Many brands focus heavily on their prices and costs, with the result that they neglect customer experience. However, research shows that customer experience can have huge implications for a brand's success. Focusing on how customers experience and perceive your brand is essential if you want to grow and thrive in a competitive market.
Many studies have shown that customer experience is a key determining factor in a brand's success. For example, a study conducted by Forrester in 2013 showed that customer experience has more influence on brand loyalty than any other factor, including price. However, further research from Forrester showed that consumers only rated 37 percent of brands as providing a good or excellent customer experience in 2012. The rest are considered poor, very poor or just okay.
Brands that do not take steps to improve their customer service could find their customer base gradually slipping away. Research by RightNow showed that almost nine out of 10 customers were motivated to switch to a competitor after receiving a poor customer experience from their originally preferred brand.
If you think you can afford to lose a few dissatisfied customers, think again. A Genesys report showed that the average cost of losing a customer relationship was $289 in 2009. Furthermore, the increasing popularity of social media could mean that this cost is rising even higher, as unhappy consumers take to Facebook or Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction to their friends, family and the wider world. Customers can also leave negative reviews of a business on online listing services, which can seriously damage a brand's reputation and could put off potential new customers.
Offering a poor customer experience also limits a brand's profitability. A survey by Desk revealed that up to 60 percent of customers are prepared to pay more for a better experience. As a result, brands that get it right are often able to charge higher prices without losing business. On the other hand, businesses that offer poor customer service are often only able to charge bargain-basement prices, which can limit profitability.
As customer experience is so important in determining a brand's success, the million-dollar question is clearly "How can your business offer a better customer experience?" According to Kissmetrics, the key is to interact with your customers genuinely. Listen to their comments, and provide individual responses, both on social media and offline. Gather feedback at every available opportunity. In general, your customers know what they want from you, so you need to give them the opportunity to help you improve.
Multiple studies have shown that customer experience is key to ensuring a brand's success. By listening more carefully to customers and taking their views and suggestions into account, brands can improve their reputation and build a strong base of happy customers.
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