Why Customer Experience is Crucial for Commercial Growth
How great customer journeys deliver bottom line improvements
The two primary elements of customer experience are people and product. Technology can ensure that these touchpoints are optimised within your organisation to ensure that the experience is optimised and delivers on your brand promise.
For example, ensuring your staff are empowered, regardless of role and location, to access customer and product information at all times. Helping customers get what they need at both assisted and un-assisted interactions, providing that “personal shopper” quality of service using technology and information.
A total satisfied customer delivers 2.6 times as much revenue as a “somewhat satisfied” customer (Trustpilot) and 14 timers as much revenue as a “somewhat dissatisfied” customer.
Word of mouth is becoming more important, particularly with younger demographics, especially as according to Trustpilot 86% of millennials don’t trust advertising and rely instead on peer reviews and recommendations.
It’s not just about acquisition, it’s equally about retention, with new customers costing up to 7 times more than existing customers, developing brand loyalty through excellent customer journeys should be a focus.
The services and interactions provided to customers should be evaluated in relation to the customer journey. This covers pre-purchase or pre-transactional consideration all the way through to second purchase, loyalty and beyond. It’s not a small task, one retailer we work with in Europe had 18 customer journeys we needed to replicate and facilitate, but the value it delivers to the bottom line is significant.
For example, a customer wants to acquire a specific product. Let’s imagine that product is out of stock, this is a typical point of frustration for customer but also an opportunity for the brand to go above and beyond. Alerts can be set up to let the customer know when it’s back in stock, alternative stock locations can be found, and alternative, similar purchases can be suggested. The faster this happens, the less likely the sale is to be lost.
The challenge is that customer journeys are very often cross functional both in terms of people and technology. It’s tempting to model customer journeys against how the organisation is structured, however technology should facilitate a customer journey that is based on the desired outcome that the customer is looking to achieve.
For example, Nicolas Maechler from McKinsey explains:
“If you think about buying a car, in most countries today, you have car configurators online. So you go there, you have an ID, you look at one brand, and you configure your car. Then maybe a few weeks later, you pay a visit to the dealer, and you test drive that car. Maybe you hesitate again, and then you have a financing discussion later on. But if you don’t connect these elements, you don’t have the view of one single journey, which is, “I want a new car.” It can span over a period of a few days or sometimes a few weeks. It can go even to months when it doesn’t go right. If the company’s not solving the problem, it can go up to months. That’s usually not a good sign.”
As companies like Uber, Air BnB, Google and Amazon continue to raise consumer expectations, brands are looking more and more to simplifying and improving customer journeys and experiences. Consumers ask “Why can’t I do this the way I want or expect?”; “why can’t I access that wish list I created online last week in the app?”, why can’t we split the tab between six people in this restaurant?”, why can’t I order my coffee ahead of time and skip the queue?”, “why can’t this sales associate help me?”.
Look at your customer journeys from a perspective of expectation PLUS observed performance, don’t rely on just one of these metrics. Then find technology that can deliver as promised.