Research shows that customers will pay more, buy more and be loyal to a company that delivers an excellent customer experience. Customer experience should not be confused with customer delight. When a company delights a customer, they are usually going above and beyond the customer’s expectations for a specific moment.
Customer Delight vs Customer Experience
Zappo’s customer service reps, who are called genies, are famous for their examples of customer delight. One of Zappo’s genies, Steve, is famous for having spent over 10 hours on the phone with a single customer. This act was going above and beyond that customer’s expectations and thoroughly delighting them.
Customer experience is the customer’s summary impression of a brand after several interactions. Sample interactions include a company’s website or social media posts. From these first touchpoints, the customer may go to a brick-and-mortar location to view the item in person. If the customer sees a product or offer online, then visits a store and finds the sales staff is unaware of the item or the item is not in stock, the customer is given a negative experience. Every interaction should make it easy for the customer to do business with your company. The customer experience does not end with a purchase either. Interactions with a company’s service or support departments need to still maintain focus on the customer, the brand promise and be obstacle-free.
Digital solutions play a significant role in the customer experience. They are instrumental in a modern customer experience strategy. Companies investing in these types of technologies that are made to cater to customer expectations will easily surpass their competitors.
Examples of removing obstacles for customers and delivering a seamless experience with digital solutions like AI, CRMs and online scheduling include offering services like reserving an item online and pick up in-store, sales and service knowing a customer’s purchase history and preferences, and allowing customers to schedule an appointment or join a virtual queue via mobile phone, website, or an on-site kiosk.
Delighting a customer is isolated to moments with a single customer. Customer experience is the consistency at every touchpoint along every customer’s journey with your entire organization.
This data is merely a sample of statistics spanning the past 5 years proving that customer experience is too valuable to get it wrong. Companies that are focused on a customer experience strategy and embracing digital solutions as a part of their strategy to meet customer expectations will easily surpass their competition.
When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service is ranked number one. (Zendesk) 2013
52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience. (Zendesk) 2013
Gartner predicts that 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience. (Gartner) 2014
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase in profits by 25% to 95%. (Harvard Business School) 2014
26% of companies leading financially use CX technologies, compared to 7% of laggards. (Bain) 2015
A customer experience promoter has a lifetime value to a company that’s 600 to 1,400% that of a detractor. (Bain) 2015
75% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company that knows their name and purchase history and recommends products based on their preferences. (Accenture) 2016
54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago. This percentage jumps to 66% for consumers aged from 18 to 34 years old. (Microsoft) 2017
70% of consumers say they have already made a choice to support a company that delivers great customer service. (American Express) 2017
84% of organizations working to improve CX report an increase in revenue. (Dimension Data) 2017
47% of consumers have made the choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service within the last year. (Microsoft) 2017
33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was lacking. (Accenture) 2018
Forty-two percent of consumers said they would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience, and 52% would pay more for a speedy and efficient customer experience. Of course, price and quality are still the top considerations when consumers make a purchase decision. (CMO) 2018