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The Ideal Customer Experience: From the Customer’s Point of View

16
May

“Companies have to stop thinking of themselves as business-to-business or business-to consumer,” says Bill Price, the president of DrivaSolutions, who was Amazon’s first vice-president of global customer service. “Instead, they have to put the consumer first.”

According to Beyond Philosophy: “Customer experience is a blend of an organization’s rational performance, the senses stimulated and the emotions evoked and intuitively measured against Customer expectations across all moments of contact. It’s not just about the rational parts of the experience, like how many times the phone rings before it is answered or your hours of operation. It is how they feel at every moment of your experience from beginning to end.”

As marketers, customer needs should always come first. However, sometimes we get distracted with managing internal processes, metrics, and more. In case you need a refresher, here’s a quick rundown of what consumers say their ideal customer experience is.

In a 2014 survey, “Forrester analyzed CX Index data to see which of the three dimensions of CX quality matters most to customer loyalty – effectiveness, ease, or emotion. We found that emotion, how an experience makes the customer feel, has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than either of the other two factors. Repeating that analysis with data from the first wave of our 2015 CX Index only strengthened that conclusion. Emotion was the #1 factor in customer loyalty across 17 of the 18 industries that we studied this time around.”

According to a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit entitled, Creating a Seamless Customer Experience, “If companies deliver bad customer service, then consumers will walk away. Close to three-quarters of consumers [surveyed] say they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, and more than half will complain to families and friends. Slow replies to questions and inaccurate product information are their main complaints—irrespective of the platform.”

This chart further demonstrates that “Interestingly, those factors far outweigh others such as personalization of the experience (12%) and customized offers based on preferences (7%). That doesn’t necessarily mean those aren’t important – personalization appears to be influential in the retail space – but rather that consumers want the basics covered first.”

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In other words, customers want to feel important; they want to know that their concerns are a priority and will be taken care of in an efficient, effective, and timely manner. With the proliferation of social media avenues, customers are not shy about spreading the word about a positive or negative experience.

The Annual Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report tracked the impact social media has had on consumers, finding that:

  • After a poor customer experience, more than 25 percent (26%) of U.S. adults expressed frustration by posting a negative comment on a social networking site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter message boards, forums).
  • 79 percent of those who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored (i.e., received no response to their post(s) from the company/organization).
  • 57 percent of those surveyed who received a response had positive reactions to the same company: 46 percent of those surveyed were pleased and 22 percent of those surveyed posted a positive comment about the organization.

To understand the customer experience is to know the gap that exists between what the customer expects from the experience and the customer’s perception of the experience he or she actually has is what drives the emotions that attach to them. Customer experience is how customers consciously and subconsciously perceive their experience. Often, customers understand precisely why they do or do not feel the way they do. Emotions are a huge part of the customers’ experience. In fact, according to a report on trendwatching.com, “Receiving great customer service triggers the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved.”