Why Customer Experience is More Important than Product

Your products may be superior to many of your competitors. You may even feel that your customers can’t live without them. But the fact is that, even with great products, your competitors can quickly catch up.

Even highly innovative product development may not be enough to build a sustainable business.  Given that it typically costs seven times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, the first rule of any business is to retain customers. This takes more than simply designing good products. It involves a well-implemented CX strategy that builds strong customer relationships and fosters a sense of loyalty.

What keeps customers coming back?

Your product may get customers through the door, but creating and fostering lasting relationships is more of an art. It is important to understand your customers’ journey and ensure they receive a consistently good experience at all touchpoints. When you empower your team to deliver exceptional CX¸ they can start to build that invaluable emotional connection that keeps your customers coming back. They will then buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you to others.

This is a good time to pay tribute to Tony Hsieh, the inspiring founder of Zappos, who sadly died recently.  Zappos is a perfect example of a business powered by customer experience. In fact, they are often described as “outdoing Amazon in terms of being the most customer-centric online company.” Their powerful CX is based on understanding customers as individual people.

People value the positive emotions that come with a sense of appreciation, connection and belonging. It’s why we join clubs and online communities. And, it’s why we tend to feel more warmth towards brands that make positive contributions to our society or have a good story to tell. 

Nike is another good example of this. They understand that their customers like to feel part of a team and are more likely to exercise as part of a group than on their own. As such, they have developed apps and partnerships, such as Nike Running Club, to connect solo runners with like-minded people online. This builds motivation and a strong sense of community.

Three ways to create CX that builds emotional connection

1-Make CX a strategic priority

Keeping your customers is a by-product of your customer experience. Everything you do has an impact on whether your customer decides to stay with you or not. Your CX should be a strategic priority in order to take the necessary actions quickly. For example, at the beginning of the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown, the insurance company Aviva, noticed a significant shift in customer searches and an influx of calls that expressed different needs than in normal times.

When customers started asking if their home insurance covered office equipment, they had to respond immediately. When events are moving fast and customers are struggling to come to terms with their new reality, companies need to track changing customer expectations closely.

2-Train your employees in CX

Zappos’s magic formula lies in its culture and how it empowers its employees, often called the Zapponians. Their main goal is to deliver happiness and to make customers happy no matter what. Zapponians are also encouraged to be genuinely authentic.

This can be seen in the way they express themselves freely in their customer service interactions. In particular, they are empowered to use their own judgement to make decisions that deliver great service to the customer. All this comes from having a well-trained team of employees who understand and live the core values of the company.

3-Measure and track Customer and Employee Experiences

You can use properly collected feedback and metrics to improve your products and services and refine your marketing and customer responses. There are multiple metrics that can help track positive customer experiences like NPS, CSAT and CES. You can also use employee surveys to discover how they feel about their role in delivering your brand’s emotional Customer Experience vision.  

You can book a free demo of the Happ Customer and Employee Experience Management Platforms to help you understand and act quickly on your data.    

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