Written by Kushal Dev | Co-founder, Customer Guru
We all bank on marketing to attract customers. Fancy marketing campaigns manage to grab the customer’s attention and we succeed in doing business with them. We then hope to see them again only to find that they don’t return and eventually our business reaches a lull. No rocket science is needed to figure out why. It is because we provided them with either a very ordinary experience or a bad one. Naturally no one else is talking about us, but us!
“Everything starts with the customer”
– June Martin
With empowering mediums such as smart devices and social media, customers are clearly the captain of the ship. They are who fuel the business for us in return for an exceptional customer experience.
Gartner says, by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago.
Here are more reasons to why one must not take the marketing potential of a customer lightly:
Customers won’t stop praising about you to others:
It is in the innate nature of any person to talk about their unbelievable experiences, both good and bad in nature, to others. And a customer with such experiences is no exception.
SurveyMonkey found that 97% of customers are likely to tell their loved ones about a ‘very good’ or and ‘excellent’ customer experience.
Good experiences do float around a lot but bad experiences are found to be more talked about! Zendesk came up with the following statistics:
Companies such as Apple, Toyota and Dell are known for converting all the bad experiences into exceptional ones and their customers into Evangelists!
Word of mouth marketing leads every other channel:
Word of mouth is the predominant channel of marketing, especially for small businesses. It is through word of mouth that customers tend to discuss the personal experiences in depth and explore the uniqueness factor.
In a survey that Implisit did with 500 US based B2B customers, customer and employee referrals came out as the leading channel for a great customer experience.
Conversations stay fresh in everyone’s minds when they get candid with others. Therefore it is important for companies to give good experiences to their customers to talk about.
Customers gauge your brand quality with their experiences:
Forbes published a CEI Survey that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience whereas only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
They say, once an Apple user, you cannot go back to any other company. It almost always happens so that its customers end up paying a higher price and own its new products without thinking twice. Customers are very choosy about who they do business with and quality is the top requirement.
Customers are growing more demanding by the day:
Did you know that Amazon has 1 empty seat in their meeting room as a sign of a customer seated amongst them? This kind of inclusiveness is one of the many things a customer seeks. Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz summarised it quite well by saying, “We need to eliminate the word satisfied from our vocabulary. Satisfied for me is vanilla. We need to delight. We need to amaze. We need to provide extraordinary.”
Their demands of great experience include a company’s loyalty; whether or not it gets back to them for feedback and stays in touch, approachability; its multi-channel presence , generosity; the various ways of expressing gratitude. A lot of research and mind work is essential to understand the various customers and their various needs and provide customised interactions.
Companies are constantly innovating to get closer to their customers. Altimeter Group, in its report titled ‘Customer Experience in the Internet of Things‘,explores how sensors and sophisticated data collection bring us “closer than ever to the ultimate marketing objective: delivering the right content or experience in the right context.” Walgreens began piloting and augmented reality mobile app in 2014, that’s part loyalty and discount program and part immersive product finder. Such initiatives are taken so that the customers bear the fruit of it all and market the company to others!
We are eager to learn more new things about CEx being the new marketing. Please do enlighten us about them in our comments section below.