Why word-of-mouth matters more than ever to customer experience
Insights · 4 min read

Why word-of-mouth matters more than ever to customer experience

The FullStory Team
Posted September 17, 2021

Turns out, the impact of digital word-of-mouth means the world for managing customer experience.

Customer experience (CX) is continuing its growth globally as a critical frame for driving business success. Google Trends shows search interest for “customer experience” has grown 12% each year for the last 5 years.

CX has slight variance in definition from company to company:

  • “Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.” (HubSpot

  • “Customer experience is defined as your customers’ perceptions — both conscious and subconscious — of their relationship with your brand resulting from all their interactions during the customer life cycle.” (SAS)

  • “Customer experience (CX) is everything related to a business that affects a customer’s perception and feelings about it.” (Zendesk)

Emphasizing CX makes for a happy customer, and a happy customer means repeat business and lifetime value. After all, an unhappy customer won’t stick around.

Customer experience is authentic and authoritative

But why the rise in focus on customer experience? A closer look at what makes CX important is helpful in answering that question.

CX happens at the level of the individual. It is how a specific person perceives your business, brand, product, marketing—everything. A customer’s experience is unique and personal, original and non-derivative.

The uniqueness of a customer’s experience makes it authentic.

Every aspect of the product or service is experienced in a unique way through the lens of the customer. You give the same product, service, marketing, or advertising campaign  to two different people and you will get two different experiences.

Those experiences are indisputable and genuine, even if they weren’t what was intended by the provider of the service.

The authenticity of a customer’s experience makes it authoritative.

The authority of a customer’s experience is derived from it being indisputable. How do you debate how a customer experienced your product or service? You really can’t.

Together, customer experience drives an authentic, authoritative opinion about your business. The mantra of “the customer is always right” is downright hard to dispute.

Want to take your digital experience to the next level? Let’s chat.

Request your personalized demo of the FullStory Digital Experience Intelligence platform.

WOM versus going viral 

Customer experience is a frame for understanding what drives that time-tested, age-old source of marketing — word-of-mouth (WOM).

In our digital age, it’s never been easier for WOM to spread, although now it’s considered “going viral.” Smartphones and social media combine to give word-of-mouth a default one-to-many modality. Today, the private, personal customer experience is made public with just a couple of clicks and swipes.

Some word-of-mouth stats that might wow you: 

  • 86% of customers trust word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations

  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends

  • WOM brings in 5x more sales than paid media

  • Word of mouth drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending

Your customer experience is in the hands of many, digitally speaking. 

In addition to the scale of digital, modern word-of-mouth can bias towards exaggerating customer experience — you get either unbridled enthusiasm or shaming outrage. When was the last time you posted to Instagram or Facebook about a lukewarm customer experience?

Get ahead of customer experiences with digital intelligence. Instead of waiting to hear what each customer feels about your product, experience it with them. FullStory’s Digital Experience Intelligence solution allows you to stay ahead of WOM (good or bad). Understand user’s on-page signals, frustrations and problems to capture those experiences before they go “viral”. 

On the receiving side, customers are both actively seeking out information about brands, products, and services, or passively consuming that information across whatever channels with which they are engaged.

Great customer experience, incredible WOM

Here’s our simple perspective. Competition for products and services leads to businesses building better ways to get jobs done. This isn't new.

What’s changed is how the megaphone of digital is amplifying customer experience through word-of-mouth — ensuring that the best products will win.

FullStory created a way to visualize customer interactions in a way that was clarifying and intuitive, with Session Replay, it solved that problem. And once we saw it in action, we believed other companies would benefit from having it, too.

Managing customer experience is not a solved problem. 

It enables every team — engineering, design, product marketing, customer support, everyone — to catch the errors, find and pave the desire paths, build better customer journeys, and give customer support professionals superpowers.

For further reading, check out: 

By building up your customer experience knowledge, you can gain digital insights on future trends. Let word-of-mouth be the method of scalability, not destruction. 

Understand and improve your customer journey with powerful Digital Experience Intelligence.

Request a demo today.

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The FullStory TeamContributor

About the author

Our team of digital experience intelligence experts shares tips and best practices.

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