Customer experience is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately. Everyone from Adobe to Gartner to Forrester to Wired Magazine, is talking about the customer experience. Jake Sorofman from Gartner earmarked customer experience as one of the most overused marketing buzz words. "In an age of exceptionally high consumer expectations, customer experience has emerged as the next competitive battlefield,” Sorofman wrote. “I stand by its importance, but also concede the hearty bluster it has inspired in the digital echo chamber". Customer experience is more than a buzzword and doesn't deserve to be lumped with phrases such as 'big data' and 'omni-channel'.
Customer experience is the #1 priority
According to Gartner the customer experience was the top marketing technology investment in 2014, representing 18 percent of total marketing expense budgets. In 2015, customer experience will be the No.1 innovation project. According to Adobe, now more than ever, experience is the brand”. An Oracle report found that 97 percent of organizations stated improving customer experiences is critical to success. The list continues, but one thing is for sure, brands that take the customer experience seriously are ahead of the pack.
Customer experience drives loyalty
Loyalty plays a critical role in generating revenue. According to KISSmetrics, it costs seven times more to acquire a customer than keep an existing one. On top of that Salesforce reported that customers are twice as likely to share bad experiences as good ones. The key to loyalty lies in the customer experience. According to Econsultancy 89 percent of consumers said a great customer experience is a key factor in brand loyalty. It’s a no brainer, a positive customer experience encourages repeat visits which lead to repeat purchases which translates into loyalty.
Customer experience impacts revenue
At the end of the day, it’s about the bottom line and the customer experience delivers in a big way. According to an Aberdeen Group report, companies that turn to Voice of Customer analytics to help them gain insight into their customers and improve the experience see annual revenue increase of 10.9 percent. Meanwhile, Oracle reported that multichannel integration - a key component of a great customer experience - has the ability to increase profitability by 25 percent.
In the end, it’s all about the customer
When it’s all said and done, the customer experience delivers. The term may be used too frequently but as highlighted by Jake Sorofman the customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. Those who rise above the digital echo chamber and walk the walk will outshine those who just talk the talk.