Something happened to marketers trying to become customer-centric … they forgot to include the customer!
A disturbing trend seems to have taken place in modern marketing. Companies claim they want to focus more on the customer and move marketing initiatives to a more customer-centric approach, yet, all too often, these same companies are not performing the necessary foundational work to make this happen.
I call this a Customer Experience Paradox.
I understand why this may have become a bit of a trend … to not spend the time and money needed to do the work necessary for better understanding your customer: It requires the sales and marketing team to take some time out of their day-to-day revenue-generating activities to do customer interviews, map out key buyer personas and then take those personas and align them to a customer journey.
This takes time, requires focused energy and documentation, and won’t generate revenue immediately.
Yet, many of these same companies that do not consider this foundational customer work important are also hoping to become more customer-centric. How can you be more focused on putting the customer first if you don’t know and understand who your customer is and what they really need?
Since marketing departments are moving towards more data to justify activities and prove how they connect to bottom-line results, let’s take a look at some customer experience statistics that highlight why making the time to do this foundational work not only better serves the customer … but is just good business sense.
Customer Point of View
To break through this CX Paradox, the first place to look for insights into how customers feel about service and experience.
These statistics set the tone for why the foundational work is imperative. Customers are seeking personalization, true service, and those little added touches that make a difference from Evaluation to Decision and subsequently, Loyalty.
- 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. (PwC)
- 67% of customers say their standard for good experiences is higher than they’ve ever been. (Salesforce)
- 73% of customers say that one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies. (Salesforce)
- 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations (but only 51% of customers feel that companies do that). (Salesforce)
- 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. (PwC)
- 90% of customers find it important to receive an immediate response to their customer support questions. (HubSpot Research)
- 85% of consumers will not do business with a company if they have concerns about its security practices. (PwC)
- Only 49% of U.S. consumers say companies provide good customer experience today. (PwC)
- 32% of customers stop doing business with a brand they love after only one bad experience. (Source: PwC)
- 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because one of their competitors provided a better experience. (Salesforce)
- 84% of customers are more loyal to companies with strong security controls. (Salesforce)
- 50% of Americans would choose word-of-mouth if they were asked to pick only one source of information. (Convince & Convert)
- 62% of customers say they share bad experiences with other people. (Salesforce)
- 43% of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience. (PwC)
- 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if it offers simpler experiences and communications. (Siegel+Gale)
- 71% of people recommend a product or service because they received a “great experience”. (Convince & Convert)
- Loyal customers are 5x more likely to purchase again and 4x more likely to refer a friend to the company. (Temkin Group)
- 84% of customers feel that experiences are as important as the actual products and services. (Salesforce)
- Among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. (PwC)
The Importance of Buyer Personas
Your key buyer personas are a representation of your most critical customers.
It’s not only important to do this development work, but it should also be mandatory before implementing any marketing initiatives. This means pulling together members of every department who interacts with your customer in any way. Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Customer Service; all areas of your organization that are part of your customer’s journey with you offer up critical information and intel to what they want and need.
Customer Experience statistics don’t lie:
- Companies that exceed lead and revenue goals are over twice as likely to create Personas than companies who miss these goals. (Cintell)
- 71% of companies that exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas. (Cintell)
- Persona based content increased customer engagement almost six-fold when targeting cold leads (Boardview)
- 47% of companies who exceeded sales and revenue goals consistently maintain their personas. (Cintell)
- 37% of companies who simply meet revenue and lead goals have documented personas. (Cintell)
- Campaigns generated top-of-funnel inquiries increases by 721% when actively using personas. (Marketing Sherpa)
- 70% of companies who miss revenue and lead goals do not account for the full buying committee with their Personas. (Cintell)
- 65% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals have updated their Personas within the last 6 months. (Cintell)
- 58% of content B2B marketers consider ‘audience relevance’ as the most important factor in determining content marketing effectiveness. (LinkedIn)
- High-performing companies are 2.3 times more likely to research the drivers of their buyers. (Cintell)
- 36% of companies have created shorter sales cycle using Personas. (ITSMA)
- High-performing companies are 2.0 times as likely to include the buying preferences of their personas. (Cintell)
- Website generated leads increased by 97% when using personas (Marketing Sherpa)
- High-performing companies are 1.6 times as likely to understand the fears and challenges of their buyers. (Cintell)
- Companies that exceed lead and revenue goals are 4 times as likely to use personas for demand generation than those who missed lead and revenue goals. (Cintell)
- Email revenue increased 18 times (compared to broadcast emails) when using personas. (MarTech Zone)
- Top performing companies have mapped 90% or more of their customer database by Persona. (Cintell)
- 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals report segmenting their database by Persona. (Cintell)
- 56% of companies have created higher quality leads using Personas. (ITSMA)
- 24% of companies gained more leads using Personas. (ITSMA)
- It is more effective to target cold leads with persona-based content than targeting warm leads without using persona-based content at a rate of 58% versus 45% (Boardview)
- increases email open rate 2-5 times. (Demand Gen)
- Email Click-Through-Rate (CTR) increased by 14%. (MarTech Zone)
- Email conversion rate increased by 10%. (MarTech Zone)
- Website traffic increased by 210%. (Marketing Sherpa)
- Website generated sales increased by 124%. (Marketing Sherpa)
- Organic search traffic increased by 55%. (Marketing Sherpa)
- Online marketing generated opportunities increased by 73%. (Marketing Sherpa)
Aligning Personas to the Customer Journey
Those same departments that helped developed your buyer personas? Keep them in a room and have them align those personas to each stage of the customer journey.
