How do you distinguish your business in a highly competitive industry? For many industries, there is only one answer—customer experience.
What does customer experience mean? Perhaps most clients feel satisfied enough, but how do you elevate service into something remarkable enough to share it with friends and family? As a CX Consultant, I work with organizations across Canada and the United States to help bridge what’s increasingly being seen as an experience disconnect.
Connecting face-to-face is much easier, a friendly smile, small talk, remembering a name—the human touch. How do you replicate that when people are shopping and purchasing online?
First, it’s important to remember the basics. Go back to the fundamentals of service. At a minimum, people expect consistency, speed, knowledgeable help, and appreciation—they know there are many places they can spend their money.
Rather than going cutting-edge, businesses need to invest in technologies that make their customers’ lives easier and fit their wants and needs. This means websites that are elegant, user-friendly, automated, and intuitive. The latest technologies, while flashy and impressive, can lose clients if they can’t figure out how to navigate and use them. All the tech in the world can’t compensate when the fundamentals are lacking— that means efficiency and convenience, preferably with a few options that make your customer feel appreciated.
Businesses that meet and exceed customer expectations gain a lot of tangible benefits. Customers are willing to pay a premium for customer service—up to 16% in certain industries, according to a recently conducted survey from PWC. Clients also become more open to trying new products and services. On the flip side, almost 17% of consumers cite they’d walk away from a brand they loved after just one bad experience. It’s a staggering potential for loss that can’t be ignored.
The other factor that must be considered is how customer expectations are advancing, along with technology. Gen Z is the most plugged-in and mobile-savvy generation yet. But the catch is that employee interactions still matter. When something goes wrong online, a team member has to be ready to reach out with a helpful, capable attitude to solve the customer’s problem. There needs to be a seamless transition from tech to human —and back again, if applicable.
A unique payoff today is customers who feel appreciated and cared for are more likely to share their experiences on social media, which can be a powerful testimony for a business.
In summary, delivering a great customer experience online means:
Surprisingly, more businesses haven’t made customer experience a priority online. According to recent numbers, it’s only about 10%.
This presents an opportunity for leaders looking for meaningful solutions to unlock growth and increase loyalty. As we potentially head into a global recession, consumers are going to be selective and careful about where they spend their hard-earned dollars. Businesses who make customer experience a priority both online and off are more likely to emerge as the winners.
Leslie Barker is a CX Consultant who works with organizations across North America. Using data and analysis, she helps businesses identify their customer’s priorities to create more memorable experiences online and off. To discuss how an organization can optimize virtual experiences, call Leslie at 416.528.7990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.