Published on 17th August 2021
In the business world, the term ‘customer experience’ is often thrown around – but what does it actually mean, and is it important?
Firstly, it’s useful to understand the basic meaning behind the term. The truth is, there are many different elements that make up the customer experience, but ultimately, it all boils down to the perception your customer has of your brand.
Customer experience focuses on the relationship between your business and your customers. It involves every way in which a customer interacts with your organisation, from the marketing materials they might see before they even become a customer, to the experience they have at the sales stage and the quality of the products or services they receive, to the customer service they receive once they’ve made a purchase. And as customer relationships specialists SuperOffice claims that 86 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more following a great customer experience, it’s clearly worth getting it right.
Is customer experience important?
In short, yes – a positive customer experience is critical for the continuous growth and success of a business. But why exactly is it so important? Keep reading to find out.
Why is customer experience important for a business?
There are many ways in which customer experience is paramount for a business. Check out three of the most important below.
- It ensures customer loyalty and retention
It’s no surprise that if a customer has a positive experience with your company, there will be a higher chance that they’ll continue to repurchase your products or use your services. According to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, over half (52 per cent) of customers said that they go out of their way to purchase goods and services from the brands they are loyal to.
There’s no denying that customer loyalty is crucial for retention, which in turn, is good news for your bottom line. So, by providing outstanding customer experience in the first place means you’re already halfway there.
- It helps set you apart from your competitors
Especially in an ultra-competitive business environment, it’s vital that you’re able to set yourself apart from your competitors – and providing outstanding customer experience is one way of doing this. In fact, experience management experts Qualtrics XM Institute claim that 89 per cent of companies with “significantly above average” customer experience actually perform better than their competitors.
The truth is, ignoring the importance of effective customer experience can mean that you lose out to your industry rivals who are doing it well. So if you want your customers to choose you, you’ve got to make it worth their while.
- It can protect your reputation
If a customer has just one negative experience with your business, it could mean bad news for your reputation. Zendesk’s 2020 Trends Report shows that 50 per cent of customers would actually switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, with this number snowballing to 80 per cent if a customer was to experience more than one negative experience. As a result, this could have a drastic impact on the reputability of your brand.
In a modern world where anyone can post, share or even tweet about a company that didn’t meet their expectations, it’s important that you’re doing everything in your power to ensure positive experiences for each and every customer that goes above and beyond all expectations.
Why customer experience management is important
Now that you understand what customer experience is and why it’s so important, it’s time to learn why you need to manage it too. Customer experience management is the process of analysing and improving the interactions your customers have with your brand, including monitoring touchpoints – any way in which a customer can interact with a business – and how you can improve the overall end-to-end experience.
By effectively managing the customer experience, you will be able to better understand your customers, what their needs are and the expectations they have of your business. From here, you’ll be able to enhance the experience as a whole so that it not only benefits your customers, but you’ll reap the rewards as a business too.
There are a whole host of different ways in which you can manage and maintain customer experience, such as by analysing your customer data to spot trends, evaluating and enhancing your touchpoints and creating customer personas to help you target your customers’ needs and wants.
You could even invest in customer experience management software that provides you with everything from a CRM to help you manage customer information and marketing automation tools, to call handling support.
There’s no denying that customer experience is an integral part of running a successful business, so it’s worth getting to grips with why it’s so important so you can implement changes that will ensure you’re meeting, and even exceeding, customer expectations.