Winning By Not Losing: 5 Common CX Errors to Avoid Making

2020-04-17

By João Alves

It’s a human tendency to strive for perfection and always try to excel in whatever it is we’re doing. However, a very underappreciated and underestimated practice is to focus on winning by not losing.

In an effort to re-write the cliché - defence is the best offense - it’s perhaps easier to focus on not making mistakes than it is to make the winning moves.

Especially at tough and uncertain times that we find ourselves in today.

A perfect anecdote for this is sports. In a professional level, with many athletes having similar skill levels, physical makeup, and psychological drive, matches can be said to be won through consistency. A good example could be tennis. A winner's game is set by the player is able to simply keep the ball inside the court, consistently not making mistakes and slowly inducing their opponent to make a mistake. Over the long run, players who attempt to win through strength or superior skill by hitting perfect placed shots find themselves not keeping their records free of the big 0. Therefore, the journey to victory begins by avoiding crucial unforced errors of process and mindset.

Effectiveness doesn’t necessarily come from inspiration or willpower. One needs discipline, and discipline is best followed when one has clear systems in place to promote action taking and optimize decision-making.

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In this post, we’ll present the 5 errors we should always keep in mind before going ahead with any decisions. Given that every decision affects customers, we fundamentally believe that every decision should be focused on the customer - how we can add value to them, how we can decrease friction, how we can make them happy.

Let’s make sure we always stay on the track when it comes to process and make sure that our customers’ preferences dictate and direct our discussions at all times.

Not Providing A Personalized Experience

Personalization isn't optional in this day and age.

Given the fact that CX depends on collecting and analysing data, there's no excuse not to use that information to deliver a personal experience to every customer.

Amazon, for example, knows a lot about their customers based on their purchase history, so they personalize and offer their customers special offers based on the customers' interests. This type of personalization not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives loyalty and repetitive purchases.

Netflix captures the intent of the users, continually researching the interests of its customers. Based on the user behaviour, you might find an actor that you recognize, an exciting moment like a car chase, or a dramatic scene that conveys the essence of a movie or TV show in your feed.

Personalized communication allows you to set the stage for a positive relationship, making customers feel valued while establishing a sense of trust. Brands that don't make an effort to understand customer needs and preferences miss out on long-term loyalty and risk high rates of churn.

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Not Measuring What Matters Most

One of the biggest criminal offences committed by customer experience professionals is not providing your company with the best chance of capturing customer feedback.

Today, companies are storing large amounts of data – terabytes and petabytes across several databases. Integrating all data sources into one platform gives brands a holistic view of the customer journey.

Companies must collect, analyse and understand customer data to learn how to make the customer experience better. If you aren't measuring the correct metrics and utilising the latest technologies to garner insights from all that data you collect on customers, then you're making an unforced errors and letting your competitors get ahead.

Therefore, to unlock all understanding of your customer, we must all:

  1. Seek out and capture the correct data; and,
  2. Invest in the best-in-class analytical tools that harness the power of AI and Machine Learning to analyse customer feedback at scale.

In order to accomplish the former, we recommend having an omnichannel approach to collecting feedback. You want to cast a wide net, so you capture as much insight as possible. That means enabling customers to provide feedback across all the critical touch points in the customer journey, across websites, mobile apps, emails, or in-store.

Customers need the opportunity to come to you with feedback, as well as you actively soliciting feedback from them.

  • Active feedback refers to actively engaging your users and asking them for their input. Most likely about their experience in one of the hotspots of their customer journey, such as the checkout or delivery experience.
  • Passive feedback refers to feedback a customer feels compelled to give you on their own volition without being solicited, often highlighting issues that you simply didn't know about.

Key channels to have a presence when developing your CX program.

  • Customer Surveys (NPS, CSAT, CES)
  • Onsite Customer Surveys
  • SMS
  • Social Media
  • Call Transcripts
  • Chatbots Conversations

More feedback increases the chance of generating greater and better insights, which add value beyond top-line growth onto stronger retention and general durability of one’s business.

