Most marketers are well aware of the importance of providing great customer experiences, but many have struggled to successfully modify their processes to help improve them. And consumers have noticed.
According to PwC’s Future of Customer Experience study, 54% of U.S. survey respondents said customer experiences at most companies need improvement. What’s more, 32% said they would stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience.
So, how can marketers be sure they deliver exceptional experiences every time to appease their customers and not lose business? They can start by shifting from a product-focused mindset to one that’s geared more toward what their customers actually want and need from a brand experience.
As survey respondents also indicated that customer experience is an important factor in their purchase decisions, getting on the same page about what they desire from brand experiences might just do the trick. For example, 42% of respondents indicated they would be likely to pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience and 63% of U.S. respondents said they would be more willing to share their information with a company that provides a great experience.
Much of the past research regarding customer experience has focused on qualitative benefits of improving customer experiences, such as streamlined processes or increased speed to market. But are these new quantitative metrics enough to push organizations to better align their customer experience initiatives with the values their customers want from brands?
Reassessing processes, technologies
Some marketers are taking such metrics to heart and have begun to reevaluate their processes, methodologies and technologies in an effort to improve how they manage their brand experiences. For example, to better align their efforts to customer needs, some organizations have reengineered their marketing teams into experience teams that are designed to ensure consistent experiences throughout the entire customer journey.
And marketers who are more mature in the path of reengineering their customer experience management initiatives are beginning to see the desired results.
According to a new study by Forrester Consulting, organizations that have shown a commitment to improving customer experiences have achieved better business outcomes.
The Business Impact Of Investing In Experience rated each respondent’s CX maturity level by how their organization effectively used processes and technology for customer experience and designated companies with maturity scores in the top third (high maturity) as experience-driven businesses (EDBs). Then it compared the business performance of the EDBs with that of the other companies in the study and found that their improvement initiatives not only resulted in improved customer experiences, but also increased revenue.
For example, EDBs:
Reported top line revenue growth (in 2017) of 15%, compared to an average of 11% for the other companies
Had 1.6x higher growth in brand awareness and 1.6x higher growth in new website visitors, compared with less mature enterprises
Had growth of 1.9x the rate of newly acquired customers compared to the other companies
Reported 1.6x to 1.9x higher year-over-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, average order volumes, and customer lifetime value, compared to the less mature enterprises
Forrester also compared the business performance of the EDBs in specific industries with other firms in the same industry and found that EDBs outperformed the less mature enterprises in several ways.
Retail EDBs were nearly twice as likely to be in a market-leading position for brand equity metrics and 1.6x more likely to see increased customer advocacy than the less mature retail enterprises in the study.
Financial services EDBs were 1.3x to 1.9x more likely than the less mature financial services firms to exceed expectations for revenue growth, profitability, and market valuation.
Manufacturing EDBs were 1.3x more likely to see increased conversion rates than the less mature manufacturing firms in the study.
Studies like this show when brands do make the effort to strategically realign their processes and technologies to actually focus on metrics for achieving the values that customers actually want, they will finally be able to deliver the exceptional experiences consumers desire—and achieve the results they have wanted all along.