There’s a simple reason that all the big brands invest and conduct research and development into customer experience…..increased sales!
The feel-good factor of receiving great feedback after a great business interaction is the cherry on top of the cake, the warm and fuzzy feeling that you’re doing a good job – but it’s the sales that keep us in business – and that’s essential – it’s not just to ‘be nice’.
A continuous pulse check of what consumers are liking, not liking and most importantly what encourages them to be loyal and continuous customers is as essential to any business as being able to receive a payment – effectively managing your customer experience will ensure your business will increase those sales and, of course, more payments coming in.
In the world of small business (we’re not all in the realms of Microsoft and Google…..yet!) we may not have the funds / department / time or even knowledge to be able to conduct this type of research across our whole industry sector – but luckily for us the research findings of others are readily shared…..and we’d be blinkered if we didn’t pay attention.
Ultimately managing the delivery and effectively measuring and learning from the experience YOUR company offers to YOUR customers is what will ensure continued custom, increased sales, vocal advocates and will define the differentiating factor your business has over the competition, not to mention guiding you on what promotions have a positive financial effect – and those that don’t!
There are a variety of approaches that can be used at very low cost yet are extremely informative about what your customers REALLY think!
For sole traders and small business owners, you may need to offer anonymity or outsource through a neutral channel to get the honest feedback – as customers will like you but are reluctant to share the things they didn’t like at risk of causing offence!
I’m proud to know a number of small businesses in my local area who have delivered such a good experience to their customers that they don’t have a website (really!) Don’t advertise and almost never post or promote through social media (who’d of thought!) Yet, through their exceptional customer experience management, they have successful businesses and are receiving new customer enquiries purely through the vocal power of their existing customer base, each one continually bringing in new customers.
The fact in the feeling……..
- 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people(Esteban Kolsky)
- By 2017 89% of businesses will compete mainly on customer experience(Gartner)
- 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience (Super Office – Nov 2016)
- Reducing customer defection rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25-125% (SmallBusiness.co.uk)
- On average loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- Probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% (Marketing Metrics)
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer FEELS they are being treated (McKinsey)
- 80% of companies say they deliver ‘superior’ customer service. 8% of people think these same companies deliver ‘superior’ customer service (Lee Resources)
Calculating the Cost:
In any business, knowing the average cost of a customer can help you determine the value in strategies and marketing. Many small businesses miss the opportunity to calculate the cost of the experience to an individual customer – and importantly the ongoing value that customer can bring to you through word of mouth recommendations and increased business.
Small businesses that depend upon testimonials and recommendations have a greater need to really understand their customers thoughts and feelings and effectively manage their experience to ensure every customer is a vocal advocate of their product or service…….it’s not just about ‘being nice’.
Not sure where to start? Find out more about ClarityCX Customer Experience Audits here
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