Coffee with Kampas – Episode 20: What is Customer Experience?

 

This week on #CoffeeWithKampas, EMPIST’s Founder & CEO John Kampas will be discussing the value of customer experience and what you can do to improve it for your business. A well-executed customer experience strategy will maximize your customer lifetime value and improve customer satisfaction, so having a good grasp of it is essential.

 

 

Hi, this is John Kampas, Founder and CEO of EMPIST. According to a report from Gartner, 81% of companies expect to compete on the basis of customer experience; especially in services industries.

That’s why on today’s Coffee with Kampas, I want to talk to you about the importance of customer experience and what you can do to improve it for your business.  A well-executed customer experience strategy will maximize customer lifetime value and improve customer satisfaction, so it’s very important for your business.

If you think your business already provides a great customer experience, consider this: Research by Bain & Company shows that while 80% of companies believe they are already providing a great experience, only 8% of their customers agree.  When there is more than one organization competing for a company’s business, customer experience (or CX) will ultimately be what differentiates you.

So how does a good CX really translate to the business world?  Here at EMPIST, we provide B2B services.  Although our relationships and contracts are technically with other businesses, we can’t ignore that fact that those businesses are run by people. Those people are consumers of products and services outside of the company they work for. As a result, they expect the same level of service from us as they would get from companies they use outside of work; like Amazon or Apple.

Customers typically expect every interaction to meet or exceed the last best experience they had.  Think of a time when you were truly wowed by the service you received.  What made that experience great?   Was it personalized?  Was it fast?   Your last best experience has likely become the baseline of what you come to expect from all businesses. I know it has for me.

CX is only as good as its weakest link, though, so it needs to be great at every customer touchpoint.  For example: if a business’s ordering is simple and fast but its returns are difficult, the overall CX is tarnished.

What qualifies as good CX changes over time, too. Consider this: 10 years ago, waiting 10 minutes for a taxi was no problem at all.  In 2020, waiting more than a few minutes for an Uber is unacceptable.

So why is a good CX so important? Where a bad CX can lead to high customer and employee churn, a great CX can generate improved customer retention, better customer lifetime value, an increase in word of mouth referrals, and a lot more.

All that said, it can be hard to know if your business has a bad CX from the inside. If your business has employees who don’t understand customer needs, long wait times, unresolved customer issues, or an overall lack of personalization or human touch, there’s a good chance your CX could be improved.

Lastly, make sure it’s easy for your customers to leave honest feedback of their experience with you. If you don’t have a customer feedback system in place, I strongly recommend you get one.  And once it is in place, make sure you are using it regularly. There’s no better way to gauge your CX than by asking your customers directly.

Remember: your customers could be one bad experience away from leaving you for one of your competitors.  Incremental changes will add up to something great, so don’t try to change everything all at once.  If you mismanage the changes, your CX may end up in a worse spot than where it started.


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