Customer experience is arguably the single most important metric for small businesses to monitor. It influences everything from how much a person is willing to spend, to how often they spend, to how many people they share your business with—and what they say about you.
In fact, roughly 71% of customers (1) believe that they have better experiences with small businesses, as opposed to massive conglomerates. The onus is on small businesses to live up to that expectation, to create customer loyalty.
To that end, we’re shining a light on 15 customer experience statistics to show just how critical it is to make a lasting, positive expression, every time.
Happy customers spend more money
The biggest and most important reason to treat your customers to an exceptional experience is because it’ll directly affect your revenue. Customer-focused companies that go above and beyond to provide a stellar experience are 60% more profitable (2) than those with lackluster experiential offerings. That little extra attention goes a long way toward the bottom line.
In this same vein, 86% of customers (3) are willing to pay for a better experience. It’s a sign that customers recognize the extra effort, and that they’re willing to reward businesses that take initiative. If you want to offer products or services at a premium price, make sure the customer experience reflects that price tag.
So, how do you deliver an experience that’s worthy of higher customer spend? All signs point to personalization. As many as 90% of customers (4) say they’re willing to pay more for a personalized experience. Take an individualized interest in your customers and you’ll be rewarded.
“And they’ll tell two friends…”
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forces of advertising. As the saying goes, someone will share their experience with two friends, then they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on. Small businesses need to make sure that the information traveling through the grapevine is positive, not negative.
Today, in the digital age, word of mouth spreads like wildfire. As many as 72% of customers (5) will share their retail experience with at least six friends if it’s positive. However, 13% of customers (5) will take to social media to vent a negative experience—which means hundreds (if not thousands) of people could see it.
One bad impression can do serious damage to your reputation. 40% of customers (6) say that they’ll stop doing business with a company if they feel neglected or if the experience doesn’t live up to promised expectations. And, as any small business owner knows, it’s a lot more affordable to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. Bad customer experience could set you up for high churn rates. But, positive interactions could save you big-time marketing dollars.
Mode of customer interaction matters
Customer experience trends don’t happen in a vacuum. It’s important to look at the medium of interaction. Does the customer experience happen face-to-face? Over chat? Through a website? Consider the touchpoints for customer interaction relevant to your business. Then, consider what customers want in terms of experience across these mediums.
- 67% of customers (7) prefer self-service, as opposed to interacting with reps.
- 55% of customers (8) want to chat with a live person over the phone.
- 47% of customers (9) would rather email with business over anything else.
- 41% of customers (10) want the option to chat on-site, via person or chatbot.
If your small business isn’t connecting with customers in the way they prefer to interact, you could be handicapping customer experience from the get-go. The results could be dire. Forced to engage in a way that’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable to them, 74% of customers (11) will decide to switch brands—particularly if it impedes the purchasing process in any way.
It’s also important to make interactions and transactions as simple and seamless as possible. To do this, more and more businesses are relying on AI and machine learning. In 2019, as much as 25% of customer interactions (12) were facilitated by simple automations, including smart chatbots, intelligent autoresponders and AI-assisted customer service portals. These automations improved the experience for customers and streamlined customer service for businesses.
Customer experience matters above all else
There are a lot of small business statistics out there worth paying attention to; however, it’s most important to focus on what your customers are focused on. No matter what industry you’re in, customer service reigns supreme. Across the board, 80% of customers (13) say that customer service is the single most important part of their shopping experience. Focusing on delivering an exceptional experience and top-notch service is a smart way to curry favor with the majority of your patrons.
What happens if you fall short of delivering a superb experience? As many as one-third (32%) of customers (14) say that all it takes is one major disappointment to send them looking for products or services elsewhere. It’s a daunting prospect.
But there’s good news.
All customers really want is for small businesses to make the effort. So long as you try to deliver a great experience, you’re likely to have the support of most customers. As many as 77% of customers (15) said they see brands in a more favorable light if they reach out to ask for feedback. Even more reward brands for actively taking steps to learn from and improve the customer experience.
The key takeaway from these customer experience statistics? Small businesses need to focus their effort and energy on making customers feel valued, welcome and appreciated. Remove barriers that make it difficult to interact or buy, and take steps to incorporate positives throughout the customer journey: before, during and after the sale. Showing customers that you care is the quickest way to earn their trust and their business, now and for the future.
- Engage2Connect: Customer Experience – Small Business Biggest Advantage
- Deloitte: Customer-centricity Embedding it into your organisation’s DNA
- PWC: Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right
- Zendesk: CX Trends 2022
- Slide Share: CX for Executives
- Statista: Share of customers in the United States who stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service from 2016 to 2020
- Zendesk: Self-service: do customers want to help themselves?
- Forbes: I Just Want To Talk To A Human!
- Retail Dive: https://www.retaildive.com/news/study-47-of-consumers-prefer-email-messages-from-retailers/
- Help Scout: 21 Key Live Chat Statistics for Customer Service Teams
- A.Sfdcstatic: State of the Connected Customer
- Gartner: Gartner Says 25 Percent of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Customer Assistants by 2020
- PWC: Experience is everything. Get it right.
- PWC: Experience is everything. Get it right.
- Nextiva: How to Build an Award-Winning Customer Service Strategy