A superior customer experience motivates most customers to buy more, stay longer, and refer friends or associates. So, yes, customer experience not only matters, it can provide a significant competitive advantage.According to Strativity Group's "2010 Consumer Experience Study: Customer Experience Delivers Profitability," which surveyed more than 900 consumers, customers will buy more and pay more for those purchases as a result of a superior customer experience. More than 70 percent of consumers stated that they would increase their purchases with a specific company by 10 percent or more if that business delivers a superior customer experience. Nearly half of the respondents said they would be willing to pay a premium price of 5 percent or more to a business that delivers a superior customer experience.
Most respondents said they would remain a customer of a specific business that delivers an outstanding experience. A full 55 percent agreed that they would continue as a customer for 10 years or more if the customer experience continued to be superior. Additionally, on scale of 1 to 10 of the likelihood that a respondent would recommend that business to a friend or associate, 75 percent scored that likelihood as 8, 9, or 10.
The reality, however, is that not all customers are swayed by a superior customer experience. About one quarter of respondents would not increase their purchases based on customer experience; and 19 percent of respondents were primarily price sensitive and not influenced by customer experience. And nearly 10 percent scored their likelihood to recommend as a 5 or less.
For those respondents that are swayed by a superior customer experience, fair business practices and employee engagement are essential elements of that experience. The top-five key drivers respondents cited as demonstrating superior customer experience are:
- The business' products and services deliver great value
- All interactions with the business are easy and simple
- The business' payment process is easy and fair
- The business' employees resolve my problems quickly and effectively
- My visits to the business' retail stores or branches are enjoyable and productive
Additionally, respondents ranked the following as the top-five elements of employee engagement as critical to the customer experience.
- The business' employees do their jobs with pride
- The business' employees use common sense and discretion when providing service
- The business' employees are knowledgeable and empowered
- The business' employees deliver service with passion
- The business' employees act as if they make a difference
Does delivering a superior customer experience matter to your organization? It should. Otherwise you could be missing an opportunity to increase retention, sales, and referrals.