How many times have you heard that it is easier (and cheaper) to sell to an existing customer than to win a new one? When it comes to securing their customers, companies are increasingly recognizing that the experience they provide is equally as important as the quality of the products or services they offer. A superior customer experience helps a business stand out from the crowd, while businesses who fail to appreciate its role in customer loyalty can suffer.
Will They Stay or Will They Go
Customer experience is quickly becoming one of the primary factors that determines whether a customer will decide to keep doing business with you or take their dollars elsewhere. In fact, with factors like evolving technology, changing industry trends, and unpredictable economic shifts, customer experience can be considered one of the only durable competitive advantages; in other words, if your customer loves the way you do business, they’re far more likely to continue doing business with you than to switch to the competition, regardless of offering.
Since 2010, the number of companies competing primarily on customer service has grown by 53%, bringing it to an overwhelming majority – a whopping 89% of all businesses. But while 4 out of 5 companies believe they deliver a superior user experience, less than 1 in 10 customers agree. A disconnect like this means there is tremendous opportunity for channel partners to edge out competitors and gain more market share.
What IS the Customer Experience?
The customer experience is about more than just the way that you engage with your customers and potential customers. Everything from the way you market your business to your advertising campaign, your e-commerce options, and even the level at which you engage in social marketing, they all play a role in shaping the experience customers have with your business. Understanding how customers interpret and respond to those factors – the experience they are having – can be one of the most important investment a business can make in today’s competitive climate.
For channel partners, this goes a step further. Partners who are able to bring value to their customers by, say, cutting their costs, improve security, and work better, are partners who will keep those customers for the long haul.
How Social is Changing the Game
Although social marketing is a vital part of every business’ strategy today, it wasn’t that long ago that the only way a business could interact with its customers was through direct sales and customer support. Email changed the game slightly, but not with the same intensity. Social marketing brought about a complete transformation, one that requires businesses of all sizes to meet customers where they are at and communicate with them using the medium they prefer.
Today’s customers reach out through Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and more, and unlike email or the old days when calls had to be made during business hours, social marketing means customers expect to receive a response “on demand” regardless of the time of day or the channel they are using.
Maintaining a positive customer experience means keeping up with that demand. For channel partners, it also means keeping up with the evolving demands of a changing workplace, one where customers are exploring new opportunities to change and grow, like working remotely, self-marketing, and more. With the right mix of responsive, agile marketing, and knowledge of how to apply your products and solutions to meet customers’ unique needs, you can provide an optimum experience that will help secure your customers and make it easier to win news ones.