When was the last time a business surprisingly exceeded your expectations and made your day with their across-the-board excellence?
These days, more than ever,
Sure, you’ve always known it’s important to combine both high quality service with a fantastic product.
But add-in digital strategy, multi-channel reach and device integration to these ingredients, and businesses now face an ever growing pressure and need to make sure the experience, throughout a customer’s journey, is flawless.
In the past year, almost 80 percent of businesses over all industries planned to increase spending on customer experience, per “The Retailer’s Imperative” White paper, SDL.com
But, how does your business win at customer experience?
We’ve painstakingly pieced together the top 99 most important customer experience stats, with key actions you can take, and created an infographic to help you mete out what’s integral to your specific customers’ experience.
Read time: 15 minutes
Begin Customer Experience with Your Customer’s Journey
Your customer’s journey is their holistic experience of your brand: How did they become aware of your brand, what touch points do they make? And when, why and how do they make these? Finally, what’s the long game in creating a lasting, loyal customer?
Successful brands map out a number of journeys based on customer feedback, analytics and deep consideration of your customers’ expectations. And they value spending on a smart, efficient CRM to enhance both the process and company culture.
Customer Journey Stats
- CRM is forecasted to be a $17 billion dollar market by 2017. (source)
- 80% of customer call centers relayed their customer service systems “won’t meet future needs.” (source)
- A well-suited CRM provides an average ROI of $8.71 for every $1.00 spent. (source)
- Data in the last three years shows CRM system alignment creates a 29% sales increase. (source)
- Mobile CRM adoption increased sales quotas goals for 65% of sales reps who have embraced it. (source)
- 43% of customer’s use less than half of a CRM’s features. (source)
- Within the last two years, only 47% of companies actively use a CRM. (source)
- 72% of consumers will use Google during the research stage. (source)
- Online reviews have a strong influence on the buyer’s decision, with 90% saying reviews played a part in their decision. (source)
- 75% of internet users remain on the first page of Google and don’t go farther. (source)
- Only half, or 51% of businesses, feel they understand the customer experience and journey for new mobile customers. (source)
- 74% feel they have a strong understanding for returning customers. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Gather customer feedback from all sources: social media, surveys, transactions and customer feedback.
- Use real-time analytics.
- Map a number of customer persona journeys (at least two to three).
Understand Your Brands’ Demeanor
There’s a difference between skill and competency: Businesses that can anticipate challenges in customer experience and also have the skills to solve these are better positioned for success.
But, you might be surprised to hear your customers and clients may be more forgiving in some contexts as opposed to others.
In fact, your brand demeanor carries almost as much weight as your company skill level––and “warmth” is an important trait.
- Warmth and competence are ranked as key touchstones for about 50% of customer buying preferences. (source)
- Competence, plus warmth, brings more brand loyalty. (source)
- $41 billion is lost because of poor customer service each year. (source)
- 29% of customers switch brands because of poor staff knowledge. (source)
- A one-second page-load can cause a seven percent loss in customers. (source)
- 84% of customers become frustrated when they cannot receive an answer. (source)
- Brand competence was the highest marker for trust in one international survey. (source)
- Greater customer interactions aren’t necessarily correlative of customer satisfaction. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Be sincere if you’re unsure about something and let your customer know both how you’ll get the answer they need, and when they can hear from you.
- Have a top customer service agent or exec record and play-back a phone or online interaction to model a high-level of competency and customer service.
- Create cultural checks-and-balances in employee and systems performances, to help ensure your team is well-trained and your technology is up to par.
Incorporate Honesty Into Your Brand Persona
When Ben and Jerry’s first started out, they closed their shop with a sign that read, “We’re closed because we’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
Since the beginning, this kind of unpretentious honesty is consistently part of the brand’s persona.
But what’s the special sauce that makes one company more authentic to customers than another?
Honesty leads the way to trust, but customers identify as authentic companies they perceive as (actually) having a good time doing what they do.
Honest Brand Persona Stats
- 91% of customers value honesty and authenticity above all brand markers. (source)
- 90% of people, in one survey, will trust other people via “user generated content.” (source)
- Only 10% of people will trust brand advertising in the same survey above. (source)
- Authenticity came in as second in customer experience with Millennials in importance behind loyalty programs.(source)
- 84% of Millennials dislike advertising. (source)
- Millennials perceived company websites (along with news reports and friends) as trustworthy. (source)
- Customers are more likely to perceive smaller businesses as authentic as opposed to big businesses: 50% of customers trust small businesses. (sources)
- Comparatively, in the same study, 36% trust big businesses to be authentic. (sources)
- Authenticity beats both brand innovation and product functionality across 12 markets. (source)
- 83% of customers say that it’s important your business is clear about and aligns with its beliefs. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Don’t be authentic––be real:Real emotion, quirkiness, edginess, sassiness, sweetness, creates real connection.
