Congrats On Your New Car! But Before You Go . . .

Danielle Travaglini
If you’ve ever bought a car from an auto dealership, this story might ring true for you.
 
After weeks of test driving, researching, and debating prices, I finally settled on the exact car to buy. I felt relieved to make this decision and couldn’t wait to drive my new ride home.
 
But there was just one thing left to do: meet with the dealership’s “finance guy” to finalize everything. What should have been a quick and painless interaction with a dealership employee turned out to be uncomfortable and maddening. The employee was extremely pushy, attempting to use scare tactics to sell me additional warranties and insurance. I politely declined these numerous times, only to have my repeated “no, thanks” ignored and refuted with condescending comments. After begging over and over to simply sign my paperwork so I could leave, I managed to extract myself from this employee’s grip, feeling exhausted, annoyed, and disrespected to the point where I wondered why I was buying a car from these people in the first place. I was no longer excited and just wanted to leave and never come back. Not exactly a fairy tale ending to my car-buying experience. 
 
I’m not alone in feeling this way; one customer in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) Consumer Perspective Online Community says of her car-buying experience:
 
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The Data Digest: Are Australian Companies Living Up To Their Clients’ Online Expectations?

Reineke Reitsma

Australians are often seen as laid-back, taking things as they come. However, this doesn’t translate to their need for great customer experience. When we analyzed the Australian results of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), we found that the vast majority of companies in Australia are still providing only mediocre CX.

In his report “The Australia Customer Experience Index, 2016,” my colleague Tom Champion shows how companies in more CX-mature markets in North America and Europe have turned their attention toward making positive emotional connections with their customers to drive loyalty. However, the focus in Australia is still very much on measurement.

So, what’s going on in Australia? How can companies live up to the changing expectations of their customers?

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The Case For Coverage Clarity: Why Health Insurance Providers Need To Make Things Clear

Danielle Travaglini

Have you ever thought about going to the doctor and questioned, even momentarily, “Hmm, I wonder if my insurance will cover this?” Or have you ever received a medical bill that was higher than expected? If so, you know these situations don’t elicit a great feeling — and you’re not alone.

The fear of not being covered or the disappointing surprise of finding out you owe more than expected are all-too-common and unpleasant feelings that customers face when it comes to dealing with health insurance companies.

We used Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) Consumer Perspective Online Community to understand specifically what consumers feel when there is lack of clarity surrounding policy coverage details. They say: 

But the key question you are probably asking yourself is, “Do these negative emotional experiences matter — do they affect the bottom line?” We find that the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Lack of clarity or fear of not being covered impacts the overall emotion a customer has about their health insurance provider, which in turn significantly impacts their likelihood to recommend their health insurer to others.

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I Want To Know What Love Is

Margaret Rodriguez

Happy Valentine’s Day! You know the feeling of being in love: You want to stay with your significant other forever, love them more each day, and tell everyone how great they are. Your customers know it, too! Many companies have begun tracking how their customers feel as part of their CX measurement program. In the CX Index™, we too track how customers felt during their most recent interaction with a brand. 

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

We find that customers who give high scores on Emotion are more likely stay with the brand, spend more on products or services, and tell others how much they love the brand. And just like in relationships, there’s a big difference once your customers fall in “love” – customers in the CX Index who rate the brand a perfect seven out of seven on Emotion, or “love” the brand, say they are 18% to 40% more likely to enrich their relationship with the brand. For brands in all industries, this means that there is business benefit to helping your customers fall in love with you (whether via greater revenue, lower churn, or both).

Let’s Talk About Love

Brands benefit from higher customer advocacy loyalty when customers love them -- but how can brands benefit if they don’t know what love is? Forrester analyzed the specific emotions felt by customers during their most recent interactions with brands in the CX Index.

●     Baby, don’t hurt me. Brands whose customers score them high on Emotion almost never make customers feel negative emotions like frustrated, angry, or anxious.

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Drive Revenue With Great CX — And Math!

Laura Garvin Tramm

In our Drive Revenue With Great Customer Experience, 2017 report, we describe how great customer experience (CX) drives revenue. After reading the report, you may be wondering, how did we link revenue to CX?

We followed a rigorous, academic approach that started with the premise that improving CX drives customer loyalty. Using our Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) survey questions about customers’ loyalty to and spending with a particular brand and combining them with industry-level numerical assumptions, we answered the following question: How likely is a customer to stay with your brand, or spend more, or recommend you to others — and what would that be worth to your organization in dollars and cents?

