A shift is underway in the contact center industry as customers derive both power and…
- Customer Experience
- Laureen Peltier
What is Customer Experience?
- Christa Heibel
- 25 May 2015
Unless you’ve been out of the country for several years, you probably have heard the term ‘Customer Experience’ a couple of dozen times. It’s the newest business buzz term that’s hit the water-cooler talk and offered topics for hundreds of key-note speakers. In 2014, it was the topic of thousands of seminars, and if you google search the term, you’ll find 71 million entries.
But what does it mean?
Harvard Business Review defines Customer Experience as ‘the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer’. In simple terms that means every customer touchpoint throughout the life of the customer compiles the customer experience.
- Web – chat, social media and email
- Mobile – text, mobile apps
- Phone – customer support and sales
- In person – store experience
It means engaging the customer, not managing. Customer expectations define the customer experience. For instance, 2015 consumer expectation trends show customer centric, omni-channel and self-service for 24/7 access as a priority in the consumer decision-making. In addition, consumers want a certain degree of personalized service, which can be a challenge for any business that trying to meet the demands for 24/7 service through automates functions.
Why does it matter?
This may look like a lot of bells and whistles, and certainly a lot of technology and processes to deliver a great customer experience, but don’t let the many layers of omni-channel overwhelm your business. Most businesses are unprepared to meet the demands of consumer expectations, which may indicate technology is growing faster than businesses can keep up with. The businesses that fall behind are left behind. Consumers make rapid decisions in our very mobile society.
- 56% of consumers moved their business at least once in a 12 month period due to poor customer experience
- 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience (Harris Interactive – Customer Experience Impact Report)
- 51% said they would only try to support a band once before giving up on a purchase (Live Person)
If these statistics don’t impress you to consider the impact of delivering a great customer experience, then perhaps this one will: “Poor customer experience results in an estimated $83 billion loss by U.S. enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases.” ClickSoftware.
What it takes.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Consumer spending is complex and customer experience, as we’ve demonstrated, is not a simple one dimension resolution to improved services. Since customer experience is every touchpoint of the customer, it takes a well-developed strategy, investment and commitment from stakeholders, technology, and of course, personnel.
What are the rewards?
If your business can deliver great customer experience, the rewards are a gain in business and market share by consumers who trust your business to deliver consistent services in all business channels. In other words, brand loyality.