Why customer experience matters now more than ever

Jack Gomer

November 2, 2018

Brands and businesses operating in the UK are facing an uncertain time.

With Brexit just around the corner, Monday’s budget announcement came with the claim that ‘austerity is coming to an end’.

Yet, Maru/edr research in the hours immediately after the latest budget publication showed that less than 1 in 4 (23%) UK consumers agree with Philip Hammond that austerity is coming to an end.

In the wake of the Autumn statement, consumer’s confidence in their personal finances remains low as just 1 in 4 (26%) feel that their own economic situation has improved in 2018. It means that a whopping two thirds (66%) of consumers are cautious about spending.

Spending set to drop

2018 has been a difficult year for consumer businesses – especially in the retail market where store closures and restructures have almost become the norm.

And the latest consumer results suggest that the remainder of 2018 will continue to cause headaches for key consumer sectors – over half (56%) of the consumers we polled plan to cut back on normal spending habits after the budget announcement on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, clothes and fashion (31%), holidays and travel (28%) and eating out and leisure (28%) are going to take the biggest hit when it comes to consumer spending over the next six months.

Customer experience is vital as expectations of businesses rise

People’s expectations of brands and businesses will be on the rise.

With consumers set to spend less on non-essential items, businesses need to offer a compelling offer to convince customers to part with their cash.

It means that a brand’s customer experience has never been more important. Businesses must focus on making their customer experience centre stage by putting the voice of their customers at the heart of everything they do.

Customer feedback will remain vital to this – not only do brands need to listen but they must act accordingly and in the right way. With revenue growth on the slide and profit margins tight, customer insight must be applied both tactically and strategically if businesses are to set themselves apart in a fierce and competitive environment. It means using feedback to drive everyday operational excellence and identifying optimum areas for change that drive ROI.

Voice of the Customer

But Voice of the Customer feedback programmes require investment – both upfront and in-life – and they are rightly analysed on a regular basis to understand the quantifiable return they provide – and no more so when consumer spending is tight.

If your VoC programme is not integral to your business, then it’s simply not delivering – outputs must inform action that protects revenue, increasing conversion and supports highlight customer lifetime value.

Having developed digital VoC programmes for almost twenty years, we know how to drive ROI – in fact, we believe there are just four simple steps to maximise ROI.

Results taken from Maru/edr’s agile snapshot survey tool measuring reaction from 150 UK consumers to 2018’s Autumn budget statement in the moments after the government announcement.