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CX Digest - November 2019

The digital era has revolutionised the way we research and buy products and services. Online purchasing has become the norm, even if the product was originally seen in-store, the chances are a consumer will do some internet research first, particularly when the product or service comes with a hefty price tag.

As a result, consumers are far more reliant on online reviews/ratings than ever before and will turn to them as a point of reference to help make a decision on whether 'to buy or not to buy' as the case may be! Perceived as a safety net, they can give consumers a sense of transparency. It is now quite rare to make a purchase without reading a handful of reviews first - either on the company’s website, social media or on one of the various review sites out there.

Positive online reviews can have a powerful impact on a brand’s identity. They can build trust, credibility and give a business a competitive edge. Better ratings from short surveys can potentially see higher volumes of website traffic and conversions, which is great news if you deliver a fantastic experience but when CX fails, negative reviews can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and be hugely damaging to a brand’s reputation.

88% of consumers trust online reviews and ratings as much as personal recommendations but just how reliable are they? How can you be sure they are valid and up to date? Is the rating a result of a quick survey done at the end of the buying process and how do you know that the few questions asked were meaningful? Can you really be sure that the company you are buying from puts its customers first? Personal reviews are never written from a neutral point of view, and those with an axe to grind will always say negative things in the heat of the moment. Each experience is different, what may be a bad experience for one person may not necessarily be what others have encountered. In addition to this, the consumer watchdog organisation Which? found that many consumers are falling for fake reviews and ratings that are computer generated, and as technology improves they will be much harder to spot. You only need to read the articles we have selected below to realise that this is a growing problem. We should therefore really be reading online reviews and ratings with a certain level of scepticism.

With this level of scepticism in mind, it can be hugely beneficial for organisations to seek independent verification of the service and experience it provides. Providing consumers with a level of trust and guarantee over and above a handful of online reviews or a quick customer survey that generates an insignificant or false rating. 

At IIC, our rigorous assessments take a 360° approach, gathering extensive, in-depth feedback from your customers, your management team and your employees to provide you with a real insight into the CX you provide. If you reach our standard, then you will be awarded a bronze, silver or gold award. Proving to your customers and potential customers that you deliver an exceptional CX. It's a fickle world out there and we realise things change very quickly, which is why we always recommend an annual CX assessment. Therefore your customers can be sure that not only is the award a result of superior CX but that it is valid and completely up to date. 

Take a look at the chart in our 'From the IIC assessment archive' below. You can see how in-depth our assessments are and how short surveys fail to capture any kind of meaningful data.

Congratulations to The Credit Services Association for being awarded Silver for the second consecutive year. Increasing their overall score from the previous year and proof that they are providing their members with an exceptional CX. You can read more about it below.

Enjoy the rest of the read and please feel free to pass this email on to any colleagues or industry folk that may be interested in making improvements to their CX. We would be delighted to help.

Tony Barritt, Managing Director

CX is a hot topic in business at the moment. The world is changing rapidly, customers expectations are continually rising and Managers are struggling to meet customers needs. 

To mark customer experience week, our MD, Tony Barritt co-hosted a webinar with The Credit Services Association. 

Click to hear Tony speak about why CX should be the focus of every board. 

Ratings generated from short customer surveys fail to capture any deep and meaningful insight into the CX your company provides. The data generated is only valuable if your customers are able to answer quality questions. 

The IIC model assesses customer delight across 16 themes. The chart below shows the average customer score from more than 300 IIC assessments (surveying more than a million customers form a variety of businesses), comparing it with the scores for each theme. It clearly highlights where organisations over and under-perform.

This level of data and insight into customers could easily be missed if just the overall score is analysed.

You can read more about our assessments here:

https://www.investorincustomers.com/page/cx-assessments/

Outstanding achievement for The Credit Services Association. For the second consecutive year, they have been awarded Silver for the CX they provide. Leading the way in putting their members first. 

“It is encouraging to see that Members view it as a pleasure to deal with the Association, that our communication is clear, and we are in tune with their needs. I congratulate the head office team for their ongoing commitment to the Members, it is down to their efforts that we are seen as an Association that behaves with fairness, integrity and honesty, and one that represents the industry at the highest levels, with ‘passion and focus’.” Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive

You can read more about it here

We're always on the look out for fresh thinking and new ideas in CX. Here's our hand-picked selection of the best articles we have come across recently.

This is Why You Should Not Trust Online Reviews
Forbes
If you see a product with nothing but five-star reviews it's a major red flag that something is off.

Thousands of fake reviews found on popular tech categories on Amazon
Which?
Shopping around online – especially for certain brands and types of products, needs more than just a reassuring glance at an overall customer score.

Third of UK Online Shoppers Unhappy with Service, Survey Reveals
CXM
In the digital age, consumers are quicker to take to social media or online review sites to share their anger or dissatisfaction, but even those who don’t vent wish they had.

Why You Can't Really Trust Negative Online Reviews
The New York Times
Reviews are subjective, and the tiny subset of people who leave them aren’t average.

We're benchmarking customer experience perception. See how you think you're doing versus everybody else. Here's how it works:

1. Follow this link to our CX perception survey. Or scan the QR code with your smartphone.

2. Fill out the short questionnaire (your perception of your organisation).

3. Receive your perception benchmark (based on everyone who has filled out the questionnaire). We will update you as more data becomes available, so you can see how you're doing against an ever-growing data-set.