5 Customer Experience Blunders Hindering Customer Loyalty
The challenge today is the complexity involved in creating positive customer experiences. Messaging email, mobile, branding, loyalty programs — the number of ways marketing can impact customers’ view of a company can be overwhelming! Companies getting it right have the ability to give each customer a voice, and to create unique customer experiences as part of a customized journey to increase engagement and drive sales.
But, most companies are still struggling to break through all of the noise and make a meaningful connection with customers. A recent study from IBM and Econsultancy found a giant disconnect between how well businesses think they are marketing and the customer’s actual experience. Here are the five most common mistakes to avoid in order to develop customer loyalty and boost the bottom line:
1) Not Recognizing the Customer: In order to have a meaningful relationship with anyone, no matter whether it’s in business or in life, each party needs to have an understanding of who the other is as a person. This applies to customers. In the past, marketers had to build broad categories in order to create customer segments for campaigns. Today, the rapid growth of customer interaction data and advanced analytics has converged to make personalized marketing a reality. And, marketers are taking personalization even further by delivering customer communications that take into account real-time behavior, interests, and preferences. To deliver on this level of personalization, businesses must truly understand the customer and discover his or her unique set of likes, dislikes, and preferences. A smart company will spend time and energy to find out who the customer is as an individual and leverage those behaviors to serve the customer better.
2) Not Smashing Company Silos: One of the biggest roadblocks in creating a personalized customer experience is the maze created by the various silos that exist within a company. The customer doesn’t care about the various divisions that exist within a company. Rather, he or she sees the company as one single entity. According to the IBM/Econsultancy study, only 34 percent of marketers said they do a good job of linking their online and offline customer experiences. Companies need to make sure that all divisions are working in harmony to serve the customer no matter the touchpoint.
3) Not Preparing Employees for the “Moment of Magic” with Customers: Businesses must have complete visibility into every process, platform, and customer touchpoint, so the customer’s intent, likes, and preferences are visible to all stakeholders throughout the customer’s entire journey. But, it’s not enough to gather data on customers. That data must be shared across the entire organization in real time! It’s of no use to anyone if it’s sitting in a giant server. By making customers’ journeys completely transparent to all company divisions, a business can empower associates by letting them harness the information about customers when it matters most — at the moment of engagement with them.
4) Focusing on Quantity over Quality: Many companies are letting automated systems push out messages, but they aren’t tailoring the messages to the customer, creating a massive blind spot for the company and an email headache for the customer. These automated systems are transactional in nature and focus on the sale or an offer, not on the customer. Businesses using this tactic end up playing the conversion game, where they push out more and more messages to try to achieve more and more sales. This tactic may appear to work for a while, but it won’t take long to reach the point of diminishing returns. The lack of authenticity ends up turning off customers. Consumers see right through these tactics and demand more tailored interactions to catch their attention and their wallets.
5) Not Being Ready with the Right Offer: Everyone loves a good deal, and creating tailored discounts according to a customer's needs and preferences is a great way to increase sales. By tailoring the discounts to the individual customer on products in which they have interest, companies are able to build trust with the customer and increase the bottom line.
Long gone are the days of simply nudging consumers through the sales pipeline. According to Gartner, brands offering personalization will outperform those who don’t by more than 15 percent by 2018. It’s critical for brands to compete on customer experience -- or risk losing out to competitors. It’s no mystery that people love to feel special. They want to feel like a brand sincerely cares about them and their likes and dislikes. Being remembered makes people feel good, which in turn builds long-lasting relationships. Brands have a unique opportunity to engage and serve their customers like never before. By personalizing each interaction, engaging with customers at every touch point, and understanding customers as individuals, brands can drive customer loyalty.