Consciously considering the entire ecosystem to ensure prospective clients are getting a whole lot more than what they anticipated to make them become actual customers. That’s the latest mantra but this is added on top the logic that it is always better to grow the business by having more opportunities from existing customers.

The customer acquisition vs retention jigsaw is complicated; the general notion is that any organization is going to have 80% of their revenue from 20% of their existing customers. So obviously, organizations focus to grow their business with the existing customers but the risk that someone somewhere would come up with a product, solution or service that will out-date you overnight and the existing customers will be lost by the next night. To keep you on the toes, you should have the new customers added to the kitty while keeping the old ones. And that’s where the Customer experience plays a key role.

Customer experience is not an instantaneous concept but it’s the whole customer journey that matters.  Focus should be on the customer touch-points (Touch-point is a jargon for any point where customers and business interacts to exchange information, deliver service, or make a transaction.)

What organizations need to understand is that the touchpoint should always be looked from the customer’s perspective.

The first interaction – the first touchpoint.  Assume entering an Apple store

  • Ever waited for minutes to get the information you need? – that would be a rare scenario as apple focuses on having more than required employees in store and well trained.
  • You would always have demo phones available for you to use and experience what you are going to have in future.
  • You would always have a consistently cleaned store, never cluttered and not full of stuff that you would not be interested in and top it up with the cheerful lighting; across the globe.
  • And almost negligible checkout time post your purchase.

And this experience that a customer gets is what converts a customer.  For that matter in the digital world, Apple’s website gives you the same experience – it’s simple, effective, user friendly and has only what is required.

So be it a retail store or the online shopping, the customer experience plays a critical role in converting the prospective buyer in to a customer.

The continuing journey

For any customer; service matters. And all great product organizations thrive on this touch point. Provide a great service and ensure that once a customer to your business remains with you always.

As per study from NewVoiceMedia, only in US, companies have lost more than $62 billion due to poor customer service in 2016.  The survey also suggests that after a negative experience, almost 91% would take one or more actions. 51% will never use the company again, 38% would change the supplier, 42% would post negative comment online through various social media platforms and 5% would inform the media.

While these numbers do suggest the impact of customer experience but the core reason is the high benchmark set by the best companies which has made the customer expectations higher. And all the companies are trying their best to reach there.

The new age customer service has moved from a typical call center or a support guy giving steps to resolve. Now the time is to have Mobile support, Live Chat/chat bots, self-service, social support. Valuing customer voice as part of this journey is the key. An organization must look for how many active initiatives come from customer feedback against the one identified internally.

And in the digital world – word of mouse spreads faster than word of mouth. Single bad experience / one complaint on any social media platform and the business has an impact. And bigger the brand, higher the risk of any social media backlash. The new age customer is engrossed on social networks and wants to promote themselves on social media so one missed service and the feedback is not on paper somewhere in the company’s complaint register but is visible to millions online.  This has a cascading impact that can’t be measured on how much business loss is made as you don’t only lose existing customers but also never realize how many prospective customers were lost due to that feedback.  For any kind of business, referrals are always invaluable and they are priceless in the digital realms because they spread faster online.

As it stands, customer experience impact the customer retention but has a difficult to measure influence on new customer acquisition as well.

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Posted by Rahul Gupta

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