Businesses that use CX grew exponentially
Did you know that according to the PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey 2017/18, 32% of all customers worldwide would stop doing business with brands they loved after just one bad experience? In the U.S. alone, customer churn rate after one bad experience was 17% and 59% after several bad experiences.
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it's that customer churn is not to be taken lightly, what with about 200,000 U.S. businesses shutting down in the first year of the pandemic itself. Companies, both big and SMBs, lost loyal customers because they couldn't offer a better experience among others, pandemic or otherwise.
But, while these survey findings may sound discouraging, especially for startups and new businesses, there's also a hidden opportunity here. You see, it was revealed that 43% of customers would gladly pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience and a 16% price premium for a great customer experience.
Now, wouldn't you say there's a great opportunity for exponential business growth if you strengthen your brand's customer experience? Believe it or not, 89% of companies that lead with customer experience do significantly better financially than their counterparts.
Of course, including customer experience (CX) into your products and services isn't just as simple as you'd think. So, before we take you on an epic trip through the real meaning of customer experience, what it comprises and how you can benefit from it, here are some customer experience pitfalls that you should definitely avoid and keep an eye out for.
What is customer experience (CX) innovation?
For a business to succeed in this constantly changing and turbulent environment, they need more than just basic product or service offerings. The only way they’ll be able to stand out in the crowd is through customer experience (CX) innovation, which means focusing on providing services tailored specifically for each individual's needs and wants, while also being helpful along the journey of purchase.
This type of innovation should not come out only when you want to sell products or provide help desk support; rather its main focus should rest in maintaining long term relationships by delivering high quality service at every touchpoint possible throughout all stages of the customer’s shopping journey.
CX Innovation isn't just about creating innovative services and products for your customers. It's also about allocating resources to make sure they're the most memorable in their industry, while maintaining a personalized touch that will keep them coming back time after time.
Benefits of customer experience innovation
Several studies have shown how innovative practices lead businesses into newer territories that can be both profitable and beneficial, such as personalized interactions with clients or providing them an opportunity they may not have had before, like early access programs.
There are many ways to get customers talking about your business, but one of the best is by offering a great customer experience. A satisfied and loyal client will promote you through word of mouth marketing as well as advocate for what they loved on social media, which means that creating an amazing service or product has never been more vital.
There’s a new normal in customer experience that is now being discussed as we slowly move away from the conventional and into what can be described as an uncharted territory of innovation. The old ways won't work anymore; it's time for fresh perspectives on how to satisfy your customers because the benefits of such innovation will catapult your business into such highs that you never reached in the past.
Just to be more categorical, here are a few of the benefits that one can enjoy from applying CX innovation:
Better brand image and brand loyalty: With too many online businesses offering similar products, it can be a blur for customers to go through all the offers. Once a customer experiences optimal customer experience, they hold on to the brand and become loyal to it.
This in turn elevates the brand image of the business and leads to an increase in brand loyalty.
Higher ROI: Sooner you realize the simple fact that the future of marketing is in delivering excellent customer experiences, the higher will your chances at increased ROI. Focus more on your customers and their needs instead of trying every marketing hacks and tricks just to make profit at any cost.
Higher conversions through positive customer feedback: According to a study conducted by the BPO, Sitel Group, customers are more willing to share positive reviews than negative reviews. That should be your immediate cue to work on innovating your business’s customer experience so you can make the most from complimentary marketing that positive reviews can offer.
Believe it or not, 95% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase and that means a lot. And while we are on this topic, here’s a useful reading on how to use customer reviews to optimize conversion rate in 5 simple steps.
Understand customers better: By focusing on a customer-centric approach, companies will be able to understand their customers better and cut down on their marketing expenses in the process. This helps them identify what customers want and make more informed decisions in their future business strategies through the customer data that they will have collected.
Higher customer engagement: Companies that build relationships with their customers are more successful than those who don't. The best way to do this is by engaging with them over live conversations on social media or by sharing new offers through emails, which in turn will prompt customers to share their expectations.
