The phrase “customer is king” has never been more relevant to businesses than in the past years, when everyone had access to hundreds of options at the tip of their fingers.
These days, the phrase goes beyond offering high-quality products or services. It’s also about providing an excellent customer experience fit for a king — or at least enough to make your patrons stick with you and continue to choose you over your competitors.
But how do you know if you’re satisfying your customers or missing the mark? It pays to know the latest statistics and trends in customer experience.
This can prove invaluable in shaping the game plan for this year and the rest of the still-uncertain future.
Customers will spend 10% more for a better customer experience. This is a slight decrease from prior years—in which the number hovered around 17%—with more people transacting online than at any other time in history. Consumers less accustomed to websites or apps are willing to pay more for a more enjoyable, user-friendly experience.
US$3.6 trillion is lost every year due to poor customer experience. The amount lost in revenue has more than doubled in recent research compared to previous years. In the same study, 18% of customers reported having a poor customer experience with companies they have interacted.
66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs, according to a Salesforce survey of over 6,000 consumers. This is 10% lower than the result a few years ago. However, 86% of customers expect retail businesses to meet their expectations and needs.
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than others. These companies can gain new customers and retain their current ones. One of the reasons for this is customer reviews. A recent survey shows that customers trust reviews from fellow customers, family, and friends, especially when introduced to a new product or service.
87% of business leaders say prioritizing employee happiness provides a competitive advantage, and 96% say it makes it easier to retain top talent, per an Indeed survey of 1,073 business leaders. Despite this, only 19% of companies have prioritized employee happiness, making it an attractive strategy to invest resources and build positive and potentially quite lucrative differentiation.
Companies need to focus on happy employees who will sustain satisfied customers – or find a partner who can help them do so. These 2022 statistics confirm that customer experience is, now more than ever, the make-or-break benchmark for every business.
The pandemic has changed the way consumers engage with businesses across all industries. They are more aware of the myriad of options and less likely to tolerate poor customer experience.
By understanding customer likes and dislikes, you provide positive customer experiences at any point of contact
Let’s check out some current specifics of the situation:
Top 10 Things That Customers Hates
1. Long wait to get help — Whether returning an item to your retail store or waiting for a customer support agent to take their call, customers don’t want to waste time getting help. Know your peak hours, so your business is prepared to handle the surge in volume.
2. Trouble contacting the right agent or system — Are you using an IVR in your hotline with voice response? Make sure it can understand a variety of voice accent and twangs. Otherwise, it could lead to more frustration on the part of the customer.
3. Repeating information — A management application with updated customer records accessible to everyone in your support team keeps you from having to ask for customer information several times.
4. Multiple automated steps before speaking to a person — The more automated steps a customer needs to follow, the more chances for mistakes, and the higher the risk of poor customer experience. Make prompts simple, shorter, and easy to follow on your hotline or website.
5. Agents who are slow, insufficiently communicative, and/or who put them on hold. — Imagine going through multiple automated steps and waiting a long time for help only to talk to someone who isn’t empathetic towards your problem or is rushing you to finish the call. What would you feel? Proper training and brand voice guidelines ensure your customer support team is nurturing customer relationships and providing a positive customer experience.
6. Conflicting information from different agents — This is a common problem when your agents don’t have sufficient product/service knowledge and don’t have the right resources to get the most accurate information. Regular product/service training reduces the risk of providing incorrect information to your customers.
7. Transfer to other representatives — Unless the customer is being transferred to someone with a more senior role or a different department, your support team should not make a habit of doing this. Instead of transferring to someone else, a good option is to tell the customer they will be put on hold. Specify how long they will be placed on hold and why the agent needs to do it. Customers often understand more when they know how long they need to wait and why they are being put on hold.
8. Insufficient support channel — Do you only have a hotline for all customer concerns? It’s time to consider offering multi-channel support. In this age of social media, being present on various social networks is an excellent first step in the right direction. Other channels you should consider having in your business are email support, live chat support, and text support.
9. Inadequately-specific help for the relevant issue — The key to ensuring you’re helping customers with their concerns is to listen to them. Don’t cut them off when they’re trying to explain. Ask questions when you need more information or clarification.
10. Support unavailable at certain times — Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get help when you need to. This is the reason many companies offer 24/7 support. If you can’t provide round-the-clock support, it’s always a good idea to be available during business hours. Consider having a backup plan for when a support channel fails or becomes unreachable.
Top 10 Things That Customers Appreciate
1. Convenient, simple interfacing — Time is currency. The longer it takes for a customer to get what they need, the more they become dissatisfied with their interaction with you. If you’re using a ticket management tool for IT service requests, make sure it is easy for customers to use, from creating a ticket to making follow-ups. This way, they won’t have to go to other channels to follow up with their concerns.
