Is it worth it?
This is, of course, the big question for most companies: – is it really worth it to invest time and effort in user/customer experience managment and -activities?
Indeed, companies and corporations often cite the reason of “complexity” and/or “organisational structure” for being reluctant to implement these activities – and this is not wrong; they are those things, and they do demand commitment of time and ressources.
Clearly, they need to be worth all this to be even considered – are they that?
Well, the short answer is “yes” but I suspect you probably need a bit more than that, so I’ve gathered some information which might interest you…
First of all, certain investigations indicate that as much as 80% of businesses believe they provide a good customer/user experience – this is in stark contrast with the fact that less than 10% of consumers agree. If C/UX (as I’ve just decided to call it for the purpose of this article) is really something that matters, clearly the subject is in need of work here.
Also, dire stories of loss due to poor understanding of users abound – from Walmart’s ill-fated Project Impact, which actually lost them customers and send both stock value and sales downhill, to Microsoft’s currently unfolding Surface debacle, earning the company a 900 million dollar writedown and a lawsuit.
Furthermore, US studies show that as many as 60-80% of lost customers are due to a bad customer experience, with price point considerations – thought by many to be the most important parameter – accouting for only about 10% (or less, depending on the study).
I suspect you’d like some positive ones too, though, and they also abound – obviously, the biggest one is Apple, going from a >10%-of-the-market computer manufacturer to the world’s most valuable brand by providing an irresistible user experience, but there are many others:
- Netflix, of course, completely stole the movie market from the likes of Blockbuster by providing an elegant customer experience – then, they bungled it with Qwikster, but showed their understanding of C/UX by listening to their customers and quickly fixing that mistake. Netflix’ stock value has increased more than 400% in the past year alone
- computer company Gateway was rewarded with a $100 million sales increase in one year after addressing the user experience of their then-new online retail store
- According to a Harvard Business Review study, companies increasing customer retention by as little as 5% see increases in profits from 25 to 100% – and customer retention is all about the emotional connection with your company
- Danish broadband provider Fullrate, focusing on a clean user experience and quick and efficient customer service (along with a simple and attractive pricing policy, itself an innovative customer experience consideration in a field where even pricing is usually an obfuscating mess), sold itself for DKK400 million just 5 years after its founding
There are many more such stories – it is, quite simply, a fact that having due consideration for your user/customer, and arranging your company, strategy and behavior accordingly and seriously, can be a very significant avenue for growth and profitability.
Happy stock photo girl on the right there is our goal – and when you think about it, why would you not want to make your customer or user happy?