The relationship between a business and its customers is a mutual one. Businesses need customers to grow, and customers need businesses to provide the goods and services that improve their lives and meet their needs while still being affordable. A positive customer experience can strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship by creating satisfied, happy customers. These happy customers can evolve into loyal ones who, over time, can become an advocate for a brand they trust. Companies with a well-implemented and consistent customer experience, especially in highly regulated industries, stand out from the competition because customers are increasingly likely to choose a company because of the service they enjoy rather than a particular product feature or pricing.
Although an acronym like CX is more commonly heard when referring to an online shopping interaction, customer experience or CX has become increasingly important for non-digital businesses. According to SuperOffice, CX is “defined by the interactions and experiences your customers have with your business through the entire customer journey, from first contact to becoming a happy and loyal customer.” Considering the digital world we live in, it’s understandable that Think with Google found that more than 60% of the time, consumers begin their purchase journey online. If a non-digital company wants to succeed, it must constantly calibrate its brand image to improve its CX, both online and in-person.
“I like to think of customer experience as the place where customer service, marketing, and technology intersect,” said Ian Attwood, CEO of Credico UK. “New technologies can be applied within CX to improve how businesses treat their customers.”
Businesses that make customers feel good and meet their expectations will naturally attract more customers. An XM Institute study found that when customers are happy with a brand, they are “five times more likely to repurchase, six times as likely to forgive, eight times as likely to try other products/services, and three times as likely to spread positive word of mouth.”
Unfortunately, many customers that are not having a satisfactory shopping experience. According to the Acquia-commissioned global survey, Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019, “nearly half of consumers say brands don’t meet their expectations while two-thirds of UK consumers can’t remember when a brand experience last exceeded their expectations.”
At Credico UK, we understand the value of CX. It adds a personal touch to the service provided, from something as basic as learning how to pronounce a customer’s name correctly to building a solid connection through listening. Tailoring a service to meet a customer’s specific requirements is just one of many ways in which a business can personalize the buying experience. Furthermore, when businesses connect customers with real people, they can help customers feel valued.
“When something goes wrong for a customer, they want more humanity and for a brand to offer a personalized resolution,” said Attwood. “The inability to offer a high standard of customer service at this crucial point in a customer’s journey is risky and could leave customers feeling dissatisfied that their issue wasn’t fully resolved.”
These small interactions can go a long way toward customers increasing their purchases. A recommendation from a friendly team member with a genuine desire to help doesn’t feel like selling. Therefore, customers are far more likely to feel their needs are being met in person than if they were simply sent a mass marketing email.
As CX continues to dominate the conversation in marketing, businesses must identify how to course-correct the various stages of their customer journey, whether online or in-person and measure accordingly to ensure each customer has a good experience when they visit. This is essential because the retail experience is still alive and well. While online shopping is booming, brick-and-mortar businesses are still attracting and sustaining customers. However, companies that have started to pay attention to their CX strategy are reaping the benefits.
“Brick-and-mortar businesses are the cornerstone of every community,” said Attwood. “That’s why the customer experience is so important. It’s more than a sale; when done right, it’s what every customer deserves.”