Great Customer Experiences: The Key to Business Growth
Did you know that providing consistently great customer experiences will grow your business? But, does your business have an outstanding customer experience? If not, you’re not alone. Many companies are unsure how to create a great customer experience. But creating a great customer experience can be challenging, especially when your business is just getting started. It requires investing time, money, and resources to build a culture that delivers a consistently excellent customer experience.
That said, it’s also one of the most important things you can do for your business long-term. After all, a great customer experience is a key to growth. The facts prove it! “Experience-Driven businesses see over 1.5 times higher year-over-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value” (Forrester and Adobe). And, “Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more than those who had the poorest past experiences” Peter Kriss, Harvard Business Review. Numerous other studies highlight the real topline benefits of better customer experiences.
Improving CX is a complex effort, mainly because it touches every department in an organization. So, if the benefits are so substantial, why aren’t managers focusing even more effort on creating better customer experiences? In this blog, I want to focus on three key things to do to improve CX and outline the connection between better customer experiences and higher business growth.
What’s the Connection Between Great Customer Experience and Business Growth?
Customer experience is at the root of growing any business, especially a b-to-b business. Why? Referrals! In the b-to-b markets in which we work, between 30 and 40% of the people we interview have said they referred a product or service provider to someone else in the last six months.
More than 90% of the referrals came from those customers who responded with a nine or ten to the question of likelihood to recommend (NPS®).
Consider your own experience. You may recommend a product or service to friends when it is something you like. Why? You likely know they are interested in or need the product or service you are referring. And, these are people you like and respect, something that is likely mutual. By sharing a recommendation, you are sticking your neck out for the product or service. This behavior is a very potent kind of marketing.
There is another “why” to the value of referrals. From our research, customers use these referrals as essential sources in their decision-making process. Past experiences with the provider or brand are also meaningful in their choices. At the very root, the experiences users have with your company and its products, either from the viewpoint of trusted colleagues or their own experiences, factor heavily in decision-making.
So, we know highly satisfied people will tell others. We also know that these information sources matter to customers. Getting CX right is critical to growing your business.
Three Keys to Creating Great Customer Experiences
I do not wish to oversimplify the CX change process. It is hard. But there are three fundamental building blocks to a great CX program.
- Do things right! It sounds simple but is often overlooked. If it is a repair, make sure it is done correctly. If you promised to get back to the customer, do it when promised. Our research shows that if a customer mentions doing the work right as something that could have been better, the NPS score drops more than 70 points.
- Do things consistently! Lack of consistency creates uncertainty in the mind of a customer. If you have a series of great experiences and then one that is so-so, the customer does not know what to expect the next time. Several years ago, I worked on a consulting engagement with a trucking company. They had launched a new service that promoted much quicker delivery times. There were few takers for this service. When I interviewed some customers, I found out why. Sometimes shipments would make the promised delivery and sometimes not. Since the service was so inconsistent, the customers saw little value and did not use it. While they would have liked quicker delivery, they wanted consistent delivery.
- Do things with love! This point may sound a bit corny or strange but bear with me. Customers like that people care about them. When customers mention a friendly, caring staff as something that went well in the transaction, NPS increases by at least nine points. Yes, a smile and a friendly demeanor do matter to customers.
This last point is significant. Every touchpoint with customers needs to be “friendly,” even if it isn’t a human touchpoint. People are more likely to refer if they trust that the people they refer will be in good hands. A friendly, welcoming approach to customers always wins.
Great Experiences Matter
There are all kinds of reasons to improve the customer experience in your business. Happy customers are more likely to return. Employees like to work in an environment that has fewer customer complaints and problems. Existing customers are more likely to come back.
Yes, all kinds of reasons for improving customer experience at your company. Don’t overlook the growth a satisfied customer can make happen!
“Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.”