The race to own customer experience is on! Companies are recognizing the importance of delivering an experience that makes them stand out from their competition. Some are learning the hard way. Last year United Airlines had a brand crisis, in which $1.4 billion in value was wiped out overnight when a passenger’s experience went viral on social media. And, you may not have heard about Juicero, but it fell victim to brand crisis when it was discovered the proprietary juice packets needed for its $699 juicer weren’t so proprietary, resulting in the company dropping the price of the juicer to $200, and then ultimately going out of business.
Be it customer service, product quality or just the way the customers feel about the companies they do business with, customer experience rises to the top of whether or not the customer will decide to keep doing business with a brand.
Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010. But while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” only 8% of customers agree. In other words, companies have a long way to go.
It used to be that customers could communicate with companies in only three ways. They could visit the business in person, write a letter or call customer support. Then came faxing, and then email. Today there are even more ways customers connect. They use Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and more. And, when customers do connect with you, they expect to be known and served “on demand” regardless of the channel they are using.
And, there are some customers who, when they don’t get the service they feel they deserve, complain. But, not to you. To the rest of the world on the aforementioned social channels. The good news is that some of the customers who are happy will share that across the social channels, too.
Customers want the same things they’ve always wanted, and that is to be taken care of. They may be more demanding. They may want problems resolved faster. But that’s understandable because technology has given us the tools to provide that kind of speed.
They go through the channel that’s easiest and most convenient for them. It could be a phone, a desktop computer, a tablet – whatever communication method they are most comfortable with.
To the customer, it’s all one big team: Customers don’t care which department they talk to when they need help. They just want to get their questions answered and their problems resolved. A company may have different teams, but the customer doesn’t care.
The company may define its brand promise, but it is the customer who decides whether or not the company delivered on its promise. There’s a lot riding on delivering a positive customer experience.
Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, keynote speaker and NYT bestselling author. Learn about his latest book The Convenience Revolution at www.BeConvenient.com.