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The new year gives many sales professionals a renewed focus, allowing them to pay more attention to lead generation and adding new clients to their client base. Businesses have enacted a number of measures to entice prospects to interact with the company and look into buying their products and/or services, but in today’s fast-paced world meeting clients’ needs is more important than ever.

According to recent research by software firm Oracle, 97 percent of executives agree that delivering a great customer experience is critical to giving their firms a competitive advantage, and companies that fail to offer a positive, consistent and brand-relevant customer experience could be missing out on 20 percent of annual revenue.

“This report demonstrates that organizations around the globe and across many industries are beginning to understand the real business impact of not offering great customer experiences, but are facing execution challenges,” said David Vap, group vice president at Oracle. “We recommend that organizations map their customers’ journeys to identify specific improvement areas that will help them cross the execution chasm.”

Add customers, don’t lose them

Ninety-one percent of survey respondents wish to be considered a customer-experience leader in their industry, while 93 percent said improving the way they care for the customers is one of their top priorities for the upcoming year. While many businesses hope to improve their customer experience, 37 percent of firms are just beginning initiatives toward the services they provide for their companies.

“By empowering customers and employees, breaking down organizational silos, and implementing flexible processes and technology tools, organizations can deliver personalized, seamless customer service through the entire experience lifecycle,” said Vap.

Failing to deliver a quality customer experience can equate to unhappy clients and some who decide to bring their business elsewhere. Less than half of business executives who responded to the survey said they believe a poor customer experience could lead to lost customers, however, 89 percent of customers said they would switch brands if they are not treated the way they want.

Change the company to improve the customer experience

Businesses that put the customer first will often make the adjustments to meet their clients’ ever-changing needs. Below is a list provided by Fast Company that details how businesses can change customer service strategies to ensure they meet all of the needs of their clients.

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