Did you know that about 12% of gym members sign up in January, and most of them quit or stop going after 24 weeks? Unfortunately, I fell into that category this year. The gym I attended was nice and friendly, but I needed to cancel my membership because I was moving. I figured I could just cancel after all the craziness of the move settled down.
I was so wrong.
I went online to cancel my membership and it took me 15 minutes to even find where they buried this information on their website. Frustrated and annoyed, I was eager to cancel my membership. You can imagine my dismay when they told me I couldn’t cancel my membership online or over the phone. It had to be in-person… of course.
People sign up and cancel gym memberships all the time. But instead of making the process easy for me to cancel, they tried to force me to stay against my will. Now I will NEVER return to that gym, and I often tell my friends and family about this negative experience. With that experience in mind, let me explain why customer experience is critical for success.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND REPUTATION?
I actually really liked the gym I used to attend, but now I associate one really negative experience with their brand. People generally don’t pay attention to average companies. They typically only talk about companies they’ve had amazing experiences with, or terrible ones.
Here are a few stats you should consider when thinking about your brand image:
91% of customers who had a bad customer experience won’t be willing to do business with your company again. – Glance
95% of consumers talk about poor customer service experiences with other people. – American Express
40% of customers begin purchasing from a competitor because of their reputation for great customer service. – Zendesk
Your brand and reputation matters. It can be a source for more customers to come through your door, or it can be the reason they walk out. If you need a fresh start, according to Invesp, reliability (27%), expertise (21%), and professionalism (18%) are the most important reputation traits for a local business.
DO YOU HAVE A COMPETITIVE EDGE?
Did you know that your customers are four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service-related, versus price or product-related? This could give you the competitive edge you need to thrive as a business.
You may not be able to offer lower prices than your competitors. But if you show your customers the value of quality customer service, they’ll stick with you. It’s worth the effort to invest time and energy into, not just satisfying, but amazing your customers. Outperforming the competition is one of the biggest reasons why customer experience is critical for success.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CUSTOMER LOYALTY?
Let’s talk about the bottom line. Unhappy customers result in $1.3 trillion spent switching to another company. Out of that chunk, 51% of customer said they switched businesses due to poor customer experience. Although some situations may be out of our control, 81% of customers say the previous company could have prevented the switch.
Now you can put a dollar amount on customer experience… and it’s difficult to deny the value. Of course obtaining new customers is always important, but retaining them will accelerate your profitable growth. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it’s 6-7 times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.
DO YOU INSPIRE ADVOCACY?
Inspiring your customers to rave about their experience with you is the pinnacle of business achievement. This means your customers have gone beyond loyalty and become an unpaid recruiter for your business. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
According to Invesp, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Using that information, we can begin to see the value of advocacy with just a few statistics:
Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
Most customers read 3-8 reviews before trusting a business.
These are just facts about online reviews… imagine how much more powerful it is to hear positive testimonials from friends or family. Hopefully by now you’re realized why customer experience is critical for success.
You can even use this blog post as a good case study! As I wrote this article, it was so easy for me to recall my negative gym experience. And when the new year hits, I’ll probably sign up for another membership somewhere else (meaning I’ll contribute to that $1.3 trillion). Even if your customers are leaving, there’s always a chance they will return. So make sure your business is associated with amazing customer experiences.