It’s no secret that first impressions are everything, and with 59% of customers admitting they won’t return to a business after a negative interaction, steering clear of customer experience (CX) mistakes is crucial.
For example, one common mistake many business owners make is looking at their customer experience strategy one-dimensionally. Your overall goal is more than increasing website traffic or hitting sales targets, isn’t it?
Of course it is! That’s why customer relationships should be fostered throughout the entire buying experience – from start to finish. You have to identify customer pain points throughout their journey with your company and address them proactively to make sure you’re meeting their needs.
Are you now wondering if your strategy is missing the mark? If so, keep reading to discover the most common customer experience mistakes, the pain points they generate, and how to avoid them!
1. Overlooking Individual Customer Needs
You know that your customers are the heart of your business, and yet you can’t lump everyone into the same group. This is probably the most common customer experience mistake business leaders make. To offer each customer a good experience with your brand, you need to pay special attention to individual customer needs.
CUSTOMER PAIN POINT – A one-size-fits-all approach leaves many customers feeling overlooked. When a unique customer has to turn to your customer service (CS) to get their needs addressed, they often choose to turn to a competitor instead for a better experience from the start.
When you anticipate your customers’ needs throughout their journey, you can provide them with solutions for their pain points. How can you identify those pain points? By mapping customer journeys to learn your clients’ likes and dislikes at every step.
To help organize unique customer journeys, you can use your findings to create buyer personas based on groups of customers who share certain needs and wants. A buyer persona is simply a representation, or an avatar, of your ideal customer. While somewhat fictional, these personas are based on current demographics, behavior patterns, and future goals.
Take Mary. She’s an elderly woman living alone without access to the internet. Her pain point is being directed to the company website whenever she needs information. Instead, she wants you to communicate with her via standard mail or phone and guide her through the buying process. You can easily improve her customer experience by allowing her, and customers like her, to personalize the communication options she has with your company.
Charlie, on the other hand, is a 25-year-old tech-savvy millennial who requires little guidance. He’s comfortable clicking around emails and webpages to gather information he needs from your company. His pain point is having to make a call to your customer service department only to wait on hold. Once again, personalization of communication options is the way to resolve this CX pain point.
Personas like these help you and your team connect with customers on an individual, relatable level. You can then empathize with real-life scenarios and improve the overall customer journey by responding to the needs signaled by your unique customers.
Find out more about Personalized Communications
2. Not Having a Clear Vision
Another customer experience mistake businesses still make is not having a clear vision of who they are and what they want to achieve. We just discussed personas in item 1, and your customers definitely paint a picture of your business for themselves. How are they going to know what your business stands for if that is not clear to you and your employees?
CUSTOMER PAIN POINT – An unclear identity of your company. When customers don’t sense the company’s values, they have very little to connect to and are likely to be attracted away by a competitor that appeals to them.
Your company vision should include values and a mission statement. Do you pride yourself on treating customers like family? Do you offer the lowest prices in your industry? Are your products all handmade?
Identify what sets your company apart (your differentiator) and embed these principles in your day-to-day operations. Once you pinpoint these assets and define your brand purpose, ensure that your own staff is educated about (and shares) your vision.
Now everyone can let your customers know what you’re all about and help them learn what you stand for and why you’re their brand of choice. The main way to develop a clear vision is through branding.
Brand awareness is arguably one of the most important elements of creating a positive customer experience. By properly communicating your vision, your company will take on a personality of its own that attracts customers and keeps them loyal to you.
Brands like Apple, Nike, and Target all present their own personas consistently. Apple is at the forefront of the tech world, while Nike offers functional and fashionable athletic wear. Target promotes quality products at reasonable prices.
There’s no question what these brands offer and their customers not only know it, but they empathize with their favorite brand’s values. Now it’s your turn to build a brand for your company that your employees and customers can stand by!
3. Lacking Emotional Investment
Believe it or not, there’s a deeply emotional element to the customer experience. When you don’t take customer emotions into consideration, you guarantee missed opportunities.
CUSTOMER PAIN POINT – Making emotionally vacant purchases – products and services that don’t spark a deeper connection, that don’t make an impact, and that are easy to replace with more meaningful alternatives.
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember your loved one making your favorite chicken soup when you were sick? You can probably still taste it and you remember that it made you feel cozy and protected.
Do you remember what brand of chicken broth or canned soup they used? Chances are, you will reach for that same brand when it comes time to make that same dish for your own loved ones because you’re emotionally invested in the product.
