By Natalia Hawkins
Today, small and mid-sized electronics companies are forced to operate in a fast-moving and highly competitive market. Rapid product standardization and erratic market developments have always been a headache for electronics manufacturers and on top of that they now have to combat with the extreme shortness of product cycles.
These factors have made customer experience optimization an even more important competitive factor. The high level of reliability, flexibility, and short turnaround times are crucial to success for any electronics company. Why? Simply because buyers in this particular sector tend to switch in order to find the latest features and the best price. It is, therefore, essential electronic manufacturers to provide their customers the best overall experience. But it is easier said than done.
According to a report by Accenture, just 20% of customers are loyal to their electronics manufacturer. This is the lowest among the 10 sectors covered in the report. In addition, the report found that 47 percent of buyers are happy to consider shopping around if they get a better deal. But on the brighter side, the chances of getting customer recommendation are higher in the electronics sector, compared to any other industry.
Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities, if you can provide the right kind of customer experience. If you are still not convinced, here are top five reasons why customer experience matters in the world of electronics.
1. Fosters Customer Loyalty
Well, let’s just accept that customers prefer to be polygamous. According to a recent report, the majority of consumers cheat on their favorite brands. Another report by Vision Critical suggests that “42 percent of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after just two bad experiences.” So it is quite clear that even your highest spending customers are likely to check out other brands and ditch you, if you fail to meet their expectations. In fact, studies also suggest that even satisfied customers are not always loyal. Why? Perhaps because they are not that satisfied.
Customers today are aware of the fact that there are various alternatives available to them and the switching costs are usually too small to affect them. Focusing on the overall customer experience is perhaps the only way to alleviate these issues. Create an experience that exceeds your customers’ expectations and impress them so much that they will want to do business only with you. Make them realize that they are less likely to have a similar experience with your competitor. Therefore, optimizing each interaction to create an engaged customer relationship should be one of your prime goals.
2. Improves Customer Satisfaction
It is no secret that companies that are focused on maximizing the customer experience have a better chance to increase their customer satisfaction. It is essential for electronics manufacturers to try and see the bigger picture and think in broader terms. This means, they need to focus on the whole customer experience and not just on individual interactions with their customers. This is the only way to improve customer satisfaction.
The goal is to be consistent across all touch points of the customer experience. This not only means meeting or exceeding the standards and treating your customers right, but you also need to be honest with them. For instance, you are a high-tech electronics company dealing with security products like a door access control system. It is quite natural for you to push your customers into buying a sophisticated system. But it is even better if you give them the opportunity to decide for themselves and only guide them through the process to make the right decision.
By not being pushy, you will earn your customers’ respect. They will truly appreciate your honesty and are more likely to recommend you and come back to you for their next purchase.
3. Reduces Customer Churn
Customers don’t leave you because of price. It is either because something bad happened or they weren’t satisfied with the final outcome.
Try to identify which area of your business has had a history of poor service or repeatedly fails to meet the standards of your business and eliminate them at the earliest. This is your first step to improve your poor customer service; the next is to adapt a more consistent approach in delivering the overall experience. It is essential to consistently develop your customer service skills and if you happen to have some angry customers, it is advised to have a proper customer service recovery strategy to turn them into happy ones.
4. Increases Sales and Revenue
Remember the old verse, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.”
This is so true for a high-tech electronics manufacturer. It takes 4 to 10 times more to acquire a new customer. Besides, a long-term customer tends to spend more, compared to a new customer. In fact, the higher your customer retention rates are, the bigger the profit you will make.
It is found that customers tend to spend more money on companies that provide good customer service. Your customers are ready to spend their money, all they ask for in return is a better experience.
5. Helps You Gain a Competitive Edge
“Customer experience is your only source of sustainable competitive advantage,” says Harley Manning and Stephen Powers, Forrester analysts.
This means, you must take care of your existing customer; there is no other option. The electronics sector is highly competitive. And since almost every manufacturer is embracing the latest technology, there are perhaps just two ways you can differentiate yourself from your competitors: by offering a lower price or by providing superior customer experience. The latter is not only cost effective, it is also sustainable and will help you get better result.
To build a long-term sustainability, you need to give your customers exactly what they want. When you can do this well, you will gain a competitive advantage, which is a huge plus in today’s environment where businesses are becoming a commodity, thanks to the myriad of competitors available in the market.
Providing the best possible customer experience is no longer a fad; it is a necessity even in the world of electronics. It offers the perfect platform to generate that big revenue gains, especially in an environment where customers are comparing and purchasing on only on the basis of price alone, but also on factors like customer service and overall experience.
So, how do you differentiate yourself in this competitive market?