Why does customer experience matter?
In a world where most companies’ interaction with their customers now involve some form of digital media, there is a recognition for the need for a better user experience at websites and mobile apps. Graphics, User Experience (UX) and User Interaction (UI) designers are increasingly making websites and mobile apps delightful, easy to use, and responsive.
There is also a widely acknowledged need for a better post-sale customer service experience. Gone are the days when once a product or service has been bought, there weren’t easy means get your complaints or questions resolved in a timely and customer friendly manner. Most companies now have better online systems to receive complaints, and provide service through easy access to customer service agents. Companies are ever eager to ask for customer feedback and improve their service to further differentiate from competition.
The word “experience” has truly become a buzzword across both products and service industries. A recent Harvard Business Review study attempted to quantify the effect of customer experience on both transactional and subscription businesses (see below). The results were not surprising, that customer experience does improve sales and customer retention across products and service industries. Both CEOs and economists now equally understand that customer affection matters for economic vitality.
However, very few companies have taken a holistic approach to providing a unifying experience across all touch-points that a customer interacts with your brand. Mobile apps, website, and post-sale service are not the only interactions. But product design and development, service design and delivery, marketing and communication, social media initiatives, brand positioning and messaging, sales activities are equally important (see below). Only consistent, connected, and unifying experience across all interactions will have a lasting effect on customer psyche to translate into loyalty and real economic gains.