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Sep 5, 201901:26 PMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Everything comes down to customer experience

I think most of us who are frequent buyers enjoy walking into a business and being recognized by management or the front-line team. This actually is the start of the CX (customer experience) for me. Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with a company. It’s a key driver of business success and customer loyalty. Customer experience is not a single moment during a purchase; rather, it’s an entire journey, from first interaction to continuing care going forward.

Think back to your last customer experience. Were you completely satisfied? Did that business go above and beyond to give you a product or service that met and/or exceeded your expectations? Did the customer-care person show that they enjoyed helping you? If so, the chances are that you will become a regular customer of that firm.

Customers have more choices now than ever before, so for a business to keep and grow its customers, it’s now very important to care about the experience they create between the client and the organization. There’s no one-size-fits-all method to creating the CX; however, the theory that “the customer is king” stands out as very important. The king can spend his or her money wherever they please. Sam Walton said it best: “There is only one boss … the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Companies know that consumer expectations are rising, and that customer satisfaction now requires a more ambitious effort. The race is now on to own customer experience. Online companies are competing to see who can get products to their customers’ front doors the fastest. Today, companies are competing primarily on the basis of customer experience. Unhappy customers can share their experience quickly on social media. Happy customers will do the same. Customer expectations are higher because word of mouth travels faster. A recent blog I read said that, “A totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer, and 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer.”

The best way to define customer experience is by the impression your business leaves with the client, which results in how they think of your company across the entire “journey.” Two important touchpoints of the customer experience are the people and the products. Are customers delighted with the attention of the customer-support person, and are the products so good that they more than meet the clients’ expectations?

Today, the customer matters more than ever before. They have the power. They have more options. They have greater ease of switching loyalties. They have influence. CX is now critically important to a company’s growth.

Personally, I really enjoy shopping where I’m recognized and appreciated. I’ll bet most of you feel the same way.

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