By 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake both price and product as a key brand differentiator. A 280-character Twitter post, Instagram snap or Facebook update from a disgruntled consumer can destroy a brand’s long-built reputation and performance in an instant, so brands must deliver a consistent, connected, competitive customer experience. Those businesses that get this right are rewarded: 68% of UK consumers in a study said they would be willing to spend more on a product if it was from a brand they love. 76% felt that having a positive customer experience with a company is more important than the product itself.
For customer experience to secure its position on the board agenda permanently, businesses must do two things: firstly, they must identify where the customer experience begins, and secondly, they must allocate an owner.
Where does the customer experience begin?
Many organisations think the CX (customer experience) starts at the first transaction, but Andy Berry think it begins long before this – before, even, the first interaction.
For Andy, it starts once the customer has decided that he or she might need a product or service you can provide. “Customer experience is not just cleaning up a mess efficiently or sharing information nicely,” says Yuri Kruman in Forbes. “The journey of a customer begins in the foothills of the psyche”.
As for allocating an owner to deliver the customer experience – this isn’t as simple as it sounds. Research has found that that 30% of senior leaders are still confused as to who should own their CX strategy and delivery. No-one would deny that a commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience must begin at the top, become embedded in a company’s culture and present across an entire business. But to succeed, it needs an owner to devise and execute the strategy.