The world has transformed drastically ever since the pandemic struck. Businesses have changed the way they function, actively transforming into customer-centric companies to achieve maximum returns.
Providing exceptional customer experiences is a significant priority of every business. Post-covid scenarios made the expectations regarding customer experiences rise significantly in every facet of the business. As customer expectations increase, companies must invest more in customer-centric strategies to achieve maximum returns.
Never before has customer centricity been this crucial, and its critical enablers must be established diligently to ensure seamless transformation for businesses. Building the right culture with strategies can help enterprises with the foundation needed to transform the organization to its core.
However, transformations pertaining to customer centricity and experiences often bring about certain potential pitfalls with them. Succumbing to such pitfalls can undermine a company’s goals and objectives. Being aware of these pitfalls and implementing the right strategies to fight them off is essential. Ultimately, you are in the business of delivering value to your end-customers and your initiatives should yield results to ensure that efforts don’t go to waste. It is all about CX – be it internal or external customers.
In this article, we will talk about some critical Customer Experience pitfalls that you must avoid.
1. Overlooking Individual Customer Requirements
Every customer is different. As individual customer needs differ, they cannot be grouped together into the same groups when it comes to deciphering their customer experience’ needs. It is imperative to offer every customer a good experience, so businesses must pay special attention to individual customer requirements.
The one-size-fits-all approach does not work anymore if you aim to provide good experiences to all customers. This approach, in fact, has proven detrimental – there are real-life examples that talk about the dangers of this approach and how organizations lost customers. This mindset is easy to talk through but often difficult to execute. However, if you are able to do so, you’ll witness customer retention rates rising as their needs are being met effectively.
Identify your customers’ pain points. Map their customer journeys and identify their likes and dislikes. Conduct surveys to deep dive and understand expectations they want to be fulfilled. Create buyer personas based on behavior patterns, demographics, etc. Personas help you connect better with your customers and effectively respond to their unique needs. All such steps will help you organize your customer journeys better and highlight individual customer needs for you to address and provide exceptional customer experiences.
2. Not Linking CX to Value and Strategic Priorities
Failing to link customer experience transformation efforts with strategic priorities leads to the ultimate failure of efforts. Strategic priorities like growth by geographical region or growth by product need to be linked with your CX efforts for better outcomes. When you have a goal for every transformation with a defined outcome then it is easier to navigate through the challenges that will arise since you are laser focussed on the end results.
Senior leaders must create a clear path showing how their customer experience transformation efforts will drive better customer acquisition, customer loyalty, & customer retention and bring about better business outcomes. Such efforts will save them from rendering their CX initiatives frivolous and losing executive sponsorship.
Paying attention to individual customer needs and opportunities to deepen customer relationships can help businesses link their CX efforts to value in a more refined way. It is imperative to effectively communicate and articulate the importance of customer experience enhancement efforts with your teams and the outcomes it provides:
- increase profits
- attract more customers
- drive referrals
- enhance employee engagement
Such efforts will not only help you avoid CX pitfalls, but also drive better business results along with improved CX.
3. Not Involving Customers Upfront
When companies make solutions for different groups of people, not considering the opinions of said groups in the process is a foolish step to take. Customer opinions are critical to the success of every solution, and companies that don’t indulge in testing solutions to customers miss out on the opportunity to make fundamental changes before it is too costly and / or too late that can transform the product’s quality and success rates. You have alpha and beta testing groups, as an example. In Software product companies, you will need to have a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) that takes into confidence your key customers from the target market you address on the direction your product is taking.
Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are smaller versions of actual products that possess only the essential features and is built to deliver customer value. These are to be used by a group of early customers who provide feedback on the same. It helps development teams develop the product further with actual customer inputs and improve its quality from a customer’s perspective. By piloting MVPs with customers, firms save significant time, money, and effort investments in the long run. Business leaders can ensure better predictability & financial outcomes as the product has been developed according to what the user really wants.
Based on the illustration above the MVP strategy states that just the wings of the plane have no value to a user, but definitely a paper plane does. It’s transport that matters to the user not the concepts.
Businesses must invest in the skill development of their employees to develop MVPs, design pilot projects, develop prototypes, and propose solutions that address customer pain points. Embracing this culture of experimentation helps businesses:
- put out the best solutions that customers actually use
- understand the importance of testing and learning
- enhance product success rates
- save development teams from potentially lengthy and unnecessary work in the future
Read more on How Qentelli can help in implementing an end-to-end CX transformation for your business.
