If you don't give your customers a good experience, the chances of them remaining your customers aren't very good. No brainer, right? Sadly, not all businesses stay on top of that.
Research from Walker revealed that 86 percent of customers will pay more for a better customer experience. The study also found that by 2020, customer experience is projected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
As Jet.com's chief customer officer, David Echegoyén knows just how critical it is to provide a good customer experience. In his role at Jet, an online shopping site, Echegoyén is responsible for overseeing all customer-facing aspects of Jet's business, including marketing, media, design, the site, and the Jet app.
We recently spoke with Echegoyén about the customer experience, and how it relates to millennials and their needs.
Q. How have millennials changed the way businesses approach their customer experience?
A. Millennials exhibit behaviors and have a mindset that gets translated into the general population as emerging trends. For example, they are shifting the center of gravity on traditional dilemmas by valuing experiences more than products, defining quality as to how the product was sourced, how much workers were paid, and why a company decided to make it versus only measuring efficacy, flavor or performance. Although some of these have been present in older age groups, millennials get credit for creating these new standards.
Q. What makes a great customer experience for millennials?
A. We believe a great customer experience is the outcome of an end-to-end effort that focuses on three key pillars (which is Jet.com's strategy): A tailored experience complemented with a unique assortment of (and delivered with) personal service – all this is done in a frictionless and almost invisible way that fits into their lives.
Q. What role does technology play in providing a good customer experience for millennials?
A. As Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon always says, "We are 'people-led and tech-empowered.'" Technology is the greatest enabler of our time. It allows us to create solutions, make connections between dots, and ultimately build relationships that we could have only dreamed about before.
There is no part of our business that is not powered by technology, from the personalization of the experience to how we select the delivery route – all leverage tech to serve our customers.
Q. With the rise in online shopping, why is it still important to provide a solid in-store experience?
A. The ability to give customers seamless and frictionless optionality is critical, and that might come in different ways. For Jet.com customers, it might be having unique features on the app or telling us at what time they want us to deliver their fresh groceries. For Walmart customers, it might be ordering their groceries online and picking them up in-store on their way home.
Q. What is the best way to know if you are creating a good customer experience?
A. Should you be surveying your customers? Just having informal conversations with them? Surveying your employees? Or will your bottom line tell you all you need to know?
If customers love it, they will talk to those around them about it. When my wife finds something incredible, she can't keep it to herself. Are people talking about your experience and encouraging others to try it to enrich their lives?
As for direct communication, a brand should talk to their customers and employees all the time; it is something we are very intentional about. Jet.com's President Simon Belsham says, "We should always be focused on why will customers continue to choose Jet, and why will our people love staying at Jet?" That is paramount for our brand and should also be a focus for other companies.
If customers love what we do and the way in which we do it, they will reward us with their preference and word of mouth.
Q. If you aren't creating a good customer experience, what should you do to turn things around?
A. The first thing is to define who you are trying to serve. Once you know this, seek to understand what is important and relevant to them, and how you can create and deliver something that differentiates you from competitors.