Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company.
So why has customer experience become such a hot topic today? We are in an era where trust is at a premium, consumer expectations are higher, word of mouth travels faster. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools a company can wish for today, and in this digital age, customer’s opinions are available instantly, through social media, review sites and search engines.
We are moving towards – if not already in – ‘Experience Marketing’, where consumers want to be actively involved with your brand. As a result, consumers will become your advocates. Peers are now as credible as experts, and arguably the most important spokesperson for your company. People are readily sharing their experiences of a brand, product or service through digital channels.
Purchasers are empowered like never before, and great customer experience drives loyalty and revenue. Downplaying its importance is no longer an option for businesses, as the voice of the customer continues to get louder and louder. 72% of buyers will only take action after reading a review (BrightLocal).
The main goal is to create a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints to exceed your and your customers’ standards. By keeping an eye on the entire customer journey, you’re making sure that the promise of a positive experience is kept and that you’re offering a superior service.
Creating an experience really impresses purchasers and ensures that they will keep doing business with you in the future. A totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer, and 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer (InfoQuest).
But what if your customer is unhappy?
There are only a few things that impact a business’ reputation more than the way it responds to complaints. Customer service is an important part of developing loyalty, and the way you respond to unhappy consumers will go some way to determining what they say, or write, about you afterwards.
Ideally, every business would rather have exclusively positive feedback, but unfortunately, that’s not realistic. The key to handling negative feedback is to respond quickly and politely, while assuring them that you are finding a solution. Make your customer feel heard and cared for and you’ll find it will pay off in the long run.
95% of people who had a bad experience are willing to give the brand another go if they know their issue has been dealt with correctly (QuestionPro).
It’s clear that customer feedback has become an invaluable tool. If customers couldn’t openly access other people’s experiences with a brand, they would need to look elsewhere quickly to build confidence. 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a business’s customer experience (BrightLocal).