By Susan Gunelius
Across industries, including the cannabis industry, the term customer experience (CX) gained significant traction during 2020, and now, a variety of research studies have put the growing interest in CX into perspective. No longer is customer experience an ideal that businesses will work toward in the future. In 2021, customer experience will be a strategic imperative for cannabis brands to gain measurable competitive advantages.
Five of the most compelling reasons why cannabis brands should prioritize customer experience now and how CX can help your brand are introduced below based on statistics from a variety of reliable research studies.
Research by Oracle reveals that nearly nine out of 10 consumers (86%) are willing to pay more for brands that provide better customer experiences. In fact, U.S. consumers are willing to pay 17% more to buy from a company that has a reputation for delivering excellent service (21% for Millennials) according to research by American Express.
Every cannabis brand should take note of these statistics because they show with quantifiable evidence that CX is a powerful brand differentiator that should be prioritized.
If you invest the time and money into improving your brand’s customer experience and proving that you deliver on your promise of a superior experience in every customer interaction, you’ll not only gain a competitive edge in your market but you’ll also have the opportunity to charge premium prices for your premium experience. As the data shows, consumers will pay more if your business truly does offer superior CX.
Customers who report an excellent customer experience are 5.6x more likely to repurchase your product compared to customers who report a very poor customer experience according to research by Temkin Group.
These same customers also 6X more likely to trust your brand, 4.6X more likely to forgive your brand if you make a mistake, and 10X more likely to recommend your brand to other people. In other words, great CX leads to greater brand loyalty, brand advocacy, and sales.
A report by ThinkJar found that 72% of customers who have a positive experience with a brand will tell six or more people about it. That’s great, but 13% of customers who have a bad brand experience will tell 15 or more people. That’s not great.
In other words, by focusing on improving CX, positive word-of-mouth marketing will grow organically while negative word-of-mouth will decrease. Given the extensive reach of word-of-mouth thanks to social media, your cannabis brand is definitely at risk of falling behind the conversation if you don’t prioritize CX.
Customer experience is defined in theory as all conscious events that a consumer has with a brand. However, CX is defined in practice by the customer at each touchpoint or interaction that they have with the brand – right up to the moment when the purchase decision is made, the transaction is initiated, and even after the purchase is completed.
With that in mind, it’s important to note McKinsey & Company’s research that found 70% of buying experiences are based on how a consumer feels they’re being treated along the buyer journey – including in the moment when they decide to buy. In fact, a separate study by Segment found that nearly one out of two customers (49%) have made impulse purchase decisions after having an excellent customer experience with a brand.
Furthermore, Deloitte’s research found that consumers are likely to spend 140% more after they have a positive experience than those who have a negative experience with a brand.
When you can charge premium prices, gain new customers, and convince existing and new customers to buy more with each transaction, your revenue should go up as will the value of your company overall. Research from Dimension Data shows 84% of companies that invest in improving CX increase revenue.
Forrester reports that brands with the best customer experiences bring in 5.7X more revenue than laggard competitors while Bain & Company says companies that excel at CX grow revenues by 4-8% above their market pace.
In addition, companies that are able to create customer experiences that allow consumers to make emotional connections with brands outperform their competitors’ sales growth by 85% according to Gallup.
Bottom-line, customer experience is no longer something a company should simply consider investing in. Today, CX is a strategic imperative that requires adequate investment, time, resources, and the right manpower to turn into a powerful brand differentiator that consumers understand as well as a tool to gain a measurable competitive advantage in the market. The proof is in the data.
Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc. (KeySplashCreative.com), a marketing communications company established in 2008 offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO services. Susan has been working with clients in the cannabis industry since 2015. She spent the first half of her 27-year marketing career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as businesses of all sizes around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, and The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. She is also a Certified Career and Business Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business (WomenOnBusiness.com), an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.
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