5 reasons why customer experience should be your priority in 2020

A few years ago, research firm Walker predicted that customer experience (CX) will become the biggest competitive differentiator for businesses by 2020, overtaking price and product. Thanks to the explosion of digital technology and the acceleration of innovation, today’s customers are more empowered than ever before — and organizations that invest in customer experience will reap the benefits.

As consumers, we know this to be true on a personal level. After all, a great experience means we’re more likely to recommend the service or product to a friend, while a bad experience might deter us from purchasing it again – and even cause a ripple effect when we leave a negative review online.

No matter what industry you’re in, every customer interaction is a chance to win (or lose) future business. Putting the customer at the heart of your business strategy is not just great common sense — it’s been proven time and time again to drive organizational growth and success.

5 reasons to focus on the customer experience

But don’t just take our word for it. Here are five eye-opening statistics that show why customer experience should be your top priority:

1. 71 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.

Happy customers are not only more likely to stay loyal to your brand, they’re also willing to pay a premium for it, according to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer 2019 report.

In fact, depending on the product, customers will pay between seven and 16 percent more for a great experience, according to a PwC study. Around half of all customers have also made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized customer experience.

However, studies have also uncovered a disconnect between customer expectations and the level of service they receive. According to Salesforce, 51 percent of customers — business buyers and personal consumers alike — say most companies fall short of their expectations for a great experience. That’s a huge opportunity for organizations to step up, because the negative consequences are staggering.

For example …

2. U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service.

In its survey of 15,000 customers, PwC found that one in three will abandon a brand they love after just one bad experience. After two or three negative interactions, 92 percent of customers would not even consider purchasing a product or service from that brand again.

But here’s the thing about losing customers: you’ve not only lost their current business, you’ve also lost potential future purchases and any likelihood they will recommend you to others.

Considering the fact that it costs anywhere between five and 25 times higher to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one, you can see why keeping customers happy directly impacts the bottom line. In fact, U.S. companies collectively lose more than $62 billion a year due to poor customer service, experts estimate.

3. 87 percent of customers who rate their experience as “very good” will forgive a mistake, compared to only 18 percent of those who rate it as “poor.”

Mistakes are a part of life, but they could put your business in jeopardy. The good news is, customers are willing to forgive you for them — but only if their experiences with your products or services have been positive.

Most customers who are happy with their overall experience with the brand would repurchase the product, even after a bad experience, according to a survey of 10,000 customers. Meanwhile, less than one in five customers who rated their experience as “poor” would be willing to give it another chance.

This is consistent across industries, from food and beverage to travel and technology.

4. 84 percent of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.

Today’s hyper-connected customers want to be understood and respected as individuals. This means providing a seamless experience throughout the customer journey because they judge experience as a whole, not just on their interactions with individual departments, according to Salesforce.

Disjointed communication processes — like being passed around different customer service representatives to answer a query — are sure ways to negatively impact the customer experience. Customers also expect you to provide contextualized experiences. This means providing connected processes, seamless hand-offs and information that reflects an understanding of how the customer engages with your products or services.

5. CX leaders are almost three times more likely to have exceeded their top business goal by a significant margin.

Incredibly, 55 percent of organizations that rated themselves “advanced” or “very advanced” for CX maturity exceeded their top business goals for the previous year, compared to only 18 percent of organizations at the start of their customer experience journeys, according to Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends report. This shows customer experience is critical for organizational success.

In fact, if we take just one metric of CX like customer retention, just a five percent improvement increases profits anywhere between 25 and 95 percent, according to Bain & Company. Besides customer retention, improving customer experience increases four other areas of revenue:

  • Repurchase after a bad experience
  • Purchase of add-on products and services
  • Purchase of new offerings
  • New customers as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations

As a result, companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within three years of improving their CX, according to a Qualtrics study. That’s a 70 percent increase in revenue within 36 months — a solid return if there ever was one!

What’s keeping your organization from providing the best customer experience possible?

Sometimes, it’s as simple as poor follow-up or taking too long to answer a question. Long response times are the number one source of frustration for customers, followed closely by a lack of understanding of their needs, according to hotjar.

For companies and their customer-facing staff, problems emerge when different types of data are trapped within silos or standalone tools that don’t communicate with each other — making it impossible to gain a single, complete view of the customer. An integrated technology stack is instrumental in improving CX according to the Adobe study, which found that companies with a highly unified technology stack are 131 percent more likely to have exceeded their top business goal.

That’s where the OnBase Integration for Salesforce helps.

By providing instant access to critical documents and information alongside the corresponding Salesforce records, the integration allows users to import, retrieve and view documents and content directly from their Salesforce screens. Instead of spending time looking through paper files or network drives for information, staff instantly surface related content with just a few clicks.

With the OnBase Integration for Salesforce, staff members are equipped with the information they need at their fingertips, enabling faster response times and improved customer experiences. The seamless integration easily scales across departments and business processes, while checking all the necessary boxes for document security and retention.

Now that we’ve seen the reasons for improving your customer experience, are you ready to make it your priority in 2020?

Don Dittmar

Don Dittmar

Don Dittmar is an R&D vertical project manager at Hyland.

... read more about: Don Dittmar

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