At a recent conference, Forrester told business leaders how one simple strategy can cut costs, generate revenue and strengthen brand reputation. No, it’s not a deeply held secret. It’s just a good customer service experience.
“Customer experience drives revenue when customer loyalty drives revenue,” Harley Manning, VP at Forester Research explained to the 900-strong audience at Autotask Community Live 2016 keynote address. “Customer experience can also drive a willingness to pay a price premium.”
According to Manning, companies used to hold almost total control over elements like pricing and the flow of information, not to mention when and where consumers could obtain products or services. Today, Manning maintains, technology has pushed all of these conditions in the opposite direction—within the domain of the customer.
Manning’s message was that we are in “…the age of the customer…” and that communication and messaging technology has “…moved power in the direction of your customers.”
…employee satisfaction is a leading indicator of that company’s customer experience.
Today, thanks to the internet and social media, customers have far greater power in the consumer marketplace. This is why, Manning argues, companies with superior customer experience will grow faster, reduce service costs, and achieve more control over pricing while reducing regulatory compliance risks.
Customer experience is a critical factor in competitive situations where many businesses vie for the same clients. Manning affirms that many clients are willing to pay a premium for superior customer experience. Moreover, one of the side-effects of good customer experience is that in many situations it reduces the cost of service.
Not surprisingly, Manning also stated that employee satisfaction is a leading indicator of that company’s customer experience. Manning says it’s a good idea for businesses to be aware of how they’re rated on websites like Glassdoor.
“If your employees are talking smack about you, your customer experience probably isn’t as good as you want it to be,” Manning said.
Customers today are empowered by digital information and communications technologies which flatten the field of competition between companies offering similar services. However, companies can also one-up the competition by leveraging these same technologies to offer superior customer service. Companies can start harnessing the power of digital communications by being responsive and doing reputation management online through social media. From there, the next logical step is to welcome customer service over the very social media and messaging channels where your customers already play. Offering your customers multiple points of contact provides them with an omni-channel customer experience which can give your company a distinct competitive advantage.
In the digital era where superior customer experience will determine the success of many brands, companies willing to meet consumers in the digital spaces where they are already comfortably navigating will emerge as winners in this competition.