CX Remains The #1 Strategic Priority For The C-Suite
It’s no secret that most industry analysts have been talking about customer experience (CX) as the most important executive strategy for all organisations for a few years now. I believe that the Canadian analyst Peter Ryan was one of the first to announce this when he published a research paper for Ovum, but it soon became conventional executive wisdom. A successful business must focus on CX and it should probably be your number one strategic focus.
But has this changed over time? CX continues to get more complicated. I don’t think that the CX environment we managed just five years ago can even be compared to the environment today – we were probably handling customers who used 3G phone connections back then, so the situation now is very different.
I read a report from Raconteur recently that analyses several case studies and other research and aims to see if CX really remains the top priority. To start with there is detailed research from Deloitte that indicates the companies that differentiate how customers see them by focusing on CX can expect to see an 18% growth in revenue. That’s an enormous boost just from a single strategy, but it demonstrates the power of putting the customer at the heart of your strategy and business model and not just considering that customer service is a post-sales function.
Research by the Association of Professional Sales suggests that 53% of the customer’s impulse to buy is created by the quality of their experience – this can be an online experience or in-store, but once again this underlines how important the experience itself is. The factor that moves a customer from thinking about a purchase to making a purchase is most often the experience they are having at that time.
CX expert Martin Hill-Wilson suggests in the Raconteur report that one of the biggest failings companies make is not capturing data on customer behaviour and not connecting sales behaviour with marketing. In my view, brands need to have a single way to track their customer behaviour across sales, marketing, and customer service, because only then can they see all aspects of what the customer is doing.
The innovative vacuum cleaner brand Dyson has found that they are achieving greater sales by creating their own retail spaces rather then relying on traditional retailers to carry their products. In their stores they can design the space entirely as an experience, rather than just a retail store focused on sales. When the customer tries out a product inside an experimental setting, they have fun and they purchase far more often than if the product was just sitting on a shelf in a department store.
It remains clear to me that the analyst advice is still valid. Every industry and business model will differ, but whether your focus is on maximising sales or retaining customers paying a monthly subscription, there is no better strategy than focusing on the experience they have with your brand.
Let me know what you think about the Raconteur report by leaving a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.