According to Gartner, 81% of executives expect to compete on customer experience alone in the not-too-distant future. Despite this, a mere 22% believe that they have developed an experience that exceeds customer expectations.
And the numbers don’t lie.
- According to the Temkin Group, companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within threes years of investing in customer experience.
- A Walker study found that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the end of 2020.
- Nearly 66% of customers switch brands because they’ve experienced poor customer service, reports Conversocial.
- Over 85% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. In fact, the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay, according to a research from PWC.
- If you want to drive on-the-spot purchasing, it’s important to note that 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalised experience.
In 2020, we saw customer behaviour totally transform in response to the global pandemic. And customer experience – particularly an organisation’s ability to provide a good one – was the ultimate differentiator in 2020. This is expected to continue into 2021. Below, we unpack some of the key customer experience takeaways of the year.
Innovate to stay ahead
2020 was the year when ambitious brands innovated and carved their own paths. In 2021, make sure you’re a trailblazer rather than a laggard. We all know that brick and mortar commerce has been on the decline for years and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. As such, it’s important for companies to get innovative and build new experiences in the new year.. Take Texan jewellery brand Kendra Scott, which introduced an augmented reality (AR) tool after their stores were forced to close due to the pandemic. This tool enabled customers to virtually try-on different earring styles at home. Using an iPhone and the Safari web browser, customers can preview the products directly on their ears and make a purchase.
With the recent growth in digital experiences and ecommerce, now is the perfect time for companies to optimise the experience across their different digital channels. For example, retail giants like Walmart optimised their apps to allow for curbside shopping. This service enabled customers to order items online, drive to the store and wait in their cars while a worker loads everything into their car boot. This service came at a massive labour cost because it takes a great deal of time for workers to locate, scan and load hundreds of grocery products. But the customer acquisition benefits of providing consumer with more options makes the additional cost well worth it.
Focus on consistency
Customers value consistency from service providers because they base their expectations on their previous experiences. In a world where competition has never been greater, and both consumer choice and empowerment are increasing, consistency is an exceptionally powerful customer service tool. Obviously, no business is perfect and customers understand that. But businesses need to remember that customers are more likely to forgive an occasional misstep if the situation is handled quickly and with care.
Changing consumer patterns have accelerated digital transformation strategies for numerous businesses who are trying to remain competitive. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, we regularly write about all things innovation, business strategy and technology. To have these insights delivered to you every month, sign up for our monthly newsletter, below.