Interesting white paper from RightNow, “2011 Customer Experience Impact Report: Getting to the Heart of the Customer and Brand Relationship.”
I thought this white paper provided a number of interesting findings based on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
What makes a memorable experience that causes a customer to stay with a brand?
- Friendly employees or customer service representatives (CSRs) = 73%
- To easily find the information or help they need = 55%
- Personalized experiences = 36%
- Brands with a good reputation = 33%
Eighty-six percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.
When expectations are not met, people change brands.
- 89% of customers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
- 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.
Seventy-nine percent of consumers who shared their complaints about poor customer service online had their complaints ignored.
- Of the 21% that did get responses to complaints, more than half had positive reactions to the same company about which they were previously complaining.
By acknowledging complaints, companies can win back frustrated customers. When an organization responded to a customer’s negative comment:
- 46% of consumers were pleased.
- 22% posted a positive comment about the organization.
When respondents were asked how companies can better engage with consumers to spend more, they said:
- Improve the overall customer experience = 54%
- Make it easy to ask questions and access information before making a purchase = 52%
- Improve search functionality and website usability = 36%
The resulting six steps for improving customer experiences are straightforward:
- Respond to customer complaints. 58% of consumers said their expectations were not met because a company was unavailable or did not respond.
- Respond quickly. 56% said companies are slow to resolve issues.
- Have engaged employees. 57% said companies are clueless and sometimes it feels like the consumer knows more about the company than the CSR.
- Be friendly. 51% said companies are impersonal and sometimes can’t even get their name right.
- Know your customer’s interaction history. 34% said companies are forgetful and they don’t remember customers even if they had recently talked to a CSR. This requires a good CRM system that everyone is committed to using and keeping up to date.
- Get social. 16% of respondents said companies are anti-social; they are nowhere to be found on social networking sites.
What can your organization do to improve its customers’ experiences?