Published October 28, 2020 | Updated August 23, 2021
We've said it before in another post and we'll say it again in this one: customer experience (CX) is in danger of becoming another marketing buzzword. But if the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it's that a seamless customer experience is paramount for businesses trying to stay afloat in a socially-distanced world.
Of course, CX was just as important pre-COVID as it is now. Cultivating positive feelings about your product, your brand, and your customers' journey is vital. Doesn't matter if you're aiming to increase revenue, retain loyal customers, generate qualified leads, or a combination of all of the above.
According to the XM Institute, an excellent customer experience prompts customers to:
- purchase more
- trust your brand
- forgive your business for a negative experience
- recommend you to friends and family members
You don't need us to tell you how important customer experience is to your business. Besides, some prestigious institutions have researched CX extensively. We've combed through study after study to find the most relevant insights. Let's dive in to 5 customer experience statistics to know in 2021 and beyond.
Customer experience spending is projected to increase from $508 billion in 2019 to $640+ billion by 2022.
(Source: International Data Corporation [IDC])
The IDC predicts that over 30% of spending will go toward services like CRM software and content platforms.
According to a separate report from ServiceNow, which we'll cover later in this post, other CX investments include:
- Cloud-based platforms
- Digital payment software
- Social media
- Data and analytics
- Mobile apps
The return on those investments are significant.
In a separate study from Dimension Data, nearly 85% of companies that invested in CX reported revenue growth. Over 90% of brands reaped the rewards of more loyal customers. And nearly 80% of businesses cut costs.
Emotion impacts customer experience more than success and effort.
The report identified 3 key components of the customer experience: emotion, success, and effort. The report found that emotion impacted customer experience most.
A separate XM Institute article defines emotion in this context as how a customer feels about a company. To establish emotional resonance, businesses should strive to answer 3 questions:
- Who are our customers?
- How do we want our customers to feel?
- What is our organizational personality?
The most significant ROI of a "very good" customer experience is more referrals. Customers who rated a company's CX as "very good" are nearly 40% more likely to refer that company to their friends and family members.
Nearly 40% of CEOs believe customer experience is the most important strategy for gaining a competitive advantage.
(Source: Walker Knowledge Center)
Customer experience outpaced the next most effective strategy — talent — by nearly 20%.
Survey participants ranked CX as more important than product, efficiency, brand, pricing, and distribution combined.
The report also identified 7 behaviors of CEOs who invest in customer experience:
- Using insights strategically
- Setting aside short-term financial gain
- Seeking to understand their customers' journeys and stories
- Coordinating seamlessly across departments
- Encouraging employees to empathize with customers
- Approaching customers for feedback and advice
- Committing the resources needed to implement robust and effective CX strategies
Less than 20% of companies know which touchpoints indicate customer satisfaction.
(Source: ServiceNow survey)
A joint survey from ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab found that few companies are investing in a digital customer experience.
Just over 10% of brands surveyed have a single platform for organizing and accessing customer data. The report notes this is a "requirement" for developing a consistent CX strategy across all channels.
The report also explored what changes businesses must make and how those changes will benefit them. To offer a frictionless, digital customer experience, businesses must:
- Personalize marketing and customer service
- Simplify customer service processes
- Identify customer needs and behaviors in real-time
- Let customers know about issues with products/services in real-time
- Provide immersive experiences with products/services
- Speed up product/service delivery
Those changes will lead to these benefits:
- Better customer satisfaction
- Increased engagement
- Fewer customer complaints and pain points
- More loyal customers
- Better customer retention
- Improvements on products/services
- Increased profit
Providing an excellent customer experience can slash customer service costs by nearly 35%.
(Source: The Harvard Business Review)
This 2014 report is a little outdated, but its findings still hold true in 2021 and beyond.
Get the job done right the first time, and your customers shouldn't have to contact your customer service department. Which means you save money on customer service expenses. Seems like common sense, right?
But the benefits don't stop there. A consistent customer experience across all channels also reduces the number of customer service calls you receive. Fewer calls means more time on your customer service representatives' hands to spend solving complex problems. And it also decreases your chances of missing leads that call your business to book a job.
Customer experience stats to know in 2021 and beyond: wrapping up
The ServiceNow survey we cited above mentioned that less than 15% of businesses use automation — like chatbots and self-service options — to handle simple customer requests. Changing that is part of our mission.
Automation backed by humans improves relationships with your customers, drives growth, and saves you precious time and expenses. Discover how ZyraTalk can help you supercharge your customer experience with a free, 15-minute demo.