Customer Experience (CX) has always been multifaceted. This, coupled with the fact that modern day lives continue to intertwine with technology causing CXs touchpoints to multiply, makes the optimal CX strategy for brands an ever-evolving and elusive one.
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Customer Experience
We often hear leaders say they got to where they are by “following their gut”, as though their “gut” is the key reason for their success. Perhaps they give this reason to make themselves appear almost god-like, in that they have special foresight to predict certain events. Or, perhaps, because when this dated phrase first came into use, instinct was often the only reliable factor leaders could count on.
Previously, data has been limited, harder to collate and could often be miscalculated and mismanaged through human error. Now, that couldn’t be further from the truth and, unlike your gut, this data is conclusive and clear. It isn’t based on emotion and leaves limited room for error.
Effective data analysis of the different variables of CX provides a complete story of a brand's customer base - including everything from where the brand is getting the most leads, to where the most sales are converting and which campaigns are effective. It’s all encompassing and the data is so often overlooked. According to Forbes, brands are reluctant to follow the data and opt to provide CX journeys based on general observations (following your gut) as collating data is believed to be costly and time-consuming. However, by not following the data, it can be more costly.
Perhaps it is an apathy towards technology driven data and a belief that humans always know best that prevents brands and managers from taking a more data driven approach. But, regardless of the reason, brands that don’t take this approach, will inevitably bear the brunt of the cost and increasingly so, as more and more data becomes available.
MOST BRANDS ARE AFRAID TO BE BOLD
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE DATA
INDIVIDUAL TOUCH POINTS
A common trap brands fall into is isolating touchpoints and treating them as individual issues as opposed to how the customer actually experienced it. Brands focus on improving the single issue - queues at an in store returns policy - when really they need to look deeper into the reason as to why are there so many returns to begin with? What can they do to prevent this? As opposed to trying to streamline the queue, they need to get to the crux of the cause.
By only addressing touchpoint-level customer pain points without fully dissecting the underlying issues, fragmented CX changes that don’t address the fundamental problems are implemented. By taking a holistic approach to the customer journey and reviewing it from their perspective allows brands to really get to the root of issues, which ultimately allows for a more cohesive CX overall.
As our lives have become encompassed by technology, CX touchpoints have grown in sync. Brands now have to focus across a huge range of CX interactions and, for many, the functionality of these interactions has overtaken the brand’s own narrative and creativity.
“32% of customers stop doing business with a brand they love after only one bad experience” (PwC, Accenture Strategy)
Brands are terrified that inefficient touchpoints will frustrate customers and lead to a loss of sales. Social media also allows consumers to disparage brands at the drop of a post as a result of a bad experience which results in brands, incorrectly, prioritising functionality over continuing to showcase their own brand story and ethos through their CX.
Whilst function is important, consumers fall in love with a brand because of the message and ethos they promote, and not because of a useful pop-up chat online. To be able to incorporate the brand messaging and creativity alongside the functionality of CX, will allow the customer to remain emotionally involved in the brand as it continues to nurture the bond between the consumer and orgnaization by showcasing your brand’s core mission in action.
People remember how they are made to feel by the emotive messages and transforming missions these brands were built on; this creativity and drive needs to be mirrored through the customer experience and journey to keep them emotionally involved in a brand.
It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one (Bain & Company). Following the data and tracking the different variables throughout the CX, so that brands retain their existing customers has never been a clearer strategy.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OVER EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Prioritising the human touch over algorithms is a simple practice that many brands forget. For luxury brands especially, the importance of the human touch within customer experience can’t be stressed enough and is often sacrificed at the expense of the digital one.
The digital experience brings so many benefits and absolutely should not be forgotten about; it streamlines services, connects consumers to brands globally, and allows for 24 hours customer service opportunities promoting an even more cohesive customer journey. However, it also allows customer experience to become robotic. A once very real and “human experience” becomes hollow and void of emotion.
From the consumer perspective, our brains respond best to emotional messages which influence our behaviours and decision making the most. Meaning, if brands want to convert consumer interactions into sales, the experience needs to land emotively with the customer. Brands must go beyond the traditional CX and focus on the human experience “HX” - driving values throughout all touch points to create meaningful connections and gain lasting loyalty which ultimately achieves growth.
A brand is a story unfolding across all its touchpoints. How a brands customers are incorporated into the story is up to the brand.
What was once limited to stores, consumers now encounter brand interactions when they pick up their phone and open an app, an email, talk through customer support chats as well as mailer alerts and push notifications, to name a few. The list continues to grow aided by the digital world’s delivery of new and innovative ways to reach a customer. In the post-pandemic world, customers' expectations for instant help have grown, privacy concerns have grown and social media has also created a platform to voice concerns.
With increased opportunity for brands to build relationships and followings through extended CXs, comes the increased opportunity for brands to frustrate consumers and ruin reputations. This overarching concern that looms in the back of managers’ minds, helps explain why many brands fall into 5 simple mistakes when piecing together their CX.
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