It has been well over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic took our full attention. For obvious reasons, healthcare has postponed economic ambitions in most countries, and many businesses are having a hard time to survive. It has become a challenge for them to deliver positive financial results, let alone to keep up with innovations, satisfy their customers, engage their workforce, optimize processes, and to do all that in a responsible manner. So why would you still invest in offering a sustainable customer experience?
Although at least some of my predictions for a positive outcome have already come true, it is yet to be seen if the pandemic will lead to more sustainable business in the near future. The BICEPS framework can help you in making choices to tackle today’s challenges and to get your staff on board. But it doesn’t provide you with a business case for a sustainable customer experience. So let me present some figures that might convince.
The CX disconnect
A distinctive value proposition requires more than a good product, modern technology and a friendly smile. Customers simply expect a smooth, seamless, and preferably personalized customer journey. Governmental organizations in particular are far from getting there, since without competition there is little incentive.
While about three quarters of companies consider themselves customer-centric, only a third of customers agree (Capgemini, 2017 ). This is not surprising, given the fact that worldwide only 14.4% of organizations make customer experience a crucial part of their strategy (NTT, 2020 ).
Being part of something bigger
Another factor that is becoming increasingly important is sustainability. 78% of Western customers consider this in their purchase decisions (Salesforce, 2020 ). This percentage is even higher in the Dutch market. More and more consumers want to enjoy a (premium) product, in the knowledge of contributing to a better world. It gives them a sense of belonging to be part of a meaningful and inspiring mission.
Think of brands like Patagonia, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Tesla. They distinguish themselves by offering a sustainable customer experience; a proposition that is strongly emerging. 28% of the Dutch are willing to pay 10% more for a sustainable alternative (MarketResponse, 2020 ).
The Age of Trust
Customer experience and sustainability go hand in hand with trustworthiness. Trust in the products, processes, services and ethics of an organization. And that is closely linked to trust in government, media and technology. 89% of customers in the Western world are more loyal to companies they trust, while just 48% of customers say they generally trust these (Salesforce, 2019/2020 ).
And yet trust in companies is even higher than that in foundations, governments and the media (Edelman, 2021 ). This confirms the commercial opportunities for sustainable customer experiences. I believe we are entering the Age of Trust, and that trust is one of the most important KPIs to monitor.
The good news is that more and more organizations are starting to take customer experience and sustainability seriously. Getting there requires building bridges between organizations and their clients, in order to establish trust. And that brings progress, which I am committed to contribute to.