Today’s businesses won’t survive if they make their decisions solely based on product quality or pricing models. For years, brands differentiated based on concrete metrics like these, but today, customer experience surpasses both pricing and product as the key brand differentiator.
The truth is, your organization must invest in customer experience or risk falling behind. Customers are now at the center of everything. They expect you to know them, value them, and help them. And they choose exactly when, and exactly how they want to engage with your organization.
The Business Value of Investing in Customer Experience
The stakes have never been higher to invest in differentiated customer experiences. Exceptional customer experiences drive customer loyalty, improve brand perception, increase revenue, and boost employee engagement.
The 2019 Customer Experience ROI Study by Watermark Consulting
demonstrates further exactly how much business value organizations can derive from strong customer experiences. In the study, Watermark Consulting compared the performance of companies according to their Forrester grade for CX, incorporating over a decade’s worth of returns and comparing the CX leaders and laggards to the S&P 500.
The results? The laggards were a staggering 120 points below the leaders, while those that put a clear emphasis on customer experiences were outperforming the market by 45%.
It’s clear that if you want to differentiate yourself from your competition and thrive in today’s economy, you must focus on CX.
The bar is constantly being set and reset by the leaders in customer experience, because they know consumers are comparing every experience to their last best experience. “Seamless”, “personalized”, and “omnichannel” aren’t just buzzwords anymore, they’re table stakes when it comes to customer experience.
If you want to learn more about what great experiences entail and why they matter, download The Big Book of Customer Experience.
Interested in learning more about why CX matters and how organizations can move from one level of CX maturity to the next?
So, What Separates the CX Leaders from the CX Laggards?
A lot can be said about the difference between CX leaders and laggards. However, three factors stand out above the rest when analyzing those with embedded CX models against those with limited or ad hoc CX:
1. CX leaders are in constant pursuit of experience differentiation
CX leaders are never content, and never stagnant. They don’t just deploy technologies, solutions, or processes and assume their current strategy will keep working to keep them in the leader’s circle. Instead, CX leaders are always exploring how to improve the experience they are delivering. But not just incremental improvements. Leaders are looking to use CX as a differentiator in the market. Which means they are not just doing things better, they are doing thing differently. Competitive CX is built on the continuous iteration and improvement of experiences.
2. CX leaders have a deep understanding of their customers
Of course, constant improvement of CX relies on a deep understanding of your customers. CX leaders are obsessed with fine tuning their experiences based on feedback that comes directly from their customers. They monitor web analytics, conduct surveys and interviews, develop Voice of Customer
programs, and consistently measure and monitor whether they are meeting, exceeding, or falling short of their customer expectations.
CX leaders know that delivering exceptional customer experiences means meeting both their customers’ functional needs (what they need to accomplish) and their emotional needs (how the experience makes them feel). Laggards will often focus on meeting their customers’ functional needs and miss the mark when it comes to generating an experience that makes their customers feel something.
3. CX leaders consistently analyze and apply analogous models
Although there are many factors that separate CX leaders from laggards, the third we’ll identify here is the CX leader’s ability to use analogous models. In other words, CX leaders will often look at other industries that are seemingly very different from their own to determine what they can learn about the experiences those companies are delivering to their customers.
Why is it so important for companies to use analogous models? Because customers do. Customers don’t isolate their experiences by industry. They don’t separate their car buying experience, from their healthcare experience. Instead, they look at their experiences very broadly. In the experience economy, you aren’t just competing with your direct or indirect competitors, your competition is the last best experience your customer had with any company, regardless of the industry you’re in or the products you sell. That’s why it’s so important to use analogous models – and why the best in CX are already doing it today.
Customer experience matters more than ever before, but you don’t have to climb to a CX leadership position on your own. Avtex’s holistic approach can help you design and implement a customer experience transformation that will take your business to new heights. And if you’re not sure where to start, our CX consulting team is ready to help you understand your current state, identify your North Star experience, and map a future state that gets you there.