4. Lacking a Clear Vision
The importance of a clear vision can never be undermined. Who are you? What do you want to achieve? Who is your target audience? What products and services do you want to provide? How comfortable are you with the 80 / 20 rule? To what extent are you willing to stretch your investments for exceptional customer experiences? A clear vision implies answering all such questions, articulating them clearly, and communicating them with your teams to ensure enterprise-wide clarity.
Having a vision is important and it needs to be crystal clear – the way you interact with customers and the services you offer must represent the values your company holds. What is your vision & mission statement? What are the values that drive the organization?
Identify your differentiator and communicate it to your customers through actions. Your customers should be able to pinpoint the purpose of your brand, understand the embedded principles, and relate to the values you exhibit.
Your employees at every level should also portray the said values. Clearly communicate your CX vision and mission to your team. Invest in trainings and seminars to create a culture of learning. Ensure enterprise-wide clarity of vision so that no matter who your customers interact with, they can sense the values your brand represents.
Building your brand persona with a clearly defined vision is one of the most effective ways of creating remarkable and memorable customer experiences. Your company’s personality attracts more customers and ensures their loyalty. By having a consistent brand persona, you’ll be able to build trust with customers and understand their needs better. A clear vision is at the core of a remarkable and consistent brand persona that attracts and retains customers.
5. Substandard Use of Data
Today’s digital age has empowered every business with an abundance of data at their disposal. Irrespective of the industry or the level of dependency on technology, the availability of customer data is massive and can be used in several ways to enhance customer experiences.
Poor or substandard use of data is a significant CX pitfall that leads to the failure of customer experience transformation efforts for several companies. Not leveraging data for developing effective customer experience strategies leads to the creation of products and services that lack benefits from a customer's viewpoint.
Understand how to monetize the data available at your disposal for effective and profit driving CX strategies. Customer data can help you identify:
- purchase patterns
- customer likes and dislikes
- customer pain points
- preferences according to geographical region
- unique customer requirements
- pricing needs according to geography or other demographics
- customer budgets or spending capacities, etc.
Customer data is full of opportunities for organizations. Businesses can extract actionable insights and use the data to develop better strategies. They can provide outstanding customer experiences that actually stem from their customers’ preferences and unique requirements.
6. Turning a Blind Eye to Customer Feedback
Just like involving customers upfront, considering their feedback afterward is crucial as well. Negligence toward customer feedback can lead to several downfalls for a business, such as:
- erosion of customer loyalty
- poor brand image
- rapid Customer churn
- low profits
Basically, the cost of turning a blind eye to customer feedback can be your business being driven to the ground. Customer feedback offers you the opportunity to improve your service offerings or product quality for the better before it is too late. Hence, you must invest in efforts to collect customer feedback as much as possible.
Customer feedback is also an element of customer data that must be used effectively. Businesses can use several active and passive methods to collect customer feedback, as the main aim is to understand their pain points in a better way to improve the quality of the product or service. Companies can invest in monitoring & analytics solutions, feedback widgets, community forums, or surveys to gain customer input or provide them with a platform to voice their concerns.
The ultimate outcome of considering customer feedback is companies receiving significant inputs and actionable insights for the betterment of their products and services. Customer experiences are enhanced, leading to better customer retention and customer loyalty.
Exceptional customer experiences are at the base of every organization’s strategy today. As organizations become increasingly customer-centric, they aim to improve customer experiences and transform to expand their customer base & strengthen their brand reputation in the market. This drives better profits and increased revenues along with an improved standing in the industry.
Customer experiences are critical to prioritize and often should be at the top of your check-list. CX pitfalls that cause companies to stop their initiatives must be considered while developing strategies. Several pitfalls that have been discussed in this article are common and experienced by
most businesses across all industries. However, customer experience pitfalls are not limited to the ones mentioned here, as several industry-specific ones may also surface.
Companies must invest in understanding the potential CX pitfalls that their firms may face and work proactively toward avoiding them. By making good use of customer data, paying attention to customer feedback, considering customer needs, having a clear vision, involving customers upfront, and linking customer experiences to values & strategic priorities can help organizations provide remarkable customer experiences while avoiding the major CX pitfalls. Please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking to uplift your customer experience by designing ‘customer-first’ product.