Can an Amazing Customer Experience Trump Price?
By Stevi McCoy Co-founder, Revel Experiences | November 23, 2014
How much is a good customer experience worth? Some might argue that it is priceless. Most will agree that the holistic brand experience can make or break effective customer engagement. But will consumers pay more for an amazing experience? Recent data on this subject indicates that consumers do indeed make decisions based on factors other than price.
According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
Experience also impacts customer loyalty. A recent Forrester survey of more than 7500 U.S. individuals found that customer experience accounts for nearly 55 percent of customer loyalty to banks, and about 46 percent to retailers. Interestingly enough, the research firm even admits that it was "surprised" at how much more important customer experience was in driving loyalty than price.
This data is not surprising to behavioral and engagement marketing executives, who have been analyzing these shifts in the market place over the last few decades. Technology and market conditions have empowered the consumer like never before. Competition and increasingly demanding consumer expectations have created a complicated series of variables that ultimately drive purchase. Across a myriad industries, the well-informed consumer rules – and the travel and hospitality industry is no exception.
A Time When Price Was King
There was a brief moment in recent history, however, where price seemed to emerge as the leading indicator in purchasing decisions. When Internet travel booking arrived on the scene in the mid-1990s, consumers were suddenly empowered with the insight and visibility that was once reserved for licensed travel agents. Sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity provided ultimate transparency - the curtain was pulled back and the playing field was leveled.