is necessary for companies, so they must provide an experience that surpasses their rivals. While, sustaining a good customer experience requires time and constant attention, ultimately, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can create better customer experiences at your business, check out Kitewheel’s maturity model. It is a powerful starting place for your customer journey efforts.