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Customer Experience is Now A Strategic Lever

John McVicker

A strategic lever that could see you improve your revenues and profitability is sitting right under your nose. Customers expect more from brands than ever before and the battle for spend in 2022 will be won through customer experience. By investing in customer experience, you can make your customers feel valued, improve their loyalty and eagerness to spend.

The value of customer experience is well-known, but in a post-pandemic world, its significance is clearly increasing. In fact, a 2018 PWC survey of 15,000 people across the globe found that customers will pay up to 16% more for a better customer experience. This is a huge premium, considering the time and effort which goes into ensuring competitive pricing and product development.

Skip forward to 2019, when a Gartner report found that customer experience also drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty. That’s more than brand and price combined. Furthermore, in 2020 a Walker study showed that customer experience was the key brand differentiator, overtaking price and product. Consider this: your customers may be prioritising you based on how they perceive their customer experience will play out, rather than simply a product comparison.

This is why customer experience is now a strategic issue which could not only give you a competitive edge, but increase your profitability. Customer experience is an incredibly powerful lever and the entire process needs to be absolutely watertight. If you’re treating customer experience as a tactical issue, it must be elevated to the core of your strategy.

You already measure customer service and have invested in your processes right across the customer’s journey, but there’s another weak link. You could be losing valuable customers to your competitors and not even know about it.

The weakest link: third-party suppliers

Third-party suppliers are the weakest link in the customer service chain, particularly where they interact directly with your customers during onsite services. But since research shows only 1 in 26 unhappy customers will complain, you need to be sure your third-party suppliers deliver the level of service you pride yourself on.

The support of the right partner is absolutely critical. Without it, you could be risking not only the customer experience but your clients’ immediate satisfaction, ongoing loyalty and revenues.

Identifying the right partner

The right partner needs to mirror your own obsession with customer service. They need to have the same energy, culture and commitment to delivering an absolutely frictionless customer experience that you do.

They need to offer you a contracted Service Level Agreement which guarantees a committed level of service. They need to have their own engineers who can reliably get to a site, quickly. This can only be achieved through a truly national workforce with the skillsets that you need. They also need to guarantee they will get the job done the first time – whether that means staying onsite until it’s fixed, or sourcing the parts themselves.

Price surety is also critical. As we all battle the complexities of a skills shortage and extensive supply chain delays, delivering price surety is no mean feat. Without it, you leave yourself open to not only internal friction but also disappointment for your customer.

With the right partner, price surety is certainly achievable. A partner who is willing to take on some of the risk present in every project to deliver price surety is essential. An effective partnership will help you guarantee a healthy return on your investment and in turn, a thriving business.

Delivering an outstanding experience to your valued customers requires a strategic – not tactical – approach. By working to perfect your customer experience with the support of the right partner, you can lock in customers who are willing to pay more, be more loyal and give more referrals. And what business doesn’t want that?