“The mystery” of customer experience
Good post on customer experience mystery at Customer Think recently, citing some of these statistics:
- According to Bain, 80% of CEOs believe they deliver superior customer experience while 8% of their customers agree.
- PatientPop shares that, while 42% of patients wanted to schedule their appointments online, only 17% of respondents actually had that option.
- Salesforce reported that only 37% of shoppers feel like retailers know them.
In the same vein, Forrester recently released a report aimed at customer experience leaders entitled, ominously, “Get Funding Or Get Fired.”
What’s going on here?
Customer experience is no doubt an important — perhaps the most important — part of a business, but the way many companies approach it varies. Some put responsibility for it in different silos — there might be a dedicated customer experience leader, or it might be tied to marketing, sales, or operations. In many cases, i.e. the work we do, it’s outsourced to third parties who aim to co-create and co-strategize with product and sales teams.
While the KPIs of customer experience are somewhat standardized by this point, the approach to customer experience varies widely by industry and organization, so there’s not necessarily an accepted universal definition of what constitutes “success.”
Customers and clients also think about products and experiences differently than those who design them, which is a function of time spent on/with the product and human biases.
There are questions around technology, too: look at something like chatbots. At an organizational level, it makes a great deal of sense because it speaks to scale of response and cost containment. The firm is happy. But are the customers always happy with not being able to immediately connect with a human? That part is still evolving.
Now bring in COVID. The pandemic accelerated many shifts around customer experience, including messaging, contactless payment options, the rise of e-commerce, and digital tools become even more normative. While that’s been great for the customer experience sector, and year-end articles are already being written calling 2020 “the year of customer experience,” it still constitutes change and newness for a lot of end consumers, and they’re still adapting.
A half-decade before any of us knew what COVID was, Kirsten Green (a female venture capitalist) was pointing to the importance of customer experience in the future, telling Fast Company magazine that:
“Most things that people want already exist, and with Amazon or eBay there is always someone who is willing to undercut your price,” she says. “But what does work is when a company focuses on delivering an amazing experience. This means having high attention to detail around the product, thinking about how customers feel when they land on the homepage, considering what the package looks like when it arrives in the mail. I’m looking for companies that are set up to win on those levels.”
While there have been shifts and tech disruptions within customer experience, and there’s still a disconnect between how executives perceive the function and how customers do, the fact is that customer experience isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to be a hallmark of every business for generations to come, albeit with different approaches and ideologies by industry.
If you’d like to know more about some of our customer experience solutions, browse that link or reach out today. We work 24/7, globally, with 11+ delivery centers and 35+ languages. We’ll make sure you scale and your brand remains protected.