While this has always been the case, current trends are forcing companies to face the reality that their customers now have the ability to spend their finite monetary resources in an unlimited number of ways. When they choose to spend their hard-earned dollars on one thing, that money is no longer available to be spent on another product or service.
This means that a company that makes designer clothing not only has to compete with other clothing brands, it is also competing with companies that make smartphones, computers, household supplies, automobiles, and a number of other products that consumers purchase each and every day.
To make matters worse, they also are competing with restaurants, bars, hotels, spas, movie theaters, amusement parks, and a number of other businesses that are selling experiences rather than products. In fact, the statistics show that, in recent years, consumers are more likely to spend their money on these experiences rather than tangible products.
Customer Experience Expectations Have Risen
Your business is not only competing with every other product and service for consumers’ finite monetary resources, your customers are also comparing the interactions they have with your business against every other business that they interact with.
This means that if any business is able to provide a great customer experience, their customers will begin to expect other businesses to do the same, even if they are selling a different product or service.
“Once we experience a standard of excellence, we begin to expect that same standard, circumstances or company policies be damned,” writes Jay Baer in his book, “Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers.”
“It doesn’t matter what you and your direct competitors are doing, or prefer to do, in the realm of customer experience,” writes Baer. “The greatest businesses in the world are training your customers on what to expect, and they will eventually demand that you also meet that standard.”
Every business is your competition.
With this in mind, businesses of all types need to focus not only on creating and selling a quality product or service, but also on making sure that the buying process is enjoyable and that the experience that customers have after the sale is favorable.
This will not only lead to repeat customers, but can also hopefully turn customers into a brand advocates. And, as we know, this is more important than ever before.
Therfore, it’s not surprising that many businesses already recognize the importance of customer experience. And, even more will be putting more emphasis on customer experience in the not-so-distant future.
Photo credit: Alex Holyoake on Flickr.