A New Look at Customer Experience [Ventures Africa]
(Ventures Africa Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VENTURES AFRICA – The connected community of today is impacting business in too many ways, the internet and social media have disrupted what used to be the status quo. The consequences are many and varied, good and bad. Customer Experience is wearing a new look as African businesses no longer have ‘one-on-one’ conversations with the customer, customers can now talk to themselves as well. Marketing and communications have evolved into omni-channel activities that run 24/7 and are not restricted by geographical borders.
Customer Experience now starts way before the transaction and ends way after the transaction. For example, customer experience for, say, the Four Points Hotel in Lekki, Lagos will include the trip to the hotel, the traffic encountered en route and the degree of difficulty associated with finding a parking space within the premises. Everything that happens before the actual transaction is part of Customer Experience and can be spread via word of mouth.
African businesses, now more than ever before, need to look wholistically at the products and services they render, ensuring that all layers on the “Experience Chain” are optimized to communicate the same message and leave the customer feeling satisfied. Here’s why this is becoming absolutely necessary:
1. Products generally are becoming commoditized and readily available, hence price is no longer a sustainable differentiator.
2. Customers have become smarter and more demanding.
3. Satisfied customers will generate positive word of mouth advertising.
4. With sufficient positive word of mouth advertising, the company can actually reduce budgetary allocations to physical advertising and incur no loss.
5. Customer satisfaction will eventually lead to customer loyalty.
Director of the Customer Experience World, Maggie Wheeler, had this to say early this year: “The growth in the availability of information about products and services online is having a growing effect on customer decisions with 90 percent of customers saying their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. When those customers make a purchase, social media is allowing them the opportunity to share their experience instantly to a huge audience, encouraging companies to get it right or risk a public backlash.”
In South Africa today, legislation such as Treating Customer’s Fairly (TCF) is positioned to stimulate changes throughout the financial industry with other industries soon to follow.
By Emmanuel Iruobe
(c) 2014 Ventures Africa. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
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