86% of buyers surveyed stated that they would pay more for a better customer experience. While they didn't say they would pay more for a product or service, they said they wanted a better customer experience and were willing to pay for it.
Companies that deliver field-based services have always understood that their customers, due to the nature of the business, expect a certain level of service. Is the customer experience important in other industries, perhaps auto sales or real estate? Yes, and it always has been, but now customer experience is increasingly taking a front seat in service as well. Another revelation from those surveys announced this:
We have all experienced this, that coffee shop where you pay a little more but the atmosphere and people are worth every extra cent. The grocery store of choice, not because of price or product but because the deli guy is always so helpful and the service is amazing. Haven't we all made a conscious decision to pay the little extra because of how we felt, how we were treated - because of our own customer experience?
Customer service is meeting the needs of your customer, the demands of the job. At one time there was no rival against price or product. Some companies made the best cars, some companies made the best televisions, refrigerators...you name it. Today, the quality of products produced in essentially every industry are of comparable quality to every other. The internet and the cyber-marketplace has had the same impact on pricing, now the difference in price that used to be dollars is now cents. That left one factor in control of business owners - customer service.
It wasn't long before the leading companies recognized this, and none sooner that those who relied on field-based services. That meant going beyond customer service in the call center.
One last number from those surveys and studies - 89% of businesses are being projected to spend the majority of their focus and resources on customer experience. This denotes a recognition by companies from every industry, that there is a new business priority quickly taking shape. Delivering that customer experience begins with customer service.
Customer experience is built on customer service, getting what is expected, when it is expected and to have expectations met are all the foundations of customer service. Giving a customer more than what is expected, sooner than expected while exceeding expectations are all examples of the customer experience.
The principle here is simple, smart and effective. Deliver to the customer the sense of being important, convey a level of appreciation and meet them on a personal level. They will then leave with a customer experience that competitors must compete with - or lose.
When a customer receives a positive customer experience, that will promote the end goal.
This is a sobering statistic: 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning. The simplest and most honest way to decipher that statistic is to say that these were customer who were not satisfied. The entire goal of the customer experience is to create a satisfied customer. Customer satisfaction equates to return customers. It transforms customers into clients, and most importantly it increases company revenue.
Businesses must be about the business, and today the business is all about the people and the customer experience. At the end of the day this makes sense. This is good for the customer, and really good for the businesses that deliver. This is priority one.