Ever wondered why people prefer spending a hefty amount on having a coffee at Starbucks rather than having it in the comfort of their homes? The answer is simple: the incredible customer experience at Starbucks urges them to step out of their homes and rush to the coffeehouse. The excellent ambiance and customer service at Starbucks make the customer experience memorable and prompt the customers to spend more.
“Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers, there is no company!” — Connie Elder, CEO / Founder, PEAK 10 SKIN
Exceptional customer experience is the gateway to high profits and increased customer retention. Due to its huge significance, marketers direct their focus on improving the customer experience and allocate a high percentage of their budget in it. Today, providing superior customer experience is the actual battle-ground for the brands. Companies are coming up with different strategies to win customers’ hearts so that they become brand loyalists.
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
-Maya Angelou, American singer, and civil rights Activist
Customer experience is all about how customers feel when they interact with a brand. Customers judge the brand on the basis of their experience on every touchpoint. Hence, marketers spend a lot on improving customer experience on these touchpoints to increase the level of convenience for their customers.
Customer experience is undoubtedly the “new marketing tool” for a brand. The main reasons why more than half of the marketing budget is spent on advancing customer experience are:
- The power of word-of-mouth
The most effective form of marketing is done through positive reviews received from the customers. A wonderful customer experience transforms regular customers to brand advocates. They serve as valuable assets to the company and drive sales. Companies should strive to provide the best customer experience as brand advocates are 50% more influential than other customers. According to a study conducted by MarketShare, word of mouth increases marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.
“The key is when a customer walks away, thinking ‘Wow, I love doing business with them, and I want to tell others about the experience.’” — Shep Hyken, an American customer service expert, author, and speaker
The main purpose of providing an exceptional customer experience is to overwhelm the customers and make them realize that your brand provides a memorable experience. Consequently, the customers spread a positive word about the brand which results in an increase in the customer base.
According to a survey done by Nielsen, 66% of global consumers “somewhat or completely trust” the consumer opinions they read online. Hence, most of the purchase decisions are based on the online reviews; it is very important for the companies to have a positive image. This can only be done by providing a positive experience to the customers.
- Captures the heart of the customer
A memorable experience is key to the customers’ hearts. It makes the product or service a part of every customer’s life. Emotional connection is something beyond customer satisfaction. It builds an eternal relationship between customers and the brand.
According to a study published by Forrester Research, an emotional connection with a brand impacts more effectively than the ease of its use.
Customers own the brands they feel emotionally connected with. According to the Harvard Business Review, an emotionally connected customer is more than double the value of a satisfied customer. The customer becomes less price-sensitive, focuses on brand messages, and buys more.
Exceptional customer experience is what it takes to have such loyal and emotionally connected fanbase. Brands like Harley Davidson have capitalized on the experience they provide to make customers feel emotionally connected to the brand. The Harley Davidson fans would do anything and go anywhere for their treasured brand. This is because the experience they get with the brand which makes them feel free and empowered as a customer.
- Doesn’t let your customer go away
Customer retention is one of the most beneficial outcomes of good customer experience. According to a research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention improves the sales by 25 to 95%, depending on the industry. Companies are focusing on retaining existing customers. According to Harvard Business Review, attracting a new customer is five to twenty-five times more costly than retaining an existing one. This can only be done by providing a hassle-free and amazing experience to the customers whenever they interact with your brand.
- Employees are more satisfied
Happy customers give great reviews which consequently boosts up employee motivation. Receiving great customer service makes customers happy and their appreciation makes employees happy. This is a continuous loop which makes skyrocketing profits for the company. Employees are satisfied when their efforts are recognized by the customers.
- Brings you more dollars in return
Investing in providing superior customer experience never goes in vain.
A CX Transformation Benchmark Study was conducted by NICE inContact. According to it, eight out of ten consumers will switch companies due to poor customer service and 70 percent are ready to pay more for a product or service that has a great customer service reputation. Happy customers mostly end up spending more and consuming more of the product or service a company is offering.
According to research done by Harvard Business Review, customer experience directly affects Annual revenue of a company. They also discovered that the customers with the best experience spend 140% more than those with bad or less than a great experience.
Make it count
Providing a superior customer experience is the new marketing strategy for businesses. Customers are the best resource for spreading brand awareness in a positive manner. Positive experience spreads positive word of mouth which expands the customer base. This also makes the brand stand out and helps develop an eternal emotional connection with the consumer. Consequently, the brand sees excellent results reflected through high profits, increased customer retention, and brand loyalty.