To paraphrase Shakespeare, “How do I disappoint thee customers? Let me count the ways.“
With a customer experience being the key to making them happy and earning their continued business, it’s important to keep track on where things aren’t going well. According to research, 51% of customers will leave a brand after one bad experience. This means that their love for your brand is fragile, and to earn their trust you need to deliver a sterling, friction free experience.
At Storyhub, we’ve seen millions of customer interactions, and we know what breaks their hearts. Here are the Top 5 Customer Heartbreakers.
- Waiting – Like Sweet Brown said, “Ain’t got time for that!” Customers expect things to be handled without wasting their time. While measuring various time KPIs, it’s often in the cases that due to a unique customer situation, or a process issue, something gets off track. After a certain point of time, depending on the particular situation, a customer will begin to feel abandoned, and that demands an apology.
- Robots – Brands are always trying to connect and be authentic. To be human and connect with customers. This image is shattered when a customer has the sinking experience that they’re wrestling with a robot. As one customer sarcastically said, “You love me so much you sent a robot to help me.” While AI and bots are coming a long way, it’s important to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re treating your customers right. When they’re not, it demands an apology.
- Echo…echo – Because, as we know, our CX systems are made up of many parts, and often span companies with BPO partners, as an example, things are not always seamless. There is no more aggravating manifestation of this as needing to supply information a second, third or sixth time. (If you’re wondering, six isn’t a record) These needed repetitions are often rationalized by companies, but what they say to your valuable customer is, “We didn’t listen the last time we asked the same question.” It’s like you’re gaslighting your customers. It demands an apology.
- Unfriendly Policy – E-commerce is amazing, but there’s the challenge of not having a human connection. Walking into a local merchant, you know you’re steps from someone that values your business and has the power to honor that reality. Larger chain stores created a distance from that “relationship” and e-commerce took it into the clouds. While every company has to have policies, there’s an inherent risk to be managed in how they’re applied and communicated. The reality of the dehumanizing dynamic should be factored into how issues are handled. The brands delivering amazing experiences often seem to treat policies more like guidelines, allowing for more flexibility at the moment of impact.
- Saying I’m Sorry – While it’s stating the obvious, your customers, like all of us, just want to hear the words and hear them as you mean them. There are quick, throw-away apologies, and ones that feel authentic and connected. All the technology in e-commerce can make these human moments seem old fashion, but, as Depeche Mode says, people are people. In our crazy world, when a brand can walk the walk and let their customer experience something actually human, it’s a magical thing.
Knowing what heartbreakers are is step one, but now you need to figure out how and why they happened in your business, and how to fix them. To show customers the love they’ve earned, great brands are always looking to level up their customer experience. Much like Six Sigma in manufacturing, they’re always looking for the next weakest link and working to fix it. Brands don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be thinking about customer experience all the time. That focus is central to creating an ever-improving experience. A great customer experience is an LTV expanding, and churn reducing magic factor, that’s also the right thing to do if you love your customer.
Happy Valentine’s Day!