Three costly customer experience blunders

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To grasp great customer experience (CX), one must first grasp the pitfalls that prevent successful implementation.

Because no initiative, even one from the C-suite, can fix the costly mistakes that keep your brand from meeting your customers’ expectations.

Let’s take a look at the following three biggest CX mistakes to avoid.

  • Focusing on Transactional rather than transformational
  • Confusing Customer Service and Customer-Centricity
  • Prioritizing Tools and Processes above Dedication
  1. Focusing on Transactional rather than transformational

Customer service is transactional. While it may save a valuable transaction from a loyal customer, it does little to build a long-term relationship that turns them into your biggest advocates.

What’s to stop your competitors from using the same successful call center playbook your reps use?

Consider your grocery shopping: You probably shop at the same stores every week. You began shopping there for certain reasons. Maybe it was near your house. Maybe the prices.

But it was probably something else that kept you there. What drew you to their brand was something more fundamental—their company’s values, store design, and employee demeanor. When friends explain why they prefer another supermarket, you explain why you prefer yours. You love its brand!

Your brand evangelist status was earned through a series of unique and foundational moments that outperformed any outbound campaign or piece of content.

  1. Confusing Customer Service and Customer-Centricity

It’s not the same as talking to customers.

That’s because talking to customers isn’t just asking questions. Talking to customers means engaging in genuine organic dialogue.

Talking to one salesperson gives you a sliver of your company’s customer relations. Likewise, talking to the Sales manager widens the aperture, but it remains small. Even VPs and other senior leaders have limited perspective based on internal chitchat.

Meanwhile, the most important players—the customers—speak through their actions: They provide metrics by completing contact forms or downloading e-books.

Such data is used to generate actionable insights by enterprises. They adjust their daily and annual operations based on the data, which makes them “customer-centric.”

Ultimately, they’re just providing customer service, which isn’t the same as customer-centricity.

What’s the point? It’s the difference between proactive and reactive.

Regardless of what companies consider important “customer-centric” mechanisms, they’re still waiting for the customer to do something to create a golden opportunity to “provide good service.”

That’s a vital function, like accounting or HR. It’s not the same as designing your programs, content, technology, and even supply chain around your customers.

  1. Prioritizing Tools and Processes Above Dedication

So, when an organization decides to revamp its CX, they ask, “Now what?” The solutions usually come in the form of tools or platforms that promise better customer insights and interactions.

To truly make a difference, however, you don’t need as much technology as you think, though it does provide customer-facing personnel with data that can help them have intelligent, productive conversations with customers. While technology helps to streamline CX, it is the right mentality that truly serves the customer that determines success.

Like any other initiative, CX requires commitment and consistency. Employees will simply pivot to the next thing that senior leadership wants them to do.

To be successful, your CX initiative must be tied to all aspects of your organization. It must be tied to long-term planning. Most importantly, you need a stakeholder with enough power and authority to champion it even as priorities and budgets shift.

It’s a whole new ballgame when an organization decides to follow true customer experience instead of reactive customer service’s whims and paradigm shifts.