6 customer experience statistics – and the performance implications for your business


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Customer studies and statistics. The web is full of them. You’ve seen them, right? You’ve probably seen this stat from Nielsen: “90 percent of online consumers worldwide trust recommendations from people they know and 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online.”

Photo: mac steve

Statistics alone usually don’t tell the whole story. What does the data mean for your customer experience? For your organization’s performance? That’s what we really want to know, isn’t it?

I’ve gathered six customer experience stats here that really jumped out at me over the last year. Each is insightful. Together, they carry big implications for you as a leader, and for the performance of your organization.

1. U.S. customer satisfaction with e-commerce shopping this holiday season rose by 7 percent to 79 out of 100, the highest since the survey began in 2001. (ForeSee).

What does this mean for your business? While consumers are demanding more and more when it comes to e-commerce, companies have clearly been listening this past year. The trick is to anticipate customer needs and stay one step ahead in the e-commerce game. Your customers’ needs are evolving as you read this. Are you thinking ahead to 2011 holiday already? Maybe it’s time to start the clock.

2. 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, up from 59 percent four years ago. (Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report).

What does this mean for your business? Given the plethora of choices consumers now have, this statistic shouldn’t really be that surprising. Customers are rewarding (and punishing) companies based on each experience. Do an inventory of all the things and people and ideas that must move well in your company to deliver a great customer experience. If you really want to attract AND retain customers, consider the entire experience and find which parts are leading customers and money from your organization.

3. Even in a negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers. 60 percent say they often or always pay more for a better experience. (Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report)

What does this mean for your business? Sure, your product may fit a certain need for your customers. But the tangible parts of your experience (product, price) are often the most commoditized part of the overall experience – especially when times are tough. Think about the grocery business for a moment. Here in Minneapolis, there’s a high-end grocer called Lunds. They’re targeting higher-end shoppers and catering to those needs by offering a more tranquil and clean environment and delivery right to your car, among other perks. There’s a certain segment of the population that will definitely pay more—almost exclusively for the experience a merchant like Lunds offers.

4. Only 17 percent of respondents choose where to shop based on their participation in loyalty card programs and 93 percent of consumers would continue to shop somewhere, even if the retailer scrapped its loyalty scheme. (YouGuv SixthScence)

What does this mean for your business? I can’t help but think of the airline industry when I see this stat. Carriers like Delta and United offer loyalty card (read: points) programs, but do they truly breed long-term, deep-seated brand loyalty? Carriers like Southwest and Virgin eating their lunch by focusing squarely on providing a consistent and uniquely targeted experience. Meeting needs. And seeking long-term loyalty and affinity.

5. Out of best-in-class companies, 91 percent provide customers the ability to track issues over the web and 57 percent measure support center success across email, chat, web, and voice. (Aberdeen Group)

What does this mean for your business? Best-in-class companies put power in the consumers’ hands. Consumers want the ability to track their package delivery via the Web (or their pizzas, in Domino’s case). Consumers want to reach your company using the technology THEY prefer—not the tools YOU prefer.

6. About 13 percent of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC)

What does this mean for your business? We’ve all seen stats that claim a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 friends whereas a satisfied customer only tells a few. But, with the social networking era now in full swing, this stat feels a bit low and may not account for the viral nature of negative feedback online now. Think about it. According to Facebook, the average user has 130 friends. If that user has a negative experience with your organization, he or she may post a status update calling you out, in fact, announcing it to his/her 130 “friends.” And of those 130 friends, they each have 130 friends. You can see where I’m going with this…

What customer experience statistics have you seen in the past year that surprised or empowered you? Please share here; we’d all value your comments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


  1. Thanks for gathering all these important statistics in one place – very helpful and definitely one I will bookmark.

    Of all the comments, I find this to be the most challenging for many companies: “Consumers want to reach your company using the technology THEY prefer—not the tools YOU prefer.”

    I’ve seen many companies unable to react to customer needs because they can’t scale and adopt new technologies as rapidly as they evolve. In most cases, internally directed IT infrastructure decisions have tied the hands of the customer-facing departments. To move customer experience forward, we need to talk more about IT collaboration and better forward planning.


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