- Use content marketing to show company values and personality and act these.
- Be ready to allow your customers to drive the conversation and use feedback to grow.
Take Care In Getting To Know Your Customers
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
-Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos
You show your customers care when you respond directly to who they are and what they want. From a friendly customer service agent to a well-designed site, your “care cues” will be obvious to your customers.
Customer Care Stats
- 74% of customers become extremely frustrated if they have to follow-up on the same request. There’s nothing that shows lack of care more than unresponsiveness. (source)
- 70% of top customer experience companies use customer feedback. (source)
- Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand. (source)
- Three out of five customers would be open to a new brand or company for a “better service experience.” (source)
- Customer experience is forecasted to be a higher priority than product and price. (source)
- Many companies are forming separate positions to focus on customer experience. (source)
- Great reviews about your customer service (read: care) can generate 40% more additional revenue for your business. (source)
- The environment and sustainability matter to customers: 87% of customers desire care via honesty when it comes to your discourse, values and actions in this regard. (source)
- Customers are three times more likely to recommend your business after experiencing great customer care. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Make customer care, via service, technology and customer values your leading content strategy priority.
- Create multiple channels for customer feedback available and keenly monitor these.
- Develop loyalty programs that foster strong customer relationships.
Make Customer Service Actually Accessible
Availability is the action intrinsic in showing care.
If your customers can’t find a simple means of contact for you, have differing experiences across devices, must jump through hoops, filling out forms that seemingly go into a vacuum and must deal with computerized chat responses, you’re accessibility is lacking.
- 67% of customers have stopped a call in frustrating because they could not speak with a real person. (source)
- 61% of customers prefer phone when dealing with customer service. (source)
- However, over half, or 57%, prefer live chat customer service. (source)
- Likewise, over half of customers prefer DIY accessibility: 51% prefer online knowledge base support. (source)
- 100% of customers expect transparent product availability. (source)
- 90% of customers would pay more to ensure excellent customer experience. (source)
- Resolving issues quickly counts as the number one factor to a great customer experience for 82% of customers. (source)
- 45% of businesses feel integration across technology toward customer experience is vital. (source)
- Millennials and Centennials are likely to share information with your business to receive a promotion, discount, coupon and product suggestion. (source*)
- 72% of businesses, or the majority, use a CMS as the main customer experience management tool. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Make a no-wait to low-wait call time a top priority.
- Aim to solve a customer problem within one interaction.
- Ensure analytics information and software across departments is up-to-date and allows the most efficient processes for inventory, administration and customer service.
Keep Employees Informed And Knowledgable
Here’s a surprising fact:
Customers are more likely to be forgiving of bad information that comes faster than good information they must wait for.
While this seems counter-intuitive, the takeaway is that knowledge, while important, might just be secondary to relationality when it comes to customer experience.
Statistics support this theory, too.
Product and Service Knowledge Stats
- 44% of customers have received a wrong answer at some point. (source)
- But fixing it in a way that best works for your customer can translate to 70% of customers with a problem doing business again with you. (source)
- In one survey, only 1% of customers felt businesses consistently met their expectations. (source)
- 29% of customers switch brands or businesses because they are annoyed by a lack of employee knowledge. (source)
- Only 33% of businesses rank understanding how customers “segment and engage” across mobile as important. (source*)
- A minority of businesses, 25%, don’t feel they know what customers perceive as valuable when it comes to mobile. (source*)
- How you respond when you get it wrong is crucial: 70% will remain with you if you respond in their favor. (source)
- 96% will remain with your business if you act quickly. (source)
- 68% of consumers feel coupons create loyalty. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Create employee buy-in and inter-departmental accountability by creating a company culture where training and employee feedback are high values.
- Ensure every team member has access to prior customer interactions and has reviewed these before they speak with a customer.
- Create transparency and easy access between departments for important information.
Build Customer Loyalty Through Empathy
You can never go wrong with gratitude––every time.
In fact, when it comes to social media, customers relish brand responsiveness to their queries.
Responding to your customer on social media creates good will and personalizes his or her experience.
But businesses that want to be successful have to act fast and with genuine understanding and empathy for their customers:
Brand-to-Customer Empathy Stats
- 42% of internet customers expect a response within an hour. (source)
- 73% of customers say they love a brand based on a friendly customer service rep.(source)
- 91% of customers in one global survey said it’s important to not let customers down, second only to communicating honestly about its products and services. (source)
- The ratio for positive-to-negative experiences is 12:1. For every one bad experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to supplant it. (source)
- 66% of customers are most frustrated from interacting with employees who are rude or unfriendly. (source)
- 33% of consumers prefer social care, or a swift response on social media, over a phone response. (source)
- “Social care” responsiveness can create a huge advantage for businesses, with one company drawing a 79% positive comment response compared to another in the same industry with a 24% positive response. (source)
- 3% of customers will tell 15+ people if they have a bad experience. (source)
- 72% of customers will tell 6+ people if they have a great experience. (source)
- Building loyalty with just 5% of customers will increase profit by 25% to 100% for that customer. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Aim to hire employees who highly value empathy and have demonstrated past job experience applying this value.
