6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s no secret that successful companies are the ones with satisfied customers. But while many executives claim to understand the importance of customer experience (CX), it often falls by the wayside as resources are channeled into product development. Yet as we wrestle with a global recession, how you interact with your customers is more vital than ever before. Customer experience is, in fact, the single ingredient that will determine the success of your company.
According to Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report, the majority of companies stated that their key focus this year was on customer experience. CX was ranked higher than content marketing, video marketing and even social media. It’s really no surprise, considering that focusing on customer experience can vastly increase a company’s bottom line.
Research by the Temkin Group found that companies with a turnover of $1 billion annually can expect to earn an additional $700 million within three years when they invest in CX. A further report by SmartInsights revealed that businesses offering better customer experience earned between 4 and 8 percent more than their competitors. And a survey by Deloitte found that 88 percent of companies now prioritize customer experience in their contact centers.
Related: How to Improve Your Bottom Line by Embracing Customer Experience
The Use of Technology in Customer Experience
Technology plays a key role in creating a memorable customer experience each time a client interacts with your brand. This can include simple tools such as the use of dedicated landing pages and customized emails, as well as more complex CX technologies such as intelligent live chat and AI-based algorithms that can help companies understand customer preferences.
Netflix, for example, uses AI to mine the data of its subscribers and provide highly personalized experiences to more than 180 million subscribers worldwide.
“We own the Netflix customer experience from the moment they sign up, for the whole time they are with us, across TV, phone and laptop,” stated Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation, in an interview with The Guardian.
The content-streaming platform invests in making customers happy by eliminating friction from the customer journey. In 2016, the company revealed that it used hundreds of A/B tests each year to see how subscribers responded to recommendations. Running these types of experiments allowed Netflix to master the content-delivery algorithm and improve customer retention.
Between 2016 and 2020, Netflix doubled its number of users worldwide. That was possible through attracting new subscribers, but also because the company was obsessed with providing excellent customer experience that encouraged continued subscriptions.
Brands that create a company culture focused on customers help their employees work together to achieve the same goal: making customers happy. Two decades ago, in an interview with CNBS, Jeff Bezos gave the recipe for creating a successful global company, saying, “If there’s one thing Amazon.com is about, it’s an obsessive attention to the customer experience, end-to-end.”
Amazon is known for delivering unmatched customer experience and making its clients happy. The number-one online retailer has been innovating in the industry for more than 20 years using advanced technology to create the ultimate shopping experience from highly tailored recommendations to effective delivery strategies.
Why Brands Should Optimize Their Touchpoints
Customer experience impacts the way they make buying decisions. In fact, even as far back as 2006, a study by McKinsey found that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. This means your company must focus on more than just providing a high-quality product, and consider the customer experience at every touchpoint with your brand.
You don’t necessarily have to invest in additional staff members of expensive algorithm software. CX technology is accessible to brands of all sizes and allows any company to gather and use data to better understand its users. Moreover, the need to focus on customer experience isn’t limited to online retailers or streaming services. All companies can benefit from optimizing their CX.
According to Adam Hasaik, for example, founder of Access Jet Group, one of the easiest ways to improve customer experience is to give clients options and comfort. “There’s nothing restrictive about what we offer to our clients,” he explains on the company’s website. “Therefore we secure their business repeatedly. We give traveling clients maximum convenience and comfort. They can hail a charter flight, choose the jet size, and select among add-ons such as sleeping quarters and cabin hosts.”
Access Jet puts the client in the driver’s seat, which increases customer satisfaction and reduces complaints. The results are increased loyalty and positive reviews. Better yet, satisfied customers become advocates of a brand, as they make recommendations and spread the word about a company’s quality services.
Customer Experience in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a good example of how excellent customer service can help secure business growth. Using affiliate marketing, a company can collaborate with third parties to reach the right audience in a personalized manner, all while providing an excellent customer experience.
An affiliate program allows companies to connect with warm leads that have already been engaged in conversations. That’s because the third-party service has already spent hundreds of hours learning about their audiences and their expectations.
Services like Affiliate Institute show how affiliate marketing broadens the field of who can play and allows more companies to access rich data about their targeted audience. Marketers can then use this information to optimize touchpoints and treat customers well at every interaction.
The principle is similar to that used by Netflix or Amazon, with the difference being that you don’t do the A/B testing yourself. Affiliate marketers test the audience to see what works and what needs to be improved. Then, they apply the right strategies to market your product and consolidate your relationships with prospects and customers.
Related: How to Earn Customers’ Trust
Customer experience is vital to business success, with more than two-thirds of companies competing primarily on this factor. When you nail your company’s CX, you can establish your brand as the go-to provider, even in a tough market with established competitors. It may seem like an additional cost at a time when many companies are trimming their budgets, but investing in customer experience is vital to your long-term success.