In the race to gain market share, many organizations focus on new customer acquisition. And while that’s an excellent strategy in itself, it should not occur at the expense of customer retention and loyalty.
Statistically, it costs companies much less to keep good customers happy than it does to acquire new ones. By some estimates, it costs five times more to bring in new customers. But even though digital transformation has changed that model somewhat, 44% of companies apply more energy to acquisition versus only 18% on retention.
One thing that nine out of ten marketers can agree on, however, is that customer experience (CX) is a critical factor for either effort to succeed. In other words, providing an excellent customer experience is critical—and it’s within your power to accomplish.
The Value of a Good Customer Experience
According to data released by Gartner, CX drives two-thirds of customer loyalty—outpacing brand and pricing combined. The study also finds that ongoing CX improvements play a significant role in building customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV).
CX excellence goes beyond personalization, empowering customers with seamless and convenient product and brand interactions. Today’s customer needs to feel confident about their buying choices. If the online experience delivers value, it invites lasting loyalty and increases CLV, a critical metric in determining marketing ROI.
Lastly, a good CX strategy is something you can lean on to ensure quality if demand increases suddenly.
Defining CX Excellence
You want your customers to keep coming back. To improve those numbers, you need to focus on the journey, not the destination.
It’s challenging to generalize about what a great CX looks like for everybody because the pathway to success is different for every brand. However, at an intrinsic level, CX should focus first on the audience, on solving their pain points, and removing barriers to achieving their ultimate goals.
You must also keep in mind that the effort is not static or linear, and data is the key. The more customer data you apply to CX, the better you can develop actionable business intel, and that’s where the magic really happens.
Sometimes It’s “Little Things” That Make The Biggest Impact
Customer experience isn’t always about grand gestures, either. Sometimes, it’s about the little things—being greeted by name, having the customer service rep know what you’re calling about, or having an issue addressed before you even knew there was one. With these things in mind, here are the top areas in CX to strive for:
- Personalization is a foundational CX attribute. However, with privacy concerns at an all-time high, a balance must be struck. Appearing to know “too much” about your customers can alienate, but when applied appropriately, it supports loyalty and decreases the level of effort you need to retain existing customers. Ensure you are prioritizing the right data. For example, if knowing the customer’s marital status isn’t critical to your business, don’t ask for or collect that data.
- Create Positive and relevant emotional experiences along the customer journey. CX itself is an emotional journey. Strive first to reduce friction at every touchpoint, and engage with the customer in the way they prefer. CX that is personalized and aligned to expectations is the key to gaining loyalty.
- Loyalty/reward programs. According to Forrester, nearly three-quarters of American consumers belong to at least one loyalty program. For many companies, loyalty customers make up the majority of their sales, which ought to be reason enough to focus efforts here. If you forge bonds early in the relationship, CLV gains more value over time.
- Omnichannel brand experience. Today’s customers expect seamless, barrier-free communication with their preferred brands. Because every customer has different preferences, omnichannel plays a critical role. Connections and interactions via social media, live chat, telephone, and email are essential. All CS personnel must have access to real-time customer data to ensure the best possible experience.
In the effort to increase customer loyalty through CX, the WayPath CRM solution delivers meaningful insights and helps you respond to changing customer needs. To learn more about how WayPath CRM supports customer experience excellence, get in touch today.