Understanding your customers to transform CX
Organizations understand the importance of the experience they provide to winning and retaining customers, building brand reputation and their overall financial success. High profile CX issues, such as those suffered by United Airlines, BA and Uber all demonstrate the impact that a poor experience has on reputation and revenues.
And, while well-publicized cases may make the news, it is normally smaller, more individual problems that cause customers to stop buying from a brand. In many cases a company may not even know that a consumer has chosen to switch, until it hits their bottom line. According to the Temkin Group, 22% of consumers reduced their spending with a brand after a bad experience - and nearly one in five (19%), completely stopped doing business with the company.
Given that every business wants to attract and retain customers by providing them with a high quality experience, why is it so difficult to ensure customer satisfaction? There are three main reasons:
1. Rising customer expectations
The standard of CX that consumers expect from brands is continually increasing. That means that today’s market-leading CX will be seen as distinctly average in less than a year. Consumer research bears this out. When asked about their experiences, 72% of consumers said they are growing more demanding in their expectations of insurance companies while 40% said that retailers don’t keep their promises when it comes to response times.
Consumers judge every company, in every sector, against the best. So it doesn’t matter if you are a utility or a local authority – they will expect the same level of service as from the most advanced online retailer.
2. Company resources are finite
While the CX budgets of many brands are growing, so are the places that they can be spent. In a complex, multi-channel world, the number of potential issues in the customer journey have multiplied, meaning that brands have to prioritize where they spend budgets in order to deliver the greatest positive impact. Often that means that certain channels or areas can be overlooked – Eptica research found that while performance on email and web customer service improved between 2016 and 2017 it fell on Twitter and Facebook. Understanding where investment will deliver the greatest improvement can be difficult, given the conflicting pressures that companies face.
3. The sheer scale of interactions
It has never been easier for consumers to get in touch with brands. Whether it is through more traditional channels such as the phone and email or newer ones like social media or chat, consumers can make contact quickly and easily, whenever and however they want. And as more routine interactions are automated through self-service and chatbots, queries are becoming more complex and time-consuming to answer. The amount of data that brands now have on their customers is enormous – but it is often held in multiple silos, making it difficult to combine and analyze effectively.
Given these factors, it can appear impossible for brands to understand exactly where they need to invest in order to improve the customer experience and to win and retain consumer loyalty. The key is to focus on customer intelligence, in particular finding ways of quickly and accurately analyzing and understanding consumer requirements across all digital conversations, and then transforming this knowledge into actionable intelligence that improves the customer journey. This gives a detailed picture that can be used to drive change and therefore continual improvement, helping to differentiate your brand now and in the future.