Living in this new digitally driven age has presented both businesses and consumers with more challenges and more opportunities. With customers bombarded by the chaos of thousands of brands daily, the core test remains; differentiation through service excellence (customer experience).
According to Forbes magazine, globally it is reported that companies across different sectors lose around 62 Billion due to poor customer experience. With a statistic like this, one might think that customer service is getting worse, when in fact it is getting better. The reason behind this is that the best companies are setting the bar higher.
“Companies across different sectors lose around 62 Billion globally due to poor customer service.”
Research done globally by Ipsos has shown that expectations have become more liquid, meaning that they are increasingly influenced by a much wider body of experiences across a variety of sectors. Here it could be argued that the increasing digitization makes it easier for a customer to compare, thus it’s possible that the service provided by Amazon’s One click ordering affects the way consumers expect to deal with their bank, utility provider or local restaurant.
“Today’s customers compare Amazon’s One click to expectations from their bank, utility provider or local restaurant.”
This shift in expectations is a strong indication of a mature, well exposed, digitally savvy customer base, that is hard to please. Even harder at a time when the audience has become the medium, meaning that every experience can be broadcasted on social media to millions of people at a click of a button, forever damaging or uplifting a brand; truly transforming customer experience as the new brand image.
Managing customer experience in a digital age is a global pressing issue, and in Jordan the situation is no different. 40% of Jordanian customers’ report experiencing a negative service from their service providers and more than 20% of Jordanian customers who have had negative experiences with their service providers have discussed their negative experiences online (Jordanian customers of Automotive, Telecom, Banking, Insurance, and Travel). As a result, it is reported that a strong majority of those who had a negative experience stopped dealing with the company because of the incident.
“20% of Jordanian customers who have had negative experiences with their service providers have discussed their negative experiences online”
These figures clearly point out to an experience divide; the contrast between what consumers expect of their interactions with brands and the reality of how these transactions are often delivered. Perhaps even more worrying, our figures reveal that organizations are not even aware of many instances which do not meet customer expectations, since 34% of those who had a negative experience believe that their company was not aware of their problem, and thus did nothing to overcome it.
What can customer experience specialist do to bridge this service break? Today, an increasing focus is being devoted to the concept of “customer success”; providing a service that requires low effort and frustration from the end user. At a technology infiltrated time, it makes sense that the starting point is to re-evaluate the role of digital tools in improving the actual customer experience, mainly in terms of how customer feedback is collected and disseminated within organizations. Additionally, companies need to rethink the customer insights they want to collect.
“Companies need to re-evaluate the role of digital tools in improving customer experience and more Importantly in active listening to the voice of customer”
For technology to be deployed to enhance customer experience, it should be initially leveraged to collect feedback around critical instances in a timely manner. Traditional studies are still invaluable as they provide an unbiased strategic view of how the different touch-points impact the overall experience. However, to provide the full picture, these programs need to be coupled with high volume and high frequency transactional flags which enable organizations to collect feedback in a timely manner after every interaction.
“Instant Transactional Flags are the most efficient way companies can address unsatisfied customers and gain back their trust”
At Ipsos, we recognize the challenges that our clients are facing, and have deployed 4 main pillars in all our deliverables to overcome them; Substance, Simplicity, Speed and Security. We deliver on the promise of substance by relying on our own research on customer experience, driven by years of global expertise and R&D, which allows us to implement the most proven metrics at the right time.
By delivering short concise surveys, that address the issues that matter most, straight to the palm (smartphone) of our clients, we ensure delivering on simplicity. We also recognize that times are fast, which is why we aim to collect and deliver results swiftly, allowing our clients to intervene with their customers in real time, with the hopes of shifting their opinions from negative to positive.
The true value lies not only in the speed, but in the engagement provided to stakeholders throughout the organization, giving them a sense of reliance and security to act based on a solid digital feedback ecosystem.
“Engagement provided to right stakeholders, provides a sense of reliance and security to act based on a solid digital feedback ecosystem”
The application of customer experience technology and feedback measurement bridges the experience gap and generates a process of innovative transformation, centered around delivering a better experience for customers rather than focused on technology for its own sake. Continuing to invest in customer experience optimization programs is essential to build brands that people trust and will choose to engage with continuously as opposed to any other substitute out there in this cluttered market.
- Ipsos own research, based on over 10,000 interviews across 7 industry sectors.
- Ipsos Omnibus 2016: a study based on 1000 Jordanians of age 15+ representative of the natural demographical distribution
- Watling, Callum 2017. Ipsos Mori Thinks: Great Expectation, are service expectations rising?