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Customer experience isn’t just about your existing customers; here’s why

Customer experience isn’t just about your existing customers; here’s why

Most organisations are, by now, aware of the fact that customer experience (CX) is a crucial differentiator as much as price or product quality. True to that perspective, 86% of customers who participated in a 2018 PwC study remarked that they are willing to pay more for a great customer experience and that unhappy customers are far more likely to take their business somewhere else than try and rectify a negative experience.

For the most part, when people talk about CX, they tend to focus on existing customers. It’s typically much easier, after all, to sell new products and services to existing customers than it is to new ones. Think about your own shopping habits: are you more likely to try a new coffee brand from the supermarket you frequent daily or one you’ve never been to before?

But that doesn’t mean that businesses should make existing customers the sole focus of their CX efforts. Acquiring new customers is pivotal to business growth and CX is an important part of that.

The totality of the journey

Remember that CX encompasses the totality of a customer’s journey (or journeys) with a brand or business. That means organisations have to understand what a customer experiences, right from the moment they feel a need to purchase and notice the available options, to the subsequent research they do, zero in on your product/service, and make their final buy. Beyond this, organisations need to equally ensure that each part of the journey is optimised to not only draw in new customers but also in a way retain their loyalty post-purchase with delightful after-sales experience that turns them into repeat customers.

A potential customer enters the experience economy the moment he/she feels a psychological need for a product/service and decides to act on it. For organisations, this is the first organic CX touch-point and in today's digital world, this touch-point can take the form of online advertising, appealing SEO-optimised websites, video testimonials, website live chat, and sign-up forms. In a way, a good CX begins with impact-driven content that helps prospects find their way to what you have to offer.

It’s additionally important to remember that, while we might once have thought of the customer journey as linear, it’s increasingly obvious that this is not the case. A potential customer may go on tangents, get distracted and take breaks, and change the channels they’re using for research or to sign up as a customer. Organisations have to be able to cater to this non-linear approach while providing a consistently good experience if they’re going to keep attracting new customers.

Generational shift

Organisations also need to be cognizant of the fact that there’s a generational shift when it comes to customer experience. A recent survey shows, for example, that 51% of the Gen Z respondents ranked social media presence as the second highest factor, after "providing superior product/service quality", for brands to maintain relevance; on the other hand, only 13% of baby boomers listed social media presence; moreover, 78% of Gen Z buyers said they research or look at customer reviews most of the time before purchasing from a new brand. Gen Z are also more likely to identify “not being able to find the information I need online” as one of the most egregious examples of bad customer experience. Younger customers are additionally more likely to use community forums, in-app messaging, and webchat.

It’s pivotal, therefore, for organisations to understand this generational shift and bake it into their CX strategies. This helps design a well-rounded approach that's considerate of traditional practices but at the same time forward-looking, which ensures that organisations don't get left behind. To achieve this balance, organisations should look to move towards a true omnichannel approach, which provides seamless, high-quality experiences within, between, and across channels.

Leveraging the digital experience opportunity to convert prospects to customers

Research from Gartner shows that, today, nearly half of customers can’t tell the difference between most brands’ digital experiences (DX), and as a result, 58% of customers also believe that DX does not impact what they end up buying. However, according to Gartner, a course-changing DX can positively impact brand preference by 37% and behavioural advocacy by 54%.

By building an exceptional digital experience that stands out from those offered by competitors, organisations put themselves in an especially good place when it comes to attracting new customers. In a rapidly changing world with new behaviours and technologies, that has to be a non-negotiable for any organisation that not only wants to survive but thrive and grow in the long run. 

 

 

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