How the customer experience turned from a cost driver into a differentiator for brand

We hear more and more about it without necessarily knowing what it is. What does the concept of “customer experience” mean? Also called customer experience or CX, it is the system that collects and manages all direct interactions between a brand and consumers. So this includes both the customer journey, which starts from their arrival on the site to the purchase process, and customer support, also called customer service. Let’s discover together why the customer experience has become the focus of everyone’s attention, and how to provide high quality service to its customers.

modern perception

For too long, the quality of customer experience has not been a priority for brands. Marketing mix, as it has long been taught in business schools, has not understood this idea. Customer support has often been outsourced to a regular call center and considered a cost factor. Then the element of differentiation was price or brand image via advertising or distribution system.

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But over the past 10 years, the maturity of brands versus customer experience has made significant progress. The Internet and the development of e-commerce have reshuffled the marketing mix, downplaying the differentiation elements from before. The price war escalated, and the physical distribution network was no longer necessary. As a result, brands have realized the importance of service quality.

The quality of the product as well as the quality of the customer experience

Apple and Amazon have been industry leaders – and have always been at the top of the Forrester Customer Experience Index. They really changed the situation. Now customer service has become a major distinguishing factor. why ? Because if you don’t solve the problem your customer is having, make sure he tells those around him, and he’s a strong descriptor, illustrated by the old saying “your best salespeople are your customers”. It is customary to say that a consumer who has a negative experience will share it with ten people, a person who will have an unusual experience will also tell 10 people, but a person who has a “classic” experience, will only be positive, you will not tell anyone.

The main position of customer support

When a customer contacts customer service, it must be kept in mind that they have already encountered a problem. Late delivery, product failure or payment problem, it doesn’t matter, he has a problem that needs to be resolved. I don’t know who said “customer service is a bit like ice cubes applied to a cheek that has just been slapped”, it’s kind of an unusual comparison, but it’s fair enough. This service, at this time, actually has a double mission. The first is to find a solution to a problem, but also to internally report the existence of said problem. It is truly a unique opportunity for a brand to improve its products and services or the experience offered, based on feedback from its customers. This is an important growth opportunity for brands, and this feedback should be taken into account adequately, to the point of adjusting marketing, sales and even development strategies if necessary.

Effective customer service, that is, it offers the consumer a quick solution that adapts to his problem, will only enhance his brand image and inspire the trust it inspires. When you know that all business is based on trust, you quickly understand the importance of a good relationship with customers.

Contact with the customer, at one time or another, is carried out by a human being, it is very important to take into account local characteristics so that this exchange is carried out in the most optimal way. Language is the first level of course, but we must also take into account the legal and cultural aspects depending on the location of the consumers.

Another advantage of effective customer service

Once the purchase is completed, customer service is also in the best position to contact the consumer, collect valuable information: feedback and comments, offer to share their feelings via recommendations on the site or social networks. This is one aspect that teams responsible for customer experience are developing more and more recently. They learn to contact the customer at the right time, so that they can recover the maximum amount of usable data.

Customer experience is also critical to business revenue growth. Customer service that benefits from a good image can organically attract new prospects, assured of the quality of service provided. It also helps ensure customers stay loyal to your brand and even grow with it. Customer experience drives revenue through acquisition, retention, purchase diversification, and even upgrades. Today, it is not uncommon for a CX organization to score revenue targets with metrics such as “cost per contact” or “support eligible leads.”

And what about the future?

Even if brands realize the importance and opportunities that the customer experience presents, they also realize that it is a source of significant costs right now. In my opinion, in the next five years, we will see automatic intelligence occupy an increasing place in customer experience. This will automate and speed up the resolution of problems faced by customers. It is not absurd to imagine that we can halve the number of human connections, even if we will always need that unique connection.

It’s time for brands to stop seeing customer experience as a source of cost, and realize that it’s actually a great opportunity to capitalize on achieving success!

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