- What triggers your persona to realize they have a problem your products/services can solve?
- What are the main pain points that your persona must battle daily and how can you help?
- How can you help them become a hero in their organization?
When you understand what your persona needs at every stage of their customer journey, you can proactively provide the information and answers. (Related: This infinity loop model)
- Eighty percent of buyers are using their mobile phones throughout various touch points in the B2B buyer’s journey. (BCG Research)
- More than half (57%) of B2B purchase decisions are made before submitting the request. (Zfort Group)
- Buyers are conducting more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision. (Business2Community)
- There may be 6-10 people involved in any given B2B purchasing decision. (Gartner)
- Most B2B buyers are already 57% of the way through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative. (Accenture)
- 63% of consumers who ask for information about your business or products won’t make a purchase for at least 3 months. (Marketing Donut)
- 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before engaging with a sales representative, and 44% identify specific solutions before reaching out to a seller. (CSO Insights)
- 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Content Marketing Institute)
- When B2B buyers are considering a purchase, the majority of that time is spent researching independently online. (Gartner)
- The leading reason why customers have limited engagement with B2B companies is because marketers are sending them too much irrelevant content. (KoMarketing)
- More than 75% of internet users say they read blogs regularly. (Quoracreative)
- Content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Using statistics in blog posts improves consumer trust. (Forbes)
- 46% of shoppers will leave a website because of a lack of message. (MarketingProfs)
- Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. (Campaign Monitor)
- After reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of online consumers in the U.S. decided to make a purchase. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Marketing Profs)
- By 2021, mobile commerce is predicted to dominate online sales, driving 54% (or $659 billion) in sales. (Big Commerce)
- Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. (Hubspot)
CX & The Bottom Line
Perhaps the biggest reason organizations are not setting aside the needed time and resources for this foundational development work is the fact that it’s hard to connect these activities to the bottom line.
Yet, the numbers show that when companies get their customer experience right (or at least better), sales increase, revenue increases, customer service calls decrease and loyal advocates emerge!
- Companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industries. (Bain & Co)
- Organizations that lead in CX outperformed laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%. (Watermark Consulting)
- Only 14% of companies measure ROI of Customer Experience. (Lumoa)
- Experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4 times faster and increased customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies in the past year. (Forrester)
- 62% of CX leaders think that their organization needs to make major changes to the customer experience to meet their customer strategy. (Source: PwC)
- 60% of CX leaders see larger returns from CX initiatives relative to other initiatives in their organization. (Source: PwC)
- CX Leaders get 3x greater return (stock performance) than CX Laggards. (Watermark Consulting)
- $1.6T is lost every year in the US because of poor customer service. (Accenture Strategy)
- $98B / year is left on the table by companies who fail to provide “simple” experiences to their consumers. (Siegel+Gale)
- 66% of customers say they’ll pay more for a great experience (82% for businesses). (Salesforce)
- Customers are willing to spend 17% more with a company to get excellent service. (American Express)
- 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. (Dimension Data)
- 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors. (Qualtrics)
- Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. (Retail Customer Experience)
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. (SuperOffice)
- Customers switching companies due to poor service costs U.S. companies a total of $1.6 trillion. (Accenture)
- Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than less customer-focused companies. (Experience Matters)
- Companies with initiatives to improve their customer experience see employee engagement increase by 20% on average. (McKinsey)
- Companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%. (Gallup)
- 81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. (Dimension Data)
- 64% of companies with a customer-focused CEO believe they are more profitable than their competitors. (The Economist)
- Customer experience leaders are more likely to have senior executives leading company-wide efforts. (Qualtrics)
- 22% of Fortune 100 companies have a C-level customer officer, compared to 10% of Fortune 500 and 6% of Fortune 1000. (CCO Council)
- Companies that earn $1 billion a year will see an average gain of $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience. (Qualtrics)
- Customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience. (Deloitte)
- Companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers. (MIT)
- The top 10 most empathetic companies increased their financial value more than twice the bottom 10 companies. (HBR)
- Offering a high-quality customer experience can lower the cost of serving customers by up to 33%. (Deloitte)
- Two-thirds of customers will share personal information with brands, but only in exchange for some kind of value. (Accenture)
- Customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report negative experiences. (Deloitte)
- 70% of Americans have spent more money to do business with a company that offers great service. (American Express)
- Companies that provide an emotional connection with customers outperform the sales growth of their competitors by 85%. (Gallup)
- B2B buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before actively engaging with sales. This underscores the importance for marketing to pave the path at every step of the journey for consumers to learn about and engage with your brand. (CEB Global)
Related: Is your Google Analytics reporting everything you need?
Remove this Paradox from your current situation and change the CX narrative in your organization. Invest time, money and people resources into developing your buyer personas and aligning them to your customer journey.
The rest of your sales and marketing initiatives will not only fall into place more successfully, your bottom line and your customer relationships will improve. Hopefully, these stats will help!
So, what can you do now?