Every year service leaders probe through organic search results looking for statistics to validate their customer experience initiatives of the year. Sometimes for validation, sometimes for inspiration but the hunt for statistics is always on.
Like pictures, numbers say a thousand words too. Every presentation deck has that one slide that’s filled with numbers, statistics, and other data points. After all, you can’t argue with numbers, especially when it comes to understanding customers!
If you’re preparing such a deck to argue for building a better customer experience or are looking for some perspective on the current state of things, this blog has you covered. It includes customer experience statistics on an array of topics beneficial for novice and experienced service leaders alike who are looking for data points to polish their cx initiative.
This portrait of customer experience underlines the following customer experience trends or talking points for 2022:
- Importance of customer experience
- Relationship between personalization and customer experience
- Need for a customer loyalty strategy
- Omnichannel customer experience management
- Role of AI in customer experience, including the rise of self-service and chatbots
Customer Experience vs Customer Service: What’s the Difference?
To start with, however, I’d like to make a clear distinction: Customer experience is not customer service.
Customer service and support is one of many interactions that comprise the whole of your brand’s customer experience. These include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Product research
- Purchase process
- Training and onboarding
- Post-purchase customer service and support
- Renewals, cancels, and returns
“In the end, [customer support] is what happens when the experience breaks down,” says Annette Franz, Founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. and a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). “If we get the experience right, then we take the weight off the contact center. If we get the experience wrong, customers will be calling customer service.”
As for a working definition of customer experience, Franz sums it up thusly: “customer experience is the sum of all interactions that a customer has with a brand over the life of their relationship with their brand. More importantly, the feelings, emotions, and perceptions they have about those interactions.”
This means that, even if customer service isn’t the whole of your customer experience, this doesn’t lessen its impact at all (which you’ll see in the following customer experience statistics!). If you’re wondering how to craft an excellent customer experience, check out our blog on the subject.
Importance of Customer Experience
Why Should You Care About Your Customer Experience?
I’m going to let the numbers do the talking here.
- 88% of customers claim that the experience that a company provides is as important as its product and services (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 46% of customers rarely or never complain about a bad experience (Coveo, Relevance Report Service 2022)
- 83% of customers expect to immediately connect with a company representative or support agent on contacting the company (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 53% of customers believe that most of their support interactions are fragmented (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- A mere 13% of consumers think it takes little to no effort to get their cases solved (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 96% of customers say excellent customer service builds trust (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 94% of customers believe that a positive customer experience increases their likelihood of repeat purchases (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 82% of customers recommend a brand based on their positive customer experience with a service team(Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 80% of customers accept company mistakes provided that they are backed by excellent customer service (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
Relationship Between Personalization & Customer Experience
Customer expectations around their CX and the impact personalization can have on that CX is convoluted. Here’s the dichotomy: consumers want personalization but are skeptical about how their data is used. On the other hand, companies want to deliver personalization, but they can’t seem to get it right.
The statistics below shed more light on this:
- 56% of consumers expect offers to be personalized 100% of the time (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 73% of consumers expect organizations to understand their personal needs and expectations (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 91% of consumers believe that relevant offers and personalized recommendations impact their buying decisions (Accenture, Personalization Pulse Check 2018)
- 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for a personalized experience (Accenture, Personalization Pulse Check 2018)
- More than 50% of shoppers are only comfortable sharing data around product preference (Forrester and RetailMeNot)
Need For a Customer Loyalty Strategy
It’s easy to understand the importance of a good customer experience to customer loyalty and customer retention. It makes logical sense.
But put on your ‘consumer hat’ for a moment.
As a consumer, with more options and better options today — just how loyal are you really to a brand? Well, you still might be but as you’ll soon find out — most consumers today simply aren’t loyal.
When “the times are a-changin,” you need to change too. You don’t just need a loyalty program anymore, instead you need to build a loyalty strategy.
Customer Loyalty Comes Falling Down
- 71% of consumers have switched brands at least once in the last year; the majority citing better deals (66%) and better product quality (58%) — as two primary reasons (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 76% of consumers claim to have ‘broken up’ with a brand after just three bad experiences; while 12% of consumers say that they will abandon a brand after just one negative experience (Coveo, Relevance Report 2022)
- 86% of US online adults belong to at least one loyalty program but only 54% believe that loyalty programs make them feel more connected to a brand (Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics® Benchmark Survey, 2021)
Why Do You Need A Strategy to Retain Loyal Customers?
- 56% of consumers claim that they are more likely to buy from a brand that offers a loyalty program (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- On average, loyalty rewards program members in the US and Canada spend $99 more with traditional and online retailers than nonmembers within a typical three-month period. (Forrester Report).
- When a brand makes a consumer feel appreciated, 76% say that they will keep their business with the brand, 87% claim to recommend the brand to friends and family & 80% say that they will spend more (Forrester’s Customer Experience Index)
- 83% of consumers are loyal to companies with consistency across departments (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
Essential Customer Satisfaction Steps That Marketers Are Taking:
- Marketers increased their spending on loyalty technology on average by 3% in 2021 (Forrester, Post-Pandemic Trends Marketers Should Note As They Benchmark Their Budgets)
- Brands are using over 20+ metrics to measure brand loyalty (Forrester, Improve Loyalty Measurement With Behavioral And Emotional Metrics)
What are Customers Looking for in Loyalty Programs?
