The debate over customer experience vs product experience has been existing since time immemorial. There was a time when product experience was the key because there was less competition and limited products available to consumers. Therefore, consumers focussed more on having a good product.
However, over the years, markets have opened up, choices and varieties have increased. In almost every product range, there are multiple brands offering products with the same features. In such a situation customer experience is what defines the purchase. Having said that, his doesn’t mean that companies should put product quality on the backbench. This means that businesses should ensure that the product quality is beyond the customer’s experience and the customer’s buying experience should be equally good as well.
Before we understand these two elements in detail, let’s first have a look at what these aspects mean?
can be defined as the experience the product gives the customer when it is actually used. For example, if you buy a soap that says, it is natural ingredients made soap with jasmine fragrance offering soft and glowing skin, then when then you use it, you must experience the same. Thus, in short, it means the product should walk the talk.
can be defined as the experience that a customer experiences while buying the product. This experience focuses on aspects like how easy or difficult it was to find the product, how good or bad the packaging was, how prompt the brand was in handling grievances, and more.
Customer Experience Vs Product
Now that we understand both aspects, it’s time to dig deep and understand what’s more important and why???
Firstly, just like the market evolution, there has been an evolution in consumers’ buying patterns too. Gone are the days when buying was need-based. We are now living in an era where shopping or buying a product is partially need-based but most of the time is out of an urge to experience and explore something new. On the other side, in the current times when the competition is high and consumers have so many options, it is definitely the customer experience that defines the purchases. So, what are the elements that encompass Customer experience:
The first element that plays a key role in customer experience is customer service. Considering that the current day shopping happens on the ground and virtually, let’s look at customer experience on both platforms. When we say customer service with regard to on-ground store sales, it starts from how accessible the store is, how well the store is from inside, how cordial the staff is, how quickly the consumer managed to get the product he/she wanted and how satisfying was the payment structure.
The perfect in-store experience should be prompt, comfortable, and conclude with the commodity or service they require. That’s the goal, but the truth often falls short of what we require it to be. Without an efficient customer queue management system for the in-store experience, long queues, over-burdened staff, and other difficulties will affect your brand name. Below are some ways, a queue system will help in improving the customer service during the physical visit –
Physical Stores require adjusting to what the modern buyer needs – a comfortable and quick experience. A queue management system is a great way of dispersing the urge someone would have to step away from a long line.
Obtain relevant insights into your business operations with the analytical reporting feature. A queue management software enables you to convert every activity into an opportunity to know more about your business and enhance your operational process.
One more advantage of the queuing system is better communication among your staff and your buyers. Improved personalized communication through SMS, mail, or via app gives your buyers the independence to check into a queue, inquire about the status, ask more time in queue, or check out of the queue.
On the other hand, if you look at virtual buying then it starts from how smooth and hassle-free was it to find the website. how easy was it to navigate through the website and find the product the customer was looking for, and finally how safe and easy the payment gateway was, how promptly the product was delivered to the customer.
The next element that plays a key role in customer experience is how well the customer complaints are handled. When we speak of customer complaints the major focus is on product quality. That’s the reason, we say that the customer experience is incomplete without product experience. Thus, the brand should ensure the product delivered is as per the committed quality. The other aspects of customer complaints include any bad experience during the journey of purchase. Whatever may be the reason, a brand that offers prompt and effective customer handling solutions manages to achieve a positive customer experience. A customer is hurt when due to poor customer service, but a customer is lost when the customer complaint is not addressed well.
Thus, if the brand manages to take care of the above two factors, it can be assured of achieving a positive customer experience. Businesses who feel, that our products speak for themselves in terms of quality and feel that customer experience is not superior to product quality, here are some key benefits that customer experience provides to your business:
Customer experience plays a key role in customer loyalty. Statistics show that customers opt for competitor brands because of customer service. In other words, there is all possibility that a brand could lose a customer despite impeccable product quality due to poor customer service.
A happy customer worth millions of money spent on branding and publicity. In other words, when the customer is happy, he/she tends to publicize the product/brand more than any advertisement. Thus, this word-of-mouth publicity actually creates sales. On the other hand, it also helps build brand image.
As a business, you may be into producing many products. The beauty of customer experience is, once a customer is happy with your product and brand, he/she becomes welcoming of new offerings from your end. For example: if you are offering washing machines right now as your product. And, your customers are extremely happy with your product and customer service. When or if you launch dishwashers, your customer wouldn’t mind giving it a shot. Thus, the trust won by the customer experience is long-lasting.
In addition, to the above-mentioned key benefits, focussing on CX brings in many more benefits. Thus, in this current competition-driven market, if you have a good product, all you need is to target your customers the right way. Make them feel that you care for them and you make efforts to make them feel happy.
However, as a signing off note, here is a piece of wisdom. Yes, customer experience is a deciding factor, but remember that it becomes a deciding factor only if your product is good. So, thinking that you can forego product quality if you have impeccable customer service, then you have got it wrong. Thus, the mantra is, “a good product with the right focus on customer experience results in business success.”
Related Article – Why is Price More Important Than Experience for Customers in 2021?