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What It Takes to Deliver Breakthrough Customer Experiences

Service KeyboardSeven minutes.

That’s how long it takes financial-technology start-up Kabbage to approve a small-business loan—nearly 5,000 times faster than the 20 days it takes a typical bank. It’s no wonder that customers’ experiences with technology companies have not only altered their behavior but also raised their expectations about how interactions with all businesses should work. As a survey conducted by Ipsos and LinkedIn found, some 67 percent of affluent millennials are open to using non-financial-services brands.1

Incumbents are moving fast to adapt, applying a range of approaches to improve customer experiences. These include everything from design thinking, which involves applying creative, nonlinear approaches to reinvent how customers interact with businesses, to agile, which calls for fielding prototypes quickly, gaining early customer input, and then iterating continually.

With so many players in the mix, the bar is being raised ever higher, and the danger is that an incumbent may work hard but end up with a “me too” customer experience that does not set it apart. Instead, a great experience that delights customers and earns their loyalty is needed. We’ve found that improving a customer experience from merely average to something that wows the consumer can lead to a 30 to 50 percent increase in measures such as likelihood to renew or to buy another product. Here are seven areas we’ve identified where incumbents can step up to design and deliver great customer experiences.

From measuring customer behavior to spending time with customers to truly understand them

Most companies conduct quantitative research on customers. Such data provide important insights, but to create distinctive customer journeys, companies must not only understand their customers’ behavior but also develop deep empathy. In particular, companies need to empathize with customers when they experience difficulties and obstacles.

Read more: What it takes to deliver breakthrough customer experiences | McKinsey & Company

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