Cleaning Up Common CX Mistakes
Many businesses make the same mistakes when implementing their CX programmes. Some mistakes are easy to fix, but others require structural or organisational changes so that they don’t continue to impact your customers’ experiences or perceptions of your organisation. Below we discuss some of the most common CX mistakes and tips for how to clean them up.
Waiting to collect feedback
Businesses often make the mistake of sending out customer feedback surveys on a schedule that makes sense to the business instead of on a schedule that marks sense to the customer. This is most often the case for companies that don’t send out surveys too often or send them in bulk, so they collect feedback from their customers to suit business needs rather than to suit the relevance to the customer.
Sending surveys shortly after a customer interacts with your organisation (within 24 hours) is essential to receiving a high quantity of feedback that’s of good quality. If you send surveys at intervals that are random to the customer, your customers may not understand the relevance and ignore your survey requests. You want the interaction to be at the top of the customer’s mind when you send the survey so that they can provide you with the most relevant, insightful feedback and so that they are more inclined to respond.
Reconfigure your survey sending procedures so that you send requests for feedback based on the data you have that shows when customers have interacted with you. This means integrating your systems (POS, CRM, loyalty programme) with your Voice of the Customer installation so that surveys are sent out directly following customer interactions.
Not following up with customers
A lot of companies miss opportunities to engage customers by not following up with them after they leave feedback. If a customer has a bad experience and you do nothing to rectify their problem, you’ve almost certainly lost them to a competitor. If a customer has a bad experience and you apologise and try to make the situation better, there is a good chance you could keep them and that engagement may even turn them into a promoter. It shouldn’t be treated like a burden to get in touch with your customers. It’s essential to your ultimate business performance.
This doesn’t mean only follow up with your detractors. Follow up with happy customers too to thank them for their feedback. Or with customers who mentioned that something wasn’t in stock, let them know when you have it again. Adding this level of personalisation to your communications with customers makes them feel valued and appreciated. This, in turn, leads to more loyalty and increased spending!
Leaving employees to fend for themselves
Poorly trained staff can be the make or break factor for bad customer experiences. If there is a trend towards customer problems or complaints not being resolved, the issue is likely in the training of your employees or in the technology they are using. Training needs to be a priority, not only for new employees but on a continual basis to ensure that existing employees are always up to date on best practices. Their job is to serve customers and answer their queries, so if something is prohibiting them from doing this efficiently and successfully, changes need to be made.
Another aspect of this is to actually close the loop with your employees after discussing or sharing customer feedback with them. Sometimes companies will share customer feedback with the employees but leave them to figure out how to address concerns going forward without making operational changes. While many issues could be easy fixes, such as those concerning behaviour or communication, others may actually need to be addressed at a higher level. Investment in IT or changes to policies and procedures may be necessary for employees to really change their performance to better serve customers.
Archaic policies and procedures
“Sorry – it’s company policy” is a phrase unsatisfied customers hear all too often. This is of particular annoyance to costumes asking for help and then left feeling like time is being wasted or no solution to their problem is offered. If there is a policy or procedure leading to unhappy customers, maybe it needs to change or you need to do a better job of explaining why the policy is in place. Of course, if a procedure is in place for security concerns a simple explanation should suffice, but oftentimes certain policies or procedures seemingly create bureaucratic obstacle courses that make it hard to serve customers or address their concerns.
Take an inventory of policies that might be creating roadblocks for your customers or employees and try to streamline them to make them as simple and effective as possible. Often, there are modern or technological solutions that can result in an easy fix. An example of this is rerouting a customer’s call to the appropriate department rather than just telling them they have called the wrong number and need to dial someone else. Also, don’t leave your employees hanging when it comes to understanding why the policies exist – equip them with the means to explain the purpose of the policies so they can help customers to reach a resolution.