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Can Customer Experience Really Make a Difference to your Business?

Twenty years ago, we used to say that if a customer had a bad experience with a company, they would tell ten people. These days, in the age of social networking, a bad customer experience can lead to significant brand damage and here are two well publicized examples of poor customer experience and the publicity it gained.

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Twenty years ago, we used to say that if a customer had a bad experience with a company, they would tell ten people. These days, in the age of social networking, a bad customer experience can lead to significant brand damage and here are two well publicized examples of poor customer experience and the publicity it gained.

In the first example, “United Breaks Guitars”, Dave Carroll, a musician, created a song about his experience flying United Airlines when his guitar was broken at the hand of United Airlines employees, and how the airline offered no compensation. The song became an instant online hit with 3 million views in 10 days on YouTube.

The second example is the story of Vincent Ferrari who recorded his conversation with an AOL representative when trying to cancel his AOL account. During the call, the AOL representative refused to cancel the account unless Ferrari explained why the AOL was still in use. Once again this story has become somewhat of a phenomenon attracting millions of viewers.

However, the reverse is also true. In this day and age, exceptional customer experience can also make a difference. Research done by Watermark Consulting compared the performance for customer experience leaders and laggards over the past three years with the customer experience leaders experiencing an average 30% better stock market return than the laggards.

 

Despite this evidence, a global customer experience survey undertaken by American Express shows Australia lagging behind when it comes to customer experience. Here are some of the findings:

  • Australians think they would spend 8% on average more with a company that provides better service.
  • 81% of Australians feel that that businesses are not doing anything extra to keep their business or are taking their business for granted.
  • 75% were very likely speak positively about a company after a good experience in contrast to 59% who were very likely to speak negatively about a company after poor service.
  • 81% would give a company repeat business after a good service experience whilst only 52% would never do business with a company again after a poor experience.
  • the three most influential factors when deciding which companies they do business with include personal experience (98%), a company’s reputation or brand (92%), and recommendations from friends and family (88%)

So what can business do to turn around our customer experiences?

  1. It is evident from the research that more importance needs to be placed on customer experience.
  2. It is also critical that when implementing customer experience initiatives, companies look for new ways to solve improve customer experience, for fear that thinking about solving problems the same way will produce the same mediocre results.
  3. It is a logical imperative that organisations takes an Outside In approach to customer service, leveraging off the best practice methods used by some of this century’s most successful companies.

 

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