According to a recent survey by Salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs, while 82% expect retailers to accommodate their preferences. It used to be that great products retained customers. Today, great products don’t drive loyalty—great experiences do.
What Is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience accounts for every interaction with a brand throughout the customer journey—and the impression it leaves behind.
Quality service has been, and will always be, vital to a company’s brand promise, but today, it is only a part of the story. Customer experience encompasses every touch point a person may have with your brand, and in the digital age, these interactions are brief yet influential.
The effects of the pandemic and The Great Resignation have put pressure on businesses to delight their customers in new ways. However, the definition of good customer experience is changing rapidly, and it looks very different today than it did three years ago.
Today’s Customers Have (& Want) More
Your customers have access to anything, anytime, from anywhere, so they expect that same level of control over who they choose to do business with. They demand speed, personalization, convenience, and ease out of every interaction. And they aren’t willing to settle.
Consumers also have an unlimited number of choices with an unlimited number of channels through which to pursue them. With every new app or -verse, satisfying customer expectations becomes increasingly complex, and the margin for error is shrinking.
Generally speaking, two strikes and you’re out:
- 61% of customers switch to a competitor after one bad experience.
- After two, 72% of customers are out the door.
So, if good products and competitive pricing are no longer the leading factors in generating loyalty, how can businesses earn their customer’s trust and continued support?
A “good” customer experience looks different for everyone; however, there are a few key characteristics every business should strive for:
- Uses easy-to-access resources—67% of customers prefer self-service.
- Prioritizes mobile—50% of users will stop visiting a website that isn’t mobile-friendly.
- Includes omnichannel—80% of companies are investing in CX on all channels, platforms, and devices.
- Acts quickly—75% of customers cite fast response time as their dealbreaker.
- Offers proactive support—85% of customers want businesses to anticipate their needs.
Navigating The Shifts In Customer Expectations
Companies are realizing that CX is the differentiator in an oversaturated market. By paying attention to trends and adjusting their business strategy to reflect changes in needs and motivations, business leaders can crack the code on customer retention and unlock new revenue streams.
Here are three key steps business leaders can take to ensure high-quality customer experiences:
Hire the right teams
Since customers often reach out with issues on the platform(s) of their choice, one pitfall to avoid is passing them through too many siloed departments without strong internal communication. By hiring additional support, you can ensure your teams have dedicated staff to manage the influx of information and keep your customers on a seamless communication journey.
Invest in the right technology
Using data-driven content is the number one way to satisfy your customer’s self-service needs. Chatbots, AI, machine learning, and other innovative technologies can provide quick answers and 24/7 support without the need for unsustainable human resources. However, it’s crucial to keep these solutions accurate and current since customers will likely abandon unhelpful forms of these resources.
Align your processes with customer needs
Customers are not the only ones with a plethora of information available to them; businesses can and should utilize data insights and trend reports to ensure they are providing the most personalized experience possible. Minor tweaks to your processes—like reaching out to a customer via their preferred contact method or providing personalized FAQs—can build rapport and make a difference.
In a consumer-obsessed world where experience is king and loyalty is fleeting, your company’s success depends on your ability to understand your customers, listen to their needs, and adjust your product or service accordingly.
As industries continue to innovate and more competitors flood the market, elevating your CX becomes more than just a business strategy—it’s the only way to survive.
Elevate your customer experience today: