Competing on Customer Experience

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Competing on Customer Experience

At a time when products are becoming commoditized and any cost advantage can be fleeting, companies are increasingly building strategies around improving the customer experience.

What do customers want?  According to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the five key aspects of a positive experience are:1

  • Quick responses to questions or complaints.
  • A simple purchasing process.
  • The ability to track where an order is in real time.
  • Clear, easy to understand product information.
  • The ability to interact with the company over multiple channels, such as via telephone, email, website, mobile, and in person.

According to a survey of more than 600 companies by Econsultancy and Ensighten, improving the customer experience pays off in terms of:2

  • Greater engagement and conversion rates.
  • Better brand perception and loyalty.
  • Increases in renewals, cross-selling, and upselling.

With benefits like these, it’s no surprise that 96 percent of the firms surveyed now consider customer experience optimization important, and 41 percent report that it is a high priority.

What is now a high priority will soon become the standard way of doing business.  Research by Gartner indicates that by the end of the decade, the primary way that nine of every ten businesses will try to win customers will be by offering a better customer experience than their competitors.3

Of course, companies can only provide a better customer experience if they have solid data about their customers.  Currently, according to a study by Forbes Insights and SAS, 29 percent of companies are now using data to generate insights in order to improve customer experiences, while 42 percent expect to do so within two years.4

Among the benefits that executives listed include:

  • Faster decision making
  • Better understanding of customers
  • Higher levels of engagement with customers
  • Increased confidence of managers and employees when making decisions
  • Increases in sales and revenues
  • More repeat purchases from customers

To improve the customer experience, companies need data about their customers’ purchases, demographics, preferences, and lifestyles...

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