The times have changed.
The customer experience has completely revolutionized the way successful businesses have either stayed afloat, conquered the seas or shipwrecked. Mob mentality has completely swept the new era of the customer experience. Losing the trust and loyalty of customers has now become a public affair thanks to social media and review sites like Yelp.
But it’s not just social media that has the customer experience changing. It’s the whole digital ecosystem. Just think about all of the things you do before you purchase a product.
- Google what you need
- Look up reviews
- Watch a product unboxing or review on YouTube
- Compare with other products you read about in a blog or article
- Read or watch educational content
- Search coupon codes or promotions for product or service
- Speak with representative or chat bot
The list doesn’t stop there.
Customer reviews and viral media attention have become so damaging that companies must constantly adapt their customer experience strategies to parallel the times. How a company handles a complaint or mistake can make-or-break customers experience. Customers don’t have the time nor the patience to give their loyalty to a company that isn’t giving them their all.
But a true customer experience begins far before a problem arises.
Creating a want or need for your service is about fostering a sense of trust with your potential consumer — before they even interact with somebody on your team.
And this has become the most important aspect of customer experience.
Creating a need or desire for your product or service isn’t about shouting louder than the competition. It is now about meeting your customer where they are in their search for the product or service and providing the easiest possible route to your business.
Forbes has a great way of describing this process:
“By definition, large corporations have figured out a working funnel to direct a customer from “need” to “purchase.” The savvy ones devote a wealth of resources and manpower to optimizing every stage and process constantly — from ads, sponsorships, SEO and social media, to CRMs, user interface (UI), user experience (UX) and APIs, and from sales scripts, retargeting, shopping carts and upsells to payment processing, onboarding, returns and exchanges.”
Being a savvy one means that you must fully understand and commit your resources to every aspect of customer experience.
So, what companies fully understand the importance of the customer experience?
Let’s take a look at a few industry leaders:
This online retail company understands how crucial a loyal customer base is. Their customer experience strategy is fully centered around the consumer. They have become notorious for handling late shipments or product issues with poise. Here are some of the unique ways they have created trust and loyalty with their customers
- Surprise shipping upgrades for repeat customers
- Will provide competitor website if they don’t have your product, putting your needs first
- No runaround: easy to spot telephone number and contact information on website
For Apple it’s all about consistency. They have fully mastered all avenues of the customer journey and are consistent across every single one. Their sleek and modern designs permeate through their digital presence — all the way to unboxing their products. Every step is clean, crisp, and consistent.
Amazon capitalized on the impatience of millennials. Their commitment to making everything quick and easy for the customer has become the cornerstone of their customer experience strategy. They furthered this strategy by creating loyalty initiatives with Amazon Prime (free shipping and insanely fast delivery speeds for members).
These are just a few companies that have harnessed the importance of the customer experience. This experience is malleable and changes with the progressing times. If your business is going to conquer the seas of the free market, the customer experience cannot be ignored. Because if you don’t do it, your competitors surely will.