Magazine article CRM Magazine

Expect the Unexpected from Customer Experience: For True Results, Try, Try, and Try Again

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Expect the Unexpected from Customer Experience: For True Results, Try, Try, and Try Again

Article excerpt

NOW THAT we have finally moved past the hype surrounding Social X, we are immersed in the hype surrounding customer experience.

All the promises we made about Social X (long-term loyalty, unlimited customer lifetime value, unsurpassed customer satisfaction, engagement, advocacy, etc.) are now being made for customer experience.

Did you know that if you implement a customer experience program, you can increase customer loyalty by 25 percent? That if you do it quickly, you can turn back the clock and reverse customer churn? Were you aware that customer experience is the only proven way to build lifetime advocacy (yeah, forget what you heard about Social X--this is THE one)? Skeptical? Welcome to my camp. I have been researching and working with a number of companies on customer experience, and can tell you--it ain't the slam dunk you've heard it is.

I have been preparing for a presentation I am doing this month at CRM Evolution in New York City (August 19-21) and have been more focused on benefits than hype. I can show you benefits you can get from customer experience backed by case studies. I don't have space in this column for all of it, but I want to give you a glimpse.

Benefits do come to those who implement a customer experience program--just not as quickly or miraculously as you've been told. They are not automatic and not immediately understood, but they are always there for those who work hard. I like to categorize them into four areas:

Money. There is a direct relationship between better experiences and making more money, but it is not because of the experience; it is because you meet expectations (or if you are really good, exceed them).

Savings. You don't save money because you do things better (although that often occurs). You save money because satisfied customers cost less to maintain. Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition, and delivering better experiences retains customers.

Value. For an experience to generate value, the value must be equal to both parties: your customer and your organization. Value is generated during an exchange and must be recognized as such by both parties-which is hard to do, and thus makes justifying CX by value not a popular choice (though it delivers better in the long term). …

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