- Make social responsiveness a top social strategy priority and train employees in developing positive communication practices.
- Don’t use scripts or formats. Do allow employees to develop their own sense of personal responsiveness according to the company values you set out.
Determine Whether Company Policy Is Helping
Image credit: Comscore Cross Media Report
Be aware of how your policies impede a satisfying customer experience:
- Does your sales rep have enough leeway to make decisions that directly respond to your customer’s problem?
- Do you have seemingly rigid time limits on refunds, returns and exchanges?
- Have you made every part of the sales process convenient for your customer by providing more than one solution to pain points or problems?
- Decision process is 80% emotional and 20% rational. (source)
- 75% of customers believe answers to common questions should be available by smartphone. (source)
- 62% of customers feel brands they’re loyal to haven’t done enough to reward them. (source)
- Only 17% of customers would recommend a brand with slower but effective solutions. (source)
- Ironically, in the same survey as above, 19% of customers would recommend with “no company response.”(source)
- 58% of consumers will spend more on companies with good service. (source)
- 64% of businesses view as a top priority that consumer want to use mobile for shopping and that businesses need to be there. (source*)
- Almost 63% of internet users search via Chrome. (source)
- 82% of small businesses said repeat customers created their success. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Make sure your company site is mobile friendly and easy to use.
- Ask,and ask again. Don’t tell, a customer how they’d best feel supported and rewarded by your brand.
- From large to small businesses, focus on enriching and maintaining current customer relationships.
Design a Great Experience Across All Devices
If your site is easy to navigate, includes legible and larger font, is responsive across devices, is designed so that it follows your specific customers’ journeys, and includes good inbound practices, your customers will naturally find it more convenient than another site.
Site Design Stats
- Users form an opinion about your site in .5 seconds after it loads. (source)
- Two thirds of people would prefer to read something beautifully designed. (source)
- 47% of customers check a product or service page first. (source)
- Data point: 86% of customers want to see about a product or service on a company’s home page. (source)
- Only 35% of retailers feel they can differentiate in their mobile customer experience strategy (source)
- If consumers really like your brand, 66% are disappointed when they have a bad mobile experience. (source)
- 52% also said a bad mobile experience makes them “less likely” to engage further with a brand. (source)
- 51% of consumers said clear contact information missing from a site is the biggest problem they’ve found with business’ website. (source)
- 40% of mobile and tablet users surf for B2B products from their devices. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Make sure each page provides value to your target customer.
- Create customized landing pages for new products or services to increase and convert leads.
- Always be testing to improve conversion rates.
Bridge Gaps In Customer Convenience
This list would not be complete without addressing convenience as, by far, one of the most crucial CX factors.
If your customers perceive that their brand interactions have a high degree of “ease of use,” you’ll win at customer experience.
Equally, many businesses are on a learning curve in understanding how customer experience processes translate to ROI.
Use applicable stats to directly track improvements and ROI increase.
- 75% of customers feel it takes too long to reach a live person by chat or phone. (source)
- By 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction. (source)
- 55% of customers feel a frustrating experience on a company website hurts their perception of a brand overall. (source)
- Over 90% of customers say they’ve had bad customer support at some point on mobile. (source)
- 55% of consumers say convenience in getting information and good support will make them love a brand.(source)
- Smartphone calls to businesses resulting from mobile search will increase from about 40% in 2016 to about 61% in 2019. (source)
- If a customer hasn’t reached a live person in two minutes or less, you’ve lost them. (source)
- 44% of mobile users found navigation was difficult on smaller devices. (source)
- 58% of consumers said they’re not active in their membership programs, however, restaurant loyalty programs increase visits by 35%.(source)
Bonus: 56% of consumers say in the last 10 years, their decision making process now includes more brands and businesses than ever. (source)
Take These Actions:
- Increase spending on mobile and focused initiatives on mobile customer experience.
- Use customer convenience as a key brand differentiation marker.
- Make easy delivery, pick-up and returns a priority.
If you’re unsure where to begin or are working within a constrained budget, start your focus on customer experience internally, first.
The health and efficiency of your internal operations have an immediate affect on customer experience and service.
Take your cues from customer experience feedback and keep your customers wants, ideas and priorities top of mind in the process.
What improvements have you made that increased customer experience and satisfaction? Share them in the comments section below.