Why Customer Experience Has to Be Taken Seriously

Customer experience is what builds trust, advocates brand loyalty, and ensures long term customer retention. Most companies, sadly, don’t focus on Customer experience. Therefore, it’s no wonder their customers don’t build loyalty… and leave.

self service support tipsThe customer experience is vital to the development process of a company. The effects of not focusing on the customer experience can be terrible and lead to bigger issues.

In recent studies, it has been shown that customers prefer to spend more money if it means benefiting from a better customer experience:

• 89% of consumers started doing business with a main competitor due to the poor customer experience provided. Source: RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report – 2011

• Only 26% of companies implement a well-developed strategy to help them improve customer experience. Source: Econsultancy, MultiChannel Customer Experience Report

• Even in an economy severely affected by crisis, customer experience still remains a top priority for consumers. 60% of Consumers declare that they always pay attention to the experience provided. Source: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report

Active customer management – the key to success in current affairs

1071008_target_and_arrow_1Speed and adaptability-to-change are the keywords of the 3rd millennium. The information transmitted, in real time, allows companies to anticipate their customers’ needs and developments in the global market. It also allows them to face the increasingly strong competition.

Organizations are now discovering that Peter Drucker was a visionary. He emphasized that at the heart of any company was the customer.

The new economy requires strong and lasting relationships with clients. An understanding of how to manage them with new information technologies is key for increasing competitiveness of firms.

Most published works, related to management and marketing, highlight the importance of focusing on customer business strategies.  Yet, there has been a recent “explosion” in the number of books dealing with customer relationship management.

The emergence and exponential growth of numerous technologies and software systems have generated opportunities for the effective management of customers. Customer relationship management has become, with the development of information technology, an area of great interest to researchers worldwide.

Organizations, from every industry and in all sectors, invest significant sums of money in customer service. This includes collaboration with specialist consulting firms and IT solution providers for the computerized management of customer relationships.

Organizations must adapt rapidly to trends in global business strategy. They must focus on client management in order to compete with multinational companies (companies that have successfully applied the principles of this approach).

In many national companies this concept is often confusing.

moneyFor some, customer relationship management just means the implementation of loyalty programs. For others, CRM means creating a database of customer information by which you can achieve a finer segmentation of the market. Either way, few systems of customer integration have a clear idea about how to use information technology in customer relationship management.

What is the main reason that computerized systems for customer relationship management are not being created?

The allocation of budgets and a reduction in company spending have prevented the implementation of customer service programs.

The majority of business managers have a short and medium term vision. They are oriented more towards the financial side of ‘obtaining a quick profit’ rather than creating and developing long-term relationships with customers. The irony is that these relationships are often the key to ensuring business growth.

Company’s orientation towards clients is a major trend in the new economy

1207153_wireless_2Customer orientation means that a manager should meet all requirements; whether a customer is very profitable for the company or less profitable, whether for the public sector or for a non-profit organization.

Everything should be done at the strategic level, from setting priorities and making decisions to planning different types of project management. The focus should be on the changing needs of customers.

The main features of this approach in the current economy are:

• Repeated orientation toward customer purchases
• Friendly and customized relationships between firms and customers
• A focus on customer value
• Proactive attitude of all employees in customer relations
• High quality  of customer service
• Aim to “delight” customers

The principles of customer orientation should dominate the business mission of any organization. Serving clients must be flawless; It must be the reason why firms exist. Customer loyalty generates high profitability.

A study, from the UK Institute19 for Strategic Planning, shows that organizations valued in terms of ‘high quality customer service’ reap benefits.  They increase their market share rapidly and achieve significantly higher profits than competitors ranked as weak in customer service.

511610_workingFurthermore, the study showed that two thirds (65%) of the companies’ lost customers due to customer indifference. (Only 9% of customers have chosen other suppliers because they offer lower prices).

In the past, customers were treated badly for several reasons. There were few suppliers and buyers had limited options of their choice Another reason was that the market was developing so rapidly, companies were not focused on  the complete satisfaction of consumers.

If a company loses a hundred customers and earn roughly equal numbers, its work was considered satisfactory.

Is this true?

No, this does not reflect reality. The costs involved are much higher than if the company would have kept all the hundred customers – without losing old ones and winning new ones.

The issue and consequences of a poorly thought customer experience

286892_ofcomm_series_-_collapsedMany businesses are not thinking about the customer experience, even though it is actually one of the most important components to success.

As a result, most companies haven’t even created a system to address their customers. And, if they have, the experience delivered is well below average.

Due to this fact, businesses that fail adapt to customers’ desires are the ones that will ultimately suffer.

Customer loyalty is broken at this place and can’t be recovered.

Companies which do not take customer experience into account will be lose a large number of customers. At the same time, they fail to create brand loyalty.

In a world where change takes place at every moment, users’ needs should be given top priority. Otherwise, you risk losing everyone who is doing business with you (or has previously done business with you) to your competition.

Solution resides in technology and performance aids

1327146_targetA properly implemented CRM system has become a must for every organization. Aside from this system, companies who want to achieve excellent results should consider performance and learning-on-demand aids. The need for an instructional system grows as the product or service delivered becomes more complex.  Learning aids help customers understand every aspect of your product.

An example of such a system is WalkMe.

WalkMe creates a top-quality customer experience by leveraging user engagement. The step-by-step tip balloons guide users through any task, regardless of its complexity. WalkMe allows users to feel in control. As a result, the customer will be eager to finish the process and succeed in ending a transaction with the company. (Loyalty levels are also significantly boosted in the long term).

The results show that the customer experience is here for good, and is vital to the survival of any company. Serving your customers right, creates lifetime customers.

Take it seriously and succeed.

Customer Engagement Tools

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe