The Evolution Of Customer Experience: 30 Eye-Popping Stats on Satisfaction, Retention, and Loyalty

Yogi Berra Quote

Regardless of the oxymoronic, tongue-in-cheek nature of this quote, the Hall of Fame catcher made his point clear—he had a poor experience at a restaurant and wasn’t going back.

Things have changed a lot in the 60 years since this infamous quote. The continued growth of consumer choice has forced companies to put customer experience (CX) under a microscope. Organizations are now analyzing the effect CX has on satisfaction, retention, and loyalty at a near scientific level—and we have the data to back it up!

In this blog post, we’ll examine 30 eye-opening customer experience statistics including:

  • Negative experiences
  • Positive experiences
  • Personalization
  • Feedback loops
  • Product/service differentiation
  • Internal viewpoints
  • ROI
  • Branding
  • Loyalty

There are a ton of great stats in this post, so let’s get going!

Negative Customer Experiences Have… Negative Outcomes

Negative Customer Experiences Have… Negative Outcomes

OK, we know—the fact poor customer experiences are bad for business isn’t exactly revolutionary news. But when you drill into that blanket statement and provide more detail on the extent of the issue, as well as specifics on what outcomes organizations can expect from their customers, there is a lot to learn.

1. 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning, and 95% of consumers have taken action as a result

Crunching the numbers here—basically all customers will act upon their CX frustrations, and two-thirds of those actions will be discontinuing your service. (Kolsky + Zendesk)

2. 39% of consumers avoid vendors for over 2 years after having a negative experience, and 58% of consumers will never use a company again after a negative experience

The nature of CX is subjective—at the end of the day, the customer’s interpretation of your organization’s actions that counts, not your intentions. No matter how hard you try, you’ll always have a percentage of customers with bad experiences. According to the stats above, let churned customers cool off for an extended period of time before trying to re-engage their business. (NewVoice + Zendesk)

3. Unhappy customers act FAST—Half quit doing business with a company immediately after a bad sales/marketing experience, one-quarter took to social media, and 54% started engaging with other companies.

Between online payments and social media, customer service is no longer something that can wait until morning. If you don’t have the resources to have an agent respond in real time, consider implementing some type of communication technology (chatbot or automated message) that lets the customer know you’re working on it. (Accenture)

4. Accenture found that 54% of customers switched service providers in the past year, citing frustrating customer service as the top reason (64%)

Consumers have never enjoyed more choice when it comes to products and services, and they’re willing to vote with their wallets.

5. Experiences that would make customers take their business elsewhere include unfriendly service (60%) and employees’ lack of knowledge (46%)

Interestingly, what you say isn’t quite as important as how you say it. Note to knowledgeable agents: don’t make the customer feel small! (PwC)

6. 22% of consumers would leave for other brands after a creepy experience

Personalized experiences are important, as you’ll see later in this post, but don’t give away more info than you have to. Most online consumers have a general sense of companies tracking their online behavior, but this doesn’t mean it won’t come off as creepy when you demonstrate your digital stalking capabilities. (InMoment)

The Surprising Power Of A Happy Customer

The Surprising Power Of A Happy Customer

So unhappy customers have a lot of power to affect your business—got it. What about the other side of the coin? Do positive customer experiences show business returns? Check out the stats below—you might be surprised!

7. 23% of customers who had a good customer experience told 10+ people

Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing, and customer experience seems to be one of the safest bets to generate it. If you do nothing besides providing great CX, nearly a quarter of your customers will talk about it. (Harvard Business Review)

8. 30% of customers share positive reviews via social media

No surprise here—in the digital age, social media is supplementing word of mouth. But word of mouth via social media comes with an extra benefit by leaving a digital footprint of the experience. This can help both in terms of social proof and search as potential customers research your brand. (Zendesk)

9. 50% of consumers would use a company more frequently after a positive customer experience

Hello upsell and cross-sell opportunities! (NewVoice)

10. 24% of consumers continue to seek out vendors for 2+ years after a positive experience

Although not as high of a percentage as the lasting effects of a negative experience, good CX does have a significant shelf life. (Zendesk)

Brands Getting Personal

Personalization as a result of increased capabilities to track (and predict) online behavior is a tightrope walk—the overwhelming majority of people seem to prefer it, but of course, we don’t want to be creeped out by it (see #6).

