The digital age has become a golden age for the customer. Companies traditionally competed by broadening their selection of products and services, offering extra benefits or lowering prices. Now, with nearly infinite product information available on smartphones, tablets and laptops, both consumers and businesses have become smarter shoppers. A Forbes Insights survey of retailers found 83% of consumers conduct online research before making a major purchase such as a household appliance or automobile.
Savvy companies are adapting by focusing on designing a superior customer experience. This concept encompasses more than just delivering great service or a better price. The customer experience focuses on all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company, its products and services, as viewed from the customer’s perspective.
These days, companies are challenged to distinguish themselves by providing a superior customer experience. The stakes are high. Many customers will leave a company based on a single bad experience. Research firm Forrester notes 40% of consumers have a high degree of willingness and the ability to shift their spending. On the other hand, the rewards for providing a superior customer experience are great: McKinsey & Company found for every 10% increase in customer satisfaction a company’s revenues can increase 2% to 3%.
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