Customer Experience—Taking It Personal

We all know how significant customer experience is and how it’s the most important factor that influences purchase decisions. We’ve been talking about customer experience for more than a decade now. Almost every business today has a keen focus on enhancing customer service but beyond that we’re not so sure.

So, what distinguishes leaders from laggards, when it comes to customer experience? Why do Apple customers feel so passionately about the brand? Why do Amazon customers reverently choose Amazon for their purchases? Why is the new online pet store Chewy.com gaining such a massive fan-base, so quickly? Let’s find out.

The Evolution of Customer Experience

Often, the prime objective of businesses worldwide is to maximize profits and shareholder’s value. To do this, all resources are targeted toward achieving this objective, putting other important business priorities like customer satisfaction and experience on the back-burner. The customer satisfaction index in late 2000 was considerably low compared to recent times. Customer expectations from businesses were limited two decades ago. A decent sales and support team was perhaps the only thing customers expected from businesses back then. But with the advent on ecommerce and eservices, the scope of businesses improved significantly—and so did customer expectations.

As digital transformation has taken hold, great quality products simply weren’t enough to beat the competition and woo customers. Most businesses took a beat to reassess their strategies and analyze why some businesses have not only managed to sustain but flourish over the years. What sets these great businesses apart from other businesses is the unflinching loyalty of their customers. Brand loyalty is mostly fostered by a great customer experience, so improving customer experience has become the number one distinguishing factor that influences purchase decisions.

Learning By Example 

Taking care of your customers and enriching their lives is not a new ideology. The best way to learn to truly nurture your customers and enrich their lives is to learn by example from Customer Capitalists and thriving brands.

Apple

Apple

When it comes to offering an excellent customer experience, Apple is one of the first names that comes to mind. The brand believes in offering exceptional service to its customers,  making sure they leave the store completely satisfied with their experience. The teams are trained to put the needs of their customers first. For example, in Apple’s flagship store in Boston, the sales team begins their day one hour prior to opening for a ‘daily download’. The team discusses new ways to enrich the lives of both employees and customers. The focus of this meeting is to create an atmosphere where the customers feel welcome, comfortable and, most importantly, leave the store with a smile.

Amazon

AMazon

Amazon also takes its customers’ feedback and expectations very seriously. Amazon regularly benchmarks its NPS versus competitors in every category where they compete and it never, ever underestimates new entrants. As a result, Amazon customers are fiercely loyal, post stellar reviews, and share exceptional content on social media. Amazon goes out of its way to make customers happy.

Chewy.com

Chewy

A comparatively newer business that has gained tremendous popularity in the past few years is Chewy. Chewy has managed to thoroughly adopt the customer-centered mindset and has emerged as a Customer Capitalist leader since its inception in 2011. Chewy makes the business transaction a personal experience for its customers. The sales executives show a keen interest in your pet, taking important details like breed, age, and more into consideration, even if it may seem irrelevant to the transaction. Besides great service, they also provide tips to better manage your pets. They treat their customers and their pets as family, even sending flowers to bereaved pet owners.

Taking It a Notch Higher, Making It Personal

Omnichannel loyalty and personalization makes it easier to deliver individualized experiences that add value to the customer’s journey with the brand. Every customer has unique requirements and expectations, and loyalty technology makes it easier to track customer behavior and accumulate first-party data to create better customer experiences.

Today customers want brands and businesses to anticipate their needs, to truly know them and their purchase patterns, then offer them products, services, and promotions that are relevant to them. Many brands are gearing up for improvements in these areas, and consumers won’t wait for those that lag behind.

Making It Worth Their Time and Money 

More than anything else, customers want to feel loved and appreciated. While a simple pat on the back may not work in digital interactions, appreciation and acknowledgment are important factors that drive purchase decisions. They can have a great impact on customer experience and influence purchase decisions.

You know what influences behavior most effectively? It’s recognizing and rewarding positive behaviors. The formula is simple yet effective. It’s as simple as rewarding kindergarten students with a star on well-done assignments and homework and yet it works as effectively on adults. A loyalty strategy can help a great deal in understanding and rewarding the most profitable actions to influence customer purchase patterns and behaviors.

Loyalty marketing increases customer retention, customer satisfaction, and customer lifetime value. Rewarding your customers in timely, relevant ways is a win-win for both the customers and your brand, providing a mutual value exchange. But, a loyalty program needs to be more than just an engine to churn out rewards to customers. It needs to engage customers in meaningful ways, be fun, and it needs to embody the brand’s personality and help achieve business and marketing objectives.

To do this well, you need an experienced and expert loyalty partner like Annex Cloud. Annex Cloud creates customer-loving loyalty programs across all industries. Contact us today to explore how we can help you elevate your customer experience with Customer Loyalty.

To learn more about adopting a customer-centric approach used by some of the most popular brands, read our solution guide, Embracing Customer Capitalism—How to build an advocacy growth engine.

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