Research from Watermark Consulting and Forrester Research tracked the six-year stock performance of companies on Forrester’s Customer Experience Index. Even during the recession years of 2007-2012, customer experience leaders averaged double-digit gains in stock performance, besting customer experience laggards by an impressive margin. This is not a coincidence — the better a company’s customer experience strategy, the better its earnings. It’s that simple.
TeleTech applied the same business concept of streamlining processes through more efficient and helpful customer experience to local governments in Arizona. TeleTech worked with the State of Arizona and with the local governments of Gilbert and Goodyear to develop better, more efficient, customer-friendly ways for local businesses to get the necessary documents they need to open new businesses, expand existing business and increase employment for Arizona, which has benefits that extend far past just the customer (which, in this case, was local business).
Every company likes the idea of improving the customer experience. But when put up alongside other day-to-day business concerns, it often gets kicked down the road for a later time, which often never comes. A complete customer experience strategy can increase revenue generation through higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduce costs through lower churn, streamline product development and processes, and lessen price sensitivity. However, discussing the benefits of a robust and well-executed customer experience strategy is not a problem; finding the time to execute is.
Companies are hesitant to invest in programs without a guaranteed return, and many improvements in the customer experience take time. Small, quick-win programs are an option, but without enterprise-wide strategy and alignment, they won’t reach their true potential. That is why getting the boardroom to buy in requires a proven return on investment.
“Lead in customer experience, lead in the world” is not a just catchphrase; it’s a roadmap to success. The traditional differentiators that have dominated business — price and innovation — have seen their clout severely diminished in recent years thanks to the instantly comparative information provided by the Internet. This means companies need a new differentiator, and, to the delight of customers everywhere, the way in which a customer interacts with a company’s brand — the customer experience — is emerging as the new standard of business competition.
Ron Wince is president of Customer Strategy at TeleTech, founded in 1982, a leading global provider of data-driven, technology-enabled services that put customer engagement at the core of business success.