However, for that to hold true, one must accomplish number (2), investing in the correct toolkit to garner those insights off of that myriad of customer data.

Intelligent AI analysis of customer feedback using topic and sentiment analysis can help prioritise what matters to the customer the most.

  • It makes sure that you segment critical elements that matter to your customers and tackle every aspect of it with focus and precision: Is it a bug in your app? Delivery time issues? Pricing clarity? Diving deep into customer feedback at scale can unearth key insights that help prioritise decision making.
  • It allows you to move faster, as AI models can process huge volumes of data quicker than ever before, all in real time, identifying all the trends that are invisible to the human eye.
  • Delivers immediate support to your customers based on that real time insights, by providing automated alerts that can notify the correct team member when a change in data or behaviour of the customer is registered.
  • It ensures that you personalize experiences to your customers. We all need to make sure that we accomplish the main goal, which is to deliver as personal support as personalized as possible. Amazon, Netflix, Spotify...there’s a reason these amazing companies stay on top - they run incredibly and unwaveringly data-driven organizations that have allowed them to nail the art of personalisation.

Without data, we’re blind. But positioning ourselves with the best methods to capture the correct data and analyse them quickly and strategically, will position you to conquer the hearts of your customers and be first in mind when it comes to your solution.

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Not Reviewing Customer Data By Cohort

Failure to segment your customer data is a huge opportunity missed to generate more profits. Your business may compete with different competitors for specific demographics or geographies.

Different customer segments may have different goals and pain points to solve. Look at customer data from past NPS survey responses and review the feedback by LTV for example and you’ll be able to see what matters most to Freemium users vs Highest LTV customers.

Segmentation adds a lot of context to data. As we see here in this chart, churn rate due to the negative customer service experience of Premium customers is arguably more of a problem than negative customer service experience of Freemium customers.

Gathering these insights and connecting the dots for internal stakeholders can help you get the buy-in needed to take CX to the next level.

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Not Taking Action Based on Customer Feedback

Customers do not like it when you ignore them. If there is a customer complaint offering negative feedback, it's essential to treat it like the learning experience it is.

Make sure you do the following:

  • Listen to your customers.
  • Acknowledge their concerns and offer a solution—don't make excuses or argue with the customer.
  • Make the required change and follow up — in other words, close the loop to make sure that you've fixed the problem correctly.
  • Apologize and say "thanks" for the feedback.

Much of what is built at leading brands such as Amazon is based on listening to customers. If you don’t prioritise customer feedback and embed your learnings into your product roadmap, someone else will build something that meets customer needs better. Before long, you’ll see your product fall deeper into irrelevance in the mind of the customer.

Ultimately, reviewing feedback from all customers allows you to make improvements to your business and build better relationships with the people who make your organization money.

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Not Being Meticulous about UX & Design

Customer Experience is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship in terms of the digitally crafted experience solely for the organization.

UX is an inevitable part of the CX. Some of the most successful companies in the world, like Airbnb, have built a competitive advantage based on exquisetely designed customer experiences.

User Experience is the foundation of a good customer experience. These fields are very much intertwined, and one isn’t necessarily more ‘important’ than the other. Companies might focus on necessary service improvements like response time of customer support but neglecting UX is one of the deadliest CX sins a brand can commit.

No matter how beautifully designed your site may be, if your users don’t know how to navigate and find what they’re looking for, they simply won’t come back.

Think about what you expect when you visit a website. What impression do you get from a site that is poorly designed, full of broken links, or is too hard to navigate?

You might click away in frustration. Maybe you're worried that your computer will get a virus or that they can't process payments securely.

Poor UX is a fatal blow to the customer experience. When UX doesn't match up with basic design principles, you're getting a fragmented experience.

UX touches upon your users and if they have a good experience with your brand, they will refer their friends.

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Final Remarks

Let’s invert the problem and take a break from thinking hard about what we should be doing to maximize customer-centric practices in our businesses. Instead, let’s reflect and think for a couple of minutes on these 5 main errors we should avoid making when it comes to promoting and scaling customer-centricity.

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