Customer Experience is more important than Sales Experience

It takes just one click for a great brand to get its image tarnished in this age of always-on, always-connected consumers. Take the case of the leading airline whose pilot allegedly insulted a senior citizen for requesting wheelchair assistance. Even as the pilot continued to insult the customer, live streaming of the episode on social media channels went viral. This resulted in the airline issuing a public apology and the pilot losing his job. Then there are instances of customers calling out exemplary service experiences leading to increased engagement and brand loyalty that the best sales teams dream to generate.

Apple and Amazon, both market movers, epitomise such customer-centricity. At Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ obsessive focus on providing stellar Customer eXperience (CX) is legendary. And in today’s world of connected customers, the customer loop is never-ending. Hence, it is important that companies build their sales playbooks around CX. Indeed, never has it been more crucial that customer experience supersedes sales experience. Market-leading companies have already got a role etched out, the Customer Experience Officer, who directly reports to the CEO/Chairman. Such is the strategic importance of good customer experience to fuel business growth.

Companies that are at the forefront leading the CX strategy are in the auto manufacturing, health insurance, hotel chains, omnichannel retail and wireless service provider sectors. However, despite the measures taken by companies, CX excellence remains elusive. The Forrester 2019 Customer Experience Index revealed that emotion plays a critical role in differentiating brands and has a bigger impact on brand loyalty than effectiveness or ease of use, regardless of industry. According to the survey, how an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their brand loyalty than any other factor. Further, consumers today are more conscious of their social responsibilities so an organisation’s corporate values also play a significant role in enhancing brand loyalty.

Keeping People at the Center

Customers have come to expect the same customer service in today’s omnichannel era. This is a huge challenge for companies who are striving to provide a consistent service experience across all channels but discovering that there are laggards. Small and mid-sized companies end up burning a hole in their wallets trying to create a huge CX enablement chest. This is where training and Technology enabled Blended Learning – TeBL® can help. If companies can provide their people with the right skills and enable their customer-facing employees to provide a personalized experience, then there’s no reason why smaller companies cannot march over bigger, well-entrenched brands.

These trainings can be undertaken in a cost-effective manner using TeBL®, by constantly upskilling and reskilling employees especially in handling customer complaints sensitively, in a time-bound manner with the aim of client retention. Cost-effective, flexible and interactive e-learning is a valuable addition to all customer service strategies. Creating a positive customer experience will continue to remain a challenge. However, if organisations make CX strategic, then they will be able to win brand loyalty and build deeper relationships.

A stellar example of highlighting the importance of CX has been our training intervention with India’s largest international airport, which prides itself in providing the highest quality of customer service. We worked with the client to align the key stakeholders and provide seamless service that meets the diverse needs of passengers. To do this, we designed a stakeholders located in the airport.