Customer experience is on everyone's mind and for good reason. According to nearly three-quarters of the more than 8,000 consumers surveyed for Salesforce's third edition of the State of the Connected Customer report, an exceptional customer experience with one company raises their expectations of other companies.
Today, experience with a company is as important to consumers as the quality of product or service they purchase from an organization. In the age of consumer empowerment, customers' new-found agency in the marketplace is driving a demand for ethical, trustworthy brands that build customer relationships founded on personalization, timeliness and connectivity.
The key takeaways from the report revealed that those organizations that excel at customer experience are proactive about customer needs and interests; they anticipate when a consumer might be interested in trying a new product version or be in need of assistance and deliver support before the customer asks for it. They also meet their customers where they are, offering a variety of ways for consumers to connect with a company through platforms like phone support, social media, websites and smartphone apps.
Lastly, organizations meeting the customer experience expectation listen to their consumers, document those interactions and share them broadly across the organization so that no matter which department a customer engages with, they're always speaking to a company representative that has a complete, up-to-date record of the customer's relationship with the company.
How can companies deliver on the increasing customer experience expectations of consumers? One discovery the report made was that consumers expect companies to leverage emerging technology like AI to improve customer engagement.
For those eager to "hop on the customer experience bandwagon" and meet new expectations of consumers, implementing an innovative customer engagement strategy should be followed by careful measurement of the approach's success. In the report's key findings article, recommendations are made for evaluating the effectiveness of a customer experience strategy from a variety of vantage points.
For marketers, measuring client lifetime value can provide invaluable insight on how effectively you're engaging customers. Sales teams shouldn't forsake the value of tracking customer retention as it can often indicate how satisfied a consumer base is with their relationship with your company. From a company-wide perspective, analyzing the effectiveness of cross-functional collaboration can also be a key indicator of how well-positioned your organization is to deliver on today's customer experience expectation.
The report shares many thought provoking discoveries that are worth a read. Is customer experience top-of-mind for you and your team? How do you provide meaningful engagement to your customers?