The customer experience in today's business world is central to the success and longevity of any brand. An Oracle report found that 97 percent of organizations stated improving customer experiences is critical to success. Furthermore, Gartner found that 64 percent of consumers think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand.
To help marketers better understand the role of the customer experience and become more customer-centric here are some of my favorite quotes from the world's most innovative business leaders, past and present.
1. 'You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology - not the other way around.' - Steve Jobs (Apple Founder)
The late Apple visionary understood the importance of the customer experience. By focusing on the needs and wants of customers, Apple was able to create some of the most revolutionary products from the iPhone to the iPad. The genius of Steve Jobs was turning industries on their heads by starting with the experience. The iPod is a great example. MP3 players existed before the iPod. But it wasn’t until Steve Jobs came around and re-created the MP3 music experience that it took off.
Brands that start with the customer experience and align products and solutions with customer’s needs and wants first will be the Apples of the future.
2. 'Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.' - Bill Gates (Microsoft Founder)
To improve the customer experience, understanding your weaknesses and strengths from the customer’s point of view is critical. Microsoft founder and former CEO, Bill Gates grasped this well and it is, therefore, no surprise that the company he co-founded went on to become the world’s largest PC company. As Bill Gates points out, extreme experiences can invoke feedback that can become your greatest source of customer intelligence. When asked, these visitors will give the kind of feedback that provides the opportunities for remediation or at the other end of the spectrum highlight the strongest aspects of the experience. Make sure you don’t ignore your unhappy customers as they will be your key to creating a better experience.
3. 'If there's one reason we have done better than of our peers in the internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.' - Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO)
With revenues of over $61 billion and boasting 10 percent of the North American E-Commerce market, Amazon is an e-retailer juggernaut. The Amazon CEO attributes their massive success to providing a superior customer experience. By focusing on the experience and using this as a differentiator, Amazon has been able to establish itself as one of the leading online retailers. In a letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos explained that Amazon doesn’t react to competitors they, focus on the experience. That is one of the reasons the Kindle Lending Library has over 300,000 books and Prime Instant Video selection tripled in just over a year to more than 38,000 movies and TV episodes.
Today, many companies are following Amazon’s example with more than three-quarters (78%) of companies attempting to differentiate through a superior customer experience, according to a Digital Trends Briefing Report by Econsultancy and Adobe. Therefore, only with ‘laser’ focus on customer intent, needs and expectations can you outpace your competitors.
4. 'The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.' - Jerry Gregoire (DELL CIO)
With such a huge diversity of brands competing for the attention of the modern consumer, the experience becomes an imperative. Dell is no stranger to this with Dell’s CIO, Jerry Gregoire, suggesting that the winners of the next generation will place a heavy focus on customer-centricity. This sediment is echoed by Gartner that pointed out that by 2016, 89 percent of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience. At the end of the day, the customer experience is a game-changing factor.
The customer experience is a growing priority and by taking the advice of these industry titans to heart you will put your company on the road to success.
What are some of your favorite quotes about the customer experience? Let me know in the comments below.
Image source: Joi Ito