We all understand that having a great customer experience (CX) affects everyone as customers, and an exceptional CX drives revenues and growth. SaaS consultant Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré explains that companies with superior CX saw an increase in customers and regardless of the industry, CX leaders had as much as a 26%-point lead. With that in mind, we’re going to look at 5 thriving industries and how CX has helped them excel.
Besides the traditional sweet and savory snacks, there is a growing sub-trend that is appealing to more health and quality-conscious consumers: the millennial generation. With buzzwords like organic, healthy, natural, plant-based, ethically sourced, and many more, millennials are getting hooked on premium snacks. A brand like Late July Snacks is a great example of a product that achieves great flavor and has all the good-for-your and product-innovation boxes checked, creating an awesome brand experience. Companies further enhance their connection with millennials through a widespread social media presence and presenting themselves as authentic brands. 63% of millennials said they closely follow brands via social networks and regard authenticity as an important indicator of CX. Companies also know that millennials are a generation that want to co-create the product and the brand; they want to be part of that experience. As such, Marcus highlights that there is a rising demand for premium organic snacks among millennials, and it is one of the primary drivers in this industry’s current growth. Essentially millennials will continue to enjoy snacks from premium healthy snack brands and drive revenues, due in large part by the CX of these brands. In fact, snacking sales are predicted to grow 5% to exceed $600 billion by 2025, which points to how millennials are changing the game when it comes to CX.
When it comes to CX there is much more than just customer service. It’s an entire process that starts the moment a customer even thinks of doing business with a company and continues at any interaction point, from sales and support to the product itself, whether in person or online. In this regard, Apple has created an entire culture around CX, and it’s their focus on the entire experience that sets them apart. Customer Service and Experience Expert, Shep Hyken states that just unboxing an Apple product is an extraordinary customer experience. Beyond their products, Apple’s magic formula is all about building relationships and the soul of the company is its people, how they are hired, trained and taught to engage customers and treat them well. From in-store experience, product designs, and great customer support, Apple sets a very high standard on how to plan an end-to-end CX. Another company with a remarkable CX is Amazon. It’s one of the easiest companies to do business with and delivers a consistently high CX at every level. From transparency in pricing to confidence that you have full recourse for the delivery of your product, Amazon is an example of what CX should look like.
Cosmetics and Beauty
In the beauty industry, a great case for growth through excellent CX is cosmetics retailer Sephora. Having always focused on new ways to make the shopping experience fun and engaging for customers, it wasn’t about what they sold, but how they sold it. Additionally, it was all about how customers felt when they engaged with Sephora and its employees. What truly set them apart from inception, however, was the in-store sampling that allowed customers to sample and try cosmetics before they bought them. This aspect has been key to their continued success. Sephora also took CX to another level with a flexible return policy that includes customers being able to return merchandise for a complete refund, exchanges or even store credits. The company also offers consultation and other events for customers and clients in their stores. Also, in addition to Sephora’s own brand, customers can find high-end brands of makeup, skincare, haircare and more. Recently, by implementing a progress bar on their Portuguese website, indicating how much more a shopper would need to spend to get free shipping, saw average order value shoot up 8% with 16% more click to purchase.
Airlines don’t exactly have a stellar reputation for good CX, on the contrary, bad press and avoidable failures, with racial profiling and dragging passengers off planes, as a couple of the more notable ones. Yet, a study by the University of Nevada concluded that poor CX doesn’t actually affect profits in this industry, however, research showed that on average, each U.S. carrier misses out on $1.4 billion in annual revenue by not improving their CX. An Israeli based company, Reps.ai is seeking to change that and believes the way to better passenger experiences is by investing in CX automation tools designed specifically for frontline support reps at the airline’s contact center. Even though most complaints happen on the airplane, by using machine learning, customer service teams can improve customer satisfaction and reduce handle time.
One of the best ways for a company to improve its CX is to effectively communicate with customers to resolve the issue, give support and respond to feedback. As one of the topmost trusted B2B companies, FedEx has streamlined its customer communications and decreased new content output from 80% to 20% to provide more relevant high-value content. Previously it would generate as much as 13 emails per month to one customer with little relevancy, resulting in large-scale expenditure with little ROI. Now with more customer-centric communications, based on the customer’s buying or learning journey, FedEx has generated a double-digit revenue increase while also reducing costs. In addition, it allows teams within the organization to deliver better, more consistent CX and hit business objectives. Just like Amazon, FedEx provides exemplary CX all along the chain of customer interaction and through changes made to its content, the company is among the leaders when it comes to customer communication.
From the industries we discussed in this article there are 5 key takeaways that can apply to any industry to improve CX.
1. Like the successful organic snack brands, it’s important that companies are authentic and involve the customer in their product journey through social media.
2. Taking a page out of Apple’s and Amazon’s playbook, retail and eCommerce CX should be simple, convenient, accessible, and provide adequate support
3. Just like Sephora innovated and pioneered new policies never before used in their industry, companies should take note and be innovative and provide customers the ability to test and return merchandise, among other options.
4. With airlines trying to improve their image by using tools to improve customer CX, better automation tools to help with customer inquiries and requests should be implemented by businesses to improve overall CX.
5. Providing valuable and meaningful customer communication all along the chain of customer interaction like Fedex, whether it is B2B or B2C, goes a long way towards improving CX and maintaining competitiveness.