- 61% of consumers would use loyalty programs more often if they were configured as automatically applied awards (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 55% of customers are looking for personalized awards or awards that can be redeemed across brands (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 51% of customers want easier ways to track their progress (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 28.7% of shoppers are seeking more interesting rewards (Yotpo)
- 38% of shoppers are looking for additional ways, beyond making a purchase, to get involved with a loyalty program (Yotpo)
- 45.8% of shoppers are looking for gifts or swag items to be included in the loyalty program (Yotpo)
Importance of Personalization to Loyalty Programs
- Only 22% of the respondents were happy with the level of personalization offered by their loyalty program (Bond, Loyalty Report 2019)
- On getting personalization right, loyalty programs see a 6.4x lift in member satisfaction (Bond, Loyalty Report 2019)
Omnichannel Customer Experience Management is the New Normal
You can’t have your cake and eat it too — or can you?
The pandemic disrupted businesses across industries, forcing many to adopt digital channels. Customers were forced online due to the restrictions imposed by lockdowns across the globe. In short, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation.
As businesses started delivering an omnichannel customer experience, the convenience, along with the other benefits showed customers that you can have your cake and eat it too. And, now that’s all they want.
- 57% of customers prefer online channels of communication, a slight majority compared to the 43% who still prefer non-digital channels of communication (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- Consumers belonging to Generation Z are 1.6x more likely to engage with a brand via an online channel (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 78% of customers have used multiple channels across their customer journey (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- Customers who engaged with more than four channels spend 9% more on in-store purchases compared to those customers who engage with just one channel (Harvard Business Review)
- Within 6 months of an omnichannel experience, shoppers are 23% more likely to make repeat trips for in-store purchases and are more likely to recommend the brand to friends and family (Harvard Business Review)
- The number of companies who have adopted an omnichannel experience jumped to 80% in 2020 (PwC)
Role of AI in Self-Service
Like every other revolutionary technology, AI has the potential to be used for good or bad. Of course, its representation in sci-fi across cultures has accentuated its threats, creating this irrational fear of interacting with an intelligent system.
Personally, I feel like we can do with another Wall-E.
As the research below shows, the wall between man and machine is thinning. Modern advancements in AI are bringing humans and machines closer together.
Can Digital Assistants Be Our Best Friends?
- 72% of business executives, 53% of millennials, and 42% of consumers already use digital assistants. Over 40% of these business executives use them throughout the day (PwC)
- 20% of business executives consider their digital assistants ‘smart’ or ‘friendly’ (PwC)
- 31% of business decision-makers believe that virtual personal assistants can have the largest impact on their business (PwC)
Talk To Me, Chatbot
- 15% of consumers use chatbots to connect with a business (Drift, 2018 State of Chatbot Report)
- 35% of respondents’ biggest concern with chatbots is the loss of human touch (PwC)
- 27% of consumers were unsure if their last service interaction was with a human being or a chatbot (PwC)
- 34% of respondents predict that they’d use a chatbot to get in touch with a human agent (Drift, 2018 State of Chatbot Report)
- 43% of millennials and 28% of business executives would prefer a hybrid customer service solution run by AI that gives them access to humans instead of a human-run service only. (Drift, 2018 State of Chatbot Report)
- Three biggest benefits of chatbots – (a) 24-hour service (64%); (b) instant responses (55%); (c) response to simple questions (55%) (Drift, 2018 State of Chatbot Report)
- Baby boomers are 24% more likely to benefit from all chatbot features (Drift, 2018 State of Chatbot Report)
I Can Help Myself When I’m Not With You: DIY Customer Service
- Service executives believe that 40% or more of the live cases can be solved by self-service (Gartner)
- Self-service customer interaction that needs to be switched to live support to be solved can be 80-100 times more expensive than self-service only (Gartner)
- 22% of consumers will break up with a brand due to misinformation provided by a customer service agent or support agents (Coveo, Relevant Report Service 2022)
- Nearly 40% of Gen Z will leave a brand if they cannot solve a problem on their own (Coveo, Relevance Report Service 2022)
- 58% of customers have used chatbots as a self-service tool for looking into their simple queries; 65% of customers have used self-service account portals (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
- 59% of Gen X, 66% of Millennials, and 61% of Gen Z prefer self-service for simple cases (Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer)
Bonus Stats: Low-Code, High Impact
- 84% of organizations use low-code to reduce the burden on their IT teams (Forrester)
- 85% of IT & digital transformation decision-makers believe low-code is helping them move closer to their digital transformation priorities for customer experience (Forrester)
- 31% of organizations that are using low-code are yet to deploy it to meet any of their top-priority business goals (Forrester)
- More than 65% of organizations using the low-code claim that platforms built using low-code have higher adoption rates as compared to other platforms (Forrester)
- Customer service & support and customer engagement rank third and fourth respectively among the top five priority applications of low-code in an organization (Forrester)
How Do You Rate Your Customer Experience?
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into a well-rounded, thoughtful customer experience. Customer acquisition isn’t enough; and fighting back the tide of customer churn is an ongoing effort that can pay dividends if done right.
One solution is search. After all, where’s the first place you go when you want to solve a problem? Google. Instead of letting someone on YouTube or another channel explain how to fix or resolve the issue your customers are having, create a positive experience within your channels with AI-powered self-service.
With low-code offerings and features designed to connect customers to information effortlessly, Coveo can help you craft a great customer experience and grow your business.