11. 80% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences

While consumers used to shy away from giving out personal data, we’ve now reached the tipping point—we’ll give away the data if we sense a reward, even if it’s as simple as convenience.(Epsilon)

12. Consumers who believe personalized experiences are very appealing are 10x more likely to be a brand’s most valuable customer—expected to make more than 15 transactions in one year

You know those “suggested products”, “you might also like” and “customers also bought” UI features from the likes of Amazon, Netflix, etc.? Turns out they work.(Epsilon)

The Importance Of A Feedback Loop

The Importance Of A Feedback Loop

Consumers want to be heard—they’re going to share their opinions and suggestions via social media and perhaps directly with the company. Organizations that provide a platform to facilitate and encourage this type of feedback will be the ones that capitalize on it.

13. 81% of millennial women think brands are designing products with their needs in mind, and 70% think brands listen and respond to their needs

FYI—you want to be in this group! (Merkle and Levo)

14. Fast and direct communications about an order is the number one factor in winning the loyalty of millennials and baby boomers

“Where’s my stuff?” is a common question in the age of delivery. The quicker you can answer this, the better. Additionally, folks want clear return and refund communication.(Narvar)

CX As A Unique Selling Proposition

We’ve reached saturation for many products and services. People are less concerned with ‘new’ and more concerned with ‘good’ due to the huge amount of choice we have within virtually every product and service category. If we can all get a very similar item elsewhere, what sets your organization apart? CX is playing an increasingly large role in differentiation.

15. 89% of marketing leaders expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience by 2016, compared to just 36% four years ago

Marketers are always going to try and sell (!), but if their organizations can give them actual stats and company policies that indicate CX is a priority, they’ll be able to use more than hyperbole. (Gartner)

16. By 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator

(Walker Info)

How Organizations View CX Internally

We’ve mostly covered experience from the customer side (for good reason!), but let’s quickly take a look at some stats that show how organizations view CX within their own building.

17. 31% of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving the customer experience

While this number may seem low, especially given what we’ve covered so far, expect this to trend upwards as brands get more sophisticated with how they engineer CX.(Forrester Research)

18. Nearly 80% of companies spend less than 30% of their time and budget on customer retention-focused messaging and content

Again, the current efforts don’t support the groundswell for CX as a brand differentiator, but this is changing. (Accenture)

19. In 2018, more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience

And there it is—in order to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for CX, organizations are going to have to significantly change how they’re set up. Expect to see new job titles, departments, and budget allocations to fulfill this need. (Gartner)

20. 72% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority

Boom. (Forrester)

The ROI Of Customer Experience

OK, so CX sounds great in theory—who wouldn’t want to provide incredible experiences to their customers. The question on every executives’ mind, however, is:Does CX contribute to the bottom line?Let’s look at the numbers without commentary, because money talks.

21. Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above the market

(Bain & Co.)

22. In the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion


23. Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones

24. Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5-25x more expensive than retaining existing ones. Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25-95%


25. 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience, and 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience

(Defaqto Research + RightNow) So what do you think—does CX contribute to the bottom line?

The Role Of Branding In CX

Before organizations even consider how CX might affect satisfaction, retention, and loyalty, they need to realize it actually starts the moment the prospect is introduced to the brand. And consumer expectations are high.

26. 47% of millennial women know their favorite brand’s origin story, 41% know who founded the brand, and 40% follow the founder or someone affiliated with their top brands on social media

In the age of social media, storytelling has never been more important. Your brand story needs to be consistent across all public channels and available on demand—no small feat for a marketer. Bonus points for behind-the-scenes or ‘real’ content. (Merkle and Levo)

27. 79% of consumers said brands have to actually demonstrate that they understand and care about them before they are going to consider purchasing

Again, this just shows the expectations that consumers have for brands, even pre-purchase. Two-way communication is absolutely critical to brand perception.(Wunderman)

28. Two-thirds of consumers think it’s important for brands to take a public stance on social issues

In other words, the brands we support must also, in turn, support the causes that we care about. For proof of this, look no further than the Twitter mentions of a brand during a public scandal regarding social issues. (Sprout Social)

Creating Loyalty

Creating Loyalty

Loyalty programs are on the rise, but we’re way past the days of carrying around a hole-punched business card from the local sandwich spot. From travel to tech to consumer goods, consumers are actively signing up for and using more loyalty programs than ever.Here are a couple numbers that stood out to us.

29. 77% of consumers participate in a retail loyalty program, 46% have joined a hotel program, and 40% are part of an airline program–up from 72%, 36%, and 31% over the last year, respectively.


30. While a typical U.S. household is enrolled in 19 to 29 different loyalty programs, it only actively uses five to 12 of them

Again, we all know that customer experience is important to a successful business, but hopefully, this blog post provides the proof.Did we miss any stats that should have been included? Let us know in the comments section! (Nasdaq)