A flourishing business has happy and satisfied customers as its foundation because customers are willing to pay more for a greater experience. Period. Several studies back our statement and are indicative of the future determinants for businesses. Econsultancy and Adobe's Annual Digital Trends report found out that customer experience (CX) ranked first, leaving behind the content, video, or social marketing tools, in its appeal to buyers of today.
To reinforce the importance of great customer experience, here are the findings from a report by the Temkin Group. The report predicts that companies that are earning $1 billion+ every year can earn an additional $700 million, approximately, within three years of investing their resources in enhancing customer experience. Yes, the potential of customer experience is insurmountable, and yet, it is one of the most underspent areas of marketing.
Let us shed some light on the ROI that better customer experience yields for businesses. Research by PWC has clearly shown that consumers, in fact, a majority of 86% of them, are ready to pay more in return for exceptional customer experience. What is more interesting is the Walker study that states - by the end of this year, i.e. 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Therefore, indicating that a consumer is willing to pay extra if it guarantees an outstanding experience to them; making investing in customer experience solutions an opportunity for greater profits.
The Walker Study questioned its sample population and nearly 80% of them regarded speed, convenience, friendly service, and knowledgeable help, as crucial factors that impact customer experience.
14 key factors for customer experience to build a satisfied and loyal clientele, and generate greater word-of-mouth publicity for businesses -
While AI and chatbots are increasingly taking over the interaction part, it can never substitute the human touch. A personalized approach is a foremost requirement in enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. A global survey by Microsoft suggested that one-third people find, absence of a real person or difficulty in reaching a real person to solve their issue, highly frustrating, leaving them with bad CX. Therefore, while companies are using virtual intelligence to cater to their customers, they also need to seamlessly integrate multiple options of contact for complete client satisfaction.
In the fast-paced life, all of us are living today, most of our routine and purchase decisions are based on convenience in carrying out these tasks. Therefore, offering an environment that is easy-to-access and convenient to comprehend and use can greatly influence customer experience. It may entail many variables like how easy it is to find the store, how everything is properly stacked/compiled so that it becomes easy for the customer to spot what they are looking for, how quickly can they go through payments so they won't have to wait in long billing counter lines, kind of after-sale services that are provided, and many other such comforting and handy services makes customer experience all the more delightful for buyers.
With everything happening at lightning speed in the digitized world nowadays, response time taken by companies to address their customers can influence their perception of experience. The automated response emails or replies must be succeeded by the concerned department proactively addressing the issue and communicating with customers. Quick responsiveness can not only help you get brownie points but it also helps in assuring clients that their opinions, suggestions, feedback, and complaints are valuable to the company, thereby, supplementing their experience.
Nothing in the world can replace the importance of politeness, friendliness, and empathetic attitude of employees towards your customers. A friendly yet professional approach is imperative for customer gratification and experience.
Understanding your target audience, conducting an extensive history check, and analysis of available data on them is necessary for providing relevant customer experiences. You may take the help of BI tools to analyze customer data for building lasting customer relationships. However, using customer data to coax the customer into buying your products, spamming their emails with irrelevant information, etc., can negatively impact customer experience. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to use customer information not for force-selling but for promoting sublime customer experiences.
One of the major factors impacting customer experience is how businesses can help customers make informed decisions. This can be achieved by giving customers a fair insight into your product and what makes it different or the same as others in the market, be it in the form of price competitiveness, quality difference, or any other comparison. Giving the leverage of comparison and other tools to aid their decision-making process gives a sense of empowerment to buyers.
To ensure frictionless and seamless interactions, your products or services should be well within easy reach of the customer's preferred channel. Proactive assistance or guide should always be present to provide any kind of support that may be needed by the customer. Your website should be easy-to-navigate and user-friendly. Effective filters, zoom-in photo facilities, relevant keyword search options, etc., can also help a great deal in making CX a pleasing one. Simplified processes, payment terms, easy checkout options, and consistent after-sale services can contribute to greater satisfaction for buyers. The speed at which your website loads can make or break a sale. A study by the Aberdeen Group suggested that "A 1-second delay in page load time may lead to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions." Hence, there should be negligible waiting time for customers when they load your website or its subsequent pages.
Unfortunately, one of the factors impacting your customer experience, the language of communication, is still been overlooked by many companies around the world. Communication in a language that connects with your target can reap such amazing benefits for your company, and yet, organizations are not investing in it. Having chatbots that can interact in the native or preferred language of your customers can amp-up their delight. Communicating in their preferred language can help them effectively give desirable information and can make them feel more at ease while interacting. However, language is not only limited to geography but also involves how certain questions are asked, and phrases are framed. Pleasant (non-mechanical/robotic) tone and simplified vocabulary also add up to great communication leading to augmented customer experience.
Imparting meaningful information and specialized knowledge to customers can leave a lasting impression on them. Extending helpful insights and going a step ahead by educating your customers on the subjects of relevance can truly help you gain and retain a loyal customer.
Well, there is no denying that a company using advanced technologies to further assist customer processes are deemed more reliable due to their futuristic approach. With leading-edge technological systems and AI/ML support, businesses can delve deeper into customer needs, expectations, thereby finding innovative solutions to enhance the customer experience. Thus, the aid of technology is one of the most critical factors which constitute a great customer experience.
Like it or not, customers are expecting doorstep deliveries in a blink of an eye. Shipping time does have a substantial influence on the customer's determination of whether their experience with the company has been good or bad. Along with the shipping time, delivery terms, options for tracking shipment, return and replacement policies, etc., also directly affect the satisfaction level of buyers.
Pricing is undoubtedly a key contributor to customer experience. However, the target market has a great influence on the pricing strategy of a business. In case you are an e-commerce website dealing in apparel for low, medium, or upper-medium class women, lower prices will give positive outcomes. However, in case you are a luxury fashion brand, the higher cost value is what gives your goods a premium status and delights your target. It has become extremely easy to compare prices online, so it is important to always give the right price to your customers.
Each business has its brand value, i.e., the goodwill attached to its name. It is one of the driving forces for improved customer experience. It plays an important role in forming a positive perception of a company in the minds of its clients.
An indirect but powerful way of connecting with the target audience on a greater level is to create a socially conscious and invested company. Therefore, an enterprise must engage in community building activities in one form or another as it can lead to the formation of a positive outlook towards a company, irrespective of their direct business interaction or not with the enterprise.
Many reports and studies have confirmed that customer experience is the paramount factor determining the growth and value of businesses and it will continue to be so in the coming years. Therefore, it becomes obvious for businesses looking to build a vast customer base and earn goodwill in its name to invest in superior customer experience solutions. Be it human-based, virtual or cloud-based, every company operating at any scale will need to dedicate some part of its resources towards building phenomenal customer experiences.
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