Top 40 customer experience statistics to know in 2021

We live in the age of the customer. They now have the means and technology at their fingertips that quickly present them access to more options than ever before. Your customers want to do things their way, and expect brands to cater to their expectations.

More customers are prioritizing experiences above all else when picking between brands. As a result, closing the customer experience (CX) gap - the difference between what customers expect from their experiences, and how well a brand believes they are meeting these expectations - only becomes more critical. After all, studies continually show how delivering top-notch marketing, care, and commerce experiences at all touchpoints, while always putting customers’ needs first, can significantly impact your bottom line.

A lot of time and resources (and buy-in from the very top of the organization) are needed to design, implement, and manage successful CX initiatives. However, ample research and statistics on the customer experience argue that the effort is worth it in the end.

Here are over 40 customer experience trends and stats every customer-centric brand needs to know today. 

Customer experience is as important as ever

It’s no secret that exceptional CX is critical to a brand’s success today and long term. As these customer experience statistics show, its impact can’t be understated.

  • 86% of professionals engaged in or leading CX expect to compete based on CX (Gartner).

Companies face immense pressure to deliver excellent CX

  • $35.3B is lost every year by US businesses in customer churn caused by avoidable CX issues, such as fair treatment. (CallMiner)

  • 83% of executives feel that unimproved CX presents them with considerable revenue and market share risks. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)

  • 3x greater return CX leaders outperform CX laggards in terms of stock performance. (Watermark Consulting)

Customers prioritize positive experiences above all else

  • 74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experiences alone. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)

  • $98B/year is left on the table by companies who fail to provide “simple” experiences to their consumers. (Siegel+Gale)

Did you know?: In a September 2020 poll of business in IT professionals, 24% said their organization invested more into Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (Gartner).

Key takeaway: The importance of CX continues to grow. To meet customers’ ever-growing expectations, brands must focus on designing optimal experiences and identifying and addressing critical pain points across the customer journey.

Great CX leads to happy customers (and bottom lines)

The connection between quality CX and happy customers is undeniable (so is its link to a brand’s bottom line), as these customer experience statistics show.

Customers want great experiences (and will pay to get them)

  • Consumers will pay a 16% price premium for great customer experience. (PwC)

  • Retained customers will pay a 17% price premium if it means getting excellent service. (American Express)

CX helps build more fruitful customer relationships

  • Experience-Driven businesses see over 1.5x higher YoY growth than other companies in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value. (Forrester and Adobe)

  • CX drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, more than ‘brand’ and ‘price’ combined. (Gartner, via CMSWire)

Customers are seeking experiences personalized to them

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer experiences personalized to them. (Epsilon)

  • 40% of consumers are more likely to spend more than they had planned when experiences are highly personalized to them. (BCG)

  • 48% of consumers have left a website without purchasing because they felt it was poorly curated for them. (Accenture)

Key takeaway: Brands that offer a good customer experience are more likely to see their revenue grow faster than those who don’t put CX as a top priority. Customer feedback – understanding their needs, expectations, preferences, and how they perceive their experiences with your brand – is critical to understanding how best to deliver the CX they desire.

With CX, there's little room for error

With more information and options at their fingertips than ever before, customers expect easy, quick, and frictionless experiences. Otherwise, they will take their business elsewhere.

  • 32% of customers stop doing business with a brand they love after only one negative experience. (PwC)

Customers expect answers, fast

  • 75% of people expect to get immediate info when they use their smartphone. (Google)

  • 53% of U.S. adults will likely abandon their online cart if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. (Forrester)

  • 90% of customers expect an “immediate” response to their support questions (10 minutes or less). (HubSpot Research)

Consistency is key to great CX

  • 63% of customers say the best brands exceed expectations across the customer journey. (Wunderman, via Adobe)

  • 65% of respondents would become long-term customers of a brand if they can provide positive experiences throughout the customer journey. (Forbes / Arm Treasure Data)

  • 42% of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a “top expectation”. 11% of decision-makers see seamless, omnichannel experiences as the most important factor when delivering quality experiences. (Wunderman Thompson)

Did you know? Speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service = the most critical elements of positive CX according to U.S. consumers. (PwC)

Key takeaway: Every experience counts. Brands must not only measure the experience at key moments throughout the customer journey; they must also ensure these insights reach the right people at the right time to enable quick action.

Customers are more mobile and self-sufficient than ever

Customers want access to the information they need right now, wherever they are, and many would rather be given the tools to get this information themselves. 

