How Can Marketers Learn From Key Customer Experience Trends?
Marketers across the country are using technology to improve the speed and efficiency of their services. Consumers are targeted by digital marketing. They communicate with friends on social media. They stream entertainment. But are consumers requiring something different? With 96% of consumers defining customer experience as very important, marketers should take note and work to improve customer service to win business and customer loyalty.
Almost 100% of purchasers say high customer service levels are very important when choosing a vendor during the decision making process, with 34% stating it is absolutely essential. Despite this, the majority of the time less than 75% of business purchases provide an exceptional customer service experience.
This shows that there is a big opportunity for businesses to use great customer service as a key differentiator. The experience economy and the new rise of the relationship economy are dominating across all sectors. Marketers are increasingly focusing on the unique and aspirational experiences a product or service can provide, rather than material possessions. And this trend is entirely relevant within customer service, too.
Romero Insurance Brokers' Customer Experience Report 2020 suggests consumers are prioritising experience throughout the whole customer journey - from the first touch point right through to post-purchase.
The report also shows the correlation between age and the importance of more personal and personalised customer service. For example, 85% of 18-24-year-olds feel access to good sales people is very important, compared to just 60% of those aged 25 and over. A larger percentage of younger purchasers also feel a personal relationship with a vendor, a personalised buying experience, positivity and enthusiasm of sales staff and empathy are very important.
Businesses can ensure consistent, empathetic service by investing in staff training and ensuring they have an engaged, passionate team. This enthusiasm and care is then naturally passed on to customers.
Marketers should also tune in to the rise of digitalisation. Some 45% of purchasers would be more likely to choose a vendor that had digitalised its customer service offering due to: 24/7 availability, convenience, shorter wait time, proof of contact and more accurate results.
Though digitalisation is increasingly growing in popularity amongst consumers, there is less trust when it comes to automation. In fact, zero percent of consumers are prepared to deal with a 100% automated service, with most consumers preferring a mix between real-person interaction and automation. When it comes to complex queries, 49% of consumers would prefer to deal with a real person. This further demonstrates the need for businesses to employ a strong team who can deliver great service.
So what does this mean for marketers? Customer experience is often deemed the responsibility of a customer service team, yet the whole business must be focussed on customer-first values. Investing in staff training in order to provide consistently high levels of personalised, empathetic service will help to ensure consumers stay loyal to the brand.
Customer experience both starts and ends with recommendation, something marketers should ensure is a key part of their customer acquisition strategy. Romero’s research shows 77% of business professionals say word of mouth is important to them when making a business decision. Consumers are relying on other consumers to share real experiences. Businesses should encourage loyal customers to leave reviews, in order to create a positive online presence that will influence potential new customers.
Ultimately, consumers are looking for great service. They naturally expect to receive a great product, and are now looking for added extras that make their experience with a business stand out.