The level to which you satisfy your customers both in terms of the quality of the products and customer service determines the complete customer experience. When customers decides to buy your product, it is only because of their trust in your brand. The success of any business depends on how trustworthy it proves itself for customers. Once you achieve that, you ensure retaining current buyers as well as customer base expansion.
However, there are scenarios when you feel you’re treating customers well but the feedback might not reflect your efforts. It could be because you’re overlooking customer or because you don’t truly understand your customer expectations. There are several reasons that can limit you in delivering the best experience.
Six of the most common reasons are explained below:
1. Misplaced focus
Businesses sometimes focus so much on acquiring new customers that they might end up compromising the existing ones. As a result, the numbers hardly go up and are instead fixed or in some cases even lowered. While acquiring new consumers can be enticing, retaining the older ones can be quite a task. However, they are your true assets. Their recommendations and references have done wonders to help your business attain the position that it is currently in.
Retention is all about how well you handle your customers through your after-sale and customer support service. To make sure you don’t lose your existing customers in the rush of acquiring a new one, take baby steps in keeping both your customer support executives and customers happy. Share success stories with them and introduce discounts on occasions such as anniversaries for them to show that you care.
2. Shifting priorities
As soon as the revenue for a particular quarter is down, the concentration is on boosting sales. As a result, customer service becomes one of the most ignored sections of any organization. Why? This is because all resources from the department are transferred to business development and sales effort sections. There is no one left to attend customers. The unattended consumers lose trust in your brand or company and switch to other brands in the markets. Of course, it is important to enhance your efforts on business development strategies when your revenue is low, but absolute resource reallocation is hardly a solution. Every department contributes certain values for a business.
Secondly, the failure in sufficient revenue generation is not always because of the lack of sales efforts. It could also be because of the lack of focus on your customer service. The CEO, before shifting employees or technologies, should find answers behind the factors that led to the revenue conundrum. In implementing any new strategy or technology, executives should consider how it improves the customer experience — especially when enroute to digital transformation.
3. The Four Horsemen of Customer Service Apocalypse
When a customer connects with a customer support executive, he expects that his problem is addressed with minimal effort from his end and that he is treated well during the process. There are instances where customers’ problems are solved but still, they are unhappy the way it is dealt with. Relationship researcher John Gottman termed the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” to describe the four behaviors that impose a negative impact on any relationship. In the case of the customer relationship, these four horsemen are – Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.
If you criticize your customers or blame them in any manner or defend yourself while customers talk against you or you don’t attend them well while they discuss the issues, you are likely to lose their trust. In fact, even if you resolve the issue after treating them improperly, that bad taste will remain with them forever. Your customer experience will only be good when the executive is calm and polite in even the worst situations with the consumers.
4. Inconsistent effort
If the effort is insincere from customer support executives, the business goals will likely not be met. A serious effort is a must. When it is about handling customers, satisfying them, and making them happy, it should be a united effort. Often, an enterprise-wide effort seems missing when it comes to ensuring the acquiring and retention of customers. When consumers call you and they feel unattended, it’s irrational to expect them to come back to you. On the call, executives need to show sincerity in resolving the issue. They must genuinely care to resolve the customer’s issue.
5. Staining image
Under no circumstances, your customer should develop a grudge against your company or brand. If they do, it will not only make you lose your existing customers but also put hurdles in acquiring the new ones. Today, an unhappy customer doesn’t just rant to twenty other potential customers — he writes a negative review, leading to the negative publicity of your brand. If you slack in providing anything less than the best customer service, your customers feel the executives are insincere and inefficient. Such opinions may endanger the overall image that you’ve built.
Remember, your customers are smart enough to feel your seriousness in handling their issues. The executives must be good listeners. Plus, when they say they will call the customers at a given time, they must do it. If they get no response from the customer support executive, your reliability will be questioned. Act now and act fast to resolve their issues.
6. Lacking communication
When your customer experience is not good, it’s often because of a “not-so serious” approach. In most of the cases, customer problems do not reach the higher authorities. They are either resolved by the customer executives or remain unsolved for a long time, disappointing the customers. In both the instances, the top management never bothers to take feedback from consumers. Your customers are the best source of information when it comes to knowing about how properly your company is handling their queries. You get a chance to improve your approaches. However, a communication gap can hamper the efforts that you might have been putting in acquiring and retaining customers from a long time.
To avoid this gap, make sure each and every customer experience is shared vertically in your organization. The more you talk about the problems, the better you can solve it.
Conducting a business is all about building the customer base. When the foundation is strong, your business grows exponentially. It is difficult to deal with customers sometimes but that’s the challenge. Your calm and composed attitude will not only prove your trustworthiness but also make your existing customers recommend your brand to more and more people. For a good customer experience, you will have to put effort to let them feel secure and important.
When you attend them, show them that you’re equally concerned about resolving the issue. Your customer support service remains the only way of interaction with customers after they buy your products. In short, the department becomes the after-sale impression of your company. It is up to you how you want your company or brand to appear in front of your customers. Your service is the decisive factor for whether they feel insecure or cared for. It will ultimately determine if your customer experience is good enough.
Customer experience is practically the key to staying in business today. Your business strategy must revolve around your customer. If your customer has less than perfect experience, you have to work towards transforming your organization. You can explore latest technologies to improve customer experience. If your organization’s customer experience is being smothered due to legacy infrastructure, consider an enterprise-wide digital transformation.