Customer experience refers to the perception a customer has of a brand across every touchpoint, be it online or offline, over the full duration of their relationship. It is made up of user experience, digital experience, and offline experiences.
Say you order a pair of shoes from a company online. Every stage of your purchasing journey – from the advert you saw and your initial interaction with the company’s website, to the checkout experience and the delivery of the shoes themselves – contributes to the overall ‘experience’ you’ve had with that company.
Not only that – say the shoes you ordered don’t fit, so you ring customer services, or visit them in-store. This too shapes the experience you’ve had. A company’s customer experience offering is thus all-encompassing of the services it provides.
89% of customers stop doing business with a brand after a bad experience. As our report on digital experience transformation states, in 2016 poor customer experiences cost US businesses $68 billion, and UK businesses $48 billion.
No wonder, then, that Gartner states that customer experience is a brand’s greatest competitive differentiator. Today’s businesses no longer compete on product, price, and advertising space: the experience they provide to customers has become incredibly important, in terms of brand reputation, winning initial business, and establishing customer loyalty.
If customer experience is a brand’s greatest differentiator overall, then businesses cannot discount what this means when it comes to the quality of their digital offering. Increasing digital experience maturity has become a key priority for companies who care about improving customer experiences online.