The book everyone should read is “The experience economy”. Experience is everything. Is your business designed for customer and employee delight? That is why I picked up “The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share”.
Today’s consumers are not the consumers of yesterday. They are more resourceful, selective, technological, and accustomed to convenience. Each of the five generations—the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z—prefers different methods of communication, has different attitudes toward technology, and chooses different customer service channels as consumers.
How good is your CX?
They all search for the unforgettable story. For customer empathy. For authenticity. What does it feel like to be your customer? What does it feel like to be your employee? How do you achieve word of mouth on steroids?
- 75% of people don’t accept advertisements as truth.
- 90% believe brand recommendations from friends.
- 66% of consumers could not remember the last time a brand exceeded their expectations
- Nearly half (49%) of consumers feel the brands they engage with don’t meet their expectations for a good experience.
- Word of mouth is the most common response to a positive experience.
- 59% claim to have made a purchase from a company because they heard or read about someone else’s good experiences.
- 72% of customers say, “I am loyal to certain brands, but as soon as I have a bad experience with them, I move on.”
- A totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue to a company as a somewhat satisfied customer.
- A totally satisfied customer contributes 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer.
- 42% of B2B businesses don’t have even a single person focused squarely on customer experience.
- 60% of customers agree with the statement, “I often feel that brands who should know me don’t know me very well.”
- 82% of customers say technology should improve their online brand experiences.
- 56% of online retail shoppers and 49% of offline shoppers expect consistent levels of service across physical and digital channels.
CX as a talk trigger
The factors that influenced decisions to choose or continue using particular brands are personal experience (50%) and the opinions of friends, family, or known peers. Focusing on customer experience is a winning strategy, particularly in a recession. So your CX needs to become a talk trigger.
The truth is, the bar for customer experience is very, very low. 90% of customers believe that when it comes to delivering a good customer experience, most brands fail to meet their expectations. However, 82% of marketers believe they are meeting customer expectations concerning customer experience.
The author developed a methodology. WISER stands for Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary and Responsive. The book is full of cracking examples.
- Witty. Look at every piece of communication that you have and try to figure out how you can change the words to be a little bit more clever, to maybe put a smile on someone’s face.
- Immersive: The problem is that siloed businesses create siloed experiences because every department owns a different part of the experience, and the departments often don’t communicate. Being immersive means delivering a consistent, connected experience so that the whole thing feels right to the customer. Use all senses.
- Shareable: Create a shareable moment.
- Extraordinary: When designing remarkable experiences: be simple, practical, and keep it inexpensive. Going above and beyond, whether with a handwritten note or an unexpected “surprise and delight” moment, is one of the best ways to get your customers to sing your praises—not only to their friends and family but to the rest of the world on social media.
- Responsive: Customer service starts when the customer experience fails. The first rule of thumb is to serve the customer in the channel of their choice, not the channel of your choice. It is the responsibility of the business to meet its customers where they are. As a channel and as a moment. Read “The context marketing revolution“. Being responsive in the channel of the customer’s choice means being available in multiple places, sometimes even in evolving service channels.
According to Sitel Group, the telephone was the most popular channel for brand engagement as recently as 2018. But by 2020, it was in third place behind email and online chat, with social media not far behind. They found that consumers who use social media (publicly or via private direct message) in a customer service scenario were most likely to expect an answer within minutes. Read “Social customer service“.
Other things to do
- Be personal. Even billionaire Elon Musk has been known to personally respond to customers’ Tesla questions on Twitter, just as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shares his email address for customers to use. If they can do it, so can you.
- Don’t be afraid of complaints. Complaints are often more valuable than compliments because they tell a company how it is missing the mark in terms of customer experience.
- Simplify your communication (read your own customer communications out loud).
- Eliminating pain points/friction
- Simplify the navigation on your website. Do not use generic labels.
- Be fast
- Be consistent
- Apply technology (chatbots, AI, etc.)
- Appoint a chief experience officer
To go back to “The Experience Economy“, or other books such as “Winning on purpose” or “Firms of endearment” (there are many more), you can rest assured that customer experience will continue to be the ultimate differentiator for businesses in every industry.