Customer experience is increasingly becoming the core of business strategies. Technology, data and predictive analytics are increasingly facilitating the ability to satisfy customers through innovative experiences. However, the premise of customer experience is much simpler and philosophical than it may appear.
A growing number of businesses are turning their attention to customer experience. While a survey conducted by the Danish consultancy Trustpilot in 2020 found that only 68% of marketers claimed that customer experience was their top priority, other statistics are hard to ignore.
McKinsey recently published the results of a 2020 survey, which concluded that designing a rewarding customer experience increases customer satisfaction by 800% and reduces churn by 60%. Far from being merely anecdotal, the research findings are in line with the vast majority of current customer experience studies. All experts agree that taking care of the customer experience is crucial. But why?
The reason is very simple and could be summed up by a popular saying we are all familiar with: "Treat others as you want to be treated". While technological advances are contributing to the development of further developed experiences tailored to customer preferences and increasingly innovative through the use of data analysis and predictive analytics; at the end of the day, what really matters is to treat customers well so that they treat us equally.
Shep Hyken's story about customer experience
Shep Hyken, CAO of Shepard Presentations and customer service and CX expert, explained on the B2B International podcast what he believes is the basis of customer experience and the reason why he became obsessed with it.
It all started with an incident. In his youth, Hyken worked at a self-service petrol station. On a winter's day when the temperature outside was unbearably cold, Hyken watched from the comfort of his warm office as a woman in her 80s got out of her car to fill up her tank. Hyken, who knew that he worked in a self-service petrol station, but also that the woman would appreciate the help, came out of his office and told the lady to get into the car and that he would do it for her.
Once the woman had left, the gas station manager, who had witnessed the whole scene, lectured Hyken for what he had done, arguing that the gas station was self-service for a reason and that because of him, the lady would come every week waiting for someone to fill up her tank. Shep Hyken, astonished at his superior's lack of common sense, replied that the best thing that could happen to them was precisely that, that the lady would come to the station every week to have someone fill up her tank instead of going to the competition.
Twenty years later, Hyken is one of the most renowned customer service and customer experience experts in the United States. Perhaps it is because, beyond technology, data and methodologies, he understands the basis of what a good customer experience should be. Caring about the customer, being attentive to their needs, giving them what they need, treating them as well as possible and looking after them. Simple, right?
After a long career of advising companies on how to improve their customer experience, Hyken lists some of the most important things he has learned about it:
1. We should never forget that the customer is a person and treat them as such, even B2B business.
2. Gaining customers' trust is the most important thing. Our goal must be to become the company that our customers know they can trust.
3. Providing an optimal customer experience is more important than offering our products or services at the lowest price.
4. Consumer expectations are higher than ever. Disregarding their experiences is no longer an option.
5. Creating a successful customer experience starts within the company, with the implementation of a strong business culture that is aligned with the values we want to convey to the customer.
Where to start?
Although the ethical foundation of any customer experience strategy is very simple —'treat others as you want to be treated'— defining the right strategy, implementing it and dealing with the cultural changes that this one-way trip can entail requires a well-designed strategic approach.
Investing in customer experience is investing in the value of our brand and in our long-term profitability. Therefore, it requires a comprehensive business approach and the application of the right tools in order to obtain key insights on the drivers that move the client. Furthermore, customer experience must consider the client's expectations, their points of contact and pain points, etc. Only by covering the whole puzzle will we be able to discover where to seek for improvement.
At Kale, customer experience is at the core of our services. We believe that any breakthrough starts with delivering optimal and unforgettable experiences to the customers. Because of this, we work to transform the customer experience towards increased trial and engagement through analytical modelling and predictive analytics.
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