0

Blog

Sep 07, 2016

Expert Round-Up: The 4 Biggest Customer Experience Mistakes You Can Make

[Estimated read time: 4 minutes]

Everyone makes mistakes. 

But when it comes to customer engagement, mistakes can be costly. Consider that, in the minds of your customers, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for just a single unresolved negative experience. And given that two-thirds of consumers switch brands following a poor service experience, companies should strive to make as few customer experience (CX) mistakes as possible.

We asked CX experts to weigh in on the question, "What are the biggest customer experience mistakes you see companies making?" Here's what a handful of them had to say:

1. Sacrificing helpfulness to stick to a script

"Customer service reps who are trained towards scripted responses and who do not listen to what you are actually saying. Employees who start any sentence with 'Our policy is…' And failing to make the customer feel both important and necessary. Ultimately, you should give your customers the same customer experience you’d like to receive and insist your employees do the same and maintain your high standards. Even in business, the golden rule applies."
-Tony Wilson, Tony Wilson and Associates

Astute's Perspective: Customers can see right through call scripts, and agents often feel they can't have an authentic, helpful conversation when they have to "stick to the script."

Instead, consider using a customer engagement CRM system like Astute ePowerCenter that provides contextual guidance and suggests next best actions using our ESP panel. Agents get the in-context direction they need without being limited by a one-size-fits-all script, and are more equipped to have authentic conversations with customers.

2. Claiming to support channels you really don't

"Setting up and displaying communication channels they don’t care to use. Some companies boast about being reachable via phone, e-mail, chat, etc. but won’t be there when you need them! You need to be reachable and you cannot afford to waste your customer’s time."
-Sebastian Ventura, Media Analyst and E-Commerce Consultant

Astute's Perspective: Eighty-six percent of consumers expect brands to offer multiple options to contact customer service, and 63% think brands that only offer a 1-800 number are outdated and old-fashioned. Understandably, brands have reacted by adding more channels -- often without the ability to truly support them at the level customers expect. Here's what your customers consider to be good response times:

  • Phone calls: 2 minutes
  • Emails: 4 hours
  • Social media: 1 hour
  • Live chat: 30 seconds

Unfortunately, many companies are currently failing to meet these benchmarks. For example, the average social media response time is 157 minutes vs. customer expectations of 60! Consider implementing social media support like Astute Social, that allows you to scale across the support channels your customers want while providing the level of service they expect.

Customers expect a social media response within 60 minutes, but the average social media response time for companies is 157 minutes.

Astute Social filters through 100% of incoming social posts and identifies the small subset that are actionable or urgent. And by using Astute Social in conjunction with ePowerCenter, you can ensure all social conversations are tracked in the CRM, resulting in more consistent service and a complete view of customer interactions.

3. Ignoring the customer journey

"Probably the number one issue is companies caring only about a single interaction with their customers (the sales transaction), instead of caring about their whole relationship with them. Whether a company wants it or not, or whether they are aware of it or not, a customer develops a relationship with the company before they even make their first purchase. If the company doesn’t take care of this relationship, it’s likely it’ll wither and die."
-Nico Brenner, Founder of Fosubo Customer Feedback Software

Astute's Perspective: Companies need to understand that a sale is only one step along the customer's journey. Many touchpoints lead up to a sale, and many more will follow it. A holistic approach to customer interactions is needed, and there's no better way to get started than by creating customer journey maps.

It's also important to realize that service activities aren't limited to after a sale takes place -- many consumers interact with your service systems while trying to make a purchase decision. Don't underestimate the impact of web and mobile self-service experiences as potential customers look for answers. After all, more than half of U.S. adults will abandon an online purchase if they can't find answers quickly. A knowledge management system like Astute Knowledge can deliver accurate, personalized answers wherever customers need them -- whether on your website, in your mobile app, or through a messaging app.

Learn more about how to improve customer experience through web and mobile service technologies.

4. Failing to empathize with customers

"Not empathizing with the customer. I've seen many companies design experiences from the company's point of view, pre-supposing what the customers emotions are at each stage of the journey. You need to begin by talking to customers and understanding their perspectives, emotions, highs, lows, questions. etc. You’ll be surprised at how different an experience is from someone else's shoes."
-Oli Freestone, Management and Consumer Behavior Consultant with Elixirr

Astute's Perspective: Customer empathy is the first step to developing a useful, effective journey map. While assumptions can prove to be good discussion fodder when mapping the customer journey, you need to temper them with quantitative and qualitative research into what your customers truly experience. As a starting point to get more in touch with the customer mindset, use this Customer Empathy Worksheet. Then walk through every touchpoint, seeing it through the eyes of your customers. You may be surprised at what you see. 

Astute Solutions helps some of the world's largest consumer brands succeed at customer engagement. To see how, schedule a personalized demo of our software.

X

Forrester Report: Mapping the Customer Journey

Get expert journey mapping advice from Forrester in this free report.

Get the Report