What’s at the root of a company’s relationship with its customers? A recent Merkle report examined this question and concluded that customers are looking for long-term, connected experiences that are as efficient as they are enjoyable.
In fact, two-thirds (66%) of the 500 consumers Merkle surveyed for “The Experience Impact” report said experience mattered to them more than price when making a brand decision.
“Since experiences are often more powerful in driving customer loyalty than price, meeting customer needs should be a company’s first priority,” according to the report.
Brands’ ability to take care of customers swiftly helps customers form positive perceptions of their overall experiences, said Rives Martin, manager of customer intelligence and brand strategy for Merkle.
“Anything not easy and fast stands out—anything that takes too many clicks,” he cautioned.
The report bears that out. More than half (52%) of online shoppers said they stopped shopping on a brand website due to poor site experience. And for those deciding to try out a new brand, two intertwined factors come into play: fear of the unknown and recommendations from family and friends.
Helping consumers overcome their worries by using research, data, and analytics to better understand them can go a long way in designing experiences that recognize their needs, interests, and pain points, the report recommended. Succeed at that, and consumers will let others know.
“Word of mouth is the most organic and valuable form of marketing, and it will only increase when customers feel that their experience is worth sharing,” the report stated.
It’s also good for the bottom line.
“Experience translates to conversions, purchases, and revenue and directly impacts advertising ROI,” according to the report. “Marketers should develop experiences with customer value and business value at the center.”
Nike, Amazon, and Apple stood out among respondents for delivering the best personalized experiences and the best online experiences.