Surely it’s the product or service that counts, so why has the ‘customer experience’ become the latest buzzword in business, and how can you ensure yours is ahead of the pack?
Put simply, it is the overall shopping experience – not just the point of transaction – which now forms the make or break as to whether consumers will continue doing business with you.
According to research conducted by customer engagement and commerce software provider SAP Hybris Solutions, make or break aspects for consumers include the response time to queries, the amount of marketing materials pushed out as well as value-added services.
Compare your own business’ performance with these key research findings from the study:
- 91 per cent of consumers expect their queries responded to within 24 hours – while 45 per cent expect a response in less than three hours
- 78 per cent said they would never use a business again if it misused personal data
- 61 per cent admitted their best customer experiences came as a result of unexpected bonuses, such as surprise discounts and freebies
- The three main business behaviours turning off consumers all relate to marketing: too many direct marketing and sales calls (60 per cent); too many sales and marketing emails (56 per cent); and content that is irrelevant to them (49 per cent)
As a business owner, BridgeClimb Sydney founder Paul Cave strongly believes that customer experience needs to be directed from customers themselves, rather than the business dictating it to them. It is for this reason he is such a big advocate of gathering and acting on customer feedback.
“Customers need to feel that their feedback is a value, so we make it clear that it’s important we get your feedback. So people need to know it’s valued. They also need to know it’s safe to tell you what they really think, you don’t want bullshit,” he says.
“And then culturally from the top down of a business, unless the top person in a business really wants to be prepared to accept criticism himself, if the guy at the top is not receptive to criticism, there’s no hope for the business.”
Paul has four key tips for generating repeat business that revolve around providing a positive customer experience, and discusses in depth his approach to generating customer feedback and using consumer insights to continually better his customer experience on the My Business Podcast.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.