How to solve the customer experience trilemma
Learn how resolution, rapport, and relevant communications can drive customer loyalty and transform your bottom line.
We recently spoke to more than 2,000 consumers to better understand what makes a truly great customer experience with a brand.
The biggest takeaway? If you want to win customer loyalty and improve your bottom line, every customer interaction must include three things:
- Resolution: can you solve customer issues and provide the information they need quickly and conveniently?
- Rapport: do your customers feel like they can connect with your business in a meaningful way?
- Relevance: can you deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time?
These three elements make up what we call the customer experience trilemma. But how do you solve the trilemma and deliver great experiences across every interaction and every channel? To help answer that question, we’ve put together a comprehensive report that unpacks our research and offers advice on how brands can better meet rising customer expectations.
Customer experience demands boardroom attention
Great customer experiences aren’t just nice to have; they’re crucial for businesses looking to thrive:
- 75% see good customer service as a reason to be a repeat customer—making it just as important as price (76%), and significantly more important than product/service (57%)
- 61% tell us they’re willing to pay more for products and services if they’ll get better customer service
- 55% say they would change brands to shop with a company that would offer a superior service experience
It’s clear that excellent customer experience (CX) doesn’t just help nurture brand loyalty; it drives revenue and profit too.
That’s why CX can’t remain a conversation exclusive to Marketing, Customer Service, and Operations teams. It’s time to bring CX into the boardroom and ensure every part of the business is aligned around solving the CX trilemma.
Welcome to the first factor in the CX trilemma—resolution. This refers to rapidly solving customer problems, answering queries, and proactively updating customers on services and products.
Our research found four areas that consumers identify as either extremely or very important when looking to resolve issues: simplicity, consistency, speed, and convenience.
Getting these elements right is crucial to building great brand experiences and creating long-lasting customer relationships. Our survey responses prove just how important fast, consistent, and convenient resolution is:
- 75% say they’d definitely return to a company in the future if it resolved their issues promptly
- 66% say the same for companies that are quick to respond
- 63% say they’ll return to companies where ‘nothing seems like too much trouble
In the race to digitalize customer interactions and accelerate response times, it’s important to maintain empathy and understanding.
In fact, many survey respondents noted that human issues—such as a lack of empathy, honesty, or contextual understanding—can create friction and damage customer satisfaction. In turn, this harms the rapport between consumers and brands, and even your bottom line.
For example, 64% of consumers say they’ll stop buying products or services from a brand after a poor customer experience, and 59% say they’ll tell friends and family, leading to a poor reputation through word-of-mouth.
To avoid negative experiences, you need to develop empathetic relationships with your customers based on contextual understanding. But how do you introduce empathy into digital interactions that often involve no direct contact between customer and brand?
The answer is to identify and deploy the right channel, at the right time—and give your teams the ability to seamlessly transfer customers to the most appropriate channel. For example, while live chat is great for rapidly resolving simple queries, it may frustrate customers looking to resolve more complex, emotionally charged issues.
The final element of the CX trilemma is relevance: delivering the right experience, to the right customer, in a meaningful way.
Our survey shows just how important relevant, personalized interactions are to CX success:
- 67% say that relevant communications (recognizing previous interactions and preferences) are extremely or quite important
- 60% say the same about communications that are personalized and tailored to them
While many customers are vocal about wanting personalized communications, few are willing to share their data in return for greater personalization. This reluctance often stems from a lack of understanding of what companies can and can’t do with their data, as shown by the 52% that say they typically opt to share their data but don’t read how it will be used.
In response, businesses must educate consumers about data protection and how to keep their data secure. For example, brands may want to use channels that offer branding, authentication processes, and verification ticks to help build confidence around data privacy and security.
Ready to solve the CX trilemma for your organization?
Dec 2, 2022 — Lorrissa Horton
Dec 2, 2022 — Emily Brooks