There’s much more to business these days than dollars in and dollars out. Southwest Airlines knows that they're silly, but entertaining, safety instructions equate to an additional $140 million in revenue. (1)
Customers care about their experiences. Patagonia doesn’t just sell outdoor wear; they sell sustainability and environmentalism. Rolex sells opulence, luxury, and prestige. Apple sells style. Volvo sells safety.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
A good customer experience makes people feel heard and appreciated. It minimises friction, maximises efficiency and maintains a human element.
Measuring the value of funny onboarding announcements: Southwest Airlines.
What's good for the customer is also good for business. Give customers a good experience, and they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experiences with others (3).
Isn’t that what every company strives for?
The Aberdeen Group uncovered that top-performing businesses enjoy an average of $316 million in incremental annual revenue as a direct result of their customer experience initiatives (4).
Increased customer loyalty
Higher customer retention
Higher lifetime customer value
Greater brand equity
Reduced costs of service
Not to mention, CX/UX also helps with your SEO (link to HF article) and other initiatives across the business.
In 2020, two of the most important factors for driving business success are technology and customer experience. This means consumers have a lot to say about your success (or failure).
Remember the Snapchat redesign?
Even Snapchat superstar Kylie Jenner complained about the update, writing on Twitter: "Does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?" In fact, her comment wiped $1.8 billion (AUD) off the value of Snapchat.
Our way of life is becoming increasingly digital, which means it’s important for companies to invest in their online customer experience. But the complex nature of customers and technologies makes it hard to measure and therefore hard to justify and in the digital age, Return on Investment (ROI) metrics can only take us so far.
Companies have found it difficult to calculate the ROI of the digital aspects of business such as social media and other digital marketing, including the long-term benefits to the bottom-live.
ROI alone is simply not capable of reflecting the value of customer experiences and the impact this has on shaping the success of a company.
This is why Return on Experience (ROX) was born.
Where ROI captures the value created by a specific action (i.e. how much money a company invested and how much money the company got back in x number of years), ROX focuses on how customer experience positively impacts the customer lifetime value and financial well-being of a business.
ROX involves looking at your customer behaviors: how they are implemented, where they need bolstering, and understanding how they affect profit. In this way, it's different from ROI which focuses on resources.
The ROX formula instead focuses on the value of benefits to experience:
It’s a little more complex than calculating ROI but Salesforce has put together this great guide for calculating ROX including some real-world examples.
Based on PwC’s findings, here are 6 tips for creating a good customer experience and shifting your focus to Return on Experience metrics.
Put simply, engaged and happy employees are your best brand ambassadors. Above all else, happy people perform better at their jobs. Happy people are more focused and creative and make better decisions.
Ideas for improving your employee experience.
Invest in the wellness of your employees - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Have a solid onboarding experience.
Foster a transparent, all-inclusive culture.
Show gratitude and give praise.
Invest in tools that make working easier - don’t hold your people back from doing their best work.
Customers care about what companies represent in the grander scheme of things as well as what role your company plays in the community. Your customers use this type of information to build brand trust and loyalty.
Ideas for creating purposeful communities:
Get active on social media - show your personality!
Deliver on your values - don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
Communicate frequently. Be transparent and honest.
Give back to the community - knowledge, time, resources, humor - there are so many ways to give!
Every moment in the customer journey is an opportunity to connect with your customers and improve their experience. The key to customer happiness and positive emotions is to solve customer problems before they arise or solve problems they didn’t even know they had.
Ideas for building on moments:
Does your data suggest that they would benefit from a complementary product? Tell them.
Is there a more convenient option for your customers than the one they are using? Tell them.
Are your products or services evolving to better for your customers? Tell them.
Are you doing something in the community that matters to your customers? Tell them.
There’s no secret sauce for succeeding in business but there are 2 must-have ingredients that are all about understanding your customers and their behaviors.
Who are they?
What do they want?
Ideas for understanding customer behavior:
Online customer research - there’s so much information available. Use it.
Survey customers and collect feedback.
Build out personas for each customer.
Segment your customers - speak to their unique needs.
Visualise their experience - Customer journey maps are the best way to do this.
Data is more valuable than ever before, and customers know this. Which is why you must respect their data.
Ideas for respecting customer data:
Give customers something valuable in return for their data.
Tell customers what their data will be used for.
Use data to create more personal and convenient customer experiences.
Ensure that you have cybersecurity measures in place to protect their data.
It’s important to consider how you want customers to feel across the entire customer journey. Customers are looking for the complete package - They want a consistent experience no matter how, when or where they interact with your brand.
Ideas for considering the entire customer journey:
Ensure all touchpoints across the entire customer journey are mapped out.
Set-up all touchpoints to collect data.
What does the data say across the entire customer journey?
Use the insights to continuously improve your customer experience.
Of course, you want to systematically measure your investment. This means you’ll need a framework for setting Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
You can create your own framework or build upon an existing one such as the ROX framework (below) by PwC.
In use, a ROX framework zeros in on customer touchpoints that need help, and align resources with the things a company does especially well. But if you’re not ready to create a framework, a good place to start is just by executing the above ideas. One way or another, you’ll see the positive impacts over time.
Keep in mind, ROX isn’t built in a day. Along the way, your organisation will grow. You’ll be constantly testing hypotheses, gathering data, and building new KPI's.
When it comes to ROX the best place to start is with your business and its people. Look inward and create goodness that can be extended outward onto customers.
Customer expectations are evolving rapidly and our world is becoming increasingly digital. It’s hard for businesses to keep up with customer behaviour.
A digital agency or expert has the knowledge and expertise to understand your customers and how to design for them. Importantly, they have the processes and tools to measure and maximise your investment in customer experience.
Diverting from a career in Architecture, Linda uses the left and right side of her brain equally. She's been with Honest Fox from the beginning and is involved in all facets of the business. She's empathetic and kind and loves punk music.