According to Customer Experience Magazine, by 2020 customer experience would become the primary brand differentiator, replacing price and product. Their prediction was proven correct by PWC research as early as 2018: customers are willing to pay an additional 16% for better customer experiences and 32% of customers are willing to stop doing business with a brand they love after just one bad experience.
Irrespective of the sector or industry, most companies today would agree that the overall customer experience has become a primary focus and that their various department teams are working cooperatively to enhance this. A Gartner survey found that 86% of respondents working in CX now expect to compete on the basis of CX. And for good reason, as customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren't.
But why is this the case? Can the customer experience alone serve as a stronger brand differentiator than product and price? If so, why now?
This article will explore these questions and outline why customer experience has become the competitive differentiator so critical to both businesses and people alike.
What is the significance of customer experience (CX)?
Customer experience is different from other business imperatives like price or product because it alone is uniquely positioned to understand the behaviors that make up the customer journey and can ultimately answer why a customer is willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on your products or services.
CX has become a key differentiator because a great overall customer experience can be the main driver of all your business KPIs in a way that consistently accelerates growth. When customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to purchase more, become loyal, and share their experience with other. Thus, the customer experience becomes a logical connector through which disparate elements such as technology, marketing, consumer needs, and employee workflows are brought together and strategized. In fact, leading companies are already doing this: research has found that, by 2023, 25% of organizations will integrate marketing, sales, and CX into a single function.
Instead of creating demand through product or price differentiation, companies should frame consumer expectations as windows of opportunities to improve how people can interact with their brand. So as consumers come to expect digital experiences that are quick, personalized, seamless, and convenient, companies need to adapt accordingly and introduce technologies that can create this – and not just for customers.
While customers generate revenue, it is employees that drive the experience. Empowering employees with the right CX tools reduces friction on both sides of the purchasing divide, enabling your workforce to focus on continually creating a positive experience for customers that brings higher satisfaction.
The power of personalized CX
The rise of personalization has been one of the major factors behind the upward trajectory of customer experience, becoming such a powerful marketing tool that 98% of marketers say offering personalized services has advanced customer relationships.
Customers have grown increasingly unresponsive to traditional marketing tactics, and now generic, one-size-fits-all marketing strategies that try to please everyone end up pleasing no one. People pay attention to messaging that speaks to them directly about specific issues that solve problems personally affecting them, and the numbers prove it: 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.
Think about a customer making an online purchase. Using simple CX tools,you can personalize messaging according to customer data, greeting them by name about their individual order, answering specific fulfillment questions, and scheduling and updating deliveries and pickups – all of which can be done on the device already in their pocket. Responsive, informative personalized messaging that resolves a customer’s concerns creates a memorable and satisfactory experience.
And you can see from this wide variety of brand differentiation examples, tailoring the customer experience to a customer’s unique needs and journey makes a lasting impression and can be accomplished by leveraging just a few key data points.
Intentional communication is the key to brand differentiation
If personalization is the key to a great customer experience, then the means to deliver it is your company’s communication strategy. What, when and where companies communicate with their clients represent not just the bricks with which to build the customer experience but also the mortar that holds it together.
With customer expectations changing dramatically in recent years, people now want responsive, streamlined, and secure communications that quickly give them the information they need on a channel they prefer – and having effective CX communication tools to do this will be the foundation of your brand differentiation.
That’s why a CX solution like Statflo messaging platform is so powerful – it creates the experience that people want and expect, the experience that helps brands stand out from their competitors.
For example, business text messaging can be used by financial institutions to provide a fresh and impressive onboarding experience for new clients by personalizing the activation flow based on client inputs, creating curated messages about their financial options during key onboarding moments, and beyond. FIs can then focus on unique customer journeys with data-driven campaigns to encourage engagement and retention.
Or take telcos, which can use text messaging to keep in touch with customers. With an overhead view of every customer, your frontline teams can create personalized campaigns or tailored messaging based on the customer lifecycle, whether they are considering upgrading to a new device or answering customer questions about orders or billing.
Paying attention to customers means they pay attention to you, transforming transactional relationships into ones nurtured by trust, the ultimate foundation for an exceptional customer experience. Trust gained, customers are primed to hear more offers personalized to their journey, which not just increases conversions and lifetime value but increases the distance between you and your competition.
CX is the ultimate competitive differentiator because it is the only business indicator that is fully premised on truly understanding customers. If you neglect the needs of your customers and focus only on the price or product, you run the risk of them ignoring you; they will see your rebuke as a chance to find other companies that create the kind of digital experiences they prefer, no matter how much they have to pay.
Taking customer expectations seriously is the baseline upon which to build a brand differentiation strategy. And doing this requires the right CX tools that meet people at the junction of their technological and personal needs – and explains the overall effectiveness of business text messaging. With its ability to seamlessly communicate personalized messages on a preferred channel, Statflo cuts through the noise of generic, overreaching marketing strategies to make your brand stand out from the middling crowd.
Book a demo to learn how Statflo can help you build a better customer experience with business text messaging.