Customer Experience Lessons from the Un-Online

If you haven’t had a chance to look at customer experience (CX) research from the Temkin Group, it’s pretty fascinating. While it largely focuses on big brands and major industry sectors, there’s a lot of insight you can apply directly to your own business. You can grab a free copy of the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings here, although you will have to register to download the report.smiley

Temkin starts with 10,000 U.S. consumers and asks them basic questions about interacting with 293 different companies. Questions like, “Were you able to accomplish what you wanted to do?” And “How easy was it to interact with this company?” And “How did you feel about these interactions?”

You can probably guess the worst performers: Internet service providers, TV service providers, health plans and car rental agencies. The report doesn’t pull any punches, and it names names.

But you might be surprised to see what industry seems to dominate. In fact, companies from this sector take the top three customer experience spots overall, four of the top seven, and ten of the top 22. Can you guess?

Supermarkets. Yeah, supermarkets!

Isn’t it interesting that perhaps the most un-online sector is apparently killing it in terms of customer experience? And it’s not a fluke: Other un-online sectors like fast food chains and retailers are next in the rankings.

Think about your own shopping habits: When was the last time a technical glitch caused you to stop your grocery shopping and leave the store without a purchase? Probably never. Yet online, this experience happens more than it should.

Or when was the last time you simply abandoned your cart while shopping in a physical store because you were confused, annoyed or disrupted by something the store did? Again, probably never. But online, it’s one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

We can take three things from all this:

  1. Clarity and ease of navigation are paramount to CX. Conversely, confusion and ambiguity destroy customer experience. Period.
  2. Everything needs to work. Technical glitches are becoming increasingly unforgivable.
  3. Customers aren’t expecting a life-changing experience. Instead, they have reasonable and pragmatic hopes for a simple, conventional and straightforward encounter. Start there.

Chances are, you’ve never thought that solid customer experience should aspire to be the next Publix or Aldi. But perhaps a look at the un-online is a good place to start.

Through this lens, does your customer experience measure up?

 

 

 

 

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