Is Customer Experience (CX) the new brand differentiator?

Gone are the days when people competed on product’s capabilities and pricing alone. Today’s customers have thousands of overwhelming choices, making purchasing decisions challenging to choose. 

 

The entire ecosystem has become commoditized, and how do you differentiate yourself from the pack? 

 

It has to be through Customer Experience (CX) and not just Customer Service. CX is the total sum of customer’s perception of how a brand treats them. These perceptions affect behaviors that lead to customer loyalty. 

 

Do we agree that CX is going to be the differentiator? 

Let us look at some of the CX numbers:

 

  1. Gartner says that 89 percent of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience 
  2. A Walker study reveals that by 2020, CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator
  3. The Temkin Group found that companies earning $1 billion can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within three years of investing in CX

Bain reports that although 80 percent of companies believe that they deliver awesome experiences, a mere 8 percent of customers agree. 

 

This means that companies have a long way to go. Delivering excellent customer experiences can be a tremendous opportunity to disrupt a competitor and gain market share. 

 

Focusing on customer experience management may be the most critical investment a brand can make in today’s business environment. 

 

How do you provide remarkable customer experiences? 

There is no silver bullet to this question. However, there are two critical elements that you should be aware of, and they are: 

 

1. Personalize everything

Personalized experiences win over customers every single time. This means that the company remembers you, anticipates your needs, and delivers relevant and timely information. What does this do? 

 

Forty-nine percent of customers have bought items that they did not intend to buy due to personalized recommendations from brands. 

 

Besides, brands should create a one-view of their customers across all channels. McKinsey reports that only 1 percent of the data collected is ever used, stressing the disparity between the potential of data and the company’s ability to convert it into value. 

 

When you set out to turn data into value, that would help improve customer experience. 

 

2. Focus on the customer journey and not touchpoints

The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that the customers go through while interacting with your brand – awareness, pre-sales, purchase, post-sales support, and repurchase. 

 

Each journey consists of multiple online and offline touchpoints. While each touchpoint is important, the sum is always greater than the parts. The experiences will have to be consistent, and for that, you need to have integrated systems and channels. 

 

Aberdeen Group states that the companies with the strongest omnichannel CX report an average customer retention rate of 89 percent versus 33 percent for businesses with a weaker presence. 

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