Customer Experience
Is The New Battlefield

It’s safe to say that a focus on customer experience may be the single most important investment for brands. Brands are now recognizing how important and valuable it is to deliver a customer experience that will make them stand out from their competition.

According to Forbes, 89% of todays’ companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. Consumer product companies are now starting to predict and capitalize on a future where competitive advantage is based and built on the customer experience.

Regardless of the product quality of a brand, its services or the existing relationship between the client and the brand, customer experience remains at the forefront of whether or not the customer will choose to continue doing business with the company.

United Airlines, as a case in point, encountered a brand firestorm two years ago about its customer service when a footage of a customer being brutally dragged off a full flight went viral on social media. This led to an unprecedented $1.4 billion drop in value just overnight. While United Airlines was widely lambasted by the public, rival airlines immediately turned the catastrophe into a battlefield to poke fun and to promote themselves as a competitive advantage.

In today’s competitive business climate, the race to own the best customer experience is on. Companies now recognize the importance of topping their competitor’s customer experience.  Everything a brand does, from its marketing, its services, innovation down to the very last design detail are all crucial in shaping its customer experience.

There used to be limited ways for a consumer to communicate with a brand, but today with the use of social channels, consumers can very easily connect not only with the brand but also with the public. Most clients complain when they do not get the service they feel they deserve. With so much social channels at our fingertips, the complaints are not only limited to the brand alone but can be easily shared with the rest of the world. This could result in a massive customer loss due to another customer’s bad review and can also serve as a competitive advantage for rivals. The good news is that some happy customers will also share their happiness across social channels, which will give the brand a boost.

While business leaders understand the growing importance of CX, unfortunately, they often make false assumptions regarding their success in actually providing it. Bain & Company estimates that while 80% of today’s companies believe they deliver “superior experience,” an enormous void of only 8% of customers agree. This void threatens companies as it presents a tremendous opportunity for a brand’s competitors to disrupt growth and gain significant market share.

Simply put, happy customers remain loyal. According to Win the Customer, 89% of consumers are willing to switch to a competitor following a bad CX. Michaelson & Associates reports that due to poor customer experience, 69% of customers actually migrate to a competitor.

So, what distinguishes the CX leaders from the CX laggards?

  • “Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes” i.e. knowing and understanding your customers’ needs and wants, is the first step for any business aimed at achieving a greater customer experience. A customer’s perception of your company is often the difference between happy returning customers, and those who are unsatisfied and therefore unlikely use your products or services again.
  • It is also very important for business owners and managers to put extra effort into training and empowering workers in such a way that they find happiness, purpose and most importantly, fulfillment in their work. It means attacking the barriers that prevent your organization from working cohesively. This has a significant impact on each employee’s productivity, which ultimately affects their delivery for a greater customer experience.
  • Furthermore, the use of innovation should be part of a brand’s daily operations. Continuously innovative processes and the way in which the brand interacts with its consumers is one way of ensuring effective customer service, thereby enhancing the customer experience of a brand. Involving agility into operations so that customer expectations are met promptly is another crucial way to ensure success when it comes to a great customer experience.

Customer Experience (CX) has become an increased focus for brands as they seek to delight their customers and create a meaningful bonds with them. A brand may define its brand promise, but the consumer decides whether or not the brand fulfills its promise. This decision made by the consumer depicts the quality of a brand’s customer service.

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