Why Customer Experience Matters More Than Selling

Stuff Happens and Happens Some More

We’re inundated with a never-ending barrage of products. We have sold, promoted and bought products like it was part of our DNA. Some would argue that our entire consumerist economy is built on the idea of shoving products down our collective throats.

While selling may seem like second nature to many of us, it may no longer be required. The onslaught of products over the course of time has led us to a place where stuff matters less than the experience.

Having the latest and greatest means nothing unless a level of trust is associated with it. People make purchases based on deeper connections with a brand and an experience they crave.

“As we’ve become inundated with low-quality content everywhere we turn, it’s the interactions that bring us into an experience that makes companies stand apart,” says Carla Johnson, keynote speaker, author and Chief Experience Officer at Type A Communications.

“I’m not just going to work out; I’m going to use the Nike Fitness app to become a better athlete. That’s an experience.”

A Need For Human Interaction

There’s a lot of irony in the idea that, in the Connection Age, people may be more detached than ever before.

While they may be more informed, the lack of raw engagement with others deprives them of something more meaningful. This deprivation creates a need for human connection and authentic experiences that are uniquely their own.

Sellers have no choice but to figure out a way to provide experiences that satisfy this craving.

Customer experience (CX) matters to the best organizations. They appoint CX leaders and invest in measuring their CX effectiveness.

According to Forrester research, organizations with CX leaders achieved compound annual revenue growth rates (CAGR) of 17 percent compared to just 3 percent for those without CX leadership.

In turn, Accenture’s 2015 CX survey found that 86 percent of B2B executives consider customer experiences to be very important, while a mere 57 percent feel they’re below average executing on CX initiatives.

Customer Experience Needs Measurement

Customer experience insecurity stems from the inability to measure it.

Qualitative data is always tough and, according to Calabrio, 47 percent of CMO’s don’t believe they have the right tools to understand their customer’s needs.

31 percent of senior leaders believe integrating customer data is the greatest challenge their company faces.

“People fall into the practice of measuring what’s measurable rather than measuring what matters to the work that they do,” Johnson says. But data is difficult when it comes to relationships.

“They have to genuinely care about what matters to the people with whom they’re trying to connect,” Johnson says.

“This means understanding them as buyers, mapping out the entire customer journey – not just the buyer journey – and communicating with them where, when, and how people find things interesting to them.”

A study by The Economist and Genesys highlights the value of investment and support in CX. 33 percent of survey respondents cited better customer retention as a primary benefit, and 28 percent said they had experienced increased sales.

In short, it is hard to measure but is far too important to ignore.

 

This article appears in the new July/August 2018 issue of Connect magazine published by NextPage, which can be found online here. If you would like a free print subscription to Connect, please click here.