Why experience is your smartest investment in 2017
Digital innovation isn’t driven by Silicon Valley, Silicon Roundabout or any other silicon-based landmark—it's driven by your customers.
Whether through more personalisation or better customer service, all of the latest digital trends—artificial intelligence, chatbots, augmented reality—share a common thread: improving the way in which customers experience your brand or product.
Even now-commonplace tools and channels such as marketing automation, social media and email marketing have emerged as a result of the constant evolution of consumers not just to want, but to expect better: better service, better products, and a better and more authentic experience.
Despite this, according to Forrester’s 2017 Predictions report, many B2B and B2C organisations alike are still failing to understand, measure and influence the experience of their customers adequately.
To look at it from another angle: all of the metrics you track, from site traffic to conversions to churn, originate in one place—your customers. Therefore, understanding your customers and the way in which they experience your brand is the root from which all of your KPIs and metrics stem. Ignoring or failing to act on this understanding means you’re missing out on a big chunk of insight that could be used to fuel your business growth.
So, what can I do about it?
It starts, simply, with getting closer to your customers. Analytics, heat maps and A/B testing give you a lot of “what” data, but with these tools alone, it’s a lot harder to find out “why”. To get qualitative insights, you need to record and observe your customers experiencing your brand so you can learn directly from their actions and thoughts.
Tip: here’s an exhaustive and unbiased list of all of the tools you could use to get started.
Start thinking about the different digital journeys your customers may make to reach key conversion points, whether that’s a mobile purchase journey, or journeys from marketing channels such as email, social or search. Observe how your customers undertake these journeys on your digital properties (or your competitors’!) with an appropriate user research methodology, and identify the areas to fix and optimise. Make these changes and test again, at the same time noting how they affect your quantitative metrics. Rinse, lather, repeat!
The more customer exposure you get, the less you’re acting on instinct, personal opinions, and half-data, and the more you can start affecting your other key metrics.
What do I get out of it?
According to a recent Forrester study, compound revenue growth amongst companies with a high customer experience index score was on average 14 percentage points above those with low scores. A good customer experience goes straight to the bottom line.
Reduced customer churn
With 40% of customers now having both a high willingness and ability to shift spend, a poor experience is capable of driving your clients to your competitors. Investing in improving your experience not only reduces your at-risk revenue, but can increase customer loyalty and decrease churn.
Being able to better tailor the way in which you engage with your customers is now increasingly crucial to retaining them.
Better investment decisions
Whether it’s your website, an app, or another digital touchpoint, chances are you’re already investing a significant portion of your marketing spend in improving the customer experience across your digital channels. Understanding (instead of guessing) what your customers want from your business reduces your investment risk, and allows you to focus spend on areas that will lead to growth.
The market is customer-led, so if you want to remain competitive, your organisation should be too. Make your customers the key metric you track—get started by seeing how your audience interacts with your digital properties right now with a free trial of WhatUsersDo.
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