In 2024, consumers are in charge – but let’s be honest, they have been for quite some time. As the internet and the “Internet of Things” becomes more advanced, consumers are more empowered to access information quickly and easily, and this is just the beginning. Each year with innovations and discoveries made in machine learning, nanotechnology, and even physics, we’re taking technological leaps that were considered to be science-fiction just a decade ago.
What does that mean for business? It means the tech-savvy, informed customers of today want to do things their way, at their convenience, on their terms – and as a brand you’ll cater to their expectations because if you don’t, your competitors will. Unfortunately for some, this is a reality – a significant majority of customers are prioritizing experience ahead of everything else when it comes to choosing between brands. As a result, closing the customer experience (CX) gap becomes more critical than ever.
Customer Experience Is As Important Today As Ever
Studies continually show how delivering top-notch, consistent commerce and marketing experiences at all touchpoints, while simultaneously putting the needs (and expectations) of customers first can dramatically impact the bottom line.
Did you know that…
86% of professionals leading or engaged in customer experience (CX) expect to compete based on CX (Gartner)
3x greater return CX leaders outperform CX laggards when it comes to stock performance. (Watermark Consulting)
$35.3 billion is lost every year by organizations in the United States alone in customer churn as a result of avoidable CX issues, like fair treatment. (CallMiner)
83% of executives believe that unimproved CX presents them with considerable market and revenue share risks. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)
$98 billion every year is left on the table by organizations who fail to offer “simple” experiences to their consumers. (Siegel+Gale)
74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to make a purchase based on experiences alone. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)
Consumers are ready to pay a 16% price premium for great customer experience. (PwC)
Experience-driven businesses see over 1.5x higher YoY growth than others in repeat purchase rates, customer retention, and customer lifetime value. (Forrester and Adobe)
Bob Dylan said it best:
If your time to you
Is worth savin’?
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone.
For the times they are a-changin’
If you as an organization seem too rigid, out of sync, or slower than this consumer change, you’ll sink like a stone – a four-pound Yellow Page directory shaped stone.
How Successful Salesforce Customers Are Closing The Experience Gap?
In recent years, successful Salesforce customers have been able to redefine the concepts of purpose, execution, and customer using out-of-the-box CRM solutions native to Salesforce.
By making “experience innovation” an everyday ritual: There is no denying the fact that innovation is all about "idea" followed by "power-packed action". It's about creating a unique and prevailing culture of constant revolution -- an environment that fosters a mindset of “there are no stupid ideas” and “wouldn’t it be cool if…” followed by “ok – so what would it take?”! Making this type of mentality the norm and practicing this daily is first in differentiating between the forward-thinking company and those set in their ways.
Obsessing about customer needs: Many organizations still like to believe that they are in control – that brand and loyalty mean everything. Marketing has never changed, their buying process has never evolved and their customer base continues to plateau for the time being. Features are boasted as opposed to benefits and selling is just that, a sale as opposed to a solution to a problem that real people are facing. This isn’t to say that all companies unwilling to meet their customers technologically will fail – but the focus here is building your brand around your customer. The local hardware store that’s been owned and operated by the Whelton family since 1907 may not have live chat on their website, but they likely know your name, your family and your needs. I remember living out west and a roommate asked the gentleman that ran the small local market if they had Duke’s Mayonnaise. The answer was no – that this was a Hellman’s store, but that very next week there were just a few jars of Duke’s Mayo next to that coveted Hellman’s. That small gesture will never be forgotten and we gladly spent a few dollars more to shop that small business as opposed to the local King Soopers.
Finding that “Tech meets Human” Sweet Spot: Advances in technology have completely changed the way we connect with loved ones, friends, brands and information itself. You can find a wealth of information from all over the world in just a few keystrokes. It’s easier than ever to compare models, read reviews, and extensively research products and services before making a purchase. But it also provides a soapbox and megaphone to anyone with access to a smartphone, and most voicing their opinions aren’t being fact-checked.
For times they are a-changin’ – long gone are the days where a customer gave an organization the opportunity to make things right before sharing an experience with the world.
For times they are a-changin’ – one encounter with a company or representative of a company is no longer a small portion of a customer’s experience with the brand. In a world of absolutes, you are either right or wrong.
For times they are a-changin’ – we, as a society, have become accustomed to instant (or nearly instant) gratification by way of live chat, instant downloads and same-day delivery. We know what we want and we want it now. If you’re unable to provide that, there’s quite literally a world of others that are.
Obviously, there is gray in the world. Our interactions with commerce and brands have not been boiled down to just these 3 definitive statements. But at the end of the day, you must strive to provide your customer the very best experience possible because no one is above the internet microscope.
The relationships that we form while interacting with a brand is, in my opinion, still the best way to close the customer experience gap. The best part – this is one of the very few things that we can control. The ability to make people feel welcome is more powerful than any “intuitive” abandoned cart email. Remembering the conversations that you have with a customer is far more impactful than a banner-ad slapped in the middle of a computer screen no matter how relevant. A short and simple reply to a company or product review is better than an automated phone system that is available 24/7. Remembering that you’re selling to people is still the most important thing to consider when looking to build a successful brand. Tools like Salesforce, Marketing Cloud, and Field Service Lighting, just to name a few, are tools to help employees present their best selves to your customer and ultimately provide an unforgettable experience with your brand. From recalling logged interactions to inter-department visibility, these tools make it easier to give the customer that white-glove service quickly -- making all the difference.
Discover how the Cloud Journey Consulting Group (a reputable provider of personalized solutions for Salesforce and Certinia implementations, improvements, and support) is assisting organizations of all sizes to close the experience gap. Call us at (972) 914 7077 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your next big, smart move!