SAP’s Signature Napkin Series #6: Internet Marketer – Mike Saunders
Following is a blog authored by SAP as a responsive musing on the napkin’s content:
It’s all about you – The importance of customer experience
Recent figures show that $200 Billion dollars is being spent on advertising by businesses. But is this money well spent? The same studies show that only 4% of people trust advertising for reliable information so what else should businesses be concentrating their efforts on?
Gradually, businesses are starting to change their focus from being all about the product and the bottom line, to being all about the customer experience. Customers are expecting more of a personal service, a more interactive one, particularly in these times of increasingly dominant social media.
With increased access to the internet, and thus increased access to information, customers are becoming better educated about the service they can expect. As more and more of their personal information is being accessed, they need to feel that it is being used correctly; that their needs are being listened to and taken into account. Put simply, a new relationship is being formed.
Good customer experience is invaluable. If a company has a good reputation it will attract more customers, and in turn more revenue. In this day and age of social media, reputation is something that consumers can influence in the time it takes to send a tweet. The power of ‘word of mouth’ has turned into the power of ‘word of click’.
For example, the percentage of people unhappy with the service or products they’re receiving has risen to 50% in the last three years, but is this because the products or services have declined in quality, or is it partly due to the fact that customers have access to more channels for complaint? They have more power. Social media is levelling the playing field. In recent years the channels open to customers have included telephone, emails, web chats and contact via websites, but social media is taking this to another level and there is increased transparency on both sides.
But social media is also keeping consumers engaged and informed, as well as making them feel ‘special’, and customers who feel special stay loyal. This is a valuable asset. Loyalty increases reputation which increases revenue.
Overall, a positive customer experience is right for the customer as well as being right for the business. Consumers have increasingly higher expectations that need to be met, but in meeting these expectations and investing in an enriched customer experience, businesses can increase their value. It is no longer enough to base the success of your company on pricing alone.
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