Someone once said, "To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one." This is true for not only the service you are delivering to customers, but in the online, machine-to-human interactions. And the brands that have thoughtfully built delight into every turn of the customer experience are the ones that will succeed in today's commoditized marketplace.
But this goes beyond just plain good service (that should now be a standard). Brands must think about the type of experience they are creating for their customers from that very first touchpoint.
Where does your brand stand to make some improvements? Here are a few common mistakes you could be making right now that could be impairing your customer experience game.
1. Decoupling the brand from the product
Every customer touchpoint represents an opportunity to involve them in your brand and make an impression, but too many organizations decouple the brand from their product or service missing out on these all-powerful micro moments.
Slack is just one example of a brand that has successfully integrated their brand into their product. They've seized the micro moments when the app is launching or loading to pepper the user with fun, delightful messages.
2. Failing to speak your customer's language
Beyond pain points or challenges, do you truly know your customer? What words or vernacular resonates with them?
Are they more formal or casual in their communication? Do they appreciate a humorous or a more serious tone? Brands that figure out this piece of the puzzle create a deeper bond with their customers.
Take Mailchimp as an example. They've taken the time to think through how customers are feeling along every step of their journey. Just completed an email campaign, Mailchimp gives you a virtual high five and a "Hoozah!" to recognize a job well done.
It's that level of understanding how their customers are feeling at every step that deepens loyalty. But that is difficult to pull off if all your customer experience efforts are focused solely on features and not on the storytelling. Whether it's a reservation booking module, an online store or a customer support chat service, the tangible offering needs the emotional backing of a good story.
3. Not being where your customers are
You no longer have the luxury of dictating the terms of communication with your customers. Not too long ago, a customer service hotline was the only direct way a dissatisfied user could get in direct contact with a company. But now, you need to be accessible on whichever platform your customers prefer.
Do you know where and how your customers find information? Beyond customer service issues, where can you be providing customers and prospects with high-value information or content that will proactively help them solve a challenge or improve a process? Of course the key to knowing where your customers are is to deeply understand them.
4. Focusing on one side of the feedback story
It's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on only the negative feedback. Successful companies are built on the backs of failure, and it's in the very nature of many businesses to treat negativity like gold as a result.
To properly address concerns and make improvements, some fall into the trap of only paying attention to the negatives, ignoring the equally, if not more helpful, positive feedback from loyal customers.
Positive comments can help solidify your place in the market, improve your branding and even direct your focus so you don't get lost in new, perhaps unnecessary features that obscure your sweet spots. Your most dedicated, loyal fans or super users, can help you identify enhancements that will drastically improve the experience they already love.
5. Failing to take action on the feedback
Many organizations collect feedback in various forms, but ask what their strategy is for processing and utilizing that feedback and your often met with a blank stare. A massive collection of data is like an old pack of baseball cards -- impressive to acquire, but only valuable if you open it up and know what's inside.
If you sit on your mountain of data, you're missing an opportunity to build better customer experiences. Data is how you find your advocates and promoters, and how you uncover and make amends with your detractors.
Data collection tools are just tactics. To truly achieve your business and customer experience goals, you need to create strategies for analyzing data as it pertains to your customers' journeys.
Data can also help inform innovation. Based on the numbers and qualitative feedback, are there new services or products customers are quietly asking for or do the figures point to a subset of challenges ripe for solving that you may have previously overlooked?
You could be leaving revenue and opportunity on the table by ignoring these outcomes. Keep in mind, a solid customer experience begins with knowing your customer. Get that right and you'll uncover a treasure trove of ways to delight and inspire them.