CX, CX, CX….if you’re an SMB, trying to stay ahead of the exploding post-pandemic commerce curve, you’re hearing about customer experience as the leading factor in consumer acquisition and retention – even ahead of product and well ahead of price. In fact, research shows that almost 50% of business owners believe that CX will be the top priority over the next five years. But if we deconstruct the data, some interesting evidence emerges: it’s very easy to mistake “providing service” for “facilitating the experience”, and it’s critical to determine the differences.
So, if we dive a little deeper into the “curse of the experience economy”, it will become clear that although the majority of household spending is heavily dependent on services, a much smaller portion is dependent on the experience of using those services. So are we putting too much focus on the customer experience, at the risk of compromising service? Let’s take a look.
When you consider that some of the areas of highest household spending are ‘transportation’ (14%) and housing (13%), with much lower spends being devoted to the “disposable income” categories like food, drink & tobacco (11%); recreation, culture, and vacation (9%); and restaurants / hotels (9%), it’s clear that the “experience” matters less than the “service” in the larger spending categories. Depending on where your SMB fits should dictate your focus. A greater number of companies will want to lean on enhancing services that help customers get their jobs done faster, better, and more efficiently – in other words, if the service is provided correctly, the experience takes care of itself. That said, a smaller share of companies will want to make it their mission to provide excellent services AND generate an enhanced experience for their customers when using them. Again, the takeaway here is that NO business can afford to ignore the underlying service to focus solely on the CX.
One of the core business principles revealed by this research is the critical importance of knowing your audience. Understand your customers, their jobs, their goals. If you’re a provider of “essential” services, design them in a way that allows your customers to meet THEIR goals efficiently, and support them throughout the process. And if you fall into the secondary category, never sacrifice service for experience – exemplary service must be a “given”, and the onus is on you to facilitate an elevated customer experience surrounding those services.
At the end of the day, the debate around the priority of customer service vs. customer experience is a non-starter if you partner with a trusted customer service outsourcing company like Anexa. We have a twenty-year, award-winning background as customer service specialists, and our talented agents are trained to apply the most current principles in the customer experience / service field, when representing your business. Factor in that we have one of the largest pools of bilingual agents in North America with ongoing CX training, and partnering with Anexa could be a win for your business and your VIP – the customer.
Reach out today to learn more about our specialized customer service teams.