Research shows that the experience plays a vital role in the customer’s buying decision and more than half cited that the overall enjoyment of a shopping experience would bring them back for more*.
Businesses need to rethink their investments and efforts on developing capabilities to sell across channels while transforming their operating model to serve a ‘unified’ market. The complexity that this adds to an already burgeoned business is challenging, but if done right, very worthwhile.
A strong customer experience can not only lead to stronger financial gains, but also form the basis for competitive differentiation in terms of brand and product. This in turn can lead to far more stability in the bottom line and foster customer loyalty.
As such, the customer experience needs to be a strategic priority – not only at the board level – but as a shared vision that’s widely adopted across all channels in an organisation. Every function and person need to ‘buy in to’ the vision of creating memorable customer experiences at each touchpoint.
What are some of the practical steps that a business can take to achieve this?
- Diagnose the ‘as-is’: a thorough review of the current customer experience, using the right insights from across the business will help identify the areas of improvement.
- Set a realistic ‘to-be’ goal: often, due to constrained resources, organisations set goals in specific areas, often admitting that they are average at best. This is especially true for their product or service.
- Set clear and actionable next steps: after setting clear goals for the customer experience, investment will fall into three high-level categories, namely; correction, optimisation and disruption.
How does a business measure the customer experience?
- Relationship surveys allow customers to indicate their satisfaction about their overall relationship with a company or brand.
- Journey surveys allow customers to indicate their satisfaction at the end of a particular experience.
- Interaction surveys allow customers to indicate their satisfaction with a particular event.
Whilst B2C companies are ahead of the curve in this regard, B2B companies are understanding the value in engaging more meaningfully with the customer and in turn building memorable experiences that keep customers coming back time and again. The distinction between B2B and B2C is very likely to become less clear, especially with the digital disruption that’s occurred in 2020. More and more focus is being placed on the end-user and the overall success factor will be determined by how seamless and effective the experience is across the entire value chain.
Summit are specialists in helping companies forge meaningful and impactful customer experiences across entire organisations.
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*According to a 2016 Customer Experience Research Report by Deloittes.