Business consultancy Walker suggests that by 2020, customers will expect companies to not only automatically personalize experiences, but to proactively address (not just predict, but address) their current and future needs.
So, basically, your customer expects you to have superpowers? Oh, yes.
Needless to say, customer experience (CX) is a top priority and 89% of businesses are expected to be competing mainly on customer experience as it overtakes prices and product as a key loyalty differentiator.
And loyalty is fickle; a PwC report found that 32% of all customers would end business with a brand they loved after a single bad experience.
Well, why is the experience so important to the customer? How does it translate to business success? And what are the key superpowers you need to make it happen?
What Makes the CX Important to Customers?
Customer & User Experience Researcher, Liraz Margalit, says that humans are happiest when they feel recognized, valued as individuals, safe, and in control of their experiences. And that once they have experienced this from a brand, they won’t settle for anything less.
Your customers crave personalized experiences (we all do!). They want to feel connected, relevant, heard, like they matter. Even when interacting with a brand or software. It gives them the warm fuzzies [technical term] and those sprout a fruitful and loyal relationship.
To feel safe and secure, they need consistency. They want to return to the brand they were browsing at work on their mobile at the weekend to find the same content presented the same way and to find the same things on offer. They don’t care that you’re ‘omnichannel’ (though you should). They care that they can pick up where they left off, no matter what device or channel they happen to be on. In fact, the Gladly Customer Expectations Report showed that 62% of consumers consider it very important to not have to repeat previous interactions.
Customers feel valued when you remember who they are, when you show that you’ve been listening to what they like, make finding what they love easier, and go out of your way to banish friction. It gives them a sense of control and importance—the kind of empowering position they like to be in when making purchasing decisions.
To remember your customers, to know their interests and preferences, to make their every interaction at every touchpoint meaningful, to remove all potential friction points, and to give them the warm fuzzies (definitely a technical term)…
That’s a long list of superpowers.
What Makes the CX Essential to Businesses?
Research by Deloitte found that a customer’s decision to buy is impacted by their overall enjoyment of their experience. According to Motista, customers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand longer, and will recommend them at a much higher rate.
In fact, 86% of customers who receive a great customer experience are likely to repurchase from the same company (compared to just 13% who received a poor CX).
Forrester found that customers who had a better experience with a brand were less likely to go elsewhere and ThinkJar found that 55% of customers were willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience.
A study by Rosetta showed that engaged and satisfied customers purchase 50% more frequently and spend twice as much each year.
And according to the Tempkin Group, companies that currently earn $1 billion annually can expect to make an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
That’s some return on investment!
If you need more reasons for making CX your top priority, then I’m afraid to inform you that you’re procrastinating. Meanwhile, a real superhero, like Amazon, swoops in to save the day for your customers.
But don’t worry, you’re not heading into battle alone.
Every Hero Needs a Sidekick
There is simply no way to support the delivery of complex and personal relationships that your customers expect without the software designed specifically to do that.
And you can’t create frictionless front-end customer experiences in a back-end system laden with friction points—like multiple logins, manual or repeated data entry, switching between programs, siloed data, and copy and paste.
You need the support of a robust and modular content management system (CMS).
A CMS that can manage the company’s core infrastructure, website, and data, and can scale up and down as the company evolves or as needs arise. One whose modular architecture enables you to integrate with third-party tools. And one that supports your team in its goals, strategies, and processes by enabling structured workflows that support agility and productivity.
You need accurate, up-to-the-second information about customers (demographics, browsing and buying history, device use, location, emails communication, social channel interactions, website comments, chatbot conversations, etc.) all stored in one place so that employees get one single 360° view of the customer.
Sophisticated content personalization capabilities are a must. And you want built-in or easily integrated tools like personas, customer segmentation, A/B testing, marketing automation, multilingual sites, and web analytics to help you further enhance the customer experience and provide meaningful and ever-improved end-to-end experiences for customers.
With Great Power Comes Great CX
Let’s face it, you’re on a mission to make the impossible possible.
You’re taking thousands of users and treating each of them as the individuals they are by displaying personalized content to each. You’re remembering who they are and what they like no matter which channel or device they visit you from. You’re presenting them with one unified brand across web, mobile, and physical store, and you’re constantly testing how you can make their lives better, easier, and more enjoyable.
You’re delivering on those warm fuzzies. You’re a hero.
And if Marvel has taught us anything, it’s that heroes aren’t heroes without their sidekicks.
Choosing technology that reacts to customers with lightning speed to deliver consistent, relevant, and timely personalized content according to insightful and actionable customer data collected across all channels and devices is like getting Robin, Gromit, Mr. Watson, and Mini Me, all rolled into one.
It’s elementary, my dear; every hero needs a sidekick.