Improving Customer Experience Accelerates Marketing Success

Content isn’t king — Customer experience is king. And improving customer experience should be where marketers look to spend more time and resources moving forward.

Let’s take a look at Starbucks as an outstanding case study on the potential brand benefits of top-rated CX.

Starbucks prioritizes investment into creating the best possible customer experience and always has.

Years ago the brand hired top minds, brilliant engineers, to review and optimize processes. The goal was to identify areas where they could improve efficiency, especially around customer transactions. 

The transaction process is one of the biggest areas of opportunity when it comes to CX. A poor transaction process means a reduction in revenue, more abandoned shopping carts, more frustrated customers, less repeat business.

Almost 9 out of 10 US adults said they wanted faster checkout processes, especially when it comes to in-person experiences.

And half of adults point out long lines and slow check-out as the top two grievances for the F&B and retail industries.

Small Steps Toward Exceptional CX

Among the changes Starbucks implemented:

  • Stopped requiring signatures with credit card purchases under $25, which was identified as the longest part of the transaction process at 30 seconds.
  • Introduced a mobile payment app and linked it to the loyalty rewards program. This also created a new mobile marketing channel for more convenient customer engagement.
  • Put focus on “convenience-led formats,” like increases in drive-thru & curbside ordering.

Small Changes, Big CX Results

Total enhancements took 10 seconds off credit-card and mobile transactions.

Those 10 SECONDS reduced the time Starbucks customers had to stand in line by 900,000 HOURS per year.

Now more money is loaded to the Starbucks cards and mobile app than is deposited into most banks ($1.2B+ as of 2016).

Starbucks outlets increased average yearly volume by over $200K to exceed $940K.

Looking at the events of 2020, by starting to introduce drive-thru and curbside checkout offers ahead of time, the brand also found itself with somewhat of a head start compared to many other retail brands. The focus on innovation and convenience created resiliency through uncertainty.

The brand was also named as the fifth most admired company by Fortune (the only brick-and-mortar retail business to make the top 10).

Improving customer experience is good for growth, retention, loyalty, and ultimately, profit. And each of those benefits perfectly aligns with our goals as marketers.

Interested in more tips and case studies around improving customer experience? Add me on LinkedIn or tweet me!

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Categories: Marketing