The Customer Experience Is More Important Than Price
Consistently Good Customer Experience Drives Repeat Business
From a customer’s perspective, every interaction with your organization is a customer experience. And each of these interactions has a cost to the customer ─ in terms of money, time, or both.
If these experiences are consistently good, customers are more likely to repeat business with you; giving you the kind of customer loyalty your organization truly desires.
A research study from Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services that enable integrated customer management, supports the importance of the customer experience on customer retention.
Called the Customer Experience Survey, the survey reveals that consumers and businesses around the world say that they are more likely to stick with a telecom provider based on the quality of the customer experience than on the cost of its service. For an industry that seems driven by constant cost pressures and incessant price cutting, this survey may be quite an eye opener.
For those of you who hate being put on hold when calling a customer contact center, you will not be surprised to learn that 57% of the respondents to this survey said they would pay extra not to be put on hold, or have to talk with multiple service representatives, when dealing with a call center.
This survey queried over 1,000 consumers and 400 businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom about their interactions with telecom providers. While the results are industry specific, I believe similar findings would occur in most other industries and markets across the globe.
After all, the frustrations that customers feel about the service they receive, particularly when trying to reach a frontline support person, are universal.
“The Amdocs Customer Experience Survey proves that keeping customers happy is not just about reducing prices,” says Mr. Michael Matthews, Chief Marketing Officer of Amdocs. “By adopting an integrated customer management strategy, providers can get a full picture of their customer interactions. From there, they can identify customer needs and provide a differentiated and intentional customer experience. That is the right strategy regardless of whether the customers are consumers or large corporations.”
Customers buy experiences.
Customers pay for the experiences they receive from your organization ─ either in money, time, or both.
For many customers, perhaps even a majority, time is a more valuable currency than money.
As a result, many customers are willing to pay for convenience. In the Amdocs survey, a majority of respondents claimed they were willing to pay an extra US$5 a month if it meant that they would not be put on hold and not have to talk to multiple service representatives when contacting a telecom call center.
In a world of product parity and commoditization of both products and services, it may seem like price is the most important determining factor in the customer buying decision-making process.
But as the Amdocs survey results show, this may not always be the case. Even in the highly competitive telecoms industry, where product parity and service commoditization are the status quo, there are market segments eagerly willing to make purchase decisions on factors other than price.
In a world of customer experiences, sustainable growth will come to those who monitor and improve the experiences of customers at each and every point of interaction.
After all, good customers place a higher value on their experiences in dealing with organizations over the prices paid for products and services.
And since customer retention is all about the art of keeping good customers,™ focusing your efforts on improving convenience to customers and reducing their time costs when dealing with your organization is one of the best ways to improve the overall experiences of your customers.
KEY POINT: customers pay for the experiences they receive from your organization ─ either in money, time, or both.
TAKING ACTION: survey the top 20% of your customers and ask them specifically what steps you could take to improve your convenience to them. Also be sure to ask them if they would be willing to pay a fee to receive improved and more convenient service.
Monitor your call abandon rates, as well as the length of time customers spend on hold, at all your telephone service centers. Survey your customers about their experiences with your phone and call centers. Where is improvement needed?
Benchmark your customer experiences with those of your competitors. How can you make the customer experience a point of differentiation so that you do not need to compete as much on price?