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Customer Experience & Customer Service Stats from 2018 and Predictions for 2019
By Jake Michaels
For our second post in the series of statistics, let’s talk customer service trends for 2018, and how companies are changing the way they manage their customer’s experience for 2019.
If you’re just starting to focus on customer service and experience, there are few defining factors between the two. Customer service is mostly reactive and used when the customer is not satisfied with a product or service, and relies of specialized service teams. Although, the best support and service teams can be proactive by reaching out to clients. Customer experience includes the customer service team along with all the interactions between a customer and a business, from lead generation and nurturing, to closing a sale and providing service after a purchase. Although service plays an important role in the customer experience, it’s just a segment of the overall process that encompasses experience.
Forrester defines customer experience as, “How customers perceive their interactions with your company”. Forrester also states, “In a world where consumers have numerous opportunities to choose from, where digital content and products that they’re exposed to, have never been SO immaculately personalised, it’s vital for marketers to keep up with the latest digital and customer experience research.”
2018 being the “year of the customer” was a big year for companies looking to enhance the experience people have with their business. Previous Senior Vice President for Google Ads, Sridhar Ramaswamy stated, “Consumers have never been so hard to please and marketers have never had as many opportunities to please them.”
Well said, Sridhar. Today’s technology and awareness has allowed companies to drastically change the way they interact with customers.
According to a recent report, 79% of consumers want to see that brands care, before consider making a purchase (Wantedness). This shows how important customer experience is becoming overall presence.
We reached out to CX Journey Inc. Founder & CEO and one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” Annette Franz, to hear her side of the story for the current state of customer experience today based on her background.
Annette shares, “We’ve seen the usual companies continuing to innovate and do well, but there are far too many companies still struggling to figure out where to even begin to improve the customer experience.”
Just off these comments alone, it’s clear why so many companies are putting customers at the forefront of their strategy today, and how much room for improvement there really is in the customer experience.
Now, let’s show off some statistics to see what’s really going on behind the scenes!
Customer service and experience expert, and Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations, Shep Hyken expressed, “Understanding your customers, their buying habits, history with your company and more are essential to giving customers the experience they deserve.”
CX Journey Inc. CEO, Annette Franz states, “The good news is that many executives now know that they need to “do CX,” but they are miles away from actually knowing what that means or how to execute.”
The report by Genysys also highlights a common problem in customer experience - no specific team deals solely with customer experience.
This report by Genysys explains, “Even though there are various different teams that play different roles across a customer’s journey, and therefore, their experience; they often end up working in silos, which highlights a common CX problem faced by many companies. It’s often difficult to distinguish clear lines of roles and responsibility.”
As you can see, companies today are focusing heavily on enhancing the customer experience to keep an advantage over competitors. If done right, the results are astonishing; customers are willing to pay more for a higher level of customer service, retention rate is skyrocketing, and companies are seeing a major rise in ROI by using customer feedback to provide a better experience. Integrated tools like customer journey mapping are shaping the way companies are framing their customer service and experience.
Annette comments on the direction of the new year, “The trends I'm focusing on for next year are really the same as this year (and last year, and the year before that): ensuring that companies successfully design and deliver a better customer experience by first having several foundational elements in place. First and foremost, there must be CEO and executive commitment for the work that lies ahead; without that, the transformation journey ends pretty quickly. Beyond that, there must be a well-defined customer experience vision and strategy, a governance structure to provide guidelines and oversight for the work ahead, a focus on improving the employee experience along with recognition that employees drive the customer experience, and a people-first culture. And finally, companies must take the time to understand both employees and customers, act on what they learn and embrace outside-in thinking, weaving the customer and her perspective into all they do.”
Moving into 2019, companies are allocating specific teams to customer experience, gathering feedback from marketing, sales and business development, customer service and IT, and departments to focus solely on areas of improvement.
Annette also shares how companies can start implementing a customer-focused approach into their strategy, “Start by understanding your customers. Start by putting the “customer” into customer experience. That requires businesses to listen to customers, develop personas, and map customer journeys. You can’t really understand customers and their experiences today without doing that work first. And you can’t transform something you don’t understand. You’ll be working in a vacuum, perpetuating inside-out thinking if you don’t bring the voice of the customer into all you do. Without doing the work to understand your customers, your customer experience strategy will fall flat and fail to outline a plan to deliver an experience that not only meets your customers’ needs but may/will also delight them.”
Have you started looking for ways to provide a more authentic customer experience that creates brand advocates and loyal customers? Explore the tools available at JourneyFlow.com, built by GreenRope, that allows you to design beautifully crafted customer journey maps based on customer interactions with your brand.
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