Do you know if the customer experience your brand is offering really delivers, or is detracting from your customers and even your employees? Today’s consumers demand to do business with the people and brands that will offer them the best experience. With customer expectations at record high levels, it’s essential to know the causes and costs of poor customer service, and how a consulting firm can help.
No Brand is Immune in the Digital Age
All bets are off once someone has a bad customer experience with your brand. They might quietly move on to one of your competitors, but in today’s digital scene it’s far more likely that–at minimum–the vast majority will share their disappointment with family, friends, and coworkers. An unhappy customer is typically willing to share their story with a wide array of people, basically anyone who will listen. And if they’re frustrated enough about a poor customer experience to want to warn other consumers in a durable way that goes well beyond one conversation, they will often leave negative customer feedback online. The Wall Street Journal shared results from an ongoing study known as the National Customer Rage Survey. (Note that it says “rage” rather than mere “disappointment”!) Not only have nearly three-quarters of 1,000 consumers reported a service or product issue in the past year, the percentage of dissatisfied customers seeking “revenge” by publicly shaming companies in person or online is nine percent, tripling from three percent in 2020.
Whether or not consumers vent their frustrations privately, or publicly–frequently, on social media–over time fewer of them will stick around or even give your company an initial chance. These days around half of your customers will take their business elsewhere after just one unsatisfactory customer support experience. What about after two bad experiences, you might ask? The number soars to 80 percent, as your revenue and reputation head toward the basement.
It Starts with Your People: Employees with Low Morale Deliver Unsatisfactory Service
The best customer experience is provided by customer service agents who feel supported, equipped, and valued by their employers. Surveypal reports that just five percent higher retention rates due to improved customer interactions can increase profits anywhere from 25 to 95 percent! But without happy, inspired employees providing the kind of excellent customer service that creates a buzz both online and off, your business can remain low on review sites, with those customers who have shared their thoughts tending to focus on the negative.
This is not to lay all the blame on employees, however, neither customer-facing nor behind the scenes. Since the best customer experience always begins with positive employee experience, it follows that the best customer experience starts with setting your customer service team up for success.
The Shadow Side of Non-Human Technologies
We’ve all experienced finding an answer on an organization’s website FAQs more quickly than we might have on a phone call. And there are times when gaining basic information via a chatbot is helpful. That said, it’s a bit obvious when staff shortages and cost cutting are a company’s main reasons for adding automation to their customer service options.
None of us enjoy listening to a lengthy recorded message when all we want to do is talk to a human being and gain a bit of help and empathy. In the words of Scott Broetzmann, President and Chief Executive of Customer Care Measurement, “A robot cannot be kind and compassionate.” Although digital is only part of the picture, ensuring that your company’s technology leaves customers feeling heard and supported, and that their time is respected, contributes significantly to the overall customer experience your brand is providing.
Business Leaders Can No Longer Watch CX From a Distance
Customer service training used to be somewhat minimal, with leaders passing the reins to customer experience teams far too soon. Career development for employees tended to be an afterthought rather than a key benefit that would both motivate and help keep them loyal to the organization. And some higher-level executives have been happy to leave CX in the hands of the customer service representatives and more recently, the tech people designing their brands’ digital/virtual landscapes.
But as noted by Harvard Business Review “standoffishness by business leaders won’t cut it anymore”. High-value CX is no longer simply a nice thing to have but a strategic concern, and regarding the approach to customer service, fresh thinking is called for. It’s time to start viewing customer experience training as one of an organization’s top customer retention strategies.
Customer perceptions have become main drivers of growth and revenue; thus, customer feelings about the time they spend with a brand are an increasingly large part of every organization’s success. Do you truly know how it feels to be in your customers’ shoes? For boots on the ground, actionable insights, consider spending more time with your front-line employees.
This knowledge is critical to helping business owners and senior leaders create and offer the kind of compelling CX vision that will gain buy-in from all employees across the organization.
How a Consulting Firm Can Help
When the customer journey with your brand doesn’t live up to customers’ expectations, your prices become negotiable, trust is lost, and customers move on to competitors. This results in frustrated employees, pressure from stakeholders, a battered brand reputation, and falling revenue.
Consultants bring expertise from multiple industries and an objective eye. They are able to identify and overcome obstacles sooner and guide businesses to solutions faster than they could on their own.
Whether your company is experiencing any of the above or you simply want to be more proactive in protecting and boosting your market presence, a consulting firm will look at the big picture and see what’s already working. Then, it will help you zero in on areas for improvement and guide you in building the kind of solid foundation–including highly motivated, loyal employees capable of building long-term relationships with customers–that is essential for offering a best-in-class customer experience, every time.
Brett Eaton is Presenting at the Customer Service Revolution Conference
We are thrilled to announce that Brett Eaton is keynoting at this year’s Customer Service Revolution. Brett Eaton is a High-Performance coach, speaker, author, founder of multiple coaching programs, and co-host of The Better You Blueprint Podcast. For the last 15 years, Brett has worked with thousands of clients all over the world. He has been invited to speak at hundreds of events and to companies all over the country, motivating and inspiring people to elevate their daily performance, maximize productivity, build efficient and effective habits and routines, and increase their overall fulfillment.
The title of Brett’s presentation is The High Performers 5 Step Playbook for Playing OFFENSE.
Join High Performance Coach Brett Eaton as he reveals the five essential steps to living on your terms and playing offense in every facet of your life. In this session Brett will challenge conventional definitions of success and guide you to define your own unique path to achievement and profound fulfillment. It’s time to break free from outdated notions and align your success with your true aspirations and values.
Episode 125 of the Customer Service Revolution Podcast
Chief Revolution Officer John DiJulius of The DiJulius Group talks to Anne Mahlum, an American entrepreneur, motivational speaker, experienced CEO, business owner, philanthropist, and athlete, about her passion for starting and building businesses that truly impact people’s lives.
You will learn:
- How Anne launched Back on My Feet, a national non-profit organization that got homeless people in running clubs.
- How Anne founded solidcore in 2013 and grew it into one of the country’s most successful boutique fitness companies.
- What Anne calls the power of voluntary behavior.
- The two questions every entrepreneur should ask themselves about their venture.
- What Anne will be sharing in her presentation at this year’s Customer Service Revolution Conference on Oct 11-12 in Cleveland.