In today's ultra-competitive market, merely satisfying customers is no longer good enough. You need to have a business that people love.
New research shows that unless your customer experience is outstanding, most consumers are unlikely to remain loyal - and even fewer are likely to recommend your business to other people.
Of the customers who have a good (but not very good or outstanding) experience, only 39 per cent say they are likely to remain customers, according to the Optus Future of Business Report 2014. On the other hand, those who have an outstanding customer experience are five times more likely to recommend a business than those who have a good experience.
However, only 12 per cent of businesses are delivering an outstanding customer experience and reaping the benefits of high customer loyalty and advocacy.
The question is, how do you create a business that people love? Other key findings in the Future of Business Report offer some valuable insights:
- Customers want the personal touch. Despite the increased use of digital channels, 59 per cent of customers still expect to be able to deal with a real person - and they want that person to be friendly and knowledgeable.
- Employees need the right tools. Only a third of customers feel the employees serving them are very well equipped with the right technology. However, 71 per cent of businesses with a very well equipped staff deliver an outstanding customer experience.
- Integration is an urgent priority for many businesses. Less than a fifth of all businesses have fully integrated digital and traditional service channels. But businesses that offer an outstanding customer experience are three times more likely than average to have fully integrated channels.
- Successful businesses have well-aligned strategies. Businesses that make technology investments based on a customer experience vision, strategy and plan are far more likely to have loyal customers and brand advocates.
For more details see our Future of Business 2014 report.
By Karen Platt, Director of Customer Experience at Optus Business. More from Karen on Twitter: @platt_karen
All views expressed are the author's own.