What is the Importance of Customer Experience?
Now that we are a few months into 2021, if you don’t have a business plan, you may be starting to panic. Knowing where to focus your efforts can be difficult, especially if you are new to the industry or the business you are working for is in its infancy. But luckily, the main facet of your business that you should be focusing on is easy to find, as your customers are likely mentioning it constantly. It’s all about understanding the importance of customer experience!
The outcome of your business’s interaction with its customers is crucial. Help them leave with a smile on their face and you have a customer for life, while if you make them mad you may never receive their business again.
But creating a positive experience with your customers is about more than just being there to answer when they call. It’s also about designing a website that makes the shopping experience seamless, including adding items to their chart or asking your customer service team a quick question while shopping. And there’s no doubt the need to increase CX satisfaction is more important than ever because of the past year.
The Pandemic and Your Customers
While the pandemic likely affected your business drastically, have you ever stopped to think about how it upended the lives of your customers? Not only are they no longer able to shop in stores like they used to, but many might have lost their job as well. For those who haven’t lost their income, or were able to find another job within this past year, shopping has been restricted to online only. This can lead to a lot of frustration if they are trying to make a purchase and can’t figure out how to work your site.
In fact, 32% of consumers said they would completely walk away from a brand they used to love after one bad experience. This means creating a loyal customer base will prove difficult, and must be a constant goal to strive for within your creative team.
Statistics for the Importance of Customer Experience (CX)
Below are a few more statistics from Chattermill and other sources on how important customer experience is to your business’ success.
- Over 60% of consumers admit they would share personal data with any company that offered a great experience.
- In fact, they’re willing to pay 16% more for what they were planning to buy if they are guaranteed a great experience as a customer.
- Companies need to improve their customer experience, according to 54% of U.S. consumers.
- If you are loyal to your customers and express that you understand them, you can create a large pool of returning customers (at least 78%).
- Problem resolution is the most valued form of customer support, according to 29% of consumers.
Where Your Competitors Stand in Terms of Customer Experience (CX)
Focusing on customer experience is important. But, if you do choose to make this a priority for your brand, you should know you aren’t alone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
While many brands are improving their websites, customer service teams, and social media presence, your efforts aren’t in vain. They are actually more important than ever before. With so many companies improving this aspect, customer standards are likely to rise. This means they will be more likely to jump off sites with slow loading times or an inactive customer service team. They are also more likely to return to brands they had a positive experience with in the past, meaning they will have less opportunity to find your site.
Take a look at the statistics below to see the importance of improved Customer Experience for the companies that develop their 2021 strategy.
- 21% of companies said they have developed their own KPIs to track their customer’s experience.
- Almost half (48%) of organizations focused on creating content for customer engagement in the past year.
- Throughout the past year, over 14% of companies improved their CX quality, through their back-end systems.
- Marketing technology has seen an 82% ROI in 2020.
- Almost half (42%) of organizations said that their CMO drives CX strategy.
How to Improve Your Customer’s Experience With Your Brand
Know that you understand the importance of customer experience is to your business’ success, your next question might be how to get started. And it’s a smart question to ask! While CX strategies vary by company, industry, and customer base there are some strategies that can help businesses everywhere go up and to the right.
1. Keep Things Consistent
First, you need to make your brand experience consistent across all platforms. Are you cheeky on social media but then super serious on your blog? Bridging the gap between the two tones can help attract the right audience, and ensure you don’t turn off those who visit your website after seeing your social media posts (or vice versa).
2. Include All Devices
It’s also important to check how your site looks on all devices. While mobile has reigned supreme in 2020, and likely will for many years to come, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of your customer base. This is especially true if you have an older audience, as they are more likely to use desktop computers or tablets to interact with your site.
To do this, make sure your development team’s code is both mobile and desktop friendly. Of course, you can check mobile compatibility on your desktop through the “inspect” feature, but nothing is better than the real thing. Browse through your site on your cell phone every once and a while and see how easy it is to interact with all the features, and make sure to report any bugs back to your team to keep the interaction seamless from computer to mobile.
3. Importance of Being Proactive for Improved Customer Experience
You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to address issues on your website or with your customer experience team. By being proactive, or constantly checking your site for bugs, you can catch errors as soon as they occur and nip them in the bud before they get out of hand.
This will not only keep you from losing customers due to a bad experience, but it will also save you valuable time as well. This is because fixing a smaller issue is always better than having to overhaul your site after a crash.
To make sure you and your team are being proactive, set a weekly or monthly reminder to check in on your site and run some system process improvements. And sign up for the top newsletter in your industry to get a heads up on what your customer base is looking for, so you can reflect those needs in your site quickly.
Interested in more data on the importance of customer experience and engagement? Check out the infographic below from Chattermill for everything you need to know or our post on how to create a SMART goal for your company.
Sarah Hollenbeck is a writer and marketing specialist, who works with b2b and b2c clients to help them better connect with their customer base. When she isn’t working, you can often find her doing yoga or tackling a home improvement project in Austin, Texas.