2. Warm, friendly interaction — Whether in-store, online or via phone, an approachable and friendly tone always goes a long way. It could help calm an angry customer and make upselling or cross-selling easier.
3. Capable issue resolution — No matter how unique your products or services are, if you don’t have a competent support team to help customers with their concerns, you will lose customers and run the risk of receiving negative feedback that could quickly go viral social media. Always make sure your support team doesn’t just know the features of your products/services. They should also know how to use it and troubleshoot when necessary.
4. Loyal/repeat customer benefits — Encourage your customers to do more business with you by offering them exclusive perks and privileges for being loyal to your brand. Consider giving them special discounts, exclusive product/service bundles, and freebies.
5. Listening to feedback — Your customers are your best (sometimes fiercest) critics. Let them know you appreciate any kind of feedback and when a customer offers suggestions, listen and consider them. When customers know their opinions matter, they are more likely to be loyal to you.
6. Personalized discounts and offers — When you know your customers like the back of your hand, it is easier to give customized offers. For instance, knowing when their birthday is, gives you the unique opportunity to offer birthday bundles or discounts. Is your customer a mom, a dad, or a student? You could give them unique gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or graduation day.
7. “Magical,” above and beyond experiences — It doesn’t always have to cost a fortune to provide an unforgettable and unmatched experience for your customers. You’re sure to constantly provide excellent customer service when you stay true to your brand voice, stick with your company values, and offer empathy.
8. Easy renewal — When you have a winning product/service, and your customers love it, make it easy for them to continue using it. Renewing subscriptions doesn’t have to be a complicated process. When possible, it’s always a good idea to include an auto-renew option upon initial sign-up.
9. Social responsibility — Supporting social advocacy makes your customers feel they are participating in your cause when they do business with you. Be sure to stick with your brand values when choosing advocacy. Otherwise, you may be deemed inauthentic and be “canceled.”
10. Continuous upgrading of products, features, and such — Stay ahead of the competition by regularly improving your products/services. Offering an app? Why not have a section in the app or your website where users can suggest features and vote on suggestions you like to include in your next release?
Top 9 Ways To Alleviate Problems Related to Customer Experience
1. Fast and easy resolution — No product/service is perfect. A customer could experience a problem or two. But what can make your brand stand apart and keep customer experience from deteriorating is how you handle these issues.
2. Restitution, such as discounts, coupons, gifts, and the link — You know how restaurants would give you discount coupons if you didn’t like your experience with them? You could do that with your customers too! This encourages them to try your product/service again. Hopefully, you could redeem your brand and offer a better experience than they had.
3. Empathy and interest in feedback — Customers appreciate it when businesses listen to what they say. A customer encountering a problem is the perfect opportunity to show the human aspect of your brand. Connect with them at an emotional level and accept their feedback with graciousness.
4. Accommodation of customer-specified remedy — This often happens with customers who’ve had experience with your product/service for a while and have tried their hacks or solutions when troubleshooting a problem. When they offer a suggestion, don’t be too quick to dismiss them. It’s an excellent opportunity to probe and learn more about their solutions, which may be valuable to your brand.
5. Genuine apology — Sometimes, the best thing a brand could do is to accept its mistakes and say sorry simply. This saves you from aggravating your customers and getting into a lengthy argument. Whether it’s something out of your control or oversight by your team, a sincere apology could help turn a negative review into a positive one.
6. Help offered before a complaint is lodged — Being proactive is one of the secrets to a positive customer experience. For instance, when releasing an app update, it’s great to let your users know of possible issues they may encounter during the update and what they could do to fix them. Doing this can prevent a sudden surge of IT help tickets or complaints.
7. Instruction and assurance for future issue avoidance — Empowering and assuring your customers helps maintain trust. After assisting them with their concern, consider pointing them to a resource section on your website where they may find more information on how to resolve common issues. This way, they would be more confident in resolving issues independently and won’t have to reach out to your support team.
8. Personal agent assigned to them — Assigning a specific person to handle a customer issue prevents customers from repeating the same information every time they call your support hotline for more help or to follow up. This isn’t only convenient for them. It also maintains the quality of support you provide to your patrons.
9. Pledge of improved performance in the future — When your products/services don’t meet your customer’s expectations, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to encourage them to continue supporting your brand. One way you could do this is through product/service updates. Let them know you are constantly working to improve your brand through your newsletters, social media posts, press releases, or other marketing collateral.
To sum up, customers give more importance to convenience, reliability, and attitude. Considering these three factors in creating a positive brand experience, you can build a group of loyal customers and brand advocates. Not to mention, you would be able to leverage these positive experiences and use them to grow your brand.
Need help improving the quality of customer experience you provide? Inspiro can help. Let our team of experts help nurture your client relationships so you can continue building a profitable business.