A recent Forrester report looked at companies that had recently improved their Customer experience rating from negative to positive looking at whether their customers were likely to consider another purchase, to switch suppliers, or to recommend their current supplier to friends, The findings demonstrate in no uncertain terms that there is significant achievable upside to be had from improving the customer experience.
The trend of revenue uplift for any company that has improved its customer experience is not only strong, but still rising demonstrating that customers place a lot of value on this and are prepared to reward a supplier that makes an effort,
The reduction in customer churn continues to be significant, but this trend is falling slightly. If this slight fall is statistically significant then it may well be that once an acceptable level of service is reached the value of further improvement is greatly reduced. After all, for many suppliers, all we want is that they actually supply and they remain invisible.
Chatter is rising rapidly. Both recommendations and the opposite are on the increase.
The impact on recommendations is very significant and growing when a supplier improves customer experience, but conversely the impact of falling service levels is equally damaging the supplier as a result of negative chatter
Increasing CXi scores from below average to above average had the following financial benefits. As you can see, the benefit is greater in some industries than others, but is very significant even at lower levels.
|Industry||Customers||Reduced churn||Further purchases||Word
of mouth recommendations
|Credit card providers||61m||$427m||$368m||$30m|
Source: North American Technographics® Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2013 (US)
For many industries there is a ceiling whereby customer experience improvements will no longer result in revenue or profit upside. The obvious ones are products we buy very much on Price point.In these cases we are happy enough with what we are getting and not willing to pay any extra under any circumstance. For example, to return to cheap flights. My favourite airline leaves on time and arrives on time at least as well as any other and charges me slightly less on average for an equivalent service. If this airline is able to reduce waste somewhere, then perhaps they can afford to improve service, that’s all well and good, but if they start spending on it, then sooner, or later prices will go up and I’ll go elsewhere.
The most thing these companies can improve at no cost is the attitudes of staff. A smile costs nothing it is a way of thinking and a culture, nothing more.
Imagine if you are running a business where you compete with a number of others in a controlled industry and you all buy the same thing in the same place at the same cost and sell it in the same market at more or less the same price. There is nothing to compete on. The only chance you would have to differentiate would be in how you treat your customers when they have a problem and how you manage customer acquisition and customer churn.
Imagine if you never spent another penny on advertising or sales commissions, kept your customers for their lifetime and had them all recommending you to friends. Now that would be a hell of a proposition.