It’s no secret that marketing is about being relevant to prospects. It’s how marketers are able to get people to open their email or stop scrolling long enough to click on an ad. But relevance shouldn’t be just a consideration for prospects. It’s just as important for customers.  

Unfortunately, too often companies only focus on ever-increasing sales goals. In the process, they are ignoring their “leaky bucket.” The “leaky bucket” is the steady stream of customers that leave a business — usually for the competition — because they no longer feel the relationship is valuable. 

Leaky bucket with water on table against grey background

In other words, the business is no longer relevant to them. And that impacts your customer lifetime value (CLV).

Negative Experiences Threaten CLV

Coveo recently commissioned a survey of nearly 2,000 consumers in the United States and European Union and found that 44% of consumers will rarely or never complain to a company about a negative customer service experience. They just leave.

Therefore, customers not only know what they want, they know when they’re not getting it.

Read the full reportRelevance Report 2021: Service

“It’s the Moore’s Law of Digital Experience Expectations,” said Coveo’s CEO Louis Têtu.

Moore’s Law refers to American engineer Gordon Moore’s 1965 prediction about the power capabilities of computer chips doubling every year. Têtu says the same thing is now happening with customer expectations of digital experiences. Consider these findings from the survey:

  • 90% of consumers expect online shopping to be equal to or better than the in-store experience
  • 50% of customers say they sometimes or always experience a problem when shopping online
  • 73% of customers will abandon a brand after three or fewer negative customer service experiences
  • 41% of Gen Z customers say they’ll abandon a brand if they can’t find the information they’re looking for themselves
Read the full reportRelevance Report 2021: Ecommerce

In a recent Linkedin Live with Coveo’s head of content Diane Burley and me, she dove into the data. “When we looked at the data by age group, greater urgency was apparent,” she began. “Millennials and digital natives had far more intolerance for dealing with poor experiences. By nearly 20 points, they judged more harshly, and they were more likely to permanently abandon a brand.” 

Website Search and Navigation Failures

Another clear directive from the survey was that customers just want to be able to find what they’re looking for. Website and mobile navigation is a key element in the user experience, which in turn is an important subset of the overall customer experience. 

  • 43% have issues with website navigation
  • 47% of those surveyed have challenges with website search
  • 42% say that finding information is the most common problem they experience online

In fact, customers are even willing to spend more money for a better digital experience, with 43% saying they’d pay more if they could find what they’re looking for in just a few clicks. The number is even higher for Millennials.

Diane also said that company leaders “are aware that they need to transform, but perhaps they aren’t realizing how fast they need to do so.” 

Relevance Is Key to Retention

Ultimately, companies must pay as much attention to their existing customers through customer experience as they do to prospects through marketing. This is the way to plug the “leaky bucket” and prevent customers from leaving for the competition.

“Digital technologies have driven sky-high online expectations, and the situation is only getting more challenging for brands. Relevance, convenience, and simplicity are now not only expected but demanded,” said Têtu. “In the post-pandemic world, the ability to provide a relevant customer experience at every single touch point, every single time, could mean the difference between businesses that survive and businesses that cease to exist.”

Dig Deeper

Now that you know that you need to plug the leaky bucket, watch The Future of Experience: AI-powered Relevance to discover how to do just that with AI.

Ready for relevance?

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About Dan Gingiss

Dan is an international keynote speaker, author, podcaster and customer experience coach. His 20-year professional career included leadership positions at McDonald’s, Discover and Humana. Learn more at www.dangingiss.com.

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