We all know that the customer experience is important. Customers today have a higher expectation than ever and if they get a less than satisfactory service then not only are they likely to leave and buy from someone else, but they will ensure that the entire Internet knows why they are not buying from you.

But just how valuable is the customer experience and how many customers would really move on if they don’t receive a great service?

  • Peppers & Rogers Group say 70% will buy from another company if they receive a bad experience
  • American Express says that 78% of customers will end a business relationship if the experience is not good
  • Forbes magazine suggests 68% of customers will end the business relationship if they are not satisfied

There are studies all over the Internet with similar results. Of course the methods vary from highly controlled academic studies to the dubious telephone surveys where customers are asked what they ‘might’ do hypothetically, rather than how they have actually behaved. In addition, most of these studies summarise their results with a single figure, but it is likely to be different depending on the type of product or service being purchased and the type of company – retailers are different to banks and they both differ from a company offering IT support.

However, with all this in mind, every figure shows that an astonishing percentage of customers are no longer prepared to accept poor service. Around two thirds to three quarters of customers now believe it is their right to move on and buy somewhere else if they receive poor service.

This is an important change in mindset for the customers. They are not just focused on the product and price, but the quality of service too and many customers would rather pay a little more if the brand treats them better. Service has become integral to how a customer chooses where to spend their cash.

Likewise, executive strategy is reflecting the same change. Instead of just attempting to maximize profit and reduce costs, corporate leaders are now finding that improving the customer experience is at the top of their agenda. The reason why is clear:

Customers expect great service. Even if you sell great products, you still need to make the experience great. Most customers are prepared to shop elsewhere if you can’t achieve this.

Have you also thought about this alignment of customer requirements with boardroom strategy and what it means for your business?

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