Stop Building Features — Start Crafting Experience
Have you ever wondered why one chooses Nike over Adidas, even though the same manufacturers make their products and they serve the same purpose? Or why someone prefers to buy an iPhone over a Samsung smartphone, even though the functionalities, features, and technologies are very similar?
The reason we choose one brand over the other is because of how it makes us feel and how it connects with us at an emotional level. This is of significant importance for organizations, especially tech firms, because they have historically targeted consumers and marketed their products and services which tends to be based on their needs.
Product strategy, for many companies, has been based on increasing features. It’s this pervading popular opinion that the technology with the most features wins (think of how many buttons a TV remote control has) — which has caused focus to shift from what really matters.
Instead of focusing on building more functions, we should be focusing on building a better customer experience. Improving customer experience shifts the focus to the emotions and the desires of the end customer. It puts emphasis on the ways in which we connect and interact with the customers, enabling us to not only meet their expectations from the product and the brand, but also to go beyond it.
Customer experience managers and designers understand this. They put the customers first and empathize with their pain points to try and preempt their needs and desires. There is a growing body of research out there to suggest that this helps grow organizations quicker and also gives a decided advantage over competitors.
As per a recent Forrester report, customer experience has become the most important concern for business and technology leaders in 2015. And according to a Gartner survey, by 2017 consumer product investment will be redirected to customer experience innovations. But the research findings don’t end there.
A CEI survey found that 86% of consumers were ready to pay more for a better customer experience and a whopping 89% of consumers shifted their business to a competitor due to poor customer experience according to this CE Impact Report.
A better customer experience not only improves customer loyalty, but also improves brand advocacy and helps to drive referrals. It’s simple — a great experience can increase sales and revenue for an organization while also reducing churn. Not focusing on it would be a big mistake.
These numbers are telling the story of how important it is for organizations to think about their customers and how those customers feel about interacting with their brand. Creating memorable experiences is no longer just a nice bonus, it’s now a business need. Customer satisfaction, which is determined in large part by the customer’s experience with the brand, will be a key factor in whether a brand succeeds or not.
Customer Experience is about knowing your customers well and understanding them at a deeper level. The goal of a company’s customer experience strategy should be to deliver experiences that are personalized at every touch point and that connect with the consumer at a deeper level. By inspiring loyalty you gain vocal fans that champion your company and the brand to the world at large. That is why brands like Disney and Apple have such an ardent fan following. Their fans are customers who respect them and, more importantly, love them.
In a world where technology is changing at the speed of light, where consumers are inundated with different brands and choices, having a point of differentiation can be tough. Providing customers with great experiences is how brands can cut through the clutter and capture customer attention. By showing that our brand really cares and listens to its customers, we create a positive space in a consumer’s mind.
Today, being a good brand is not enough. We have to be a great brand. And creating a great customer experience is the most powerful tool in your arsenal to accomplishing that.
Published by: Arjun Pisharody
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