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How great customer experience can become a driver of business growth

BY READERS DIGEST

18th Apr 2022 Down to Business

How great customer experience can become a driver of business growth
Customer experience or CX is far from being a new concept in the business world.
And yet it seems there has never been such a big focus on creating a positive customer experience as there is today. In an increasingly competitive landscape, customer experience is the one thing that brands have to get right if they want to remain relevant. It’s the most powerful business differentiator at the moment – bigger even than the quality of the products/services provided, the range of choices, or the price point. 
If a company wants to stand out in the market, it has to ensure a proper experience for its existing and potential clients. That’s why so many businesses use customer experience as a pivotal element in building their marketing strategy. It’s almost as if they’re wearing a badge of honour that propels them to the top league. 
Statistics also show that good customer experience is connected to business growth. A study conducted by Dimension Data reveals that 84% of companies that focused on enhancing customer experience reported a rise in revenue, and 79% of them saw a reduction in costs. It’s, therefore, worth exploring how customer experience can drive business growth and the strategies that entrepreneurs can use to boost CX.

What is customer experience?

Before we delve into the subject, let’s first make sure everyone is familiar with the concept. In simple terms, customer experience can be defined as the way a customer perceives a brand after having interacted directly or indirectly with it. Therefore, CX is based on the relationship between a company and its customers and encompasses all the factors that can affect this relationship in one way or another, from business touchpoints and channels to response time, support, and communication style. 
Creating a great customer experience is all about knowing what people care most about. You have to understand what your audience needs and expects from you and deliver exactly that. However, that can prove rather difficult in a time when consumer beliefs and behaviours are changing fast, and their demands are higher than ever before.
These days, consumers expect all businesses to ensure a quick response time, and provide multi-lingual support and seamless digital interactions. Visitors to stores often don't have time to wait in long lines, so to create a seamless checkout process, business owners should accept payments with a card machine. These are just some of the must-haves of a modern business. If a brand doesn’t live up to their customers’ standards, the outcome is a negative customer experience.

How can great CX drive business growth?

There’s no question that great CX is a key component to business success. But for many it’s still unclear how customer experience can help drive business growth, so we’re going to explore this correlation further and shed a bit of light on this topic.
For both brands and consumers, it’s more than obvious that competition in the business world is getting tougher by the day. There’s an influx of businesses in almost every market and niche, so standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult. Companies in all industries have to work extra hard to attract customers and make sure they don’t lose them to one of their competitors.
That’s where customer experience comes in. Making sure your consumers get what they want, how they want, and when they want it sets the foundation for a great customer experience. That helps build trust and loyalty and ensures a long-lasting relationship between you and your customers. A satisfied customer becomes a loyal customer, and the chances of losing a loyal customer to the competition are significantly lower. When a client is happy with their shopping experience, they won’t go to a different brand to get the products/services they need. Besides, they’ll often recommend your business to their family members and close circle of friends, or leave positive reviews on your website, bringing in other potential clients. 
Thus, building trust and loyalty through a positive customer experience will help you attract and retain more customers. Also, loyal customers are more likely to spend more money than new clients. That means you’ll not only save on costs for attracting customers, but you’ll also be able to increase your revenue, which benefits your bottom line and leads to business growth.
But keep in mind that the stakes are high when it comes to CX. One negative experience is enough for a customer to cut off all contact with a brand and, in a ripple effect, influence other customers to do the same.
Another reason that makes customer experience essential to all businesses is the ability to improve employee engagement. According to McKinsley, businesses that focus on improving customer service experienced an increase in employee engagement of up to 20%. Having an engaged workforce has a direct impact on productivity levels which is linked to business growth.

How can you improve CX in your business?

There are three main aspects that are essential to building a positive customer experience: functionality, engagement, and value. In other words, for a customer to be satisfied with the experience provided by your company, you have to make it easy for customers to interact with your business, you have to keep them engaged, and you have to provide value through the products/services you offer.
Here are a few steps you can take if you want to improve customer experience:
  • Know your audience – if you want to keep your customers happy, you have to know exactly what they want from you. You have to use hard data to get into the consumer’s minds and understand what they want and need.
  • Be consistent – offering a seamless experience across all channels is a must these days. Making sure all your platforms run smoothly and employing the right tech services from POS solutions to apps to B2B loyalty software can help in this respect.
  • Ask for feedback – listen to what your customers have to say and act upon the feedback they provide. Making customers feel important can go a long way in improving customer experience.
  • Personalise your offering – treat your customers like human beings, not like numbers. You can meet your customers’ unique needs through personalised products, services, and interactions.
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