Knowing this, the first thing you would expect retail brands to do is to start getting their customer service in order ... wouldn’t you? After all, customer service is the department most likely to make the quickest, most positive impact, on your Customer Experience (CX) — and prevent up to 70% of customers from leaving along the way. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s see.
Brands Are (Still) Losing the CX Battle
Even though 80% of companies expect to compete mainly based on CX and 84% see an uplift in revenue/profits when they improve it, companies’ CX improvements keep on stalling, year after year.
We see similar figures across the US and Europe. As Forrester shows, CX excellence still eludes retailers across the UK and France where the highest-scoring multichannel and digital retailers remain at “average” or “good” levels of customer experience. None at all score within the “excellence” level. Multichannel retailer scores rose only slightly, while digital retailer scores remained flat. Other CX reports tell the same story.
So, What’s Going On?
While consumer expectations keep on rising (probably due to the Amazon Effect) many brands are struggling to get a grip on customer experience. They struggle with defining CX, prioritising, and how to connect the right internal departments. Some senior management teams are still sceptical and want more proof of ROI before they get serious about CX. Some brands find it hard to get a single view of the customer across multiple channels — systems and data can be a pain. Others say they struggle to map customer journeys across channels.
But let’s take one step back. Here’s a question for you:
What do you think is the most important part of designing a great customer experience?
Knowing What the Customer Expects
“Customer expectations are being redefined every day and the ability to meet basic expectations is table stakes”
- Dutta Satadip, Global Head of Customer Operations, Pinterest
The ability to meet basic customer expectations is table stakes when you want to compete on customer experience. So, what are those expectations?
We all talk a lot about emotions, positive experiences, seamless experiences, personalisation, and so on, but if we take a look at PwC’s Future of Customer Experience survey, a pattern emerges.
Nearly 80% of surveyed consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service (and easy payment) are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.
And, when we started researching European online shoppers and their expectations back in 2014, we found the same. When it comes to customer service, customers want it fast, friendly, and effective.
What People Value Most in Their Customer Experience (PWC):
- Friendly Service
- Knowledgeable Service
- Easy Payment
What People Expect From Customer Service:
- Friendly Service
- Effective Service
From here, it should be quite easy to connect the dots.
Where Customer Service and Customer Experience Connect
If you want to make serious headway in CX, start getting your customer service up to scratch. Let service work on meeting customer expectations — today.
The best start is to get service conversations under control, and start meeting industry targets for four Customer KPIs:
- Speed to respond
- Effectivity in solving customer issues
- Friendliness of your service team
- Availability of your customer service team
After that, you can define Operational and CX KPIs. But that is another story.
Before we go, let’s revisit our opening stat:
32% of customers will leave your brand after just one bad experience.
And what is the single biggest reason people have that bad experience? Yes, it is customer service!