Marketing

Why marketers need to focus on customer experience in 2016

Why marketers need to focus on customer experience in 2016

In a recent Influitive webinar, Nick Stein, SVP of marketing at Vision Critical, shared what marketers need to know about delivering a better customer experience. The webinar is part of a series that will explore the next generation of customer experience from the point of view of customer-focused companies.

Influitive’s webinar series is extremely timely: customer experience is set to grow in importance in the new year. Here are three reasons that outline why CX will matter more for marketers in 2016.

  1. CX is a big differentiator in the marketplace.

A 2015 Vision Critical study found that 42 percent of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after only two bad service experiences. When it comes to driving retention and repeat business, customer experience is one of the most significant factors that marketers need to consider.

More marketing teams are waking up to the realities of customer experience and are planning to make changes accordingly. The research consulting firm Gartner, for instance, found that 89 percent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience by 2016. By 2017, 50 percent of consumer product investments will be redirected to innnovations related to CX, says Gartner.

Tweet this!By 2017, 50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to innnovations related to #CX – @Gartner_Inc. http://ow.ly/VLO5i (TWEET THIS STAT)

Companies have a lot of work to do to catch up. A 2015 Forrester Research survey, for instance, showed that not a single brand in France, Germany or the U.K. was rated “excellent” in customer experience by 13,451 customers. A similar study, also conducted earlier this year, shows that two in three customers do not believe their favorite companies understand them and that 50 percent has had a significant service issue in the last 12 months.

The gap between the experience that customers want and what brands actually provide highlights the critical need to make progress in driving CX.

  1. CX drives word of mouth.

Despite the emergence of digital technologies, one thing remains true in the business world: word of mouth is the best type of marketing. To that end, a great experience with a company is what really motivates customers to talk about that brand with their friends, family and peers.

“Contented customers, and sometimes even contented prospects, can and will share their experiences with their communities,” writes Dan Newman, president of Broadsuite, in Entrepreneur. “In our digital world, with our uber-savvy digital consumers, all a company needs to earn the curiosity of 100 or more friends and followers is one heartfelt post on social media.”

According to Newman, prioritizing customer experience over sales and marketing is particularly important because of the high costs of going after new customers. “It costs more to bring on a new customer than to keep one you already have, making that recommended focus on customer experience an effective strategy on many fronts.”

Tweet this!Companies should think less about sales and marketing and focus more on customer experience. – @danielnewmanUV http://ow.ly/VLO5i (TWEET THIS INSIGHT)

  1. Your brand is defined by the customer experience.

In an article for AdAge, Sheryl Pattek, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, reiterates the relationship between customer experience and brand-building.

“Customer experience (CX) is playing an increasingly powerful role at each phase of the customer lifecycle, blurring the lines between the brand and CX,” she writes. “Your brand is now defined as much by what your customers say about their relationship with you as what you say about yourself.”

Pattek also offers some advice on how CMOs can better drive customer experience, saying, “Success will require CMOs to use customer experience methodology and tools—as well as customer understanding—to merge brand, marketing, and company-wide functional interactions into a unified customer experience strategy.”

Tweet this!Customer experience plays an increasingly powerful role at each phase of the customer lifecycle – @sherylpattek http://ow.ly/VLO5i (TWEET THIS INSIGHT

Conclusion

As marketers put in more investments into improving customer experience, the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the customer will only grow. The time to think about CX is now.

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