“If you build it, they will come.” Many will know this phrase from the 1989 film, Field of Dreams. In the years since the film’s release, this expression has become somewhat of a mantra for the business world. Supply a great product or service, and you’ll have customers. Seems simple enough. However, in today’s competitive economy it is no longer viable to simply build a great product or service, attract customers and call it a day. You need to know how to provide a great customer experience as well.
The following are the top three reasons why you need to make customer experience (CX) your new priority.
1. Reduce Churn
Imagine you’re in a store, shopping around. You know they sell the product you want, so it should be a simple task. But the store is small and crowded, and the products are organized in a way that makes no sense to you. Where is everything located? The sales associates don’t seem to know, or care. You ask to talk to a manager, but no one can find one. Frustrated, you give up and leave. You can get what you were looking for somewhere else.
The above scenario is all too common. In fact, according to a 2017 report from American Express, over 50% of Americans have changed their minds about a transaction because of a service experience, and 33% said they would consider switching companies after only one negative experience.
The impact a negative customer experience can have on any business is rising, as customers are able to share their bad experiences online for the world to see. The report from American Express states that 35% of Americans will share their bad experiences online, and that around 9 out of 10 will tell others about the service they received.
In B2B, with its longer sales cycles and lower number of customers with a much higher value than B2C, these ramifications can be significant.
2. Increase Customer Advocacy
Just as customers who may have had a negative experience will turn around and share their experiences online and with others, the good news is that customers who have a positive experience will do the same. In fact, they’re even more inclined to do so. According to American Express, 53% of Americans will post positive comments online.
Providing a top-notch customer experience has more positive outcomes for your business than ensuring customers stick around. Customers who are repeatedly shown a superior experience and service level become loyal to your business, even choosing to pay more for your service or product based on their positive experiences.
Customers who have been won over by incredible customer experience may even go on to become advocates for your business. In a report from JitBit, it was shown that customer and brand advocates are 75% more likely than regular consumers to share their great experiences on social media. Brand advocates are instrumental in helping to influence other potential customers in their decision making. As well, 90% of customers are reported as having said that word-of-mouth recommendations have the most influence on their decision to go forward with a purchase.
3. Set Your Business Apart
The customer service and experience delivered by B2C companies has rocketed ahead of B2B. While business buyers are not looking to make personal purchases, their experiences with B2C companies have made them expect the same personal touch at work. According to a report from Salesforce, 82% of American business buyers expect to receive the same customer service from B2B services, as they do from B2C. However, 45% of business buyers also say that most companies don’t live up to those expectations.
Putting the customer experience at the heart of your business practice is becoming a key differentiator amongst B2B companies. Less and less people are willing to put up with negative experiences, but at the same time, few businesses are going out of their way to provide exceptional service.
In business, there is the notion that when it comes to B2C purchases, decisions are made with the heart, and when it comes to B2B, decisions are made with the head. While logic may trump personal feelings in the B2B world, at the end of the day each B2B buying decision is made by a person. Whether you’re selling to an individual for personal reasons or business, each transaction is made by a customer. So why not offer them an exceptional customer experience?