Don’t overlook the Mobile shopping experience

  • 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market was expected to come from mobile commerce by the end of 2020, up from 25% in 2019. (Business Insider)

  • 76% of shoppers use their mobile phones to shop because it saves them time. However, only 12% of shoppers felt it provides them the most convenient shopping experience (4x less than desktop). (Dynamic Yield)

Customers want to help themselves when possible

  • Over 6 in 10 customers today prefer to use digital self-serve channels to answer their questions (website, mobile app, online chat, and voice response system). (American Express)

  • 59% of consumers find that self-service options improve their customer service experiences. (Nuance)

Did you know? Live customer service channels (phone, live chat, and email) cost an average of $8.01 per contact. Self-service channels? Only $0.10 per contact. (Gartner)

Key takeaway: When it comes to CX, brands must adjust to their customers, not the other way around. Determine how you can best adapt your CX design to cater to their preferences and habits.

Superior customer care reinforces excellent CX

Consistently positive customer experiences post-purchase is essential to customer retention and turning first-time buyers into loyal customers. Today, CX leaders leverage a robust mix of self-serve tools and knowledgeable agents to help deliver these experiences for their customer base.

Emerging technologies play an increasingly prominent role

  • There will be a 40% increase in digital customer service interactions in 2021. (Forrester)

  • 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies by 2022, including chatbots. (up from 15% in 2018). (Gartner)

  • Over 300,000 chatbots are active on Facebook Messenger to help consumers get quick answers to questions. (VentureBeat)

Customers expect more and more from your agents

  • 78% of consumers said their customer service experience improves when agents don’t sound like they’re reading from a script. (Software Advice)

  • 46% of consumers will abandon a brand if employees are not knowledgeable. (PwC)

  • 71% of customers expect customer service agents already to have information regarding their previous interactions with the brand. (Radial)

Key takeaway: Leveraging emerging technologies and empowering agents with timely and targeted insights are helping brands better support their customers on their different channels and breed loyalty.

Word-of-mouth becomes increasingly powerful

It’s easier than ever for people today to share their experiences (or horror stories) with others. Outstanding CX encourages people to paint a positive picture of your brand to others.

  • 50% of Americans would choose word-of-mouth if they were asked to pick only one information source. (Convince & Convert Consulting)

One great experience can go a long way

  • 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if it offers simpler experiences and communications. (Siegel+Gale)

  • 71% of people recommend a product or service because they received a “great experience”. (Convince & Convert Consulting)

  • 65% of all consumers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. (PwC)

Did you know? One study found that answering a customer complaint on social media can increase advocacy by as much as 25%, and not responding to it can decrease customer advocacy by 50%. (Convince & Convert)

Key takeaway: The snowball effect of good and bad experiences is as prominent as ever today. With word-of-mouth’s significant impact on people’s purchasing decisions, having the measures to monitor and quickly escalate brand mentions and reviews from social media and review sites is essential to gauge customers’ experiences with your brand and address potential product and PR issues.

What do leading CX-driven organizations do?

What can an organization do to deliver positive and consistent experiences and become a CX leader that stands out from the crowd? Here are some customer experience statistics to consider:

Leverage emerging technologies

  • $641B is expected to be spent on CX technologies in 2022, over $130B more than in 2019. (IDC)

Focus on the entire customer journey, not just individual experiences

  • 85% of professionals who have used customer journey maps found that they result in increased customer satisfaction, lower churn, fewer complaints, and higher NPS. (MyCustomer)

Organize your teams to ensure CX is given top priority

  • By 2023, 25% of organizations expect they will integrate marketing, sales, and customer experience (CX) into a single function. (Gartner)

  • 31% of businesses place the burden of offering great digital experiences on the Marketing department. (Clicktale)

  • Over 90% of enterprises now employ a CCO, CXO, or executives with similar responsibilities. (Gartner)

Key takeaway: How the burden of CX is assigned internally varies based on the organization. However, one thing is constant – CX needs buy-in from the very top of the organization to be successfully deployed and instill a culture that prioritizes customer focus.

What lessons can we learn from these customer experience statistics?

As these customer experience statistics suggest, the impact of CX reverberates to your bottom line in many ways. For a CX program to succeed and help bridge the CX gap, the customer must always be at the heart of every decision. This also requires teams to be equipped with the tools and timely insights to help them deliver experiences that best empathize with the needs and expectations of your customers.

The right customer experience platform should help brands not only better understand customers as they navigate their journeys, but they also empower teams to improve their marketing, care, and commerce experiences across your different channels, so you can stand out from the crowd as a CX leader.

Reach out to us today to see how Emplifi can help.