Facing Churn? Look Out For These Customer Experience Mistakes
Can you imagine losing up to one-third of your customers?
If you provide a poor customer experience, this nightmare scenario could easily become reality. According to a global customer engagement consumer survey from PwC, 32% of customers would stop doing business with a company after one bad experience.
In the competitive digital landscape, customer loyalty is critical to success. But a few common customer experience mistakes threaten to undermine your customer retention strategy.
Why customer experience should be at the top of your strategic agenda
The customer experience is one of the greatest predictors of business success.
While price and quality are still top drivers of spending, 73% of consumers say the customer experience is a primary factor in their purchasing decisions, according to PwC.
Here’s the catch: Several customer experience mistakes make it difficult for businesses to consistently provide the best service. In the opinion of consumers, just 49% of companies provide a good customer experience.
What exactly do your customers want?
The answer to this question should guide your customer experience strategy.
While consumers want different things from different companies, there are a few consistent traits they expect from all businesses. When asked to describe the ideal customer experience, consumers point to four key points.
Customers will gladly pay the premium for these attributes.
For example, nearly half (43%) would pay more for greater convenience, while 42% would pay for more welcoming service, according to the PwC survey.
Many companies have expanded their arsenal of digital tools to fulfill these desires.
The digital consumer conundrum
Even as businesses improve their digital capabilities, consumers’ demands for more personalized, expedient service are on the rise.
Customers today are used to getting what they want fast. They want all of the benefits of technology, such as automation, fast access to information, convenience, and quick delivery.
At the same time, they still expect a human-centered experience. However, 64% of customers in the U.S. believe companies have lost touch with the human element of the customer experience, PwC reported.
While businesses are eager to implement new technology, it’s important to ensure new tools complement the human side of the customer experience — not replace it.
Five customer experience mistakes to avoid in the digital era
The key to a great customer experience is finding the right balance between technology and people.
By preventing these five customer experience mistakes, you can provide a differentiated experience, increase customer engagement and build loyalty.
Mistake No. 1: Having a disjointed view of the customer journey
Directly or indirectly, all departments in your business play a role in the customer experience.
But too often, these players operate in silos with little communication or coordination between them. They use different methods of reporting, different performance metrics, and sometimes even different digital platforms.
This can lead to a fragmented customer experience, where each touchpoint along the customer journey ends up feeling disjointed instead of connected.
To ensure a smooth, seamless experience, you must take a holistic view of the entire customer journey from their perspective.
- Where do customers often experience friction?
- Where do they drop off?
- How can your departments work together to ensure smooth transitions?
- How can technology bridge any gaps?
Answering these questions will help you build a coherent customer journey.
Mistake No. 2: Not focusing on your high-value customers
Every customer deserves your best quality products and service. But when it comes to promotions and improvements, focus on your most profitable customers.
Retaining your high-value customers should be at the top of your customer experience agenda. Acquiring new customers costs way more than retaining existing ones (five times more). Yet companies often spend the majority of their energy and resources trying to attract new ones.
Make sure your most profitable customers are happy by checking in often, giving them a dedicated support person, and providing personalized service.
Mistake No. 3: Inadequate customer support training
Without solid training for your customer support team, it will be impossible to deliver the type of experience your customers want.
Effective support training includes significant hands-on practice so your support reps know your products and services inside out. Training should be ongoing so they stay abreast of product updates and changes.
In addition to expertise, pay attention to “soft skills,” such as communication, problem solving, resourcefulness, and emotional intelligence. The most effective customer support reps are those who demonstrate empathy to frustrated customers, come up with solutions to problems fast, and know when to escalate issues.
Mistake No. 4: Ignoring customer feedback and reviews
Who writes customer reviews? Usually, it’s either the super satisfied or super dissatisfied. This might make you inclined to ignore the comments your customers post online, but this is a big mistake for two key reasons.
First, negative reviews, however harsh, paint a clear picture of something that obviously went wrong during a customer’s experience with your business. If you don’t take action to fix the problem, you will not only lose the customer for good, but you will probably not address the root of the issue.
Second, solving individual customer complaints is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to personalized service, which can even improve retention.
Mistake No. 5: Not using customer data to its full potential
Chances are you are collecting vast amounts of customer data from a CRM or other tools. Why not use this data to help you provide more personalized service?
By performing analytics on customer data (such as purchasing histories, customer demographics, and churn rate), you can identify customer behaviors, preferences, and trends. With this insight, you can make more informed decisions about where to spend advertising dollars, know when to roll out updates, and provide tailored customer service.