At the inagural CX Talks event, Will Payman, Macquarium's VP of Strategy, and Internet of Things (IoT) consultant Miguel Garcia delivered a presentation on how smart devices and services can be powerful tools to augment and improve your customer's experience. With estimates of over 50B smart devices by 2020, there will be an explosion in touch points that Customer Experience professionals will have to create, manage, and optimize. This will require new thinking about the components of an experience, a potential shift from products to services, and new ways of measuring the experience. We believe that there are 3 things companies should be considering when they think about the next wave of experience building.
In a world filled with options, be it where to buy a product, or to get a ride to the airport or even to find a significant other, Customer Experience (CX) is one of the most powerful components to creating customer loyalty. Using CX as the guiding principle for how you sell your product or service will help ensure you’re not inadvertently creating C-Exes.
The truth of the matter is customers are willing to switch, if even partially, because of a bad experience. It’s no longer enough to offer the product or service, you have to woo a customer to your site. You have to wow them while they are on (and off) your site. And finally, you must win their preference to return.
There’s little dispute that Amazon is best in class at living this methodology, and the results to prove its value, too. They clearly have the customer at the forefront of their innovation and value how they can make life easier by focusing on the human aspect of the shopping, purchasing and using experience.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
There is an often-repeated mantra in business that it is easier to grow your business by doing more business with existing customers than by acquiring new ones. The goals of customer experience improvements are to actualize that mantra. Based upon a recent conference I attended, one might have come away with a very different point of view – that the goals of Customer Experience (CX) are to increase customer acquisition and conversion.
At this conference, speaker after speaker discussed ensuring a good or strong CX from the very first touch point the prospective customer had with their firm. The very first touchpoint. There was a lot of conversation around first impressions. Ease of doing business. Ensuring a quality experience through lengthy and extended sales cycles. Plenty of thoughts around how the entire ecosystem has to be considered to ensure these prospective new clients were getting everything they needed in order to ‘convert’ and become actual customers. And herein lies the rub. While all of the above is true, customer experience is about a lot more than just customer acquisition.
Find yourself in a group of customer experience (CX) professionals, and phrases like “delighting the customer” or "creating moments of wow” will pepper the discussions. You will learn that delighting your customers will result in increased loyalty, share of wallet and a positive word of mouth. Few would argue that delivering a great CX provides you a competitive edge, but what return should you expect from delighting the customer?
Customer Expectations and "Moments of Wow”
At the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s conference in Phoenix this year, the Corporate Executive Board presented some interesting insights from The Effortless Experience. The author of the book Matt Dixon cited a study with over 125,000 people who had interacted over the phone with contact-center representatives or through self-service channels such as the web, voice prompts, chat, and e-mail.
Conventional wisdom is that exceeding customer expectations deepens loyalty, however the study detected only a slight increase in loyalty after customer expectations had been met. It turns out that creating delight consistently is difficult and only succeeds in 16% of the interactions with an incremental operating cost between 10 to 20%.