Most companies would agree on one thing – delivering a superior customer experience is not an easy task. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding, and companies that don’t adapt proactively to the ever-evolving demands of their customers, will have a very hard time surviving in the future.
Customers seem to be in control of any brand’s online reputation, and the old saying ‘Customer is King’ is more relevant today than ever before. For this very reason, many companies even hire Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) to achieve higher customer satisfaction and loyalty levels.
Ever wondered why so much emphasis is being placed on providing a great customer experience?
Research suggests it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative experience. This is a huge deal for most consumer-facing businesses!
Here are 3 mistakes companies should not make when optimizing customer experience:
1. Stop Ignoring Social Media
United Airlines had seen better days. Recently, a 69-year-old man was forcefully dragged out of a plane after the company preferred to give a seat to one of its own employees over its customers, and trolls were damaging the company’s reputation on pretty-much every social media channel imaginable. The incident even sparked a trending hashtag – #UnitedJourney, and the company was trying to get it off the ‘Trending’ list. Two weeks after the incident, the company faced yet another PR crisis when it did not allow two girls to enter a plane because of their leggings – sparking off #LeggingsGate.
When’s the last time you saw a customer at a mall completing ignore their mobiles to fully immerse themselves in shopping? Probably never, we presume! Customers are on social media to find out what their favorite celebrity is wearing today, chatting with their friends, or looking for deals on a coupon deals website.
A good day can very easily turn into a bad day because of a disgruntled customer ranting on social media about how bad your company’s executive was when he rudely spoke to your customer, or if a video goes viral on social media channels like in United Airlines’ case. Thus, next time you come across an unhappy customer going out of his way to spoil your company’s online reputation – make it a priority to resolve it as quickly as possible before trolls join the conversation!
Social media is a key facilitator of customer service for those who use it right, and a prompt response to a customer’s query really goes a long way in ensuring customer loyalty in the future. According to Gartner, companies saw a 15% increase in churn rate if they failed to respond to customers on social media. A majority of customers choose competitors for the one reason – better customer service. Thus, it is extremely important to have a streamlined customer service process to keep customers happy.
- Don’t Make Customers Work Hard to Resolve Problems
When’s the last time you called a customer care number only to be put in a never-ending loop of call transfers?
Although being kept in a loop sounds good to hear in a meeting, no one likes being put in a literal customer service loop that goes on forever. This happens when a customer calls to enquire about a problem, and a customer service agent keeps on transferring the call to another agent to get the problem resolved. The problem with this – the customer becomes increasingly frustrated with each transfer, and probably will switch to a competitor because of his negative experience.
There is a strong correlation between customer effort and satisfaction – the less effort a customer puts in a query, the more satisfied the customer will be. When there’s more effort on a customer’s part in a customer service situation, loyalty and retention rates decreased tremendously.
Businesses seek to keep a customer effort at a minimum when optimizing the customer experience. There’s even a KPI for it – Customer Effort Score (CES), which is the amount of effort a customer has to put in order to resolve a problem. On top of it, there’s only one way to measure CES, and that’s by asking your customers how easy was the customer service process.
What you should keep in mind – make sure customers are transferred only when absolutely essential.
- Not Being OmniChannel Enough
Forget multichannel, are you omnichannel enough for today’s world?
Being multichannel means utilizing multiple channels to engage with customers. However, as the channels are not integrated or linked in any way, it results in a fragmented customer experience. Plus, how would you feel if you had spent a considerable amount of time on one channel trying to interact with a brand, only to have to start all over again from scratch on a different channel?
With Omnichannel, this problem is eliminated. When offering customer service, it is vital to maintain consistency across all channels. Customers expect this, and businesses who deliver consistent customer experiences across multiple channels become successful in retaining that customer. Being Omnichannel also reduces customer effort, as a customer doesn’t have to start all over again when using a different channel – thus increasing personalization.
For example, if a customer service agent realizes that the person on-line has recently engaged with the brand on social media prior to calling, they can offer a truly personalized service.
Not all companies can offer a superior customer experience – some do it better. Want to learn how the Pros are doing it? Don’t miss our latest read – 3 Enlightening Customer Experience Lessons from Apple, Disney and Tesla