by Kurt Schroeder and Dan Gingiss
The Avtex Digital Roundtable on The Cost of Bad Customer Experience explored the primary indicators of poor CX and the impact they can have on your business. The panel included Kurt Schroeder, Avtex Chief Experience Officer, and Dan Gingiss, a customer experience keynote speaker, consultant, author, and podcaster. Kurt and Dan examined where the CX focus of brands should be, what to do with a problem once you find it and why you should never make assumptions about the impact of your CX. Kurt and Dan also discussed the intricacies of a brand’s relationship with CX, and why your customers' input is vital to the success of your CX strategy. Within this blog, we’ve highlighted some key takeaways from Kurt and Dan’s conversation – to learn more, view the full webinar here.
Competition is reaching new peaks as more businesses enter their respective industries, and focusing only on price or product is now a loser's game. In order to succeed, companies are aggressively looking for what they can do to stand out. As customer expectations rise, providing excellent service and having skilled employees is now the industry minimum. Customer Experience is the new competitive advantage, and a proactive CX strategy is crucial to changing the direction of a customer’s perception. CX can no longer be an afterthought, but is now essential to the strategic vision for your brand. Understanding the key indicators of poor CX and how that may be impacting your business is more critical than ever for successful brands.
Poor CX can lead your business towards ineffective communication, inadequate relationships with customers, and an inability to connect your business goals with your CX strategy. When your CX fails to engage customers and prospects, your brand can be left unable to communicate critical actions and initiatives, leaving business opportunities untapped and customers free to look to other brands for future ventures. These issues highlight a gap between the goals of your brand and the CX strategy you have built.
Understanding the focus of a business's CX can seem obvious - a well-developed CX strategy should create a space where your customers feel connected to your brand. But too often, businesses focus their CX on company wants over customer needs. Self-serving CX creates an innately negative outcome as customers aren't having their basic needs met. Customers now have expectations for their baseline experience: seamless interactions, quick service and responsive information systems are all expected when interacting with a brand. Focusing on meeting basic expectations and finding moments to surprise and delight inherently creates a CX strategy focused on customers, and ultimately meets the needs of your business along the way.
Customer Experience is based on human interaction, and can feel like an art, not a science. As customer needs emerge and evolve, there is always the possibility that negative interactions and problems will pop up. When those moments occur, issues must be fixed and not left to sit. Choosing not to address a problem immediately impacts the consistency in the experience your customers receive. This lack of consistency can lead to disappointment and could create tension with your customers. Customers remember the peaks and valleys of their experience. The more problems they run into, the deeper the valleys become, which makes elevating their experience beyond the baseline difficult.
Assuming your CX program is "good enough" is a common and critical mistake made by many brands. Failing to dig deeper means that you could be settling for only meeting expectations, or even falling below the bar that your customers set. As a business, there is always space to make your best better, and by setting the bar at "good enough," you run the risk of missing out on the potential that comes with elevating your CX. By intentionally connecting with your customers and ensuring every touchpoint is top-notch, you avoid falling into a trap where your brand is merely good enough.
Customers are Investors too
Customers complain because they care. These are people who want a better experience from your company because they have developed brand loyalty. Understanding the input of your customers, and the motivation behind their communication, can bring additional value to your business. In a worst-case scenario, customers not only disappear without saying anything, but also bash your brand when given a chance. Customers who are open about their grievances want to see your company become better, and are actually a partner in your success.
Coming back to the “why” of your CX strategy should always include your customer's needs. You are striving for brilliance in the basics of your strategy, including how you connect and communicate with customers. As your CX begins to align with your customer's needs, you'll find that simple customer interactions are the lowest hanging fruit for improving your strategy. Successful brands understand how critical it is not to underestimate the impact of CX, and your customers can tell when they are being considered and valued. Your CX strategy can be more than a system of meeting expectations; you can control the landscape of what your customers expect from your brand.
To learn more about The Cost of Bad Customer Experience, check out the Avtex Digital Roundtable with Kurt Schroeder and Dan Gingiss here.