Inside the ROI of Consistency in Customer Interactions
Have you ever been passed around on a phone call and gotten frustrated at repeating your explanation each time the call was transferred? That moment of frustration is a perfect illustration of what happens when a company does not provide consistent customer interactions. The negative feeling that develops in this customer experience (CX) has more impact than some may realize.
The perception of bad customer service turns into a lost customer and poor reviews. Even worse, one report found that 59% of customers continued to avoid a brand for 2 or more years after a negative CX. That’s 2+ years of lost revenue.
We all understand how bad customer interactions can affect the bottom line. Does that mean delivering a consistent customer experience has the opposite effect? Let’s take a look at the return on investment (ROI) of consistency in customer interactions.
Consistent Interactions = Brand Reputation
Customer interactions affect how the public sees a company’s brand. It doesn’t matter if the customer is dealing in-person with a cashier, on Twitter with a response bot, or over the phone with a third-party customer service provider. In each circumstance, the customer perceives that they are dealing directly with the company.
Anything that happens during an interaction becomes a part of how the customer views the brand. If your company interactions are consistent, the customer will form an opinion about your service from their impression of how those interactions have been handled.
Consistent interactions with a customer give your company control over this opinion and help to create a single, consistent brand in the mind of the customer. Good or bad, the interactions that customers have with your brand are going to affect this perception.
Consistent positive interactions will create a positive impression. Consistent negative interactions will create a negative impression for the customers. Inconsistent interactions also create a negative impression for customers. More than one in three customers (36%) said inconsistent service across mobile, online, and in-store interactions would influence them to avoid an entire company.
In the age of social media, these single-person interactions are easily recorded and shared for public observation. In fact, it seems that social media is amplifying the effects of customer interaction. A consistent message is more important now than ever before.
Consistency Translates into Revenue
The return on investment (ROI) for customer experience is difficult to state in numerical value, but it can be measured by comparing companies who provide good CX to those that do not. A Forrester Research study from 2016 found that companies providing consistently positive customer experiences outperform their competitors by at least 24% in annual revenue.
Where exactly does that additional revenue come from?
First, consistent experience means increased frequency of spending by customers. Second, consistent CX can increase the overall spending amount of individual customers over the course of a year. Third, customers who receive consistent CX are more likely to stick to a single company’s brand and speak about the brand with others. Rosetta reports engaged customers buy 50% more frequently, spend 200% more annually, and are five times more likely to display brand loyalty. Clearly, improving customer experience (CX) is the key to increasing retention, sales, and satisfaction.
How to Create Consistency in CX
Consistency in customer experience can be achieved in two ways.
The first involves a set of highly involved and strict procedures that instruct customer service representatives how to behave on the job. It also requires a huge ongoing financial investment in staff training to make sure all your staff members around the world are on the same page.
The second, easier way to achieve consistency is by using a Customer Communications Management (CCM) solution.
CCM solutions are user-friendly and affordable programs that create attractive, real-time correspondence and other service-oriented customer communications. By using CCM technology, customers will receive more professional-looking messages from your company and have a consistent, pleasant experience every time.
Making sure your company’s interactions are consistent definitely impacts the bottom line. With an ROI of 24% higher revenue than competitors, it’s a business strategy worth investing in.
To improve your company’s ability to provide consistent and positive customer interactions, check out the resources available from the CX experts at Topdown, including our CCM for digital customer experience white paper.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.