As part of Customer Experience Day (#CXDay2020) celebrations that took place on 6th October 2020, we shared a number of blog posts which showed our approach to customer experience.
While the day might be over for another year, we’re continuing our programme with more insight into how and why we put the customer at the heart of everything we do.
Across all businesses and industries, the “experience economy” now features in every interaction we have.
Differing from services which are delivered on demand, experiences are revealed over a duration of time. Customer Experience (CX) is a perception driven by a simple equation.
CX = The observed performance that a customer has with a supplier, minus their expectation.
CX is not an easily measured operational KPI, but it plays a significant role in overall customer satisfaction and a customer’s choice to spend their money with you.
Research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2016 showed that for every 10% increase in customer satisfaction a company can increase revenue by 2-3%. So how can you affect CX during interactions with your customers?
Focussing on just a few factors – Time, Convenience & Transparency – can help to make a big impact in your customers experience and therefore, customer satisfaction, potentially netting you greater revenue and encouraging growth.
If you think about these 3 factors in a real-life situation, you can see the affect they have on experience quite easily: say you have received a new laptop, either through a personal purchase or through your workplace and upon unboxing you have trouble logging in for the first time and getting started. After trying a few things yourself, you need help and decide to
call a Service Desk.
The first hurdle you encounter is that you cannot easily locate the phone number. Once you find it, you are immediately placed on hold for ten minutes without so much as a greeting. After speaking to several different people, back and forth on phone calls and spending hours troubleshooting your issue is resolved.
Everyone you dealt with was polite, friendly and genuinely did their best to help you, yet you still come away having a tainted experience.
How could this experience have been better?
We humans are an impatient bunch. The average person starts to get impatient after waiting just 10 seconds waiting for a webpage to load, 17 seconds in a queue for service (though this increases to 5 minutes if the queue is for the bar), 13 minutes waiting in traffic, or 24 minutes for food to be delivered to our table from the time we order. And spare a thought for your friends…we’ll only wait 18 minutes for a friend to return a call before we get annoyed.
In a world that demands almost instant results for everything from food to foreign policy, a good business must keep wait time to a minimum. This includes everything from delivery of products, key projects and services to returning that email query or phone call.
Keep it simple, stupid… you’ve heard it plenty of times before, and you seek out convenience in your own life, but how often do you test your customer’s journey for convenience?
Companies are often organised into silos, and each customer journey can
cross multiple siloed functions in a single transaction or interaction, adding complexity and complication.
Take the time to understand the full end-to-end view of a typical customer journey and how their journey maps across your organisation. Then, take steps to ensure that everyone involved understands your customer’s needs, the role they play in delivering positive CX, and consider how the journey could be simplified further.
Think Uber Vs Black Cab; Contactless payment Vs writing a cheque. What processes can you simplify to drive a great customer experience?
Transparency is one of the greatest drivers for customer satisfaction. This shouldn’t be surprising, we’ve all been there: interacting with an in-store or call centre employee, an estate agent or salesperson and felt the frustration of being talked around in circles while they evade a direct response to a question or tip toe around some poor product functionality.
As a customer it is frustrating at best, but at its worst, it can create disdain and mistrust. When we lead with transparency, facing issues head on, magic happens.
Interestingly, when it comes to online purchases, an overwhelming 82% of us go straight to negative reviews, bypassing the 5-star ones in favour of reading the 1,2,3 and 4-star reviews to see what those experiences were like.
The fact is customers know that there is not generally a perfect product and
are able to accept that if they know up front what the likely issues are.
Here are some suggestions for how you and your teams can incorporate more transparency into customer experiences.
• Be open about flaws
• Own mistakes
• Design and service with empathy
• Ask for honest feedback and be open to receiving it
By incorporating transparency into CX, you can help build better, longer-lasting relationships, enhancing the experience and as a result, positively influencing customer buying behaviour.
If we think about our earlier real-life example, the experience you had as a customer would have been dramatically different if the phone number to call was clear and easy to find and the detail of your issue was collected at the start of the call using Integrated Voice Response (IVR), reducing the need for multiple interactions and reducing wait times. By focussing only on convenience and time the customer experience can be transformed dramatically.
While focussing on Time, Convenience and Transparency will enhance CX, getting to know your customers, and understanding the order in which they prioritise these will provide the best possible results.
Success in building great CX requires constant iteration, testing and learning. Taking the time to really know your customer and reacting to live feedback from them is often the difference between good and great customer experience, and therefore that decision to spend money with you.