Negative impact of ignoring CX innovation
Customer service is the key to success in today's fiercely competitive market, no matter what the industry you’re doing business in. One bad experience can quickly make headlines and damage your reputation on social media channels and review sites like Yelp, where thousands of potential clients may be watching, consequently pushing them away from doing future business with you totally after reading the accounts of unhappy customers.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”
- Warren Buffett
Companies that fail to modernize their customer experience will be left behind in the digital age. Those that are realigning it as part of a transformation will be winning, but only if they also invest in innovation and technology for better results.
Instead of just focusing on products or services as they have done previously with little thought put into how these things connect together across different departments within your business (or even outside), you're now looking at everything through its entire life cycle from the beginning until end-of use. It requires companies who are able to not only execute well but also think creatively about ways which make them stand apart.
Here’s something that you should know. Unhappy customers are not accustomed to forgetting their unpleasant experiences so easily and they’ll more often than not share those experiences with potential customers to warn them about your customer experience that apparently falls short of their expectations.
Now, the question is - would you be willing to take the risk of not measuring up to your customers' expectations? Remember, one lazy move like ignoring CX innovation can cost you thousands of dollars worth of business.
Want to know about the disastrous consequences of ignoring CX innovation? Here are a few possibilities that could befall you:
It can impact your bottom line: The importance of customer retention cannot be overstated. In today's competitive market, it is imperative to retain customers who may otherwise leave for another brand if they feel like your company isn't listening or responding enough to their needs.
Unhappy customers won’t just stop at abandoning you, they will share their opinion everywhere, thus affecting your bottom line in the process.
Customer churn rate will go up: Did you know that 95% of customers will leave you if the customer service you offer isn’t good? To think that they may have abandoned your product because they found a better price is a popular misconception.
And as I said earlier, when these customers who feel they have not been treated fairly leave, they just don’t leave. They tell everyone about their experience, killing a fair percentage of your chances at getting new customers and hurting your business significantly.
Your competitor will have the advantage: Like I said, it’s not the price factor that really determines who customers are loyal to. The price margin is paltry compared to great customer experience, which is what your customers will look for.
When customers feel like they're in good hands with a company, it's easier for them to trust the brand. Unless you offer good customer service and an enjoyable experience, there’s nothing stopping them from going to your competitors that will fulfil their expectations.
Customer experience mistakes to avoid
To truly unlock the potential of transformation, companies need a culture that is supportive and invested in customer experience innovation. They need to understand that they need to establish a more personal touch with their customers.
As more and more companies shift to a customer-centric approach, the expectations of customers have changed considerably. Customers now expect companies to not just provide them with service but also interact on an emotional level by listening closely for individual needs while keeping personal information safe at all times through secure platforms.
Companies need to take a strategic approach and implement programs in order for them to succeed. This includes developing capabilities as well changing the company culture so it can be more receptive towards innovation efforts.
Since we’ve been talking a lot about what you should be doing, I’d like to tell you what not to do for a change. Here are some of the most common CX mistakes that you should avoid:
Not aligning CX innovation with core business strategies: If you’re a CMO and want customer experience innovations to fly off, it would be a good idea to sync that with other company goals to show how better experiences can lead to increased customer satisfaction, which will result in higher retention rates among other things.
Failure to do so will probably not receive the nod of your C-Suite colleagues for approval.
Trying to do it all: This is a classic rookie mistake, one that can very well jeopardize the whole business goal and make the company lose precious time. Trying to implement too many ideas at once can lead to mistakes and confuse other team members, ultimately forcing everyone to fix all the mistakes at the same time.
Be wise and apply a single idea at a time, testing it along to way to see if it needs any changes or improvements before moving on to the next idea.
Playing it safe with ideas: Creative thinking is the key to success in any industry, but it's not always easy. Many companies are uneasy in playing with bold new ideas and nurturing a culture that supports creative thought.
Why? Simply because they are afraid their customers might not find these new ideas appealing or they may not be able to cough up the required funding for such an ambitious project. This leads those with the bright ideas to be stifled, limiting their potential and ultimately producing poor quality products or services.
Not seeking customer feedback: This is definitely one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. How can you come up with a product or service for your customers if you’re not willing to hear them out?
Companies out to make fast bucks fall prey to this mistake very often and when the results of performance comes in, they have already lost precious time, which they could have utilized to collect customer feedback, test them on customers and finally roll out the tested solutions.
