Why Is a Positive Customer Experience Important?
The above stats from our latest GCER reveal something crucial.
It’s clear that if you give your customers a bad experience, they’ll definitely take steps that can hurt your business — everything from flooding the internet with bad reviews to turning to one of your competitors. In fact, 75% of people say they are very or somewhat likely to stop buying from a company as a result of repeatedly experiencing communications issues.
But make the customer experience a genuine, consistent pleasure, and they’re even more likely to turn those negative actions on their head, doing things like singing your praises to friends and family and coming back for more.
And who doesn’t want that?
What Are the After-Effects of a Positive Customer Experience?
Let’s look more closely at what the GCER says about the types of actions 95% of customers will take when you deliver a great CX — and, not surprisingly, all are good news for your bottom line.
According to the report:
58% will tell their friends and family about how well you came through in meeting their expectations or resolving their issues.
57% will take the time to fill out a survey, providing valuable data that you can use to understand what customers are thinking, identify buying patterns, set priorities, and more.
53% will become more loyal to your business … AND
36% will buy additional products during a transaction — both of those stats mean more, and more consistent, revenue down the road.
34% will post to social media or submit online reviews, places where many of your customers likely live every day.
27% will contact a business to provide compliments — a morale-booster if there ever was one, and a great opportunity to gather even more feedback.
24% become willing to pay a little more, something to consider as you examine pricing and budgets.
On the Other Hand …
Let’s look at what people say they’ll do when faced with a bad customer experience — frustrations like long wait times on the phone or having to contact multiple people and repeat their story multiple times.
According to the report:
56% will complain directly to the company — and if they feel like they aren’t being heard or their complaints are being blown off, that can magnify the negative impact.
46% will switch to another company. (Even worse: Remember those 75% of people who will abandon a business due to bad CX? Well, for nearly half of those people, it will only take one or two bad experiences to drive them away.)
46% will tell family and friends, and we all know how persuasive input from people we know and trust can be.
40% will give negative feedback on a survey. (Of course, even bad feedback on a survey can provide valuable data to help you rethink processes, improve training, etc.)
24% will post to social media or online reviews, which can often have a major, snowballing impact.
18% will go so far as to report the business to a consumer protection agency. Getting government oversight agencies involved can cost companies time and hassle and lead to bad publicity.
17% will lose their temper and/or yell at your employees. Retaining customers who reach this level of frustration — let alone turning them into loyal buyers — can be a massive challenge. And it’s not fun for your employees either.
11% will simply refuse to pay — a huge hit, especially if the efforts to collect will cost more than the unpaid bill itself.
How to Deliver a Positive Customer Experience
How do you consistently fulfill the goal of giving your customers a great experience? One way would be to look at the major frustrations that drive them crazy — and then not do that. In a world where customers rate businesses based on CX first, the answer is to provide a true omnichannel experience enhanced by AI.
Topping the list of frustrations are those mentioned earlier, like sitting on hold forever to speak to an agent, or having to call multiple times to get an issue resolved, or being forced to repeat details again and again and again. What else did the GCER find that will push customers’ buttons? When the right agent or expert isn’t available to solve their problem; when customer service isn’t there for them 24/7; when phone menus are confusing or take too long to navigate; and other pet peeves.
For example, a cloud-based, CRM-integrated contact center like Vonage’s gives you the ability to route calls to the right person, with the customer’s information always at their fingertips, to help deliver first-call resolution. Omnichannel capabilities allow you to connect with customers through their preferred devices and apps. Video and screen-sharing can supercharge customer engagement. And that just scratches the surface.
With UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), you can get the full range of customer-facing capabilities — voice, video, SMS, social, fax, and more — in one cloud-based platform. Of course, it starts with a reliable, high-quality phone service — at 37%, still the most preferred method for customers to contact a business on a daily basis. Email and texting also remain strong. Even emerging technologies like video chat and placing calls from social apps are growing in popularity.
And artificial intelligence takes everything to the next level. AI-powered self-service options can give customers quick answers to common questions, freeing up your staff to focus on more-complex matters. Virtual assistants make customer conversations more efficient and insightful.
So Why Do Customer Experience Frustrations Still Linger?
Good question. This is the 11th year of our Global Customer Engagement Report, and the findings have consistently shown that people want better conversations with businesses — more personal, more proactive, more efficient, more satisfactory.
As shown above, the communications tools exist to successfully engage customers. But a number of barriers persist in adopting these tools, such as limited budgets, the perceived costs of implementation, legacy premises-based technology, and the lack of in-house expertise.
But customer frustrations won’t go away on their own. In the end, it’s a matter of appreciating the damage that can be caused by a bad CX — especially when compared to the value of delivering a good CX — and then finding the right provider.
How to Embrace the Best of Times — and Avoid the Worst of Times
Are you ready to ensure that your customers are part of that magical 95% who will talk you up (and not the nasty 94% who will run you down)? Check out how Vonage solutions can help you deliver a customer experience that makes them excited to spend time and money on you. And read our Global Customer Engagement Report 2022 for more insights into customer frustrations and behaviors.