When he stepped into the small diner for supper, Nathan was hoping for a decent meal and some quiet. However, the wait staff was busy chatting and though they noticed him, none of them made a move to get his order. Nathan sat at the table for ten whole minutes trying to get the attention of the staff until an aged waiter took pity on him and got his order. To Nathan’s dismay, there wasn’t anything in the menu that appealed to him. No wonder that the diner is practically empty, he thought to himself. Resigned, he just asked for a cup of coffee.
The order took nearly half an hour and when the coffee did arrive, Nathan was sorry that he spent so long in the diner. He paid the money and decided that he would never return to the shady diner ever. So what made the diner lose its only customer? Terrible service and rude staff, of course!
True, most businesses care more about their customers than this shady diner. But apparently, not enough. Companies that invest in Customer Experience always end up on the road to better growth.
We live in a world where the customer experience is the be-all and end-all for a company. The customer is now the king and most brands and brand leaders are looking for reasons to invest in customer experience. The customer now holds more decision making power than they had a few years back. This could be attributed to the fact that we are now living in a world where information regarding a company, its products, services and even the owners themselves can be found with the click of a few buttons. Where does a customer’s voice stand in such a rapidly fickle world?
Investing in Customer Experience is the way to go, as most top companies have learned. At the moment, investing in the customer experience and making them feel like they are the top priority is the way to go. It is common knowledge that building customer loyalty and increasing the revenue of a company always go hand in hand. When compared with a customer who has had a pleasant experience, those who have had negative experience would be reluctant to associate themselves with the company a second time. Investing in Customer Experience is not something any company should take with a pinch of salt. It has been proven time and again that a good Customer Experience can help a company reach better heights while a bad one can easily tarnish it. So what’s the big deal with it, you ask? Here are a few reasons why top companies need to invest in Customer Experience.
1. Brings About Better Growth
A study conducted by Watermark Consulting came up with an interesting conclusion in 2015. According to the study, companies that have systematically been leaders in the customer experience have shown to receive far better results in terms of growth and profitability when compared to those that did not. In addition to this, their value had also increased when compared to those that had been considered as dawdlers. Another research by Forrester Research has also come to the conclusion that in the coming years, the difference between leaders and dawdlers be even more obvious. This means that not investing in Customer Experience is bound to destroy the financial result of a company.
2. Deepens Customer Relationships
A good customer experience, in addition to bringing growth, can also lengthen the customer’s relationship with the company, making sure that he/she would prefer staying with the present company rather than switching to a competitor. It has been noted in several studies and researches that a customer who is satisfied with their experience with a product or a service in one company would rarely prefer to switch to that of a different brand. This is why most companies have begun to invest in customer experience so that the possibility of losing a potential long-term customer would be next to nil.
3. Encourages Positive Word-of-mouth from the Customer
To state a simple fact, if a customer is satisfied with the product or a service, then they will be willing to pay more for the same experience irrespective of the cost. Startling as it may seem, the reasons for a customer’s insistence to pay more for a high-quality product or service is hardly surprising. Perhaps the age-old adage that something good comes with a higher price would apply to the situation here.
As long as a customer gets the same experience with the product, they are sure to pay a higher price for the same experience. In addition to this, researchers have also noted that a good customer experience leads to the customer tendency to recommend your company to a third party. It is quite obvious that a customer who has had a good experience with your company would surely be willing to recommend it to a third party.
4. Decreases Negative Impact
Picture this, a customer who has had a terrible experience with your company, or was treated poorly by your staff would not just shun your company the next time, they would also cost you more, directly or indirectly. The worst that can happen after a terrible customer experience is that the customer would be reluctant to return to the company. If a company is unable to rectify the reason for the poor customer experience, then it would lead to more customers being unhappy with the company. If more customers take the same route, it would lead to a stunted growth for the company.
A research has stated that if a customer has had a bad experience with a product or a company, then they would seize to purchase it again. It must be noted that customers who have had a bad experience with a company or a product would be more willing to share the reason for their negative experience with another customer or potential customer than the company itself. This is what leads to stunted growth for the company which has a record of bad customer experience. Unless steps are taken by the company to rectify it, this could lead to a negative impact in the development and further growth of the company.
5. Shares Positivity among the Staff
Take the example of a restaurant or a café. If a customer visiting the restaurant has a poor experience, they are more likely to show their displeasure to the waiting staff or the management. A negative review of the restaurant regarding the services or even poor waiting staff is bound to affect the morale of the staff. When a customer’s experience with a product or service is bad, it is sure to affect the morale of the staff as well. When the customer experience is well-planned, positive and is one that brings credit to the staff, it is no secret that the staff’s morale will be better. The employees in the company become proud that they have produced a good experience and as a result, they will continue to bring about the best in terms of customer service.
Research shows that nearly 80% of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty depends on the employees. In areas such as hospitality and banking, this has proven to be true as there is next to no chance that a customer who has a poor experience with a bank would be keen on returning to the same place again. The same can be stated when it comes to restaurants as well. So employees need to be made aware of the fact that good customer experience depends on their keenness on their job.
6. Brings about Innovation and Better Branding
It is a common knowledge that a good customer experience also helps in improving the brand. The reason is quite obvious. A customer who has had a good experience with a company or a product will surely recommend it to others and thereby it will lead to an improvement in product branding, leading to the popularity of the product. In addition to this, one has to remember that a good customer experience increases the company’s ability to be more innovative. It is fairly ridiculous to think that planning and innovation of the customer experience can be done in a lab.
Companies must be open to embracing an open innovation model to improve customer experience. The inspiration for this can be found outside the company and the process can help the entire company in changing the way in which innovation is brought about. One must always remember the fact that if customer experience does not become the focus of a company, then they are too late to bring growth to the company. Research has shown that a number of companies have made improving customer experience as part of their agenda and they have invested heavily in actually improving it. It has also been shown that companies that do not prioritize improving customer experience end up losing out.
Why Invest in Customer Experience?
A company that is willing to invest in Customer Experience is more likely to witness a fair amount of growth when compared to a company that doesn’t take it seriously. Always ensure that you remember one key aspect. Your customer does not just see you as a part of the company, they see you as one whole cohesive brand, even if your organization has a complex working structure with other procedures and systems.
When your customer interacts with the company, there is a very significant chance that they do not care about the bureaucracy, the different division, roles or even hierarchies for that matter. Hence, to conclude, it can be stated with emphasis that the customer has a key role in making or breaking the company. A company that recognizes the value of a customer and is willing to take steps to improve the customer experience has more chance of winning the customer’s heart and contributing to the overall welfare of the company. After all, the customer is the king!
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