Insights|Solving the CX Equation: What Elements of Customer Experience Do Customers Value Most?

Solving the CX Equation: What Elements of Customer Experience Do Customers Value Most?

Consumers are looking beyond price tags at the levels and elements of customer experience brands are delivering to calculate the value of products and services.

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by Sitel staff May 13, 2021 - 3 MIN READ

Consumers are looking beyond price tags at the levels and elements of customer experience brands are delivering to calculate the value of products and services.

The vast majority of consumers agree – 97% of U.S. and U.K. consumers surveyed – that brands are focused on delivering a positive customer experience (CX). However, only 43% believe this focus is making a tangible difference.  

Our latest whitepaper, Driving Customer Loyalty: Perception, Effort and Action, decodes consumers’ post-COVID-19 outlooks towards customer experience. As well as showing there is still a gap between expectation and CX delivery, the research reveals the moments when organizations are getting it right.  

Based on a study of 2,000 consumers (1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. respondents), Driving Customer Loyalty; Perception, Effort and Action identifies what enables brand leaders to become magnets for attracting and retaining customers. It also shares the steps brands can take to improve their own customer loyalty and advocacy levels.

The Value of Positive Customer Experience 

As we move further away from one of the most disruptive years in recent memory (2020), some things have clearly changed. Customers have become digital first in their dealings and, in turn, are prioritizing brands that support live chat, messaging and self-service, alongside traditional channels such as the phone. These elements of customer experience are what your customers value most. And, there’s evidence that, due to uncertainties of 2020, of furloughs and lower levels of job security, consumers are spending with caution. However, brands should not make the mistake of thinking the only way to attract customers is through competitive pricing. Instead, brands need to start examining their existing customer experience plan for opportunities to add value.   

Money Isn’t Everything 

By far the biggest driver of customer loyalty is the perception that the brand offers good value for money – cited by 42% of all respondents globally. And in terms of value, this goes beyond a product or service representing a good “deal” in the financial sense. As our research clearly shows, consumers attach value to friendly staff, to being able to use their channel of choice and, increasingly, to time – potentially the greatest commodity of modern life.  

A quick glance at quarterly and year-end financial reports for 2020 highlights that alongside the likes of Amazon and Walmart, Apple, Fender and Lamborghini had record years. Even though physical stores, guitar centers and car showrooms were closed for the majority of the year, these brands made history even with the elimination of being able to try before buying.  

Customer Experience Is Still the Biggest Differentiator  

There are other brands that build guitars, other PC makers and a constantly growing choice of exclusive sports car companies. However, in each of these examples, the customer made his or her choice by completing the cost verses quality equation to calculate value. The result of this equation will be different for different brands operating in different sectors. But in every instance, focusing on customer experience activities as a way to add value translates into greater loyalty.  

A positive customer experience influences how consumers consume. 94% of respondents acknowledge the impact of customer experience and 58% say it is one of the most important factors when making a purchasing decision. Drilling down further, millennials (63%), Gen X (71%) and U.S. consumers (65%) are the most likely to let customer experience dictate how and with whom they spend their money.  

Value is now a key element of positive customer experience. For instance, within fashion and retail, respondents to our study cited both Gucci and H&M as brands to which they feel loyalty. These two brands could be considered at very different points of the fashion spectrum (from a cost perspective), yet both brands boast a highly loyal customer base.   

Prioritize Adding Value to Your Customer Experience  

Whether from U.K. or U.S., female or male, and irrespective of generation, all groups prioritized value for money as the key attribute of brand loyalty. U.K. respondents rate this higher than those in the U.S. (46% versus 38%) and women rate this attribute higher than men (46% versus 37%).  

Beyond value for money, the attributes customers most closely associate with a brand’s commitment to the delivery of a positive customer experience are helpful and friendly staff (69%), fast response to questions (53%) and an easy-to-use website (51%). Across industries, geographies and genders, these elements are the must haves brands should commit to as the foundation for a best-in-class customer experience geared for driving customer loyalty.

Learn more about how value equates to customer loyalty and discover the CX attributes that set leading brands apart from their competitors. Download Driving Customer Loyalty: Perception, Effort and Action.

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