Is the Customer Experience More Important Than the Product?

Customers are wanting to be recognized for their purchases more now than in the past few decades. The demand of competition allows consumers to have both the freedom of choice and the freedom of expression should they feel their experience was not up to their expectations. Verint Systems, known best for their security, surveillance, and business intelligence software, wanted to put their analytic skills to the test. They partnered with the well-respected Harris Interactive to conduct a study on how and why customers would buy or leave their product.

The findings showed that consumers did have more power and say in the company process. In fact, 88% of customers prefer doing business with a company that offers quality customer service. 69% of customers switched brands due to real or perceived poor service. Only 13% of respondents cared about the quality of the product itself. See article HERE.

That means that if you have a fantastic product, and your competitor has a fantastic product, the customer will immediately look to the customer experience to make his or her choice. More interestingly, the non-profit group known as CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute) completed their own survey. They asked the same question about customer experience, with 86% of respondents saying that they do chose to work with companies that offer outstanding customer experience. However, only 1% of these people thought that companies they regularly buy from were delivering high levels of positive customer experience. See article HERE.

Verint Systems decided to dive deeper into the customer experience realm and discovered three helpful tips to making sure your consumer experience stayed high:

  • Make sure a person’s search engine result shows your company has an online community. People want to visit forums and have immediate access to other like-minded buyers.
  • Make sure you give access to training and knowledge sharing to your consumers. If they see your company process, they feel more engaged. Once the invested interest exists, they tend to stick around for a long time.
  • Create a unified brand experience. From logos, colors, and how you present your information, consumers want to feel comfort. If they see your brand repeatedly – think Coke or McDonald’s – then they tend to engage more frequently. See article HERE.

Having a reliable and safe product or service is the starting point for your business to grow. However, you must be willing and able to engage your consumers with top quality interactions, caring and supportive responses, and demonstrating that their dollars mean more to you then just helping to improve your bottom line. It is about your consumer interaction and experience trumping your product.