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How customer experience has changed in the past ten years

In the fast paced, ever changing world we live in, it is no surprise that customer experience has changed phenomenally over the past ten years.

A decade ago, customers still made most purchase decisions based on news, adverts and direct mail that dropped through their letterbox. Customers seemed more loyal to brands because the hassle and time it took to switch was harder and more time consuming.

The power of the internet and the huge technological changes we have seen over the past 10 years has completely revolutionised consumerism. It has changed the way customers research, think and transact. The customer is armed with the power of knowledge at their fingertips 24/7 and is now in the driving seat. If businesses don’t meet their customers’ needs, there is always a company that will - just one click away.

Multi channel customer service

Customers can now research and transact using a variety of different channels; phone, mobile, online, social media, live chat and in store. What’s more their expectations are incredibly high and they expect a consistent level of service across all these channels and touchpoints.

The power of social media has been a huge opportunity for brands to promote their products and services to highly targeted niche groups. However customers can also share their experiences they have had with organisations through social media - both positive and negative. And these messages can reach far and wide.

A differentiated customer experience

With so many companies competing for space online and product/price often being perceived as similar, it can be hard to achieve the cut through needed. This is where great customer experience can really differentiate a brand.  Customers have started placing their experience above other factors such as brand reputation and price. Proving that businesses must invest more resource into improving their customer experience.

Good customer service is no longer enough. Customers want an emotional connection with companies and if they don’t receive an experience that meets their expectation, they are likely to switch brands. Customers want to feel valued and looked after throughout the customer journey.

The good news for organisations is that vast amounts of data is generated daily through customers’ browsing history across multiple channels which allows for customer personalisation. Businesses can now be proactive in their customer experience. They can get to their customers before they reach out to them, offering similar products and services based on purchase history or a phone call following a visit to their website.

Understanding customer lifetime value

In a world full of artificial intelligence, the digital experience is vital but so too is the need to develop and foster long-term relationships with customers. Businesses must engender loyalty to ensure that not only do customers make repeat purchases time and time again, they become advocates of the brand. Balancing the advantages of digital with the effectiveness of a personal service is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today.

Organisations must get to know their customers and find out what it is they need and want. They must continually evolve and adapt accordingly to meet increasing customer expectations. Those who are flexible and respond to these constant shifts will have a competitive advantage over those businesses that don’t.

How we can help

IIC has been helping companies with their customer experience for the past 12 years. We carry out 360° assessments and get feedback from customers, employees and management teams which provide us with valuable in-depth analysis and insight. This insight can drive a business forward by increasing profitability and can help to develop more effective and loyal relationships internally and externally.

Over the past 10 years, we have found that our delighting customers principle has increased year on year by 1.2% and repeat purchase has gone up by 1.1% each year proving that companies who give customers what they want will retain them.

Employee satisfaction and engagement has increased by 1% per year over the past 10 years. Companies must work hard to empower their employees and give them the right tools to create a powerful customer experience. In fact, 77% of our clients have used their findings to build employee engagement. Great customer experience starts from within the organisation and research shows a direct correlation between motivated employees and happy customers.

If you want to gain some deeper insight and see how we can help your business, contact IIC today.