The case for customer experience
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
What if I told you I knew a way to generate 60% extra profits for your business. Would you be interested? How about if I added that you wouldn’t need to introduce new product lines or take on additional sales overheads to do it. And to seal the deal, what if I also said that customers really, really want this too. By now you’re either thinking ’it sounds too good to be true’ or ‘where do I sign’.
But this is precisely what’s on offer to companies that can deliver an excellent customer experience, according to just about everyone with an ounce of credibility in the space. Let me share some quotes with you from around the market:
“…client-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies not focused on the customer“ – Deloitte & Touche
“…a focus on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%” - McKinsey
“66% of consumers care more about (customer) experience than price when making a brand decision” – Merkle
It seems obvious to say therefore that improving the customer experience should be a key focus for every business. In fact, that’s somewhat underplaying it. Customer centricity should be ingrained in every business and be an absolute obsession in order to drive the business forwards.
Everything I’ve written so far though makes it sound like a choice. Should you take up this fantastic offer for massive extra profitability or not? In reality though, there is little choice but to improve your customer experience. A 2018 US study entitled ’What consumers do after a good or bad experience’, showed that 41% of consumers who have a very bad experience say they will spend less with your company. There’s no sitting on the side lines therefore, you’re either going forwards or you’re going backwards as they say.
Given the overwhelming case for focussing on your customer experience, you would expect that most companies are slaving away trying to make it happen… but are they? Apparently not according to the CMO council, which polled its members and rather shockingly found out that only 14% of CMOs thought that customer centricity was a hallmark of their organisation. So much for the old adage of the customer always being right!
So why is it so difficult for businesses to put the customer at the centre of everything they do. Isn’t that after all one of the golden rules of business?
One of the main reasons companies haven’t achieved this zen state, is because reaching the type of gains mentioned at the start of this article is not easy. In fact it’s down right difficult. It requires a full scale change management programme, with wholesale changes in people & skills, processes, and technology & data. It also requires cultural change, which as anyone who has ever attempted this will tell you is a slow and incredibly difficult task, that carries with it a high risk of failure. We are beginning to see now why so few businesses have achieved this!
But before you give up, remember my point about what happens if you don’t deliver a great customer experience. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to go from a standing start to greatness in one leap, in fact it would be foolish to attempt it in that fashion. There are plenty of relatively easy things you can do to make your customer experience better. Do enough of these and you will start to see serious improvements in your business results, which in turn makes it easier to get everyone on board of course.
As ever in life, the hardest step is the first, so it’s best to take those first tentative steps on the journey to delivering a truly great customer experience as soon as you can. The best place to start is by putting yourself in the customers shoes to see what they see. All too often we are too close to the business to see how a customer experiences us. Conduct a review of your customer view and benchmark how effective it is. Speak to customers, analyse their behaviour in your data and map out what their current journey is through the business. Even this simple step that requires no changes from the business will be enlightening and will provide a list of the areas where the business can improve.
Start your journey today and set yourself on the path to claiming that extra 60% profit!