The experience is everything.
You’ve seen the articles and stats that show today’s consumers prefer experiences over “things.” And you can’t deny that all those photos on Instagram of faraway places and thrilling adventures have sparked a little #wanderlust in your soul. Because you want to have those same experiences, too.
But that’s just scratching the surface of experience.
The experience we’re talking about today is the kind of experience you want your customers and guests to have. A that-was-so-amazing-I-will-always-use-this-brand experience.
Consumers today have choices. So. Many. Choices.
The question then becomes: how do you deliver such an amazing brand experience that your customers will stand by your side for the long haul and become advocates for your brand?
Because even if you’re the least expensive fill-in-the-blank out there or have a shiny new store on Main Street or BOGO offers every month, you’ll fizzle out if your brand experience is falling short.
In fact, nearly half (43 percent) of the respondents in a Harris Poll survey said they would purchase an inferior product from a brand they had a positive experience with. Not just that, but most of them (73 percent) would spend more on a product from a brand they love.
If you deliver an exceptional brand experience, consumers will spend more with you.
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of an exceptional customer experience, consider the following:
- Consumers will spend one-third of their disposable income on brands that provide great customer experience. If you do the math, that’s about $30 billion available every month to brands that prioritize great customer service. (Harris Poll)
- 71 percent said they would probably not use a brand again after just one negative experience (Harris Poll)
- 44 percent would go the extra step and share their bad experience with their peers (Harris Poll)
- Nearly 70 percent of consumers (68 percent) will pay up to 15 percent more for a product if they know they’ll have a great experience (“State of Online Reviews” poll by Podium).
- Reviews impact the purchase decisions for 93 percent of consumers, and 60 percent of respondents said they scour reviews each week (Podium)
- 82 percent of consumers say the review verbatims have convinced them to make (or not make) a purchase (Podium)
If you’re not sure you’re delivering consistently exceptional brand experiences (consistency is key here), all you have to do is check out your reviews.
As a society, we are deeply entrenched in what is referred to as The Connection Economy or The Experience Economy, depending on who you ask. The idea is the same: today’s consumers are sharing their experiences with their peers more than ever, through review sites (Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor) and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat). These shared experiences are influencing the behavior and purchase decisions of their friends and peers at a rate that continues to grow.
- In a Nielsen survey, 92 percent of respondents said they trusted word of mouth, including recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising
- A study from Internet Marketing Inc. shows that 52 percent of all Facebook users say their friends’ photos have inspired—or even changed—their travel plans.
- The 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey shows that 91 percent of consumers read online reviews, and the number of those who don’t read reviews (only 9 percent) has dropped dramatically, from 29 percent in 2010.
- Also in that survey, 84 percent say they trust reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.
- More than half (59 percent) of respondents in the BrightLocal survey typically look at multiple review sites before making a decision.
- Second to the star rating, 47 percent of those respondents said they pay attention to the review sentiment, or the positive or negative comments within the commentary, to get a comprehensive view of that business.
It all boils down to this: Your customers’ experiences are defining your reputation and your influence.
And since this is our new reality, it’s crucial that brands deliver consistently exceptional brand experiences at every touchpoint.
Not sure where to start? We do.