Brand loyalty was once the vessel that couldn’t be sunk, as consumers tended to stay with a familiar brand rather than venturing into unknown waters.
But that ship has sailed, and 47% of consumers today report that if they continuously encounter a poor CX, they’ll spend money with a competitor, despite having been a faithful customer for years.
In a new study, “The Customer in Context,” released by the CMO Council and SAP Hybris, almost half of the respondents indicate “when there is a problem, they pick up the phone and want immediate human attention. This immediacy of response, regardless of channel, tops the list of attributes that marketers believe are most important to delivering an exceptional customer experience.”
The customer experience: Righting the sails
“It’s time to change our assumptions about what customers expect, or what they’re willing to put up with and adjust accordingly,” noted Carsten Thoma, president of SAP Hybris. According to the landmark study, the top attributes of the customer experience are as follows:
Fast response times to issues, needs or complaints (75%)
Consistency of experience across channels (56%)
Knowledgeable staff ready to assist whenever and wherever the customer needs (52%)
A person to speak with, regardless of time or location (36%)
Relevant communications, promotions, recommendations and products (36%)
If you aren’t adapting digitally to hone the customer experience, you aren’t paying attention. In his post on bringing your customer service into the digital era, Mark de Bruijn pointed out, “In times when the customer experience lies increasingly at the forefront, customer care is an essential part of service that should not be underestimated. Those who use people business, data, and technology appropriately will leave the competition far behind.”
Smooth sailing: Navigating the customer journey
A sales transaction no longer signals the end of the customer experience. Today follow-up care and post-sale support are a crucial part of the overall customer journey that is expected by consumers.
Siloed information often means an inability to see a complete profile of the customer, while inhibiting communication between crucial organizational divisions like sales and customer service.
Now real-time demands of customers can be met using “data, machine learning, and predictive forecasting,” according to Lisa James, senior solution marketing specialist at SAP Hybris. “Service entities can meet the smarter, more sophisticated customer wherever and whenever she asks for help and before she knows there’s a problem.”
When businesses consider each touchpoint of the customer journey and learn from that data, a seamless omnichannel experience that rewards the bottom line is created.
Ready to deliver a seamless customer experience? Download The Digital Commerce Imperative by Forrester for free here.