Service design gets up steam – how to sustain difference based on customer experience

Consumers want personal and engaging experiences that develop into relationships

It is nowadays nearly impossible for companies to sustain differentiation better customer experiencebased on price or product, leaving only one option – the customer experience. The 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report explores the relationship between consumers and brands and reveals facts about what consumers are looking for from a brand: 86% will pay more for a better customer experience and  89%  began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

Why Consumers Commit to a Brand? They want …

friendly employees 73%; to find easily the information or help they need 55%; personalized experiences 36% and brands with a good reputation 33%.

Therefore based on the survey responses …

Hiring and empowering the right staff is the most critical element to  court consumers successfully; brands must ensure easy access to information and support; brands need to create personalized experiences which includes:

      1. knowing what customers have bought in the past
      2. service issues customers have raised,
      3. sending to customers appropriate, timely and useful updates

Keeping the Relationship Alive

For consumer organizations today, good customer experience is a competitive imperative. Understanding what customers want is the first step in creating exceptional experiences. When asked specifically how companies can better engage with consumers to spend more, respondents 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 overall web site usability 36%.

A simple response can make a tremendous difference

By acknowledging complaints, organizations stand to win back frustrated customers. In the instances when an organization responded to a customer’s negative comment: 46 % of consumers were pleased and 22 % posted a positive comment about the organization.

They Tell Their Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers

50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them. After a poor customer experience, 26% of customers posted a negative comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter for hundreds of their friends and followers to see. 79% of consumers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored; 21% of those, who did get responses to complaints, more than half had positive reactions to the same company about which they were previously complaining.

A ROADMAP for SUCCESS

Pick up the phone: 58% of consumers noted that their expectations were not met because a company was unavailable; they didn’t pick up the phone or answer email.

Shake a leg: 56% said companies are slow to resolve issues.

Get a clue:  57% said companies are clueless; it sometimes feels like the consumer knows more about the company than the customer service agent.

Be friendly: 51% said companies are impersonal; sometimes they can’t even get their name right.

Know your customer’s interaction history: 34% said companies are forgetful, they don’t remember customers even if they had recently talked to a customer service agent.

Get social: 16% of consumers surveyed said companies are anti-social; they are nowhere to be found, they are not known.