Imagine this: you are super loyal to a hotel chain – think Marriott, or Hilton or IGH. You go for an extended stay at one of the hotel’s brands that has great reviews and you find:
That you have been put in a different room type than the one you reserved. People fighting in all the rooms around you. The smell of smoke wafting around the smoke-free hotel and into your room. People partying in the courtyard of the hotel at 2 am. An unresponsive front desk and management team.
If you are like most frequent travelers, you would check out first thing the next morning, leaving weeks before you were supposed to, and you’d take your money elsewhere. You would also tell everyone about the experience. The corporate office. The Facebook groups, the reddit boards. You would share your experience with everyone that guides you in your travel choices to ensure that none of them ever choose that hotel. Customer Experience can make or break a brand.
So, what is this thing called customer experience?
Customer Experience is the sum of all interactions a person has with your brand over their lifetime.
It is how your customers actually experience your products, your services, your team members – your company. It is the ups and downs of their time dealing with your business.
A good customer experience can give you a loyal customer, a great review, and free advertising… And we all know that it is way cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one.
Why does Customer Experience Matter?
Customer Experience has always mattered. Because people have choices. And you want them to choose you. Your company. Your brand. Your product. And it matters even more now than ever! The number of choices that exist have grown exponentially over the last several years. Whether it is access to smaller makers or just access to options that you would have never know existed ten years ago – the number of options is incredible.
Not only do you have an enormous number of brands to choose from, but you also now have access to real reviews – real life experiences. Friends and family. Reviews from strangers. Reviews in groups that have aggregated to talk about brands or products or experiences. There are so many ways for a consumer to find (and share) information about their experiences with others.
We used to tell a few people in our living room about a bad experience we had. Bad experiences traveled through word of mouth – and could travel through a social circle, but there was a limit on how far they could travel. Now, we can tell the world.
How do I prove that it matters?
Every single company that I have ever worked with has been driven by the bottom line. There are several ways that I like to help organizations see the impact that Customer Experience has on their bottom line. A few things to think about as you are planning your “prove it” strategy!
How does your company make money?
- Do you make money by getting more customers or by keeping your existing customers?
- Do you have corporate goals around share of wallet or number of items in cart?
- Do your executives get compensated on increased revenue or lower operational expense?
What does your brand stand for? And are you delivering on that brand promise?
Why do people leave your company or choose another company to do business with?
When Customer Experiences are designed to match your brand promise, and are delivered consistently, companies grow. We have been able to prove it time and time again. Once you have figured out the answers to the above questions, it is simple to tie Customer Experience to business outcomes. And once you have tied Customer Experience to business outcomes, we’ve found it pretty easy to convince executive teams why Customer Experience matters so much.
Helping executive teams to understand why Customer Experience matters is key to the success of any Customer Experience program. And once you have them on board, and when they understand the impact that both good and bad Customer Experiences can have to the bottom line, you will be able to move organizations much faster towards the transformation you have designed.
And if you have any questions, or need some help figuring this all out, reach out to us at Chief Customer. We would love to help you!