You know the old adage that recognizing there’s a problem is the first step? Many companies are realizing their customer experience needs to improve, or they risk losing business. To stay competitive, they get fired up with good intentions, but too often make some common mistakes that get in the way of meaningful results.
Here are three critical pitfalls and how to avoid them:
1. Focusing on fragments instead of the entire customer journey
Organizations are usually very siloed and they tend to look at processes and communications without thinking about how they are interrelated across lines of business. This creates a very fragmented view of the customer, and may explain why your customer experience is disjointed. It’s important to see things holistically, mapping the customer lifecycle and analyzing their experience across all channels and touch points to help you really understand what it’s like for people to do business with you.
Feedback may help improve specific silos, but customers see you as one company. You need to understand a holistic view of the customer experience.
Too often, companies focus only on survey feedback and ignore important context that could shed light on customer pain points. For example, one of our financial services clients, a top 5 bank, gathered customer comments from satisfaction surveys, but that told only a small part of the story. Customers often have multiple relationships with the bank, and they see it as one company.
To make meaningful changes, the bank needed to gain a broader understanding of the customer experience. Using predictive analytics, they were able to leverage many data sources, and factor in the type of accounts customers have, the length of time they’ve been a customer, how and where they do their banking, as well as comments from call center transcripts and social media. Having a richer picture of the customer experience provided the necessary insight to make measurable improvements.
2. Treating all customers as equal instead of focusing on high value customers
Many enterprises undertake customer research and collect mountains of data, but relatively few know who their most profitable (not largest) customers are. It’s often the case that a few customers will represent the significant proportion of your profit, which means these are the ones you should target first when focusing on improvements.
- Identify your best customers. Dive into your data with predictive analytics to discover behavioral trends and patterns that help you understand which customers can have the most impact on your bottom line.
- Optimize “moments that matter.” Track the customer journey as they interact with your business across touch points. Customer retention analytics can help you uncover reasons why certain people stay or leave, helping you prioritize improvements that will matter most to your customers.
- Strengthen communications. Take a closer look at communications across all channels to ensure you’re conveying the right messaging and tone to build stronger connections with customers. Consistency is key. While studies show customers may accept different levels of service from different channels, they expect communications to be consistent, and that’s often a challenge. In fact, 87% of customers think brands need to do a better job of providing a consistent experience.
3. Forgetting to train employees on how to deliver the desired customer experience
Your customer experience starts with your employees. But companies often have too little budget or time to invest in internal training to help everyone understand what customer success looks like and how to create it. As a result, customer service or account management may be rushed, inconsistent, or even neglected.
Customers value good service over speed, and are happy to pay more for personalized experiences.
Customer-centric training can be a quick and powerful investment. By building a customer-centric culture, your employees understand how to represent your brand values in everything they do, which can make a huge difference for the customer experience.
We’ve seen forward-thinking companies overcome the challenge of not being able to compete on price, by working hard to differentiate on the value of personalized relationships. With training and best practice tools for customer-centric communications, their employees – call center staff, sales and marketing teams, and senior executives – became well equipped to build stronger, more profitable customer relationships.
Making sure everyone is on board with a consistent vision for the customer experience is a win-win. It can smooth the transition through a merger, boost the power of a product launch, and help ensure everyday business is more successful for your customers and your company.
Improving customer experience is good for business. To get the most out of your efforts, focus on the big picture of how customers relate to your company, and prioritize improvements to generate the biggest wins first. This helps build momentum across the company to best ensure you meet your customer experience goals.