Customer Experience Featured Article

Are You Really Investing in the Customer Experience?

April 23, 2014

There is an interesting conversation that takes place among my friends. When a certain retailer came to town, it was great that we had access to everything we needed in one location. This retailer advertised the importance of the customer and its high standards when it came to customer service. Now, nearly 20 years later, we do everything to avoid this same retailer.

The retailer in my story is very large and very well-known. The company’s ability to leverage its massive distribution and logistics systems to get the pricing it wants makes it a formidable competitor. When the recession set in five short years ago, families needed access to this retailer to help ends meet. Sales soured and the retailer seemed to care less about the customer experience.

Today, if I need to stop in this store for something, I am amazed that I have to get out of the way for an employee too preoccupied to notice my presence. If I want pictures developed or need to pick up a prescription, it’s hard to find someone willing to wait on me. For these very reasons, I am willing to pay a higher price at a store where they care about my business. The comical point is this retailer I avoid still launches advertising campaigns that tout how much they value the customer.

Therein lies the problem for many a brand – don’t tell your customers that you care about them unless you’re prepared to demonstrate this fact in everything you do. Today’s customers care a lot less about what you tell them and a lot more about how you make them feel. And don’t claim that you’re doing it for the good of the customer. In this market, you have to do it for survival.

A recent CMS Wire report suggested there are three big myths that keep companies from being customer centric. The first is that you need more leads and not transformation. You can spend all the time and money in the world identifying prospects that can turn into leads. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to instead understand the customer journey so you’re the first choice when it comes time to buy?

The second is that you already know the customer’s journey. Any company that arrogant is missing out on key opportunities to organically grow revenue by providing exactly what customers want when they want it. This requires capturing the voice of the customer and using that knowledge to build products and services. At the same time, research has to go beyond what you know so you can fill in what you don’t know.

Finally, it’s not necessary to get fast answers. It’s easy to assume this is the only path to success is to find information fast. Likewise, the key information you need doesn’t require a lengthy process that leaves too many opportunities on the table. Customers are continuously evolving their expectations – just be ready to accommodate these changes, understanding the role they play.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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