The Evolution Of Customer Experience: 30 Eye-Popping Stats on Satisfaction, Retention, and Loyalty

Alan Finlay
Jul 17, 2018 · 9 min read
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Regardless of the oxymoronic, tongue-in-cheek nature of this quote, the Hall of Fame catcher made his point clear — he had a poor experience at a restaurant and wasn’t going back.

Things have changed a lot in the 60 years since this infamous quote. The continued growth of consumer choice has forced companies to put customer experience (CX) under a microscope. Organizations are now analyzing the effect CX has on satisfaction, retention, and loyalty at a near scientific level — and we have the data to back it up!

In this blog post, we’ll examine 30 eye-opening customer experience statistics including:

  • Negative experiences
  • Positive experiences
  • Personalization
  • Feedback loops
  • Product/service differentiation
  • Internal viewpoints
  • ROI
  • Branding
  • Loyalty

There are a ton of great stats in this post, so let’s get going!

Negative Customer Experiences Have… Negative Outcomes

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OK, we know — the fact poor customer experiences are bad for business isn’t exactly revolutionary news. But when you drill into that blanket statement and provide more detail on the extent of the issue, as well as specifics on what outcomes organizations can expect from their customers, there is a lot to learn.

Crunching the numbers here — basically all customers will act upon their CX frustrations, and two-thirds of those actions will be discontinuing your service 🙁

(Kolsky + Zendesk)

The nature of CX is subjective — at the end of the day, the customer’s interpretation of your organization’s actions that counts, not your intentions. No matter how hard you try, you’ll always have a percentage of customers with bad experiences. According to the stats above, let churned customers cool off for an extended period of time before trying to re-engage their business.

(NewVoice + Zendesk)

Between online payments and social media, customer service is no longer something that can wait until morning. If you don’t have the resources to have an agent respond in real time, consider implementing some type of communication technology (chatbot or automated message) that lets the customer know you’re working on it.

(Accenture)

Consumers have never enjoyed more choice when it comes to products and services, and they’re willing to vote with their wallets.

Interestingly, what you say isn’t quite as important as how you say it. Note to knowledgeable agents: don’t make the customer feel small!

(PwC)

Personalized experiences are important, as you’ll see later in this post, but don’t give away more info than you have to. Most online consumers have a general sense of companies tracking their online behavior, but this doesn’t mean it won’t come off as creepy when you demonstrate your digital stalking capabilities.

(InMoment)

The Surprising Power Of A Happy Customer

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So unhappy customers have a lot of power to affect your business — got it. What about the other side of the coin? Do positive customer experiences show business returns? Check out the stats below — you might be surprised!

Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing, and customer experience seems to be one of the safest bets to generate it. If you do nothing besides providing great CX, nearly a quarter of your customers will talk about it.

(Harvard Business Review)

No surprise here — in the digital age, social media is supplementing word of mouth. But word of mouth via social media comes with an extra benefit by leaving a digital footprint of the experience. This can help both in terms of social proof and search as potential customers research your brand.

(Zendesk)

Hello upsell and cross-sell opportunities!

(NewVoice)

Although not as high of a percentage as the lasting effects of a negative experience, good CX does have a significant shelf life.

(Zendesk)

Brands Getting Personal

Personalization as a result of increased capabilities to track (and predict) online behavior is a tightrope walk — the overwhelming majority of people seem to prefer it, but of course, we don’t want to be creeped out by it (see #6).

While consumers used to shy away from giving out personal data, we’ve now reached the tipping point — we’ll give away the data if we sense a reward, even if it’s as simple as convenience.

(Epsilon)

You know those “suggested products”, “you might also like” and “customers also bought” UI features from the likes of Amazon, Netflix, etc.? Turns out they work.

(Epsilon)

The Importance Of A Feedback Loop

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Consumers want to be heard — they’re going to share their opinions and suggestions via social media and perhaps directly with the company. Organizations that provide a platform to facilitate and encourage this type of feedback will be the ones that capitalize on it.

FYI — you want to be in this group!

(Merkle and Levo)

“Where’s my stuff?” is a common question in the age of delivery. The quicker you can answer this, the better. Additionally, folks want clear return and refund communication.
(Narvar)

CX As A Unique Selling Proposition

We’ve reached saturation for many products and services. People are less concerned with ‘new’ and more concerned with ‘good’ due to the huge amount of choice we have within virtually every product and service category. If we can all get a very similar item elsewhere, what sets your organization apart? CX is playing an increasingly large role in differentiation.

Marketers are always going to try and sell (!), but if their organizations can give them actual stats and company policies that indicate CX is a priority, they’ll be able to use more than hyperbole.

(Gartner)

(Walker Info)

How Organizations View CX Internally

We’ve mostly covered experience from the customer side (for good reason!), but let’s quickly take a look at some stats that show how organizations view CX within their own building.

While this number may seem low, especially given what we’ve covered so far, expect this to trend upwards as brands get more sophisticated with how they engineer CX.

(Forrester Research)

Again, the current efforts don’t support the groundswell for CX as a brand differentiator, but this is changing.

(Accenture)

And there it is — in order to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for CX, organizations are going to have to significantly change how they’re set up. Expect to see new job titles, departments, and budget allocations to fulfill this need.

(Gartner)

Boom.

(Forrester)

The ROI Of Customer Experience

OK, so CX sounds great in theory — who wouldn’t want to provide incredible experiences to their customers. The question on every executives’ mind, however, is:

Does CX contribute to the bottom line?

Let’s look at the numbers without commentary, because money talks.

(Bain & Co.)

(Accenture)

(Narvar)

(Defaqto Research + RightNow)

So what do you think — does CX contribute to the bottom line?

The Role Of Branding In CX

Before organizations even consider how CX might affect satisfaction, retention, and loyalty, they need to realize it actually starts the moment the prospect is introduced to the brand. And consumer expectations are high.

In the age of social media, storytelling has never been more important. Your brand story needs to be consistent across all public channels and available on demand — no small feat for a marketer. Bonus points for behind-the-scenes or ‘real’ content.

(Merkle and Levo)

Again, this just shows the expectations that consumers have for brands, even pre-purchase. Two-way communication is absolutely critical to brand perception.

(Wunderman)

In other words, the brands we support must also, in turn, support the causes that we care about. For proof of this, look no further than the Twitter mentions of a brand during a public scandal regarding social issues.

(Sprout Social)

Creating Loyalty

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Loyalty programs are on the rise, but we’re way past the days of carrying around a hole-punched business card from the local sandwich spot. From travel to tech to consumer goods, consumers are actively signing up for and using more loyalty programs than ever.

Here are a couple numbers that stood out to us.

(Accenture)

(Nasdaq)

Again, we all know that customer experience is important to a successful business, but hopefully, this blog post provides the proof.

Did we miss any stats that should have been included? Let us know in the comments section!

Originally published at thinkrelay.com on July 17, 2018.

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Alan Finlay

Written by

Marketing, Growth, Customer Success. I write about how How AI, chatbots, and other technologies are reshaping the world of customer service.

Support Automation Magazine

The #1 place to learn how AI, Chatbots, ML, NLP, and technology, in general, will revolutionize the way we get support and ask for help.

Alan Finlay

Written by

Marketing, Growth, Customer Success. I write about how How AI, chatbots, and other technologies are reshaping the world of customer service.

Support Automation Magazine

The #1 place to learn how AI, Chatbots, ML, NLP, and technology, in general, will revolutionize the way we get support and ask for help.

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