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Customer Expectations Rise as CX Innovation Falls

Has this happened to you?  You get a delivery window for a home service or important package delivery. Cool. Until it’s just 5 minutes before the end of said appointment window and you’re still starting out of your living room window, waiting.

Will they be there in five minutes or 30? Not knowing increases your stress level with every passing moment. The instant the company has officially missed the delivery window, you pick up the phone to call customer service, are routed through a series of “press 1” for this and “3” for that, to get someone on the phone to put you on hold while they call the driver to find out: “He’s on his way, he’ll be there soon.” So much stress, and far too much time on the phone to discover you could have gone for a run, showered and enjoyed a cup of coffee during the last two hours you were left waiting. How is this acceptable customer service in the age of millennials and mobility?

Forrester predicts that in 2018 “customer expectations will outpace companies’ ability to evolve,” and suggests we will see a 30 percent drop in “CX performance” this year. The pace of technology insists that companies innovate at a rate faster than ever before. But where will the innovation come from?

Companies need an answer. Because check this out:30 percent of Gen Z and 22 percent of Millennials surveyed indicated that their expectations of customer experience are higher today than they were two years ago.” Consumers not only want a good experience, they want a different experience.

Back to my original example, which we’ve all experienced in some form. Things like being able to watch your Lyft driver on a map or your sandwich traveling closer to your home and to your mouth make a brand standout. Not only do you get a tasty reuben, you can meet your driver at the door with a tip and smile, instead of being hangry! It’s about more than an accurate ETA; companies that can provide this visibility are literally giving the customer back their time and control of their own day, with less waiting and less worry.

Not only are rising customer expectations demanding differentiated experiences, but customers will also get online and let all of their followers know exactly how they feel after a bad experience. According to Invesp, 90 percent of customers read an online review before visiting a business and 86 percent of customers will hesitate to visit a business if it has negative online reviews.

70 percent of millennials will avoid a brand due to a bad experience, and 57 percent of customers have even stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. That means just one bad experience can alienate a customer and all of their Twitter followers…and then live permanently online. And the definition of “bad” is becoming more broad. In the age of on-demand everything, “bad” may just be a new way to define outdated or non-digital experiences.

One missed delivery window or late airport shuttle can earn your company that dreaded one-star review. In the era of rising customer expectations, and a customer base shifting their spending more and more to experiences over stuff, no company can think they are exempt from the need to innovate.

Forrester says, “Smart executives will intervene to make CX an internal disruptive force… with customer trust at the core; too many executives will continue to ignore evidence of market disruption and procrastinate until the evidence is overwhelming.”

At Glympse, we have some amazing customers using location technology to remove the hassle from traditionally painful customer experiences.  We’ve heard stories of customers making breakfast for their cable technicians because they knew exactly when he would arrive! That’s another level of customer service that shows your brand is invested in your customers, and that customers want to be connected to your brand and your employees are given the tools to do so!

We know expectations are on the rise. 67 percent of customers say their expectations are higher than ever. As consumers, we’re constantly adjusting our view of “exceptional” and experience little customer service disappointments every day. The research reinforces it. But the research also shows that as rising customer expectations climb higher and higher, a brand’s ability to innovate and deliver on those expectations falls.

As Bob Thompson of CustomerThink reports, “93 percent of customer experience initiatives are failing.” What will you do to get ahead of the next wave of change?