For each customer, we calculated a loyalty-based revenue potential and a CX Index score. Calculating these numbers at the individual level allows us to track the relationship between CX and revenue throughout the entire range of CX Index scores and develop models to describe the nuances of how CX drives revenue in a particular industry. With these models, we can predict the revenue associated with a brand’s CX improving — or even deteriorating.

We tested several models to find the “shape” that best describes the data. We found that the relationship between CX and revenue potential tends to follow three main shapes:

  • Linear. CX and revenue move in lockstep. Whether you improve a poor experience, a mediocre experience, or a good experience, the impact on revenue will be the same.
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The Data Digest: It's The Most Emotional Time Of The Year

Anjali Lai

The holidays have a way of bringing people together in more ways than one – and every holiday season I’m reminded of just how universal the power of human emotion is. Regardless of lifestyle, background, and world view, people everywhere are truly emotional beings, moved by fundamental feelings of joy and sadness, hope and fear, love and loss. And anyone who has observed frantic shoppers careening through store aisles or the unbearable anticipation of children on Christmas morning can see that, at this time of year, emotions are at their peak.

Advertisers know holiday shopper emotions better than anyone; they have perfected the art of tugging at heart strings or prompting tears to spur a purchase. But as consumers wear their hearts on their sleeve, retailers broadly must be in tune with – and responsive to – customer sentiments. For example, when passionate shoppers turn to social channels, retailers mustn’t dismiss their cheering or venting. In fact, Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) data shows that consumers often experience their most positive brand interactions on social media – and remember them more favorably than engagements on websites, over email, through phone conversations, and even in person:

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Connecting The Human Being To The P&L

Victor Milligan

The fact that human beings make affinity and spend decisions based in large part on emotion is not new news. It is the underlying logic of advertising – heartstrings are the early sparks of revenue. But there is a reason that most companies have not baked emotion into experience design and into the day-to-day engagement with customers. It's hard to do.

Emotions are situational, dynamic, and hard to read. Yet the gulf between the science of emotion and the business of emotion is closing, creating a set of new tools to convert great experiences into sustained growth.

Last week during an online event, I brought together thought leaders, Anjali Lai, Harley Manning, and Roxie Strohmenger, to translate the science of emotion to the pragmatic business application of emotion. If you were unable to watch it live, here is the replay – and for good measure, here are key takeaways from our discussion:

  • Emotion is the next step in getting to know your customer.
    The customer is now the center of the universe, and to win in this market, companies need to know – really know – their customer. Beyond satisfaction, advocacy, and journeys, companies must understand what makes customers tick and how to influence affinity and spend. Emotion is not the next thing "just because"; it gets to the heart and soul of operating in a customer-led market.
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The Threat (And Opportunities) Facing Banks Today

Victor Milligan
Banks serve as the bedrock of the economy, and that bedrock is changing. These changes represent a direct attack against the current banking business model and associated P&Ls. Our Empowered Customer and North America Consumer Technographics data tells us:
 
  • Only 50% of bank customers are willing to keep their existing level of business with their bank.
  • Only 59% of bank customers are willing to purchase additional products or services, meaning 41% are not.
  • Almost 50% of Progressive Pioneers – the most progressive of our five customer segments representing 25% of consumers in 2016 – indicate they are likely to switch banks in the next year.
  • 21% of Progressive Pioneers have closed a bank account in the past 3 years.
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UK Brands Have Upped Their CX Game

Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha

We’re pleased to announce that this year’s UK Customer Experience Index report is now live! The report is based on Forrester's Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) methodology, which measures how well a brand's customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers.

 
Overall, it’s been a good year for UK brands, with the percentage of good and OK scores increasing thanks to a significant drop in poor scores. We found that:
 
  • Six of the eight industries surveyed improved their average score.
  • Twenty-four of the 56 brands surveyed made significant improvements in their experiences.
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The Canada Customer Experience Index For 2016, Part 2: Emotion Holds The Key To CX-Fueled Loyalty

Roxana Strohmenger

Last week, my colleague Rick Parrish discussed the stagnation in CX for Canadian brands from our Canada 2016 Customer Experience Index™.

In this post, I’ll explore another big finding from our research: The way an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than the effectiveness or ease of the experience.

CX professionals often think that getting emotion right is simple: Make your customers happy, not angry. However, we find that anger and happiness do not have a very strong influence on customer loyalty. What does?

·         Making customers feel appreciated, confident, and respected drives loyalty. On average across the industries, if you make customers feel appreciated, for example, we see that 80% of them will advocate for the brand, 70% will stay with the brand, and 68% will increase their spending with the brand. In stark contrast, only 2% will advocate, 13% will stay, and 8% will increase their spending with the brand when they don't feel appreciated.

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