The pressure isn’t new for customer-facing companies, but it just keeps building. As the capabilities and challenges grow from digital, robust data, mobile, omnichannel, complex payments, constant tech advances and more, so too do the expectations.

Consumer listening

Customer experience goes way beyond just customer service, of course, and beyond even the most complex loyalty and customer engagement efforts. It encompasses the sum of every interaction a customer has with your company—on every channel, at every moment of every day.

Research from thinkJar has found that 55 percent of consumers will pay more for a guaranteed good experience. And 86 percent will pay more for an upgraded experience.

Beware, the quiet ones

But when a customer experience falls short, look out. Research from LoyaltyOne Consulting, the Verde Group and the Wharton School shows that a silently irate customer is a company’s worst enemy. It’s far preferable to have a shopper make a scene on the sales floor than quietly stalk out the door.

“...55 percent of consumers will pay more for a guaranteed good experience. And 86 percent will pay more for an upgraded experience.”

Among silent-but-furious shoppers, 32 percent say they’re unlikely to recommend the retailer, and they’re at risk of decreasing their spending. Those who notified the retailer of their problems and had them resolved were 84 percent less likely to be at risk of decreasing their spending.

Problem experiences are much more predictive of actual behavior, yet companies overwhelmingly spend the lion’s share of time, money and focus on measuring satisfaction or simply reacting to the problems most frequently heard from their customer base, which most likely has these organizations chasing after the wrong business priorities.

Get granular

Often, the complaints that get the most noise, say, long checkout lines at a grocery store, garner the most attention. But a problem that might be much less reported, such as poor service at the deli counter, could be much more worthy of attention, affecting fewer customers, perhaps, but more high-spending and high-impact ones.

Unlocking the intricacies of customer experience priorities, particularly problem interactions, is essential if companies are going to create true loyalty and drive economic returns for their business.