Poor customer journey: Making customer journey a harrowing experience for your audience can swiftly take them away from you and drop them on the lap of your competitors. Difficulty in resolving issues is one of the foremost reasons behind customer churn, something that even the biggest brands have learnt the hard way out.
Segments of CX innovation
1. Product innovation
Innovating to provide a better experience for customers will fortify their loyalty and make them spend even more in the future. Innovative products can lead the market in their respective industries, which is why listening closely matters.
2. Service innovation
Service innovation is the process of creating new services or improving old ones. Service innovations can come from anywhere, like when you add more features to an app so it does what people want without needing all their information first.
This would be product-innovation based service innovation but there are also less tangible ways that work.
3. Business innovation
Whether you're an established company or just starting out, one of the first steps to take is looking at how disruptive innovation can benefit your business. Disruptive technologies have changed entire industries and created new ecosystems for companies who are willing to adapt quickly enough, although this isn't always easy.
4. Organizational innovation
The goal of organizational innovation is to turn fresh ideas into successful products and services for your customers. Through workplace invention you are giving all those involved in an organization a platform for their creativity, letting them take what they need from this experience so that it can be applied back at work with increased success rates.
How to apply CX innovation for business growth
The pandemic has thrown our assumptions about how customers behave and what they want into chaos. Customers are dynamically changing their behavior based on the needs of each individual situation, which means that businesses need to be flexible enough for this rapid-fire transformation or risk being left behind by changes in customer demand.
CX innovation is the safest bet to stay in the game and maintain a steady growth in your business revenue. How to implement CX innovation? Here are six ways to do it right:
1. Give heed to customer needs
Customer experience innovation lies in your customers. Understanding their needs and pain points can be a great kickoff to discovering new ways in serving them better by understanding how they perceive you as a brand or company, while also getting feedback for additional insights through surveys and analyses on social platforms.
2. Go CX native
As with everything else, it is the responsibility of the C-Suite to lead the company from the front when it comes to customer experience innovation. Just because the CMO leads the customer service efforts doesn’t mean the rest of the C-Suite, including the CEO, shouldn’t take a moment to keep the customers in their plans.
The only way a company can go CX native is by developing a culture where customer feedback and insights go into influencing all financial and organizational decisions.
3. Never stop learning
Create a culture that is constantly learning, always listening and empathetic towards your customers' needs. Then share those insights with the entire company so everyone can work together on solving your customers' challenges.
And remember to empower the people who work for you so they can do their best, rewarding them when something goes right. But, most of all, learn from your mistakes in order to make things better next time around.
4. Reply to every customer feedback
We all know how important and influencing customer reviews can be. So, whether they're negative or positive, you should make it a practice to always respond to them so your brand reputation doesn't take a hit.
Responses from your team should always be friendly and helpful, no matter what kind of review is being shared online. One way you can make sure your responses are prompt is by using some social media monitoring tool to keep track of the reviews and and respond to them.
5. Build a strong online presence
In the digital age, it is essential to be engaging and responsive on social media if you want your business' online presence to be rock solid. Social networks allow customers, who have been interested in a product or service even before they come into contact with someone from your company, to share their feedback.
When customers engage with brands on social media, it allows the business to better understand their needs and desires. Not only does this help them create products that will satisfy those wants but also keep up an image of care for consumers.
6. Conduct regular competitor analyses
It's not enough to just keep up with the latest trends. To stay ahead of your competition, you need a plan that focuses on understanding what customers might be missing out of by monitoring your competitors and offering them exactly what they are not yet aware of.
This is a highly effective method to convert them into loyal followers rather than buyers that are switching brands all the time.
7. Keep a close watch on industry trends
In order to ensure that their customers are getting the best possible outcomes, a company should focusing on staying updated with all of the latest innovations in their industry at all times. In addition it is crucial for companies to not only keep track of their inventories, but also restock them frequently so they can repeat processes easily without any hiccups or delays.
Maintaining this towards one's clientele may seem like quite some work until you take into account how much time you will have saved once everything has been automated.
Our business solutions are a result of proven methods and growth strategies that we’ve learned and mastered during our journey of over a decade as a digital marketing, web design and UX design agency. Talk to our marketing experts and designers at 0707 Agency for an in-depth and transparent consulting to etch your roadmap to success.