While 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions (just behind price and product quality), only 49% of U.S. consumers feel that companies provide a good customer experience, according to PwC’s most recent Consumer Intelligence Series: Experience is Everything.
The problem is how organizations view customer experience. Too often, they take a narrow focus that only looks at maximizing satisfaction at certain touch points along the customer journey. Unfortunately, this can distort the overall picture and present customers as happier than they are in reality.
To truly improve the customer experience, you must follow the customer’s journey in the call center from end to end, not just the last or first call resolution. The good news is that if you implement this successfully, your entire organization will reap enormous rewards ranging from reduced churn to increased revenue, greater employee satisfaction, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Brand Loyalty and Product/Service Evangelism
The most valuable investment a company can make is spent on creating customers who will promote the business to their friends and family free of charge. These types of customers are created through positive brand interactions and customer service excellence in your call center and beyond.
Of the customers who feel good about their experiences with your organization, 86 percent demonstrate brand loyalty, which leads them to spend 140% more money, remain a customer for longer, and evangelize your product or service to their friends and family.
Word-of-mouth marketing is essential. Customer reviews factor into buying decisions for 97% of customers, and consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel a vested commitment with a local business.
The reality is that customers have the power, not the company; so, a positive call center customer experience which results in positive customer reviews is more essential than ever. Ultimately, they’ll be responsible for helping your business retain customers and earn new business.
Opportunity for Business Growth
The customer’s experience (CX) with your brand is the largest opportunity for organizational growth. While customer churn is an inherent part of business—it is also a major threat to an organizations longevity—you can reduce the frequency of customer churn by simply focusing on customer experience and customer service management.
According to PwC, consumers are willing to spend 16% more on products and services with companies that offer a better customer experience, and are likely to become brand evangelists for your business. In addition, 63% of customers are willing to share more information about a company that offers an intuitive and positive experience.
A positive end-to-end call center customer experience helps you develop relationships with your customers, which will inevitably lead to long-term growth for your company. According to McKinsey & Company, the more ways you bring value at every stage of the journey, the more loyal your customers are, and the greater the sustainable growth your business can achieve over time. Specifically, if you focus on a positive emotional connection, Harvard Business Review argues that emotionally attached customers are 25-100% more valuable in terms of revenue and profitability.
Stand Out in the Crowd
It’s never been more important for companies to differentiate their offerings in order to stand out in a commoditized, ever-crowded, increasingly competitive market of products and services. Customer experience plays a huge role in how you stand out. According to Gartner, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
Positive customer experiences will help your customers decide whether or not they want to keep doing business with your brand, making it the single most important investment you can make in today’s market. Just remember, that customer experience relates to everything your brand does from consumer research, to marketing & advertising both on and offline, along with call center quality assessment and more. This encompasses the complete holistic customer experience.
Bad Experiences Will Cost You
Unfortunately, while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” according to Bain & Company, only 8% of customers agree. Companies have a long way to go to deliver good experiences, and that’s a huge problem because a bad customer experience can cost your businesses reputation as well as your bottom line.
Almost one in three customers (32%) will leave a brand they love after just one bad customer experience, illustrated by PwC. In some parts of the world, like Latin America, you only have one chance to get the customer experience right, according to almost half (49%) of all customers.
United Airlines is the perfect example of the harm that one bad customer experience can do. In 2017, when one passenger’s bad experience went viral after he was forcibly ejected from an overbooked flight, the company lost $1.4 billion in value overnight.
The truth of the matter is that if a customer has a bad experience, they will complain, but not always directly to the business. They’ll share their experience with the rest of the world on social channels, and by then it will be too late to control the damage caused. Instead, you’ll have to deal with the fallout.
Customer experience isn’t just a touchy-feely term that sounds important and easily overlooked. It’s essential to your company’s overall success and can be the critical differentiator between growing your business and standing out in the marketplace, and equally result in failure.
You need to master the delivery of a positive customer experience, not just at touch points but throughout the customer journey if you want to truly delight customers. This can require discipline, patience, as well as constant review of practices and quality assessment. However, when done correctly these simple methods can make the difference between creating evangelists or antagonists.