Every touchpoint a customer has with your brand presents an opportunity to deliver the best experience possible. Customers no longer compare one business with a direct competitor; they compare their last service experience with the next, blurring the lines between categories. Customers expect a seamless experience.
One alarming trend we’ve noticed with the rise of customer experience (CX), is that customers are going missing from journey maps. Large organisations are so focused on the next shiny tech, that they are forgetting to listen to their customers, assuming a new app or platform will bring them in droves. Only after spending millions on these projects are they realising that customers aren’t interested in a new platform. They are still experiencing the same service frustrations, such as long hold times on the phones or inconsistent information, that could have been dealt with instead. Several types of customer research need to be conducted to understand where customers’ needs aren’t being addressed.
These are four of the biggest mistakes businesses are making according to Damian:
1. Jumping to the solution before uncovering the problem
Don’t assume what your customers want. Ask them! This should involve a minimum of 3-5 types of customer research to develop a journey map to inform recommendations. We’ve seen organisations make ill-informed assumptions about how their customers will choose to engage with them, costing them millions by focusing on things that customers don’t really value. Before investing any resources in addressing your customers needs, you should be sure that you have identified what your true customer needs are.
2. Failing to deliver on brand promises
Communication and trust are inextricably linked. Communicating with your customers in a way they value and being available when and how you promised provides reassurance and builds trust. When organisations have disconnected channels and siloed departments working with separate KPIs it’s the customer who pays the price through experiencing broken promises and a poor service experience.
3. Not delivering actionable insights
If you’ve engaged a CX agency or internal CX Manager and the end result were insights that aren’t wrong, but were somewhat unsurprising or generalised it’s unlikely you’ll be able to turn that into action that will deliver value to your customers. We are seeing non-specific and high-level statements that could apply to any industry or service experience being dressed up and presented as insights, such as ‘Organisations should own their customer problems and not pass the buck.’
Alternatively, insights need to be granular and actionable, such as ‘Resolving issues when they arise can result in a customer needing to call the contact centre multiple times. Customers are sometimes reassured that their issue has been resolved. If they discover at a later date that it has not been fixed, they are forced to call the Call Centre again, sometimes to find that there is no record of their previous calls. There has been feedback from customers that when they have become frustrated and asked for the call to be escalated, the call centre rep has refused to do so. This inflames the situation and can make the customer feel angry and powerless.’
A customer journey map should be tied to operational changes. Insights need to contain enough detail and customer truth to make them useful and useable in initiating actual change, starting with a review of processes, policies, practices and procedures.
4. Failing to value the employee experience equal to customer experience
Bring your employees on the journey. They are the ones dealing with your customers every day and need to be involved in redesigning improved services. Those on the frontline should be viewing your customers with compassion and championing your business.
If you’re looking to engage a CX manager or designer, ask, how will they research your customers? How will they integrate your communications channels? How will they use customer research to inform policy and procedural changes? Most importantly, how will they involve your employees in the change process to help them understand and empathise with your customer and move your organisation to a customer-centric culture.