How Customer Experience (CX) affects purchasing decisions
In a world still feeling its way through the changes caused by the pandemic, it’s now even more crucial to establish how Customer Experience (CX) influences buying decisions. The forward-looking aim should always be to improve CX with an eye on building greater brand loyalty.
Great CX helps you build a solid reputation
Brands that deliver consistently good CX build greater customer loyalty and steadily increase their customer numbers. Having a good reputation allows brands to charge more for their goods and services – thus boosting their profitability. It has been calculated that outstanding customer service can increase a company’s income by as much as 10 to 15%.
How CX influences customers’ purchasing decisions
Most consumers say that a good customer experience will be likely to influence their decision to buy positively. They also say that negative CX will more often than not make them decide not to buy, or to go elsewhere. Even more significantly, 73% of consumers said that just one negative customer experience was enough for them to ditch a brand, and go to a competitor.
Stats that prove the importance of CX
Most customers want, and indeed nowadays expect, a positive and personalised customer experience, and are not likely to tolerate anything else for long.
- 73% of customers state that their customer experience is a deciding factor in their decision to buy.
- Only 6% of consumers believe that a positive customer experience will have no effect on their decision to buy.
- A solid 66% of customers state that they expect companies to understand and cater to their needs. These are some of the needs that customers consider important:
- A good price
- Different options
- 42% of customers say they will pay more when they have experienced welcoming and friendly CX (13 to 18% more!)
- 72% of customers say they are likely to share their positive CX with 6 or more other people.
- Even more (77%) say that they will recommend that company or brand to a friend.
- 92% of customers say they trust positive reviews from family, friends, and other consumers more than advertising!
- 89% of customers switched to a different brand after a negative customer experience.
And here are three final eye-watering stats! It’s been calculated that US companies sacrifice as much as $75 billion per year to poor CX. In 2018, it was already estimated that this figure stood at £37 billion in the UK, whilst exceeding €13 billion in 2019 in Europe.
Do all the different generations expect the same CX?
How does a business deliver consistent CX to satisfy all their customers, regardless of their age bracket? Is it just a matter of ensuring that all your agents are well-trained, suited to the job and empowered to deliver proactive, friendly, and efficient service?
Well, yes and no. Research indicates 71% of Gen X is likely to base their purchasing decisions on CX levels. Millennials run them a fairly close second at 63%.
But there are generational differences and commonalities that need to be considered in delivering positive CX. The most important factor, which is common to all the generations, is good value for money, but there are differences in preferred modes of interaction.
The so-called Silent Generation (1928 – 1945) prefers to interact with a company by talking to a real person telephonically or face-to-face. The Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) and Gen X (1965 – 1980) are happy to communicate telephonically, face-to-face, or by email. However, they do value having rapid access to human staff for support.
The Millennials (1981 – 1996) would rather text or chat than phone or use email. Gen Z (1997 – 2012) prefers to interact with brands on social media, by email, face-to-face, via ads, live chat, or blogs. Millennials and Gen Z regard 24/7 service, access to FAQs, self-service portals and chatbots as priorities in CX.
No matter how a customer interacts with your brand, consistency is key. Whether a customer interacts via your website, through live chat, through a messaging board, by phone or in person, they must consistently experience the same outstanding level of customer support and service.
How to ensure you deliver great CX
- Make sure you have a clear customer-focused vision. Put the customer first in every strategy, process, and system you design.
- Know who your customers are. To meet customer wants and needs, your business has to be able to connect and empathise with them. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by creating customer profiles or ‘personas’.
- Personalise your customers’ experience. Customised emails, special offers and deals based on their buying history are generally well received by most modern shoppers.
- Establish emotional connections with your customers. The best CX happens when a member of your customer support team really connects with a customer as a fellow human being who is valued and cared about.
- Capture real-time customer feedback through tools like live chat.
- Optimise your customer’s journey. Identify and smooth out potential pain points. Make the whole interaction as easy, interesting, and pleasant as possible.
- Be transparent in all your dealings with your customers. Customers value honesty, so ensure they have easy access to information.
Remember, customer expectations have never been higher than they are now! If you’re concerned that you’re not living up to those expectations, we can help.