“Customer experience is the new marketing”.
This quote by Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes Benz USA, perfectly summarises the importance of customer experience (CX) for any organisation. Once a buzzword, CX is fast becoming a leading industry trend as consumers are increasingly accustomed to personalised and instantaneous service.
Decision makers have started acknowledging that a good CX strategy is the key differentiator that will set their company apart. But the customer journey - and by extension, experience-across the different touchpoints that a customer uses to interact with a brand is subpar. Instead of consistent service leading to a single outcome regardless of the pathway, customers are being subjected to a fragmented and uneven journey.
The customer is always right
Customer expectations should always be top of mind for company management. These expectations are the driving force behind how CX can improve business. The customer is always right because, if an organisation disagrees with them, he or she will look elsewhere for the service they are expecting. Brands need to ensure the whole customer journey is a positive experience. This goes beyond smart
call centre solutions and a great interaction with an invested agent. It impacts every touch point and every business process put in place.
Customer experience is more than customer service
Great customer service, on its own, is amazing. Customers interacting with a knowledgeable agents over the phone who provides a satisfactory resolution to their query is an indicator of effective organisational structure and
call centre solutions. But that doesn’t mean the overall customer experience has been as positive one. CX transcends the contact centre. It permeates every aspect of the business model and should matter as much to the sales manager as it does to the chief marketing officer. It is important to analyse and understand why a customer had to resort to contacting a call centre in the first place. If that cause is not determined, even if the customer had one positive interaction, they are much more likely to leave a brand as the overall experience was not as expected.
One customer, multiple industries
Customers are used to consume various goods and make use of services that span several industries.
Brands must understand that when it comes to CX, they are not merely competing with direct opposition.
They are contending for loyalty with every other brand. Sound decision making goes beyond just optimising services within the confines of a specific industry. We said earlier that the customer is always right because he or she will determine how they feel about a brand based on their last experience overall, regardless of sector. This shows the disruptive power of great CX solutions. Innovation in CX keeps raising the bar; it’s up to businesses to keep up.
Product doesn’t really matter as much
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, CX has a bigger impact on business outcomes than the actual product or service a brand is selling. In an economy where customers are governed by their experiences, they do not necessarily care as much about the quality of the product if the service didn’t meet their expectation. Yes, a company should always strive for quality, but to quote Tony Alessandra, President of Assessment Business Center:
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you in the game. Service wins the game.”
If your organisation recognises the strength of CX and wants to introduce new ideas, it pays to work with the right partner. Merchants provides
consulting services for any business, based on proven methodologies and strengthened by years of experience. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, or would like to learn more about CX and
customer management solutions.