Why your firm should care about customer experience
Whether your customers are seeking a product or a service, the internet makes the perfect fit more accessible than ever. If factors like proximity, price and the result are virtually the same, what makes a customer choose one company over another? It comes down to customer experience (CX) — 91 percent of marketing leaders say their companies mostly or entirely compete based on CX. In a market with countless choices, the companies that consistently provide outstanding customer experiences are the ones that are coming out on top.
What is CX?
CX is the overall experience of interactions of a client with a company. It isn’t just amenities or things purposefully done to “wow” your clients (ex: a complementary offering, going “above and beyond”) — it’s the sum of their perception of experiences at every point in the customer journey. It’s the relationship built between you and your clients that creates loyalty and makes them choose you over and over again.
Defining your client’s needs
A client is any partner you interact with as a representative of your company before, during or after providing services. But let’s go beyond establishing a literal definition of the word and explore what clients value most in their customer experience (and how you can provide that for them!)
A 2018 survey from PriceWaterhouseCoopers found the top two elements customers seek are efficiency and convenience, followed by friendly and knowledgeable service.
Employees at all levels have the opportunity to provide these attributes along the customer journey. From the developers designing your website to the person in support answering the phone, everyone in the company has a role in CX. The most important thing you can do is build relationships with your clients. Whether you like it or not, you are your company’s brand. When clients think of the company, they think of the people they interact with.
Clients can be separated into three segments: those who buy on value, those who buy on price alone, and those who are somewhere in-between. That group that “sits on the fence” is the largest by far and presents a big opportunity.
Clients want and expect better experiences everywhere, yet most firms are not delivering. Nearly 90 percent of leaders see CX as a competitive differentiator, yet only 10.9 percent have high CX ratings. (Dimension Data)
The impact of bad CX
Loyal clients are (usually) willing to forgive. As seen in this chart, it often takes more than one bad experience for a consumer to “give up” on a brand they previously loved. However, a Qualtrics study shows how one bad experience can have severe financial consequences not only for a company but entire industries.
When we see that less-than-stellar CX can turn clients away from your company, or even your industry, it’s clear that CX needs to be an area of focus. So why are firms not prioritizing it?
● Lack of understanding of the importance of CX
● CX is often thought of as client service or business development
● The effect of CX on strategic goals and KPIs is unclear
● CX is not measured and tied to project and overall profitability
● CX and employee experience aren’t built into accountability systems or tied to rewards and compensation
In part two, we will take a closer look at how you can be a successful CX at your firm.
The AOE team has vast experience and proven results in assisting clients achieve excellent CX through the areas of PR and marketing, meetings/events/training development, social media marketing and more. Reach out today to discuss your CX goals.
This post is based on the webinar presentation “Developing a CX Program” given by Barry Sutherland, director of client relationships with Henderson Engineers.