Imagine gaining customers across generations with minimal effort: that is where the emotional connection of the customer experience comes into play. The common mistake businesses make is focusing on logistics rather than working on building relationships with their customers.
Emotions drive decisions, so make sure you spark emotion in your customer interaction. If your customers feel emotionally invested in your company, they will be motivated to buy from you and recommend you to a friend. By truly investing in your customers, they will in turn invest in you wholeheartedly.
When new customers show up on your platform, greet them. It can be as simple as that! Help them acknowledge your brand’s involvement in their journey by making them feel welcome. Offer them a small incentive that will make their first experience a special one.
Stay connected with them. Make product/service suggestions based on their profile and provide them with birthday, anniversary, and holiday offers. Offer special rewards for your loyal customers.
What do customers want? Find out in our Customer Service Statistics Infographic
4. Ignoring Negative Customer Feedback
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. While this sounds like something you heard at school as a child, the meaning is more relevant today than ever. In a world where most consumers turn to online reviews before dealing with a company, you need to manage your reputation carefully.
CUSTOMER PAIN POINT – When dealing with a company that has bad reviews, customers often feel either overlooked or repulsed by the brand’s response or lack thereof. By ignoring bad reviews, companies essentially confirm that the negative feedback is called for. If they don’t even bother to respond, they lack involvement in their customers. Even worse, if they respond aggressively to negative reviews, they are seen as hostile to customer needs. Either way, customers regard these companies with great mistrust.
When it comes to negative reviews, the biggest customer experience mistake you can make is not tending to them. While you may be tempted to ignore negative – or even false – reviews or comments about your business, doing so will not distract your customers’ attention from them. In fact, it will do the contrary: you will appear distracted from how customers perceive you. If you can’t defend your own brand, then who can?
Negative reviews must be addressed head-on to demonstrate accountability and care. The benefit of handling negative customer feedback is two-fold. Not only are you showing potential patrons that you’re responsive, but you may actually turn naysayers into return customers by addressing their needs.
Every negative review comes from a customer pointing out their needs that your company has not managed to meet, so each one is an opportunity for you to improve. Take note of their complaints and gather as much specific information as possible. Are different people reporting the same issue? If so, it might be time for some internal changes to your business structure.
A common customer experience mistake is responding to angry reviews in the same tone. Doing this makes customers question your character, ethics, and professionalism. No matter how frustrating it is to interact with an angry customer complaining about your business, you must always maintain a positive approach. Keep in mind that reviews are public and that you are interacting with the angry customer as well as all other potential customers reading the reviews.
Take a candid approach to your response, acknowledge the reviewers’ pain points, and validate them. Provide them with a solution to their needs and show them that you are willing to go the extra mile to help them. When appropriate, offer a sincere apology and incentives. This may convince a displeased customer to give your business a second chance and your involvement might even make them loyal customers.
5. Not Asking For Customer Feedback
One of the biggest customer experience mistakes is not asking for feedback. Who better to tell you about issues across the customer journey than your customers themselves?
CUSTOMER PAIN POINT – Reporting an issue with a company’s products or services, platform, or communication through a lengthy, vague, or frustrating process.
The best way to gather feedback from your customers is to use customer experience surveys. Collect information about what customers liked and didn’t like about interacting with your company. Ask them to rate their experience about various points of their customer journey.
Ask first-time customers about their initial experience with your brand. As for loyal customers, ask them about their return visits and purchases with your company’s products or services.
As we said earlier, customer reviews are an excellent way to needs that your company is currently not meeting. Based on the feedback you get, identify the problem areas in your services, and make appropriate changes to improve them.
Beyond this, the most important part is the follow-up. After your improvements have been in place for some time, perform another survey. Target the customers who have signaled them and ask them what they think. Did you hit on the pain points? Are customers pleased with the changes? Are they voicing new and different complaints?
Consumers are brutally honest and will have no issues telling you where you can improve and if recent changes are working. Use these results to determine where to focus your efforts and let your customers know that their feedback e a difference for them as well as other customers. mad. This will drive an emotional response and help you build a strong relationship with them.
Say Goodbye To Customer Experience Mistakes
The biggest mistake companies make is not using a customer-centric strategy. The customer journey starts the moment a potential customer hears about your business and, if you’re approaching it correctly, it carries onward.
That’s because, with an effective strategy in place, you’ll create loyal customers who stick with you for the long haul because you address customer pain points and constantly improve your services to meet their needs. This is what makes customers refer brands to friends and family!
If you want to steer clear of these customer experience mistakes, we’re ready to help. Contact us today so you can invest in the future of your company!